Singapore Air Show

Curtiss-Wright’s Boeing 787 deal exemplifies its plans for expansion

 - February 18, 2008, 10:15 PM

Curtiss-Wright Controls (CWC) (Stand No. R81) has agreed to supply the mechanical systems for the Boeing 787’s large cargo door under a contract with door supplier Saab Aerostructures. The deal reflects the U.S. company’s desire to expand its footprint in motion control systems for commercial aerospace. It is also now bidding for work on the Airbus A350XWB program, for which decisions on equipment such as actuation systems are expected next month.

The 787 cargo door package comprises five flight-critical subassemblies, including the lift, pull-in, latching, locking and vent systems. The contract is worth $16.4 million and the work will be carried out at CWC’s factory in Shelby, North Carolina.

According to CWC president Dave Adams, the company increasingly is providing equipment and subsystems to former competitors such as Vought, Parker and Hamilton Standard. This is part of the industry-wide trend in which airframers are expecting Tier One and Two suppliers to manage clusters of vendors on their behalf.

CWC’s engineers are now looking at applications for new materials and wireless technology in response to OEM’s demands for lower weight and greater efficiency in aircraft systems. Progress made in improving system redundancy is resulting in a reduced parts count for the equipment.

The company is also looking to increase its portfolio of sensor-based products, including its rotor ice protection and shipboard helicopter handling systems. Last week, CWC acquired UK-based signal acquisitions systems specialist Pentland Systems as part of a plan to grow its embedded computers business.

Adams told AIN that CWC is now ready to establish a presence here in Asia as part of the effort both to improve its access to this fast-growing market and to tap the reduced cost structure. It will likely make the move in China this year.