Airplane hose buggy
ERIKS Hose Technology, Slough, and ERIKS Airports Division, located at Heathrow airport, combined forces to build the ‘ERIKS pCa Deployment buggy’ for the British Airports Authority (BAA) and British Airways (ba).
While awaiting their next flight, British Airways’ planes are connected to two hoses from an air bridge. One hose delivers cool/warm clean air into the plane and the other removes the dirty air. Even though it sounds simple, several problems were indicated:
The hoses are too long, so BA ground staff drags the hose to the plane, which damages the hoses. The hoses are kinking when connected to the plane, which significantly restricts the airflow.
Because of these problems, planes use the onboard air power units, but the costs of running these are 8 times the cost of running the external air bridge!
ERIKS Hose Technology and ERIKS Airports Division developed a fairly simple buggy where the hose could be housed and easily deployed to and from the plane.
The images give you an idea of what the ERIKS PCA Deployment buggy looks like. PCA stands for Pre-Conditioned Air.
At present, the buggy is just a pilot to prove that the concept works. Further trials and discussions with BAA and BA, along with some agreed modifications, will follow. There is some way to go before this project will come to fruition, but it all looks very positive so far!