© Photo | Leninetz, Gernot Walter

Ready for take-off

A mobile climate control system from the Russian company Leninetz cools the cabin and on-board electronics of parked aircraft – in the interests of increased safety and flight readiness

Once an aeroplane is off the ground, cooling ceases to be an issue. There is more than enough cold air at high altitude and plenty of wind into the bargain to provide ventilation and cooling for the on-board electronics and the interior of the aircraft. But assistance is called for whenever a plane is standing in its hangar ready to go or waiting on the apron for its passengers. Due to the lack of space available, the on-board electronics are of extremely compact design. The heat arising in stand-by mode has little chance to escape and there is a risk of the electronics overheating. On the ground, cooling is often provided by the aircraft’s own system with the engines running. This is however far from being ideal in view of both the fuel consumption and the lack of efficiency involved. The key to ensuring flight readiness and safety is an external supply system.

The ideal atmosphere – whatever the application

Leninetz mobile climate control system

When a plane is standing on the apron, the mobile climate control system cools the on-board electronics and the interior of the aircraft

The Leninetz company from Saint Petersburg has the answer to this problem in the form of a truck trailer packed with high-tech equipment. The company with its 120 employees specialises in climate control systems for aircraft and trains. The mobile installation is adapted to the aircraft of the major manufacturers: Boeing, Airbus and Tupolev. The system uses compact air hoses to cool the on-board electronics, the cockpit and the cabin and can also provide heating in cold winter weather. With its own generator to supply the energy required, the mobile unit is completely independent of the airport power supply, a particularly important factor at small airports or if parked a long way from the terminal building. The mobile climate control system can handle air volumes of 1.6 kilos per second at a maximum pressure of 20 kilopascal. “Aviation is subject to extremely stringent regulations with regard to safety and reliability. But quick and easy handling was another factor which also had to be borne in mind. A single person can hook up the system to an aircraft in less than half an hour and control it via a simple interface”, says Anatolij Emelyanov, Head of Development at Leninetz. The machine also has to be capable of functioning properly at airports anywhere in the world. “We have conducted tests to confirm that the design ensures reliable functioning in very cold, very hot and very humid conditions. What’s more: Operation at altitudes of up to 3,000 metres above sea level is no problem”.

Individual heavy-duty version

Fans with closed-loop speed control are one of the reasons for the outstanding efficiency of the system. Emelyanov: “For years now, we have been a regular customer of ebm-papst for various products, including the mobile climate control system: Three axial fans provide cooling for the system compressors.” Leninetz originally opted for the standard version. However after six months, the company discovered that the mounting arms of the fan grille had broken – they had not been able to withstand the immense vibration during operation. ebm-papst engineers analysed the situation at the Mulfingen laboratory and decided to specially adapt the grille by adding a further two mounting arms to reinforce the original four. “We received the prototypes in a very short space of time. The reinforced design solved the problem”, according to Emelyanov. “Thanks to the prompt deliveries from ebm-papst we were able to complete the comprehensive testing required by the state in just one year.”

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Axial fans

One principle, countless options