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Warner Electric XS Brakes save weight for business jet motorised window shades

January 25, 2021
Warner XS Brake

While private business jets are the limousines of the sky, they are not immune from the design constraints common across all aircraft. Minimising the size and weight of components is all important for securing the efficiency and performance of any aircraft. For this very reason, a European motor manufacturer turned to customised Warner Electric X-Small (XS) brakes as it strived to reduce the size and weight of its motorised window shades.

Whether a business jet or a jet fighter, reducing weight improves fuel efficiency and performance. Furthermore, improving space efficiency allows for additional systems or features to be incorporated into the aircraft design without unduly penalising comfort or functionality. Onboard items, components, paint, wiring and even adhesives are all under scrutiny. For a motorised window shade system, which is installed on multiple cabin windows, minimising weight or space requirements offers compound benefits.

A European motor supplier providing motorised window shades was looking to reduce the weight and size of its assemblies. Its customer, a leading manufacturer of business jets, was launching a new aircraft with weight reduction as a main design aim. The brakes mounted to the window shade motor were identified as an area for optimisation. However, it was clear that a standard braking solution wouldn’t provide the required weight and space savings. Consequently, the motor supplier approached Warner Electric to provide a specialised solution.

Warner Electric is an established manufacturer of lightweight, compact braking solutions for aircraft interiors. Its range of XS brakes are designed to provide reliable braking performance with minimal weight and space penalties. The range of six standard sizes is incredibly versatile, with Warner Electric able to customise and develop existing brake models to provide specialised solutions to fit aircraft seats or other motorised systems.

Initially an audit was carried out at the Warner Electric production plant to ensure that aerospace single supplier delivery expectations could be met. Once satisfied, the customer tasked Warner Electric with developing a new brake variant to suit the specifics of the application. Warner Electric engineers provided samples, prototypes and pre-production examples to aeronautic standards – developed in close collaboration with the customer engineering team. This allowed for detailed assessment and an optimal brake selection.

The end result was the XSB22S electrically-released, spring-set holding brake, designed to maintain the position of the window shade. Mounted on the back of the motor, the XSB22S provided optimised torque levels in a lightweight, compact package. Weighing in at less than 27g, the brake delivered the savings both motor supplier and business jet manufacturer desired. The holding torque (0.015 Nm static rated as standard) was matched with an operating noise level below 55 dBA – important for maintaining a comfortable cabin environment.

All units feature a customised adaptor flange to allow the brake to be fitted to customer-specific mountings. This ensures easy assembly, allowing for seamless integration with the existing motor powering the motorised window shade. To illustrate the performance of the newly developed brake, Warner Electric also provided the motor supplier with extensive electrical and environmental test data.

An expert in electromagnetic braking solutions and a leading brand of Altra Industrial Motion Corp., Warner Electric is able to tailor its range of XS brakes to suit the individual needs of specific aircraft designs. A global engineering capability ensures that the aviation sector has access to wide ranging support, from product design and testing to maintenance and technical guidance.

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