If you have ever been in an airplane that has had to stop before takeoff, or encountered landing conditions that necessitated a quick stop, you know the force required to stop the massive planes! For their latest new mega-plane, the 747-8F, Boeing has to deal with a nearly 1,000,000 pound load – so stopping becomes more of an issue than ever!
I know it is a PR move, but this week they released a video showing the test they performed showing how the plane would stop if it needed to abort a take-off at full thrust and had nothing but worn-down brakes to stop it!
According to the site:
In April, the Boeing Test & Evaluation team brought the 747-8 Freighter to a long runway in California to simulate the ultimate rejected takeoff (RTO). Crews loaded the airplane above its maximum takeoff weight of 975,000 pounds (443,181 kilograms) and installed a set of 100% worn-out brakes.
With its four General Electric engines providing maximum thrust, the 747-8 Freighter races down a California runway. At just over 200 miles per hour (320 kilometers/hour), the pilot would slam on the brakes to bring the fully-loaded airplane to a stop.
“It’s down to the studs,” says Andy Hammer, the 747-8 flight test manager. “They’ve got them machined down so there’s basically no material left.”
Capt. Vining taxied the airplane out to the start of the runway and began the takeoff roll as usual by pushing all four engines to maximum thrust.
Just as the airplane was going over 200 miles per hour (320 kilometers per hour), Capt. Vining slammed on the brakes. To channel maximum energy to the carbon brakes, he was not allowed to use the thrust reversers.