Goodrich Corporation (NYSE: GR) has begun qualification activities for the U.S. Air Force to upgrade the service's C-130 transport fleet with new boltless wheels and carbon brakes. Goodrich is currently under contract to design, develop and perform qualification activities; support flight testing; and provide retrofit equipment for the Air Force's C-130 fleet.
Qualification is expected to be completed in the first quarter of 2011, with initial hardware deliveries to the Air Force expected soon thereafter.
"In my opinion, we are very pleased with the rapid progress Goodrich has made to date on this critical improvement program, and look forward to fleet implementation on our aircraft. Goodrich's boltless wheels and carbon brakes are expected to provide the Air Force with increased up-time and lower cost of operation compared to the current equipment," said Ron Montgomery, Landing Gear Systems Chief Engineer, 417 SCMS, Hill AFB. "We're also working with our C-130 Major Commands to ensure a smooth and seamless transition to Goodrich's wheels and brakes for all our operators," he continued.
Jeff Atkinson, director of military programs for Goodrich Aircraft Wheels and Brakes, said, "We continue to see strong interest from the international C-130 community in this upgrade because of the significant weight and maintenance savings. Our low-risk design and validation approach combined with advanced aircraft wheel and brake technologies will provide C-130 users worldwide with significant performance, cost and maintainability benefits throughout the life of the fleet."
Goodrich's C-130 wheel and brake retrofit features DURACARB® carbon brakes to provide lighter weight, longer life, higher performance and lower cost of ownership compared to steel braking systems. Its boltless aircraft wheels employ a lock-ring design, dramatically lowering maintenance time and cost, as well as parts count, when compared to traditional bolted aircraft wheels. Goodrich aircraft wheels and brakes are in service on more than 20,000 military, commercial, regional and business aircraft produced by manufacturers such as Airbus, Boeing, Bombardier, Cessna, Embraer, Lockheed Martin and Northrop Grumman.