Messier-Bugatti-Dowty's American plant rolls out millionth carbon brake disk

Walton, Kentucky, USA, June 16, 2015 - The Messier-Bugatti-Dowty (Safran) carbon brake production plant in Walton, Kentucky produced its one millionth carbon disk in early June.


Located near the Cincinnati airport in Ohio to provide close support for Messier-Bugatti-Dowty's American customers, the Walton plant was opened in 1999. It has been continuously expanded since then to support higher production rates. The plant has 270 employees and two main facilities: the first produces and refurbishes the carbon disks that make up the heat sinks on aircraft brakes. The second assembles the wheels and brakes which are then delivered for mounting on airplanes. Among the Walton plant's customers are many major North American airlines (Delta, Spirit Airlines, Air Canada, etc.) and from the whole American continent (LATAM, Aeromexico, Copa…). These brakes are used on a number of different commercial and military airplanes, including the Boeing 787, 737, 767 and 777, the Airbus A320 family, A330/A340).

"Our Walton plant has passed a major milestone," said Olivier Le Merrer, head of the Wheels and Brakes division at Messier-Bugatti-Dowty. "The millionth carbon disk clearly symbolizes the growth of our business in North America, where more and more airlines are choosing our brakes because of their performance and reliability."

Carbon brakes were introduced on commercial airplanes by Messier-Bugatti-Dowty in 1986, and are the best technology for high-performance aircraft braking, which demands the absorption of considerable amounts of energy. The advantages of carbon brakes are clearly recognized by airlines. They offer two to three times more energy absorption ability than steel brakes, which translates into weight savings and reduced material requirements. This technological advantage in turn means ecological benefits, since the lower weight reduces fuel consumption and CO2 emissions, and also operational benefits, since the superior endurance of these brakes means that maintenance expenses are reduced three-fold.

"The production of the millionth carbon disk at Walton comes at a very special time for Messier-Bugatti-Dowty," added Olivier Le Merrer. "After inaugurating our new carbon brake production site in Malaysia this year, we have just celebrated the 30th anniversary of our Villeurbanne carbon brake plant in France, which opened a new test installation at the same time. As reflected in these events, the watchwords for 2015 will be innovation and the development of our carbon business."

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