Fokker Technologies celebrates continuation of the F-35 Landing Gear Composite Drag Brace Program
Papendrecht, November 19, 2015 --[ASDWire]-- Fokker Technologies, a division of GKN Aerospace, its Dutch partners and the Dutch Government celebrated the continuation of the F-35 Landing Gear Composite Drag Brace Program. Earlier this month Fokker Technologies received from UTAS (United Technologies Aerospace Systems) the follow-on contract for the continuation of the design and development for the qualification of the polymer matrix composite (PMC) landing gear drag brace for the F-35 Lightning II landing gear. UTAS is the exclusive landing gear system supplier and integrator for the F-35 aircraft. The celebration ceremony was held during the NIDV seminar in the Netherlands and was witnessed by Mr Maxime Verhagen, former deputy Prime-Minister of the Netherlands and currently the Dutch Special Envoy Industrial Participation F-35 Program.
Under the follow-on development contract, UTAS and Fokker Technologies will continue to work together to qualify and produce developmental hardware for qualification of the PMC drag brace that could be incorporated into the main landing gear for F-35 conventional take-off/landing (CTOL) and short take-off/vertical landing (STOVL) variants. Fokker Technologies role will encompass component design, development, qualification and hardware manufacture; these efforts will be conducted by a specialist Fokker Technologies team in Helmond, the Netherlands. UTAS will perform system-level design and integration in its Cleveland, Ohio and Ft. Worth, Texas landing gear facilities.
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Compared to the metallic brace equivalent, using PMC materials will result in reduced weight, and lower costs over the life of the F-35. The new design will qualify the common PMC brace used on both the CTOL and STOVL variants.
Fokker Technologies 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 twenty years. Several partners, among which the Dutch National Aerospace Laboratory (NLR), have joined in a composite knowledge network that contributed to this technology development. In March 2015 Fokker Technologies and NLR have opened a pilot plant in Marknesse (NL) where the composite drag brace qualification hardware will be produced in a fully automated facility.
Hans Büthker, CEO Fokker Technologies, 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 UTAS and Fokker’s cutting edge composite landing gear technologies.”
GKN plc is a global engineering group. It has four divisions; GKN Aerospace, GKN Driveline, GKN Powder Metallurgy and GKN Land Systems, which operate in the aerospace, automotive and land systems markets. Over 55,000 people work in GKN companies and joint ventures in more than 30 countries. GKN is listed on the London Stock Exchange (LSE: GKN) and recorded sales of £7.5 billion in the year to 31 December 2014.
GKN Aerospace is a global first tier supplier of wing, fuselage and engine structures, nacelle systems, landing gear and wiring systems, transparencies, ice protection systems and aftermarket services, with sales of GBP2.2bn in 2014 and a global workforce of over 17,000 employees. It has a significant participation on all major aircraft programmes today and a broad customer base spanning commercial, military, business aerospace and space markets. The company’s extensive engineering capability and clear focus on targeted innovation has created technological and manufacturing leads in each of its areas of expertise.
Fokker Technologies is a division of GKN Aerospace and a leading global aerospace specialist that develops and manufactures highly engineered advanced aircraft systems and components for aircraft manufacturers and provides integrated maintenance services and products for aircraft owners and operators. The company was founded in 1919. Headquartered in Papendrecht, the Netherlands, Fokker Technologies operates facilities in the Netherlands, Romania, Turkey, Canada, Mexico, USA, China, India and Singapore, and employs approximately 4,900 people. For the year ended 31 December 2014, reported revenue was €758 million.
Source : Fokker Technologies - view original press release