Goodrich to supply electrically actuated braking system

Goodrich Corporation has today been chosen to provide an electrically actuated braking system for production versions Northrop Grumman’s Global Hawk unmanned aerial vehicle.

Goodrich Corporation has today been chosen to provide an electrically actuated braking system for production versions of Northrop Grumman’s “Global Hawk.” The electric braking system is based on an existing Goodrich wheel and brake design modified for electric rather than hydraulic actuation.

Integration of the system will be performed by Goodrich’s Troy, Ohio-based Aircraft Wheels and Brakes division and will include electric actuators from Goodrich’s Actuation Systems division as well as a system control from the company’s Fuel and Utility Systems division.

The Global Hawk aircraft equipped with the Goodrich electric braking system will begin flight tests in the summer of 2005. First production vehicle flight is scheduled for late 2005. Goodrich previously flight tested a similar system on an F-16 aircraft, and will work with Northrop Grumman systems engineers to integrate the braking system with the vehicle for autonomous operation.

According to Jeff Atkinson, Director of Military Programs for Goodrich’s Wheels and Brakes division, “The Global Hawk braking system is the first, fully-integrated, electrically actuated brake and brake control system to be put into production by Goodrich.

“Functions of the system include autobrake control, differential braking control, antiskid protection, and built-in test capability for continuous monitoring of the system condition.”

An electric braking system differs from a hydraulic design as electrically driven actuators replace the hydraulic pistons used to provide clamping force to the brakes’ carbon heatsink. Multiple actuators are said to enhance system redundancy by compensating for system failures and provide braking force in excess of nominal ratings.