Inflatable cockpit seals; an innovative technology

Inflatable cockpit seals; an innovative technology

Inflatable cockpit seals; an innovative technology

At service ceilings of up to 15,000 meters, maximum speeds of 2,000 kilometers per hour, rates of climb of 12,000 meters per minute* and under extreme pressures, the seal on the jet fighter cockpit presents the ultimate sealing challenge. Even a pinprick in the seal between the cockpit and the plane could put the pilot’s life at risk.

Picture shows manufacture of a cockpit seal at Trelleborg Sealing Solutions Cadley Hill

The manufacture of cockpit seals by Busak+Shamban associated manufacturing company Trelleborg Sealing Solutions Cadley Hill is a feat of engineering. These are high technology products yet still hand fabricated in tools the full size and shape of the jet fighter cockpit. The inflatable seals are built up layer by layer, cured within the tool, then tested at line side.

Adrian Roberts, Product Manager for Trelleborg Sealing Solutions Cadley Hill says, “We lead the market in development and manufacture of one piece inflatable cockpit seals. We have produced these for the Tornado, M346 and Eurofighter Typhoon to name but a few.”

How the cockpit seal works

The cockpit seal is fitted to the edge of the canopy. When the canopy is closed the seal is inflated, filling the gap between the plane’s cockpit and its canopy, ensuring total sealing integrity.

*48,000 feet; 1,200 miles per hour; 40,000 feet per minute