Meggitt Aircraft Braking Systems (MABS) wants to bring aviation to a screeching halt. MABS makes steel brakes, carbon brakes and electric brakes, brake control systems, landing gear computers, brake temperature sensors, main and nose wheels, and wheel speed transducers. MABS braking systems are used in commercial and business jets, military aircraft, helicopters, regional turboprops, and general aviation aircraft. Major customers include Bombardier, Embraer, Gulfstream Aerospace, and Hawker Beechcraft. The company has operations in Africa, the Americas, Europe, the Middle East, and Asia/Pacific. It is a subsidiary of Meggitt-USA, which is part of UK-based Meggitt PLC. MABS represents 27% of group revenue.
MABS brakes and brake control systems are installed on an estimated 30,000 in-service aircraft. Its main thrust is its aftermarket business, which represents 88% of its sales; the remainder is generated by its original equipment (OE) sector. With the majority of its business occurring in the civil aftermarket (67%), MABS was impacted negatively during the 2008 and 2009 aircraft recession, which caused a decrease in air travel, along with cancellations of aircraft and equipment orders. As demand decreased, older aircraft were idled, and that further lessened orders for replacement equipment. The company saw its civil aftermarket business recover in 2010, posting an 8% increase over 2009 sales; however, MABS military sales dropped 20%, due for the most part to the completion of an equipment resupply on the B1 bomber. Overall, the company posted a 3% loss in revenue for 2010.
The company's growth strategy is banking on securing new contracts and expanding its landing gear sub-systems control and monitoring capability. It also believes that growth will be achieved by developing new technologies. To that end, MABS' all-electric brakes are breaking with tradition. The system, known as EBrake, replaces hydraulic systems with an all-electric brake-by-wire braking system. This new technology is in keeping with the industry evolution toward more electric aircraft, which will provide more fuel efficient, cleaner-burning aircraft and reduce the usage of toxic hydraulic fluids. Electric brakes increase dispatch reliability, eliminate hydraulic leaks and associated fire risk, simplify the manufacturing process, and reduce maintenance costs for airlines.
This new technology has positioned MABS to sign a number of contracts and enter into partnership agreements with leading aviation companies. In 2010 it agreed to develop a complete digital brake-by-wire braking system for the proposed MS-21 jetliner made by Russian military aircraft maker IRKUT. Bombardier is replacing the hydraulic brakes in its CSeries jets with EBrake systems. It has also equipped Hawker Beechcraft Premier II aircraft with MABS light weight carbon wheels and brakes. Gulfstream Aerospace's new G650 jet is using the company's aluminum wheel and braking systems. Embraer's new Legacy 450 and 500 executive jets will be equipped with the company's brake controls, and the future Lynx helicopter for AgustaWestland will sport differential brake control system components produced by MABS.
"Meggitt Aircraft Braking Systems" serves as the trade name for Meggitt Aircraft Braking Systems Corporation, a combination of Aircraft Braking Systems Corporation (ABSC) and Dunlop Aerospace Braking Systems (DABS). The change came subsequent to the 2007 acquisition of K&F Industries, which was a defining moment in the company's history. Meggitt Aircraft Braking Systems acquired K&F Industries in 2007. Finalized at $1.8 billion, the deal bolstered Meggitt's position in the aviation braking industry and helped it boost sales to the US Department of Defense.