In 2007 Secondo Mona's shareholders approved a 10-year plan that targets growth of 6-7% a year. If successful the plan will boost the fuel system specialist's turnover from €26.5 million in 2007 to €50 million in 2017.

Located at a 50,000m2 (538,000ft2) site in Somma Lombardo, just 5km (3 miles) from Milan Malpensa airport, Secondo Mona is more than a century old, having been named after its founder Secondo Mona in 1903. Initially a repair shop for bicycles and motorcycles, the company moved into aviation a decade later.

Today, under the guidance of controlling shareholders Renato and Roberto Mona (Secondo's grandsons), it employs 210 people and supplies fuel systems, landing gear, and hydraulic and electromechanical actuators to a range of civil and military programmes, including the Alenia C-27J transport, Boeing 787, Eurofighter Typhoon and NH Industries NH90 helicopter.

"I would say that Eurofighter, today, is the most important programme we have," says chief executive Sergio Bogni. Secondo Mona manufactures transfer pumps, pressure valves and actuators for the Eurofighter, as well as the afterburner fuel control unit for its Eurojet EJ200 engine. "The partner companies place orders for a complete tranche," says Bogni.

© Secondo Mona
Secondo Mona produces the afterburner fuel control unit for the Eurofighter's EJ200 engine

"We have never seen changes on delivery schedules, so they are very easy to manage. They give you a delivery schedule for four or five years and they keep it."

The same cannot be said for the 787, for which Secondo Mona supplies drag brace and side brace assemblies as a subcontractor to landing-gear specialist Messier-Dowty.

The Italian company invested $4 million in a custom-developed 787 cell, and it has naturally felt the impact of the Boeing machinists' strike. "You cannot deliver anything any more," says Bogni. "This has certainly created problems for the company because we have close to $2 million of work in progress."

Nevertheless, landing gear accounts for only 15% of Secondo Mona's business, with repair business making up 20%, fuel systems 30% and the various values and actuators 35%. Direct exports predominate, accounting for 70% of Secondo Mona's volume.

While export volume is forecast to grow, Bogni expects the growth Italian business to keep pace, noting the strength of neighbouring helicopter manufacturer AgustaWestland (a "strategic customer") and the Italian identity of the customer for its C-27J fuel pumps: Alenia Aeronautica. Secondo Mona has also been selected to supply the fuel systems and relevant iron bird for Aermacchi's M-346 trainer.

Traditionally, military programmes have been Secondo Mona's bread and butter, once contributing around 98% of volume, but in 2007 the ratio was 85:15 and by 2010 it is expected to be 60:40.

This expectation is partly a function of the decline in military spending that will surely result from the financial crisis. However, it also reflects the rise in civil business generated by Secondo Mona's strengthening ties to Messier-Dowty, through which it has supplied the Hawker 4000 super midsize business jet and some Bombardier programmes (including the Global Express, Challenger 605, Challenger 300 and Q300).

Secondo Mona tends to be a tier-two supplier to aircraft programmes. When it comes to fuel systems, however, the company is comfortable in the top tier. "On fuel systems we can compete with anybody in the world," says Bogni. "We've been doing this for 100 years."

Source: Flight International