Jun 21, 2017: UTC Aerospace Systems, one of the world's leading suppliers of technologically advanced aerospace and defence products, is scheduled to complete delivery of new boltless wheels and carbon brakes in September to the U.S. Air Force (USAF) as part of a fleet retrofit of its 475 F-15 Eagle aircraft. The delivery will be in support of a $22 million USAF agreement received by UTC Aerospace Systems in November 2014, and a $30 million follow-on option received in August 2016. After successful completion of expanded test points, UTC Aerospace Systems received a letter of installation approval in February from Boeing Defense, Space & Security, granting factory approval for the new wheels and brakes to be installed on all existing models of the F-15 aircraft.
The boltless wheels employ a lock ring design, significantly lowering maintenance time and cost, besides the reduced parts count, when compared to traditional bolted aircraft wheels. Furthermore, the new brakes, which feature UTC Aerospace Systems proprietary DURACARB® carbon heat sink material, allow for a three to four times longer life than the F-15's present brakes, further reducing the aircraft's total lifecycle cost.
"UTC Aerospace Systems is pleased to receive Boeing's installation approval, which we feel is a testament to the high degree of confidence they have in the increased performance and capability of our advanced wheels and brakes for the F-15 Eagle," said Jeff Atkinson, director of military programmes for the company's Landing Systems business unit. "Our DURACARB® brakes are capable of handling higher energy than the aircraft's existing system, which will increase the safety margin when stopping heavily-loaded F-15s. In addition, our brakes achieve more landings before wear-out than the current system, while requiring significantly less maintenance, and our wheels have a higher fatigue life than the current equipment, significantly increasing the time on-wing before replacement is needed."
The equipment is provided in two versions—one for use on the F-15C/D aircraft and the other for use on the heavier F-15E aircraft. Both wheel and brake variants are similar designs, and share a high degree of parts commonality. The new wheels and brakes are manufactured at UTC Aerospace Systems Landing Systems facilities in Troy, Ohio, and Santa Fe Springs, California.
PHOTO: UTC Aerospace Systems