CARY, N.C.—Lord Corp. has made a number of additions in a short span aimed at expanding the company's aerospace operation.
In late June, the company finalized the purchase of Saint-Vallier, France-based Fly-by-Wire Systems France, a designer and manufacturer of cockpit controls, sensors, dampers and electromechanical actuators primarily for fly-by-wire systems on commercial fixed-wing aircraft, to enhance its position in the global aerospace industry, the firm said.
Shortly before that transaction was completed, the company landed a mount system contract and completed the first part of an elastomeric rotor bearings pact it has with Bell Helicopter, a Textron company.
Lord's purchase of Fly-by-Wire Systems “provides our customers additional value in the form of broader aerospace presence and application expertise, while both organizations will benefit by gaining increased access to the critical markets in which they each have strong value propositions,” according to Ed Auslander, president and CEO of Lord.
He said Lord is excited about the growth opportunities the acquisition brings.
FbW has a history of innovation in its field, Lord said, starting with the firm's collaboration with AirBus on the introduction of fly-by-wire technology for the A320 commercial jetliner. FbW's product line is complementary to the company's capabilities in terms of mechanical, electromechanical and dynamic systems, Lord added.
On the contract front, Lord landed a pact to design and build the engine mount system for the Pratt & Whitney Pure Power PW1400G engine on the Irkut MC-21 family of aircraft. The contract was awarded by Bombardier Belfast, the firm responsible for the design, manufacture and aftermarket support of the engine nacelle system.
It is the latest of a growing list of programs secured by the Cary-headquartered company in the commercial transport aircraft market, said Marc Papie, global fixed wing market manager for Lord. He said it sets the firm apart “in accommodating rigid or compliant engine attachment requirements for the widest range of commercial engines.”
Lord's mounting system attaches the engine directly to the pylon using fireproof stainless steel components. The company has been designing and producing the systems since 1934, it said, and they have accrued more than 1 billion hours on aircraft such as the B737, B757, B767 and MD90.
Papie said the firm's technology team has developed a number of design and analytical tools to trim cycle times. “The development function is supported by a world class manufacturing facility and supply chain. Finally, a proven product support team and FAA repair station ensure long-term service required of today's advanced aircraft programs.”
Lord also completed the first elastomeric rotor bearings for Bell Helicopter's V-280 Valor Joint Multi-Role Technology Demonstrator (JMR-TD) program, which is led by the U.S. Army. It designed and built the units in just 28 months, which Auslander called “an amazing accomplishment.”
He said the firm's “unique capability to design, build and deliver with the highest quality to unique requirements make us a great partner on revolutionary programs like the Bell V-280.”
The JMR-TD program is the science and technology precursor to the Department of Defense's Future Verticle Lift program, which has a goal of replacing 2,000 to 4,000 medium class utility and attack helicopters, according to the company, one of 10 aerospace firms involved in the program.
Lord's high capacity laminate elastomeric bearings accommodate high loads and blade motions without the need for lubrication, the company said.