Wolf Finds the Ideal Solution to Safely Illuminate the Interior of a Boeing 737 Fuel Tank

Wolf Finds the Ideal Solution to Safely Illuminate the Interior of Boeing 737 Fuel Tanks

At the beginning of 2020, Wolf’s Sales Manager David Lyon was approached by a major international passenger airline and asked to help improve the maintenance turnaround time of their fleet of Boeing 737s.

Specifically, he was asked to provide a safe, ATEX certified, hands free lighting solution for maintenance staff carrying out vital inspection, maintenance and repair operations inside the potentially explosive atmosphere of the aircrafts’ fuel tanks.

The Challenge

The airline’s current practice involved technical staff using handheld torches as they crawled and worked inside the pitch-black tanks. This had two major disadvantages:

  • The torches simply weren’t bright enough to illuminate the tank
  • Operators need both hands to manoeuvre through the confined space of the tanks and carry out maintenance and repair tasks

This meant that routine operations were taking too long to complete, and pressure was mounting to reduce aircraft turnaround time.

A solution was needed which would supply much higher quality, brighter lighting within the fuel tanks and would leave operators’ hands free to concentrate on the inspection and repair work. The light source must have the correct ATEX certification to counter the potential risk of explosion and take into account the physical challenges of the aircraft’s structure, including the narrow entrances and confined nature of the tanks themselves.

The Solution

Following an on-site assessment and testing inside the aircraft, the ideal solution was found to be a kit for each aircraft containing 3 linkable LED luminaires to provide bright ambient lighting for the tanks, with 2 handheld leadlamps for close up inspection work.

The luminaires would be suspended (by the hanging straps which are supplied with the lamps) along the length of the fuel tank, at 2 metre intervals.

The first lamp in the chain would have a 10 metre cable to allow it to be connected it to the 110V power source outside the aircraft. Subsequent lights would have 2 metre cables, allowing them to be positioned exactly where needed whilst keeping cabling to a minimum within the confined space.

The handheld leadlamps would be hooked up inside the tanks and taken down for close inspection work where, and as, required.

The kit:

The kit consisted of:

1 x LX-400 LinkEx™ LED 360° 110V ATX Linkable Temporary Luminaire – 10 metre cable
2 x LX-400 LinkEx™ LED 360° 110V ATX Linkable Temporary Luminaire – 2 metre cable
2 x SP-600 ATEX LED Inspection Leadlamp – 10 metre cables

Benefits

The benefits from the new lighting kits were immediately felt, with the maintenance team being able to move and work hands free in the now brightly lit confined space of the fuel tank.

The high quality light from the 360° diffused lamps lessened shadowing substantially and reduced the difficulty and time taken to carry out work tasks – the result of which is a reduced aircraft turnaround time and all resulting cost benefits to the airline.

Three kits were purchased initially by the airline, before rolling out the solution to the rest of the fleet.

 

For full information on the LinkEx™ LED Temporary Luminaire, visit LinkEx™ LX-400 LED Temporary Luminaire

For full information on the LinkEx™ SP-600 ATEX LED Inspection Leadlamp visit ATEX LED SP-600 Inspection Leadlamp