Goodrich to Team Up and Develop Composite Landing Gear Structures for F-35 Lightning

Goodrich Corporation (NYSE: GR) signed a memorandum of agreement (MOA) with Lockheed Martin Aeronautics to design and develop polymer matrix composite (PMC) landing gear drag braces for the F-35 Lightning II. In addition, Goodrich signed a MOA with Netherlands-based Fokker Landing Gear for the supply of PMC drag braces for the F-35's main landing gear. Goodrich is the exclusive landing gear system supplier and integrator for the F-35.

Under the three-year agreement, Goodrich and Fokker will work together to design, qualify and produce prototype PMC drag braces to be incorporated into the main landing gear for F-35 conventional take-off/landing (CTOL) and short take-off/vertical landing (STOVL) variants. Fokker's role will encompass detailed component design and qualification; these efforts will be conducted by Fokker Landing Gear in The Netherlands. Goodrich will perform system-level design and integration in its Cleveland, Ohio and Ft. Worth, Texas landing gear facilities.

Compared to the metallic drag brace equivalent, using PMC materials will result in reduced weight and lower maintenance costs over the life of the F-35. The new design will produce a common PMC brace used on both the CTOL and STOVL variants, as well as increase commonality to hardware used on the carrier variant (CV) F-35.

Mike Brand, president, Goodrich Landing Gear, said, "Over the past four years, Goodrich and Fokker have created a complete technology package to develop PMC landing gear components at a maturity level ready for low-risk introduction to the F-35 program. This award emphasizes our continued support to Lockheed Martin Aeronautics and the team's focus on reducing the F-35's overall life-cycle maintenance cost."

Hans Buthker, president of Fokker Aerostructures and Fokker Landing Gear, said, "It is truly exciting to see the sustained research and development efforts into the application of composite technologies on landing gear awarded by this agreement. The F-35 Lightning II is the perfect launching platform to benefit from Goodrich's and Fokker's cutting edge composite landing gear technologies."

Goodrich supplies a number of critical systems for the F-35 including the SmartProbe(TM) air data system, weapons bay door drive system, landing gear system and its integration, fuel quantity and engine sensors, and actuation systems. Major Goodrich systems specific to the STOVL variant include propulsion system LiftFan(TM) components, the three-bearing swivel door uplock, and an advanced titanium landing gear designed for unique STOVL requirements. Production takes place at Goodrich facilities in F-35 partner nations Australia, Canada, the UK and U.S.

Goodrich technology for commercial and military aerospace and defense applications will be on display at the 2010 Farnborough Airshow. Visit the company's pavilion at OE4, located between hall 1 and chalet rows A and B.

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