When Wilbur and Orville Wright took their famous first flight in 1903, we were there. The Wright brothers used custom chain and sprockets from one of Timken’s current companies, Diamond Chain, to help lift their legendary Wright Flyer safely above the dunes along the Carolina coast. As we celebrate Aviation Month 2019, Timken technology continues to play an important role in our efforts to fly higher, faster and safer.
If you’ve ever flown somewhere, chances are Timken® bearings helped get you there. Our rolling element bearings are found on almost all commercial aircraft. These bearings – which are designed for high speed and low torque – are often used in planes’ gearboxes, engines, landing wheels, actuators, generators, auxiliary power units, pumps, ram air turbines and electric motors. In other words, it would be difficult to get off the ground without our technology. These bearings make all the aircraft’s major systems function reliably and consistently and help ensure the machine’s long and predictable life.
So, how did we get to this point? Basically, Timken bearings grew up with the airline industry. From helping with early engine testing in 1917 to driving safety improvements like anti-lock braking and better landing gear years later, we’ve helped people take off safely around the world and beyond for more than a century. That includes essentially all U.S. military planes, such as the B-52 and F-16. We were also on board the first viable helicopters and continue to be on the current models.
Additionally, we’ve worked with the U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) since its very beginning in 1958. When Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin touched down on the moon July 24, 1969, our bearings were running the guidance system on the Lunar Exploration Module that carried them there. Our equipment was also aboard all the Space Shuttles and the International Space Station. To this day, Timken remains a trusted supplier to the U.S. space program.
We’re proud to be a part of the world’s aviation heritage. As we all well know, the aerospace industry requires the utmost quality and reliability. And we’re honored to lend our industry-leading engineering know-how to support those lofty expectations. We’re committed to innovating alongside our many partners to help make all types of aircraft even lighter, faster, safer and longer-lasting.
Happy Aviation History Month! Safe travels.
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