FARNBOROUGH AIRSHOW, July 19, 2010 --[ASDWire]-- On the 28th of May 2010, Fokker Landing Gear signed a Memorandum of Agreement with Goodrich Corporation (NYSE: GR) to introduce polymer matrix composite (PMC) landing gear drag braces for the Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II. Goodrich is the exclusive landing gear system supplier and integrator for the F-35 aircraft.
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, providing work to a minimum of 20 highly qualified specialists in Helmond, the Netherlands, and at the Dutch National Aerospace Laboratory (NLR) in Marknesse, 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 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.
Fokker Landing Gear has been actively engaged in the development of technologies for the application of thick-walled Polymer Matrix Composites (PMC) in flight critical primary structural components for landing gears for over fifteen years. Several partners, among which the NLR, have joined in a composite knowledge network that contributed to this technology development. Since 2006 Fokker Landing Gear and Goodrich Landing Gear have been actively engaged in a strategic cooperation under which integrated solutions for the application of PMC on landing gear structural components are developed.
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 Gears awarded by this agreement. The F35 Lightning II is the perfect launching platform to benefit from Goodrich's and Fokker's cutting edge composite Landing Gear technologies."
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 F-35 reducing the overall life-cycle maintenance cost."
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