Goodrich Corporation (NYSE: GR) is rapidly accomplishing program objectives under its contract with the U.S. Air Force to upgrade the service's C-130 transport fleet with new boltless wheels and carbon brakes. Goodrich's Aircraft Wheels and Brakes team completed the critical design review 60 days after contract award. Goodrich is currently under contract to perform qualification activities, support flight testing, and provide retrofit equipment for the Air Force's C-130 fleet. Qualification activities are expected to be completed in the first quarter of 2011, followed by initial hardware deliveries to the Air Force.
The upgrade program is progressing rapidly in part because Goodrich performed much of the pre-work design and development activities prior to the contract award. Jeff Atkinson, director of military programs, Goodrich Aircraft Wheels and Brakes, said, "The Air Force required us to conduct extensive design and development testing of our candidate hardware prior to contract award in order to fully substantiate our proposal.
"Our C-130 carbon brakes are designed to last eight times longer and weigh 20 percent less than the current steel brakes, and a tire change using Goodrich's C-130 boltless wheel takes 80 percent less time than the current bolted wheel," continued Atkinson. "We are seeing strong international interest in the upgrade because of the significant weight and maintenance savings, and expect to begin international deliveries in late 2011. Our low-risk design and validation approach combined with advanced aircraft wheel and brake technologies will provide the worldwide C-130 community with significant performance, cost and maintainability benefits throughout the life of the fleet."
Goodrich DURACARB(R) carbon braking systems provide lighter weight, longer life, higher performance and lower cost of ownership compared to steel braking systems. Goodrich 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 aircraft manufacturers such as Airbus, Boeing, Bombardier, Cessna, Embraer, Lockheed Martin and Northrop Grumman.