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Adams Rite Aerospace – Securing Aircraft Safety


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Known for supporting the aerospace, marine, and ground transportation industries Adams Rite has been manufacturing quality products for over a century. Founded in 1896 the company began manufacture hardware for European style mansions being built in Southern California as the Pacific Brass Co. It was not until the company was purchased by stockholders in 1927 that they began operating as the Rite Hardware Co.The first aircraft specific lock was developed by the Rite Co. in 1936 for the Douglas DC-3. As the demand for aircraft parts increased the company split into two divisions. Adams Rite Products focused on the expanded line of aircraft parts.

Today the Adams Rite Aerospace line includes specialized interior locks and latches, electro-mechanical controls, Fluid controls, and oxygen products. Then in 1999 Adams Rite Aerospace was acquired by TransDigm, Inc. TransDigm simultaneously acquired Adel, Aeroproducts, Controlex, and Wiggins businesses. Adams Rite Aerospace still maintains and operates out of Washington and Connecticut.

Under the requirements of SFAR 92 Adams was selected to provide latches used to secure the cockpit door in all Airbus aircraft and Boeing wide body aircraft. The products they provided include door bolts, electric strikes, keypads and controllers. Now every Airbus cockpit security system features a three-point latching system interfaced with a high-speed, impact-resistant electric strike. This system has been tested to withstand 300 joules of impact and can respond in fewer than 6 milliseconds during a decompression event.

Aside from door latch components Adams Rite Aerospace also designs and manufactures fluid components for commercial and military aerospace applications. In the business of modular water systems ARA has had several firsts. They were the first to include a “line maintainable” faucet which could be repaired from above the sink.

Also, the first automatic venting valve mechanism, the first mechanically timed faucet, as well as the first electronic timed and hand sensing faucet. This year ARA was given the rights to be the premier provider of modular water systems for both the EMB Legacy and Bombardier Continental Jet programs. Virgin Atlantic Airways has also selected ARA to provide faucets for their fleet of B747-400.

Since the early 70’s ARA has been manufacturing fly-by-wire systems. These systems have been used on the F-87 Saber jet, Northrop B2 Bomber, Aero Commander 250, Saab 340, and Learjet 45. ARA has also been producing electro-mechanical controls for over 40 years.


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