“Watch this amazing video of what happens when Boeing wants to make sure the carbon ceramic brakes on its new Boeing 747-8 work under the worst possible conditions. Specifically, Boeing has to simulate the worst possible conditions: a rejected take-off with no reverse thrusters on worn-out brakes. The result? Red-hot 2,552 degree brakes. Yowch!
Boeing’s 747-8 is the latest and most economical version of company’s popular jumbo jet. As part of the testing procedure they have to put a maximum load on the landing gear to make sure it’ll hold up in an emergency.
To simulate the worst case scenario, the aircraft is fully fueled to the maximum weight (about 975K pounds), the brakes are worn down 100%, and a pilot is told to accelerate to a takeoff speed of 200 mph and then slam on the completely toasted brakes as if it were part of an aborted takeoff.
Normally, the pilot would try to use reverse thrust to stop the plane and fire crews would be on hand within three minutes to start putting out the fire. In this experiment they assume the thrusters don’t work and the fire crews are a full five minutes away.
The result? It stopped about 700 feet short of the estimated length as the brakes glowed under the 1,400C (2,552F) heat.”