Partnership with Piaggio Results in Reduced Maintenance Costs

Partnership with Piaggio Results in Reduced Maintenance Costs- Piaggio P.180 - Parker Aircraft Wheel & Brake DivisionAs an original equipment manufacturer (OEM) of innovative braking products and systems, Parker Aerospace’s Aircraft Wheel & Brake Division strives to keep its customers’ aircraft fleets operating as healthy and efficiently as possible. When operators of the Piaggio Aerospace P.180 Avanti and Avanti II executive transport turboprop expressed concerns over the expense of replacing the existing carbon brake systems, Parker responded with industry-leading support and a commitment to improve its original product design. Working in partnership with Piaggio Aerospace, a leading Italian aircraft manufacturer active in the business and defense & security sectors, Parker developed a new aftermarket steel brake system as a less-costly alternative retrofit configuration for the wheels and brakes on the P.180 aircraft. 

On October 17, 2018, Parker Aircraft Wheel & Brake Division received the supplemental type certificate (STC) from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) for the alternative retrofit configuration. The certification is confirmation that Parker followed the original design approval process, including flight testing, to ensure the safety and performance of the new wheel and brake system.

Improvements over the previous system 

Less costly than the P.180’s previous carbon brakes, the new Parker high-performance steel brakes were engineered to maintain smoother, more consistent operation with even wear across the available life. The wheels in the new retrofit system are aluminum-forged to provide excellent corrosion resistance as well as advanced safety features that protect against manual- and thermal-induced over-pressurization. Heat shields are also included in the new design to help maintain acceptable tire temperatures. 

Partnership with Piaggio Results in Reduced Maintenance Costs- P.180 Wheel and Brake  - Parker Aircraft Wheel & Brake Division
“Taking a team approach, we worked collaboratively with Piaggio to successfully plan, design, and test a program that demonstrated absolute quality with no requested changes from the FAA ... Our diligent planning and expertise in aerospace-grade materials resulted in a product retrofit that will bring a new stream of value to our customers’ operations.” 

— Dan Basch, engineering manager at the Parker Aerospace Aircraft Wheel & Brake Division



Successful in-flight testing 

Partnership with Piaggio Results in Reduced Maintenance Costs- P.180 Test 1 - Parker Aircraft Wheel & Brake DivisionIn-flight qualification testing of Parker’s new steel brake and main wheel assembly was successfully conducted on the P.180 Avanti aircraft at Lakeland Linder International Airport in Florida in August 2018. During the testing, landing distances were measured and compared, and the following test points were evaluated with positive results:

  • Landing performance at various weights up to and including MLW = 11,500 lbs.
  • Accelerate stop at various weights up to and including MTOW = 12,100 lbs.
  • Static hold of engine run-up (before accelerate stop tests)
  • Landing gear retraction and extension

Multiple companies coordinated the group testing including Momentum Aeronautics, a full-service engineering company that specializes in the design and certification of aircraft and aircraft systems. Momentum Aerospace submitted the STC application to the FAA on Parker’s behalf. 

Expected operator savings

“Development of the P.180 wheel and brake retrofit program began in 2016 when Parker and Piaggio both sought to solve customers’ cost-reduction challenges with a solution that would neither compromise quality or add difficulty to maintenance, repair, and overhaul (MRO) activities for their fleet mechanics ... While carbon offers low weight advantages compared to steel, its cost of material is steep. We knew that if we could integrate steel into the retrofit and ensure its performance, we could achieve drastic results for our customers’ bottom lines.” 

— Tom Dorinsky, business team leader, Parker Aerospace Aircraft Wheel & Brake Division

Parker’s new retrofit solution is expected to save P.180 operators as much as 70 percent in overhaul costs, according to Dorinsky. 

Piaggio Aerospace managing the fleet upgrade program

Partnership with Piaggio Results in Reduced Maintenance Costs- P.180 Test 2a - Parker Aircraft Wheel & Brake DivisionThe mutually designed, customized steel brake program is now offered to aircraft operators as a conversion kit through Piaggio’s P.180 wheel and brake upgrade program. The replacement kit integrates seamlessly with existing aircraft systems requiring no aircraft or landing gear modifications for installation. 

“Piaggio Aerospace is working closely with its customers to update them on the new aircraft offering so they can immediately begin to take advantage of its improved design features and potential cost savings. We are proud to be part of this commitment to innovation that we believe will lead to similar endeavors between our two companies.” 

— Tom Dorinsky, business team leader, Parker Aerospace Aircraft Wheel & Brake Division

Certification abroad

The Parker Aerospace Aircraft Wheel & Brake Division also received the supplemental type certificate from the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) and Transport Canada (TC) in February of 2019. The EASA has jurisdiction as a technical agent for the member states of the European Union.   

To request a conversion kit for the P.180 Avanti, Avanti II, and Avanti EVO aircraft, operators may contact Piaggio’s spare parts office at +39 335 8105920 or North or South American customers can contact Piaggio America at +1 561 253 0104 or 


Partnership with Piaggio Results in Reduced Maintenance Costs- Justin Hodges- Parker Aircraft Wheel & Brake DivisionThis post was contributed by Justin Hodges, Parker Aerospace, Aircraft Wheel & Brake Division.




Related content

Eighty Years of Innovation at Parker Aircraft Wheel & Brake

Hydraulic Powerpacks Offer Size and Weight Advantages for Aircraft OEMs

5,000-psi High-Pressure Hydraulic Systems Reduce Aircraft Weight


Recent Posts by Author

Parker Aerospace & American Magic on Course to Compete for the 36th America’s Cup

The America’s Cup is the oldest trophy in international sports and the highest prize in sailing. Although it has a colorful history dating to 1851, America’s Cup wind-powered racing yachts...

Giving Back to the Community During the Holidays Across Parker Aerospace

Parker Hannifin believes that creating a better tomorrow for everyone begins with a commitment to positively impacting the lives of our team members and the communities we call home. Our culture is...

Parker Employees Volunteer to Support Local Social Causes

Corporate social responsibility (CSR) means different things to different people. For some, it means improving the communities in which they live or helping feed people in need of assistance....

Have a question about Parker products or services? We can help: Contact Us!

Comments for Partnership with Piaggio Results in Reduced Maintenance Costs

Please note that, in an effort to combat spam, comments with hyperlinks will not be published.

Leave a comment