Airbus signs new deal with Messier-Bugatti-Dowty
Airbus has opted to extend its firmly established supply relationship with Messier-Bugatti-Dowty by choosing it once again to supply the nose and main landing gear for the A320 family, including the A320neo family. Gilles Bouctot, Chief Operating Officer and Head of the Landing Gear & Systems Integration Division, said: "We have been working with Airbus since the A300 came into service. Since then, we have clearly shown that we are capable of providing a reliable, high-performance product." The European aircraft manufacturer currently accounts for 60% of Messier-Bugatti-Dowty's landing gear activity as it supplies landing gear to the entire Airbus single aisle program as well as A330, A340 and A380 nose landing gears and A350-800/900 main landing gears.
Over the years, the two partners have forged close ties in a climate of trust which helped smooth the negotiation stage for the new contract. Bouctot explained how "the operational developments of the A320neo will demand even more robust landing gear. We have begun to look at expected performance levels with Airbus in this respect." These new tougher, more reliable landing gears will also mean extended service interval of twelve years between overhauls versus the previous standard of ten years. He added: "To meet Airbus' prerequisites, we had to maintain product commonality* between existing and future fleets to facilitate certification which is the aircraft manufacturer's responsibility."
On track for the A320neo
This new version of landing gear will be mounted on the Airbus A320 from 2014, one year before the A320neo is scheduled for entry into service. "This strategy will give us the benefit of some initial feedback. We'll be gradually introducing the new gear on our production lines from 2013 onwards, before stepping up the output," Bouctot said. This new contract paves the way to a highly promising market for Messier-Bugatti-Dowty: over 8,000 A320s – including the re-engined version – have already been ordered from Airbus.
* The commonality concept was developed by Airbus. It involves supplying streamlined equipment across an entire range of aircraft. As a result, it offers airlines greater flexibility, since pilots can fly various types of aircraft.