Large Aircraft Hydraulic Systems – Boeing 737 Next Generation Hydraulic System

in Hydraulic and Pneumatic Power Systems

Figure 12-62 provides an overview of hydraulic components in large aircraft.

Figure 12-62. Large aircraft hydraulic systems.

Figure 12-62. Large aircraft hydraulic systems. [click image to enlarge]

Boeing 737 Next Generation Hydraulic System


The Boeing 737 Next Generation has three 3,000 psi hydraulic systems: system A, system B, and standby. The standby system is used if system A and/or B pressure is lost. The hydraulic systems power the following aircraft systems:

  • Flight controls
  • Leading edge flaps and slats
  • Trailing edge flaps
  • Landing gear
  • Wheel brakes
  • Nose wheel steering
  • Thrust reversers
  • Autopilots

Reservoirs

The system A, B, and standby reservoirs are located in the wheel well area. The reservoirs are pressurized by bleed air through a pressurization module. The standby reservoir is connected to the system B reservoir for pressurization and servicing. The positive pressure in the reservoir ensures a positive flow of fluid to the pumps. The reservoirs have a standpipe that prevents the loss of all hydraulic fluid if a leak develops in the engine-driven pump or its related lines. The engine-driven pump draws fluid through a standpipe in the reservoir and the AC motor pump draws fluid from the bottom of the reservoir. [Figure 12-63]

Figure 12-63. Hydraulic reservoirs on a Boeing 737.

Figure 12-63. Hydraulic reservoirs on a Boeing 737.

Pumps

Refer to Figure 12-64 for the following description. Both A and B hydraulic systems have an engine-driven pump (EDP) and an ACMP. The system A engine-driven pump is installed on the number 1 engine and the system B engine-driven pump is installed on the number 2 engine. The AC pumps are controlled by a switch on the flight deck. The hydraulic case drain fluid that lubricates and cools the pumps return to the reservoir through a heat exchanger. [Figure 12-65] The heat exchanger for the A system is installed in the main fuel tank No. 1, and the heat exchanger for the B system is installed in the main fuel tank No. 2. Minimum fuel for ground operation of electric motor-driven pumps is 1,675 pounds in the related main tank. Pressure switches, located in the EDP and ACMP pump output lines, send signals to illuminate the related LOW PRESSURE light if pump output pressure is low. The related system pressure transmitter sends the combined pressure of the EDP and ACMP to the related hydraulic system pressure indicator.

Figure 12-64. Boeing 737 hydraulic system (simplified).

Figure 12-64. Boeing 737 hydraulic system (simplified). [click image to enlarge]

Figure 12-65. Boeing 737 hydraulic case drain fluid heat exchanger installed in the fuel tank.

Figure 12-65. Boeing 737 hydraulic case drain fluid heat exchanger installed in the fuel tank. [click image to enlarge]

Filter Units

Filter modules are installed in the pressure, case drain, and return lines to clean the hydraulic fluid. Filters have a differential pressure indicator that pops out when the filter is dirty and needs to be replaced.

Power Transfer Unit (PTU)

The purpose of the PTU is to supply the additional volume of hydraulic fluid needed to operate the autoslats and leading edge flaps and slats at the normal rate when system B EDP malfunctions. The PTU unit consists of a hydraulic motor and hydraulic pump that are connected through a shaft. The PTU uses system A pressure to drive a hydraulic motor. The hydraulic motor of the PTU unit is connected through a shaft with a hydraulic pump that can draw fluid from the system B reservoir. The PTU can only transfer power and cannot transfer fluid. The PTU operates automatically when all of the following conditions are met:

  • System B EDP pressure drops below limits.
  • Aircraft airborne.
  • Flaps are less than 15° but not up.

Landing Gear Transfer Unit

The purpose of the landing gear transfer unit is to supply the volume of hydraulic fluid needed to raise the landing gear at the normal rate when system A EDP is lost. The system B EDP supplies the volume of hydraulic fluid needed to operate the landing gear transfer unit when all of the following conditions are met:

  • Aircraft airborne.
  • No. 1 engine rpm drops below a limit value.
  • Landing gear lever is up.
  • Either or both main landing gear not up and locked.

Standby Hydraulic System

The standby hydraulic system is provided as a backup if system A and/or B pressure is lost. The standby system can be activated manually or automatically and uses a single electric ACMP to power:

  • Thrust reversers
  • Rudder
  • Leading edge flaps and slats (extend only)
  • Standby yaw damper

Indications

A master caution light illuminates if an overheat or low pressure is detected in the hydraulic system. An overheat light on the flight deck illuminates if an overheat is detected in either system A or B and a low-pressure light illuminates if a low pressure is detected in system A and B.