UTC Aerospace Systems, a unit of United Technologies Corp., today announced it has begun delivery of boltless wheels and carbon brakes to five new customers operating C-130 aircraft. The new customers include the U.S. Coast Guard, Polish Air Force, Chilean Air Force, Malaysian Air Force and Republic of China (Taiwan) Air Force. Taken together, the orders include a total of 55 aircraft.
Today's announcement follows UTC Aerospace Systems' successful wheel and brake upgrades of the entire C-130 fleets for the U.S. Air Force, Australian Air Force and Afghanistan Air Force. In total, the company will now provide wheels and brakes for more than 600 C-130 aircraft, roughly half of all active C-130's worldwide. In addition, UTC Aerospace Systems announced in 2014 that it would upgrade wheels and brakes for the U.S. Air Force's entire F-15 fleet of 475 aircraft under a $22 million contract.
"At UTC Aerospace Systems, we're committed to helping our customers maximize operational efficiency and increase safety, while reducing costs, and that's exactly what our boltless wheels and carbon brakes are designed to do," said Jeff Atkinson, Director of Military Programs for the company's Landing Systems business unit. "We're pleased that operators around the world continue to recognize the benefits that our wheels and brakes provide for their C-130 and F-15 fleets, and look forward to the opportunity to expand our customer and platform base in the future."
The company's C-130 brakes, which feature UTC Aerospace Systems' proprietary DURACARB® carbon heat sink material, allow for 2,000 landings per overhaul compared to 250 landings per overhaul for the current system. That's a lifespan that's eight times longer, significantly reducing maintenance time and cost. In addition, the brakes are capable of handling higher energy than the aircraft's existing equipment, which increases the safety margin when stopping heavily-loaded C-130s.
The boltless wheels feature an innovative lock ring design and higher fatigue life than the current C-130 system, further reducing maintenance time and cost for operators. At the same time, the UTC Aerospace Systems combined wheel and brake assembly has 17 percent fewer parts than the C-130's existing equipment, simplifying maintenance and service.
To enhance customer experience, UTC Aerospace Systems has joined with Integrated Procurement Technologies (IPT), a leading military distributor and worldwide supplier of OEM parts, for stocking and distribution of its wheels and brakes for C-130 international operators. This relationship gives UTC Aerospace Systems the ability to offer customers 24/7 on-demand availability of the equipment and access to faster installation and integration.