Flying would be much less comfortable without them: The passenger boarding bridge (also known as boarding bridge or gangway) enables the secure, same level boarding of the aircraft worldwide in thousands of airports.
In the early days of flying, the entry was much easier. The small propeller planes had integrated small steps, which were simply pulled down. Even today, small aircrafts generally use built-in stairs, because the slope in the gangway would otherwise be too much.
How would it look like without the boarding bridge? Modern commercial aircrafts have entry heights of up to 4 meters above the ground. Passengers of giant jets like the Airbus A380 must enter even on two levels. It would require very high stairways. And families with children, elderly and infirm passengers would find it much harder to get into the plane. Not to mention protection from wind and weather.
The principle of the boarding bridge is simple: Usually a part of the system is firmly anchored to the airport building. Another part is flexibly mounted to be able to dock with different types of aircrafts. So differences in the height of the aircraft door are applicable just as adapting to the different lengths and widths of the aircraft. For it, a gangway is usually made of several pipes that can telescope into and apart from each other and one or more lifting units. This telescopic bridge is the most flexible passenger bridge option. Less flexible designs are often only suitable for certain types of aircraft, which restricts the flexibility of the airport operator.
The passenger bridge is moved with the aid of electric motors. These require power and data cables for the control. The movements of the individual elements are thereby not very fast. However, the cables must be protected from damage. Since they are mostly located outside the gangway, they have to withstand wind and weather.
As the downtime of the aircraft should always be shortened and the boarding bridges reliably operated at all times, the mechanical movement must run smoothly. Because, a stoppage of a boarding bridge can lead to direct financial losses for the airport operator and airline, as well as for the passengers who want to fly safely, comfortably and on time.
The high reliability of the products are the reason for the use of igus® products in the passenger boarding bridges. The movements of the cables in the gangway can be safely guided with igus® e-chain systems®. The strokes are mostly horizontal movements in the telescopic tunnels and vertical in the lifting units. The e-chains® have a long service life, so that high holding times can be expected. They can be installed in little space, so that no cables hang out and the appearance is not compromised. All the required energy can be supplied with e-chains®, for example, power and control cables, hydraulics, pneumatics, etc.
rotatione-chain systems® as RBR solution2
Lifting movemente-chain systems® - installation type "zigzag"3
Lifting movemente-chain systems® - installation type "hanging"4 5
Cable protection in multiple axese-chain systems® provide three-dimensional guiding and protection in moving applications
Protection of cables and hoses
Space-saving installation and reduced cable lengths (alternative to festooning)
Travels up to 800 m possible
Easy installation with quick opening and separation of the links
Low wear due to specially optimized igus® polymers
Sturdy, cable-friendly, rounded crossbars
Interior separation kit for higher service life
Wide variety of products possible for almost any application and special materials for particular application areas
Available from stock with many accessories
Over 950 types of cable from stock
No minimum order
No cutting costs
Special construction for the movement in e-chains®
A variety of jacket materials