The US Air Force’s (USAF) fleet of C-130 transport aircraft is undergoing an upgrade, with new boltless wheels and carbon brakes from Goodrich Corporation.

In August 2009, Defense Logistics Agency – Ogden signed a contract with Goodrich that will offer significant performance, cost and maintainability advantages to the USAF’s C-130s.

As part of the contract, Goodrich has designed the C-130 carbon brakes to last eight times longer and weigh 20% less than the current steel brakes.

For a tyre change, the C-130 will take 80% less time than the current bolted wheel, by using Goodrich’s C-130 boltless wheels.

Goodrich’s DURACARB carbon braking systems will provide lighter weight, longer life, higher performance and lower cost of ownership compared with steel braking systems.

Goodrich used a lock-ring design in its boltless aircraft wheels to lower maintenance time, cost and parts count.

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Under the current contract, Goodrich will perform qualification activities, support flight testing, and provide retrofit equipment for the air force’s C-130 fleet.

Qualification activities will complete in the beginning of 2011, which will then be followed by initial hardware deliveries to the air force.