Huchez Ingénierie Winch Takes Flight
Huchez Ingénierie has developed an electric haulage winch for aerospace giant Airbus, to be used for measuring static atmospheric pressure in-flight. After an initial delivery, three further units were purchased and delivered.
Used for test flights and installed in the rear of the aircraft, the winch measures the reference pressure (taken from “0”) outside the aircraft by means of a tube it drags 60m to 120m behind its tail. The tube reports the outside pressure to a sensor (on the winch) by means of a pneumatic rotating collector.
Huchez met all the aircraft-related criteria, including weight and size of the winch (passage between seats), impact and crash resistance, etc. The technological requirements were considerable, as it was necessary to combine a collection of different data—stress on the rope, unwound length and pressure value. Furthermore, the implementation of a mechanical principle (crosswinding) was developed to allow precision and permanent monitoring of rope winding quality. It took one year to design and build the first winch of this kind.