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AFA 2021: USAF, Lockheed Martin select Collins Aerospace for new C-130J wheel, brakes

The Collins Aerospace Goodrich C-130 Carbon Brake and Lock Ring Wheel. The company is providing the system to the USAF for 60 C-130Js. (Collins Aerospace)

The US Air Force (USAF) and Lockheed Martin have picked Collins Aerospace to provide boltless wheels and carbon brakes for 60 Lockheed Martin C-130J Super Hercules transport aircraft, according to a Collins Aerospace statement.

Collins Aerospace will provide its Goodrich C-130 Carbon Brake and Lock Ring Wheel system as part of this award. It features a two-piece aluminum lock ring wheel that provides for easier maintenance and a lock ring design that eliminates the need for tie bolts.

Collins Aerospace spokesman Al Killeffer said on 14 September, ahead of the Air Force Association's (AFA's) annual conference, that the company will provide approximately 240 wheels and 240 brakes, four per aircraft, as part of this contract. Collins Aerospace will start delivering these new integrated wheel systems in January. Killeffer declined to specify the value of the award.

Collins Aerospace's C-130 brakes, which feature the company's Duracarb carbon heat sink material, can allow for up to 2,000 landings per overhaul compared with 250 landings per overhaul with the C-130's current system. Killeffer said the benefits of carbon over steel are significant as it weighs less and has better energy absorption. The Goodrich C-130 Carbon Brake and Lock Ring Wheel system has 30% more brake energy absorption compared with the legacy steel brake, which was designed in the 1950s.

Goodrich, before it eventually became part of Collins Aerospace, won a competition in 2009 to develop and manufacture C-130 boltless wheel and carbon brakes.

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