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17 May 2006


Potential sales for this programme could exceed $100 million

SMITHS Aerospace, part of the global engineering business Smiths Group, has been selected by The Boeing Company [NYSE: BA] to provide the Thrust Reverser Actuation System (TRAS) for the 747-8 airplane. Potential sales for this programme could exceed $100M.

The system will be designed and manufactured at the Smiths Aerospace facility in Los Angeles with development hardware deliveries beginning in the second quarter 2007. Deliveries will take place through 2019.

Dr John Ferrie, president, Smiths Aerospace, said: “Smiths thrust reverser actuation system experience and reliability record on the Boeing 777 program were strong contributors to winning the 747-8 program. This recent win continues Smiths’ leadership position in thrust reverser actuation technology.”

The 747-8 family, which includes the 747-8 Intercontinental passenger airplane and the 747-8 Freighter, was launched in November 2005 by Cargolux Airlines and Nippon Cargo Airlines.

“Smiths’ extensive knowledge of and track record with thrust reverser actuation systems make them the right choice for this critical component of the airplane,” said Jeff Peace, vice president – programme manager, 747-8 Program, Boeing Commercial Airplanes.

“Together with our growing team of international partners, we continue to progress on making the newest member of our 747 family a reality.”

The engine thrust reversers act as brakes by redirecting the engine exhaust air from an aft direction (forward thrust) to a forward direction (reverse thrust). This provides alternate emergency braking capability in event of an aborted or refused take-off. The thrust reverser therefore performs a critical function, as does the actuation system which powers it. Smiths TRAS will power the thrust-reverser system being developed, certified and produced by Middle River Aircraft Systems.


Since the 747-8 TRAS utilizes much of the same technology that Smiths provides on the Boeing 777, the system benefits from the improved reliability of mature products. Historical reliability analyses based on Boeing 777 in-service performance significantly exceed requirements. Smiths offers electro-mechanical as well as traditional hydro-mechanical solutions for TRAS. Smiths also has major TRAS systems on the Boeing 777. The win strengthens Smiths’ industry leadership position in TRAS, adding to awards in the past 5 years including the A318 (PW6000), ERJ 170 (CF34-8E), ERJ 190 (CF34-10E), Challenger 300 (HTF 700), Falcon 2000 EX (PW308) and Falcon F7X (PW307), Russian Regional Jet (SAM-146) and the next generation E-TRAS for the Power Optimized Aircraft program.

747-8 Family
The 747-8 is a family of passenger and freighter airplanes that serves the market for airplanes of 400 seats and larger. The 747-8 Intercontinental passenger airplane seats 450 passengers in a typical three-class configuration and offers the lowest seat-mile cost of any passenger airplane. It provides operators a 14,815-km (8,000-nmi) range, 21 percent greater cargo volume and 9 percent lower seat-mile costs compared to the 747-400. The 747-8 Freighter will fly 8,275 km (4,475 nmi) with a maximum structural payload capacity of 140 metric tonnes (154 tons). It offers 16 percent more revenue cargo volume than the 747-400F with slightly greater range. The 747-8 Freighter upholds its predecessor’s legendary efficiency, with equivalent trip costs and 15 percent lower ton-mile costs than the 747-400F. The 747-8 Freighter will enjoy the lowest ton-mile costs of any freighter, giving operators unmatched profit potential. The first 747-8 Freighter will be delivered to launch customer Cargolux in September 2009.

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