With no surprise, the Next Generation Equipped Door (NexGED) attracted industrial and institutional representatives at the Paris Air Show (19-25th June).
Last February, the R&T Latécoère team introduced NexGED. Created through a knowledge-rich approach, this electrical aircraft door includes innovative features and assured benefits for aircraft manufacturers and airlines. NexGED’s features greatly improve reliability, safety and comfort of use. The electrical door is also lighter and less costly than traditional mechanical doors. Finally, its architecture makes it highly customizable to answer any aircraft needs.
The main components of the Next Generation Equipped Door are:
The electrical motor performs the two sequences composing the door opening operation: a first lift movement for escaping the door from the fuselage stops, and then a swivel movement for releasing the fuselage aperture. The realisation of both sequences by a unique motor is made possible thanks to a kinematic of cams. Consequently, the user does not need to force for opening the door even in critical situations of emergency evacuations, unlike of current mechanical doors, and brings a welcome comfort to cabin crew in daily use.
For an improved safety, a power distribution unit insures the reserve of energy the door needs for surviving in case of loss of alimentation within the aircraft.
The window has been replaced by a camera and screen device, improving greatly the visibility, especially in emergency situations. The illuminator allows a better vision as well, by providing a night vision by infrared.
Arming and disarming of the slide is also performed electrically, by a linear actuator. An innovative mechanism has permitted to remove the traditional girt bar, providing a clearer and safer passage for evacuation.
A sensor on the handle detects if the user is about to open the door. In case the slide is armed, a visual indicator illuminates, advertising the user that the door will open automatically and slide will deploy. This alerting device would avoid many inadvertent slide deployments that happen very frequently in operations and costs millions of dollars each year to airlines.
The seal also has a new feature. A heating filament has been incorporated in order to prevent ice accretion on fuselage door interface surfaces that could impede to open the door.
All the door electrical equipments are managed by a control unit, which monitors the different states of the door and allows or forbids user actions. This control unit takes in input the aircraft parameters (speed, engine throttle, altitude…). Visual and oral indications are available for helping the user to operate the door correctly, which would avoid user’s mistakes.
The investigations of an electrical passenger door took place through the R&T project NexGED (Next Generation Equipped Door); supported by DGAC the French Civil Aviation Authority attached to the French Ministry of Environment Energy and Sea, and by DGA the French Government Defense Procurement and Technology Agency attached to the French Ministry of Defense. LATECOERE thanks its partners on this project: HUTCHINSON Aerospace, LISI Aerospace, SKF Aerospace, ZODIAC Aerospace, and UTC Aerospace System.