As the geopolitical tensions established between Russia and Ukraine carry on, more concerns are raised in terms of the raw material crisis. In face of such a situation, suppliers are struggling to find ways to cope with the shortage of materials such as neon gas and carbon black, which have been extensively exported by the aforementioned countries.
In the case of the aeronautic industry, metals such as titanium are extremely important in the production of aircrafts and pieces. Russia is the third biggest producer of the metal in the world, surpassed only by Japan and China. That has been something that is concerning entrepreneurs such as Paolo Graziano, president and CEO of Magnaghi Aeronautica (MA Group).
More recently, the company has announced new partnerships with companies in the development of advanced helicopters. However, as much as every other industry, Graziano says that MA Group has also found difficulties in acquiring the necessary raw materials. “We are dependent on the geopolitical situation, but we hope to return soon to be able to work with more serenity from this point of view,” he says.
Magnaghi Aeronautica is an Italian company specializing in the design, certification, production and subsequent marketing of landing gear systems, equipment, hydraulic and electronic systems and systems for aerospace use. It was awarded the recognition as Top Employer 2022 in Italy.
Founded in Naples, the company is inspired by the craftsmanship of Neapolitan tailors when delivering quality, innovation and competitiveness in the industry. “It is thanks to the combination of resourcefulness, technical skills and technological research that a midsize company like ours competes with enormously larger American or Chinese companies,” shares Graziano.
This has found to be true when considering recent news shared by the MA Group, who has been working in the development of one of the most innovative aircrafts at Airbus Helicopters in Marignane, France. This is a high-speed compound helicopter that is being developed in partnership with other 42 initiatives and 13 European countries. Named RACER, the aircraft is optimized for a max cruise speed of more than 400 km/h – almost twice as much as the average of current in-service helicopters, which can reach a top speed up to 260 km/h.
RACER was designed to meet the best charts in speed, cost-efficiency, and mission performance while also greatly contributing to lower operational carbon and acoustic footprint produced by other ships of its kinds. MA Group is an active part in this journey with its “clean sheet” Landing System design, a project developed and qualified in an international partnership under the framework of the European Research Clean Sky 2 program.
To make the project come true, the CEO of MA Group says that the company has invested in people, resources and technological infrastructure to demonstrate their passion and desire to be on such an innovative project. The Landing System is integrated inside the H/C Wing and Fuselage, featuring innovative composite doors flushing the aerodynamic wing profile. It was conceived to significantly reduce drag and noise when retracted especially during high-speed missions while providing a large wheel track for safe landing when extended.
According to Pietro Persico, of MA Group, their “peculiar shock absorbers design will allow the helicopter to land and take-off safely from helideck during rescue operations,” which is one of the special missions for which this platform and its landing systems are being developed.
With three offices in Italy, two in the United States and one in Brazil, Magnaghi Aeronautica (MA Group) has increased their revenue from € 19m to € 91m in the past 20 years (from 2000 to 2020). This comes as a consequence of the many projects signed to design and build landing gear and aero structures for over 35 military and civilian aircraft. Involved in more than 20 military programs, Graziano believes that MA Group’s field of expertise, aeronautics, can only succeed when firm with deep roots.