Crane Aerospace & Electronics announced the approval of its SmartStem wireless tire pressure checking system on the Boeing 737NG. Crane said that its patented technology offers a way to check tire pressure quickly, accurately and without gas loss. The system consists of sensors and a handheld reader. The sensors replace the existing standard wheel fill stems and the reader electronically reads and stores tire pressure and temperature.
Crane (Stand 2539) is now working towards offering retrofits. SmartStem is also certified on the Boeing 747-8, 777 and 787, as well as several business jets. The U.S. company, which has an office in Dubai, also announced that United Airlines is nearing completion of an A320 fleet-wide upgrade to replace about 330 landing gear control interface units (LGCIUs) with the equipment manufacturer’s enhanced LGCIUs. Meanwhile, British Airways is expected to complete a fleet-wide retrofit of more than 200 LGCIUs by mid-2014. Over 40 airlines across the world are now flying with the enhanced LGCIU, Crane said.
The LGCIU’s function on the A320 is to sense the position of landing gear and landing gear doors, flap disconnect status and cargo door position, and to provide system health status to the central fault display system. Crane’s enhanced LGCIU has been standard on all production A320s since 2010. “The unit’s improved built-in test functionality provides additional fault codes and fault recording, as well as troubleshooting data to minimize ‘no fault founds,’” said Rick Jones, senior vice president for sensing components and systems. He added that the new Crane unit reduces maintenance costs and is lighter.
Last June, Crane announced it had been selected by Embraer to supply both the brake control and landing gear control systems for Embraer’s new E-Jets E2 family. On the Airbus A320neo and Irkut MC-21, Crane will provide the lube and scavenge pump for the Pratt & Whitney PurePower PW1100G-JM and PW1400G engines. While PW1100G-JM flight-testing has begun, pump development for the PW1400G is said to be on schedule for engine ground testing in 2014.