LYNNWOOD, Wa., 15 Aug. 2012. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) officials have awarded a Supplemental Type Certificate (STC) for the SmartStem wireless tire pressure system from Crane Aerospace & Electronics, a segment of Crane Co. (NYSE:CR), to be fitted on Bombardier Q-Series aircraft, including the Dash 8-100, -300, and -400.
SmartStem is the first tire pressure indication system to be available for any regional commercial aircraft, says a spokesperson, noting that the STC establishes a DO-178 and DO-254Design Assurance Level B pedigree for the handheld system.
To fit an aircraft with SmartStem technology, the existing tire inflation valve stem is replaced with a special valve stem containing integral sensors. SmartStem communicates tire pressure, temperature, and other stored information wirelessly to a Handheld Reader without the use of an internal battery in the stem. This information is communicated wirelessly and does not require the removal of the valve cap, so no gas is lost during routine tire pressure checks.
“We believe that consistent measurement of aircraft tire pressure before every flight is a key enabler for operators of quick-turn aircraft to increase their tire longevity, reduce cost, and decrease the likelihood of tire failure. SmartStem enables a regional jet operator to check a full set of aircraft of wheels in less than a minute, create an automatic data record of the check, and deploy an aircraft with 100% assurance that tires are inflated properly,” explains Nathan Smith, business development manager at Crane. “Operators of the Q-Series should take a hard look at their tire usage and ask if fast, convenient checks before every flight would reduce their overall costs.”