© 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