Pic: Nicolas Bonleux, managing director and chief commercial officer at Liebherr-Aerospace & Transportation SAS.
The value of being part of the Eurofighter programme goes far beyond the actual production work and the direct jobs it supports and sustains.
As Nicolas Bonleux, managing director and chief commercial officer at Liebherr-Aerospace & Transportation SAS, explains, it has had a major impact on growing his company’s expertise and in opening doors to other opportunities.
Liebherr develops, manufactures and services aircraft flight control and actuation systems, landing gear, air management systems, on-board electronics as well as gears and gearboxes for the aerospace industry.
From its operation in Lindenberg in Bavaria, it provides a range of supplies and services to the Eurofighter, including nose landing gear and primary flight control actuators.
The business can trace its relationship with the programme all the way back to 1982, with development work for the primary flight control of the British Experimental Aircraft Programme (EAP), which formed the basis for the subsequent Eurofighter specifications.
Liebherr went on to work with other companies from the participating nations on the development of equipment. Bonleux says it has been a highly successful programme for the business, and continues to play a major role moving forward.
He says: “If you take into account the market analysis of Eurofighter GmbH in 2018 for 150 to 200 additional aircraft orders, our company, especially customer service, will secure sales and employment with the Eurofighter Typhoon in the coming decades as well.”
The benefit of being part of the Eurofighter project cannot be underestimated. Bonleux says: “Being a part of a multi-national European aircraft programme provides an unmatched opportunity to gain expertise and knowledge.”
That expertise is found not only in engineering, production and services but also in project management and what Bonleux describes as “the exchange between different cultures.”
He adds: “Working closely together on a project and aiming for the same goal is very demanding but also very fruitful. Eurofighter provided the opportunity to develop unique technologies and know-how in our fields of excellence – transmissions, hydraulics, flight controls and landing gear.
“Based on the expertise and experience gained during the last six decades in the military and civil aviation, and especially in the Eurofighter programme, Liebherr is in a position to offer technologies for the next generation of combat aircraft.
“Beyond the technologies and know-how, Eurofighter is one of the programmes that gave us the opportunity to develop a military collaboration with other European suppliers and nations.”