BFGoodrich has been contracted to provide the main landing gear for the new Airbus A380 large airliner, while Messier-Dowty has confirmed its selection as supplier of the nose landing gear. The deal will give BFGoodrich ownership of the design and control of aftermarket support.

Confirming its selection, revealed exclusively by Flight International (6-12 February), BFGoodrich says the deal has the potential to generate revenues of $2-3 billion over 20 years, with up to 60% coming from aftermarket support.

The US company, which produces landing gear for the Boeing 747 and 777, will design, qualify and supply the body and wing gear for the A380. Each four-wheel wing gear will weigh 2,310kg (5,100lb) compared with 1,770kg for the 747-400 wing gear, while each six-wheel body gear will weigh 4,080kg compared with 1,360kg for the 747 gear.

The A380 will be the first Airbus with a BFGoodrich main undercarriage. The US company will provide the European manufacturer with fully dressed landing gear, ready for installation, from an assembly facility next to the A380 assembly line at Toulouse in France. The former Rohr nacelle facility is to be expanded to handle final assembly.

BFGoodrich Landing Gear division president Roger Wright says there is "no revenue risk-sharing" in the A380 gear deal. "We see this as low risk because so many aircraft have already been sold." Inclusion of aftermarket support responsibility mirrors the company's gear supply agreements with Bombardier, but differs from those with Boeing, which owns the designs and handles spares sales.

Rival landing gear manufacturer Messier-Dowty claims it was not technology that secured the deal for the US company, but Messier-Dowty's reluctance to accept the financial terms demanded by Airbus. "For us the financial conditions were not satisfactory. We were unable to agree with the Airbus price. Messier-Dowty is one of the most profitable business areas for Snecma. We could not put the company in peril. We're happy to have won the forward landing gear contract - it's a good deal for us," says Messier-Dowty.

It is believed that Messier Services, Paris, will provide similar product support on the nose landing gear to that of BFGoodrich, although it is unclear whether Messier-Dowty has ownership of the design. Manufacture of the nose landing gear casings will take place in Montreal, with assembly in the UK and France.

Source: Flight International