Cavotec successfully trials groundbreaking pre-conditioned air system with Airbus

Airport equipment innovator, Cavotec MSL, has completed a two-week series of intensive trials of its patented PCAir aircraft cooling system, with leading aircraft manufacturer, Airbus, at the group’s production plant in Toulouse, France.

“It is extremely difficult to cool aircraft on the ground using conventional systems, as the inlet temperature needs to be at least minus five degrees Celsius,” says Ottonel Popesco, Cavotec CEO.

“The Cavotec PCAir System is unlike any other air-based technology on the market, expanding dry compressed air to produce 100 cubic metres of pre-conditioned air per minute, at minus 25 degrees Celsius,” adds Popesco.

Pilots tend to run on board auxiliary power units (APUs) to cool parked aircraft, as conventional systems are often ineffective. APUs can burn between 200 and 600 litres of fuel per hour, generating pollution at airports and consuming costly fuel that could be used to fly aircraft – not cool them on the ground. Cavotec’s PCAir system provides the dual benefits of reducing pollution and reducing costs. This makes the PCAir system beneficial to all airport constituencies: airlines, airport operators, and communities surrounding airports.
The culmination of in-house testing and the two-week trials at Airbus proved that the Cavotec PCAir systems operates effectively, having successfully delivered –25∞C ‘dry air’ in environments with ambient temperatures of up to 48∞C. Most importantly, the PCAir system cooled Airbus’ largest wide body aircraft, the A380, in less than 30 minutes, proving the system’s adaptability for the entire Airbus fleet.

Cavotec has enjoyed a long-standing partnership with Airbus, supplying in-ground supply systems for production hangars and delivery positions, including those for the A380 programme. Earlier this year, Cavotec won an order to supply 12 in-ground utility systems for the new Airbus A320 Final Assembly Line in Tianjin, China. In addition, Cavotec has supplied delivered in-ground supply systems for the Airbus A400M production hangars in Seville, Spain, and produces a full range of tow bars for all Airbus aircraft types.

The PCAir System is scheduled to go on sale during the second half of 2009.

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