Have any questions about your landing gear, brakes or other hydraulic systems on your aircraft? Stop by Tactair Fluid Controls at Booth No. N3217 to view a complete landing gear extension/retraction system, nosewheel steering system and helicopter wheel and brake system. A subsidiary of Young & Franklin of Liverpool, N.Y., Tactair designs and manufactures fluid power and motion control products for brake, landing gear, nosewheel steering, flight control, engine/nacelle control and utility control systems for a variety of fixed- and rotary-wing aircraft.
Since its founding more than 50 years ago, Tactair has been known for supplying individual hydraulic components, such as landing gear actuators and brake master cylinders, to OEMs and Tier 1 suppliers. According to Michael Yates, a 24-year veteran of the company who ascended to his role as president in January 2012, Tactair’s goal is to become known more for delivering complete solutions than merely individual components.
“For a company like us to continue to be relevant, we need to constantly innovate,” said Yates. “We’ve been expanding our capabilities and our product lines so that we can provide a more complete solution to our customers. Instead of providing a component here and there, we’re able to provide the entire wheel-and-brake system on a helicopter or an entire landing gear extension/retraction system or steering system on an aircraft. Our Tier 1 customers want to go to one company that can give them a complete solution.”
Depending on the component and the program, Tactair supplies parts and systems directly to the OEM or Tier 1 supplier. Tactair works with landing gear manufacturer Héroux-Devtek to supply main and nose landing gear uplocks and downlock release actuators on the Embraer Legacy 450 and 500, but works directly with Embraer to supply various wheel and brake, secondary flight control and door control applications on the Phenom 100 and 300. Other recent contract awards include supplying the master brake cylinders on the Pilatus PC-24 twinjet and the brake control system for the Bell 525 Relentless helicopter.
Rather than resting on the laurels of its successes, however, Tactair continues to develop new ideas. Yates says the company is working on a new landing gear extension/retraction system that replaces some hydraulics with electromechanical components to increase safety and reliability while decreasing weight and rigging chores.
“There are some definite advantages to bringing electromechanical systems into the [landing gear system],” he said, “so we’re working on an electromechanical free-fall system where the gear is normally raised and lowered hydraulically, but in an emergency the gear would be released electromechanically. It simplifies the rigging of the aircraft and should make the aircraft lighter.”
According to Yates, about 50 percent of Tactair’s revenue is tied to supplying components for business and regional aircraft, while the other 50 percent comes from military contracts. In addition to a recent award to supply emergency parking brake valves on the Embraer A-20 Super Tucano light air support aircraft, Tactair hardware can be found on the M1-A1 Abrams tank, KC-135R Stratotanker and Beechcraft T-6 Texan II trainer.