Boeing completes testing of carbon fiber brakes

Boeing says it has completed certification testing of new Messier-Bugatti carbon fiber brakes designed for the Next-Generation 737.

The Boeing Co. (Seattle, Wash.) reported on May 2 that it has recently completed certification testing of new carbon fiber brakes designed for the Next-Generation 737 airplane family by French supplier Messier-Bugatti.

The tests of the Next-Generation 737-900ER (Extended Range) were designed to verify that an airplane at maximum weight with greatly worn brakes can stop safely after a refused takeoff decision. Boeing will submit the test results to the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) for certification the second quarter 2008. Entry into production is expected by third quarter 2008. Boeing will offer a retrofit program for airplanes already in service.

Through a month-long test program, Boeing reached its goal to show equivalent performance between steel and carbon fiber brakes, and verified a weight savings of 700 lb/320 kg compared to high-capacity steel brakes for Next-Generation 737-700/800/900ERs, and 550 lb/250 kg on standard-capacity steel brakes for Next-Generation 737-600/700s. Reduced weight contributes to reductions in associated fuel burn and CO2 emissions depending on airline operations.