This month, Middle River Aircraft Systems celebrates 20 years with GE, and the facility’s future never looked brighter.
It was in November 1997 when Lockheed Martin sold its historic Middle River airplane parts factory to GE, ending almost 70 years of Martin aviation in Baltimore, Maryland.
Back in 1929, Glenn L. Martin moved his rapidly growing company from Cleveland, Ohio to Baltimore, Maryland to improve its access to waterways, railroads, roads and its military customers in Washington DC. Martin designed more than 85 different aircraft during his career, and his company built 11,000 units and employed more than 53,000 people during the peak of World War II.
Through mergers, Martin’s business evolved to Martin Marietta (1961) and Lockheed Martin (1995). Once the acquisition was complete in 1998, Middle River Aircraft Systems (MRAS) was established as a wholly owned subsidiary under GE and a new chapter in the facility’s history began.
Today, MRAS employs more than 660 people. The facility specializes in composite technology, engine nacelles, thrust reversers and aerostructures for commercial and military applications. More than 10,000 thrust reversers have been built by the business since 1970, when it began producing this type of system.
In the last decade, MRAS has experienced several significant achievements. In 2009, part of MRAS and Safran Nacelles came together to form a joint venture, Nexcelle with a mission to design, manufacture, and support advanced nacelle systems for single-aisle jetliners and business aircraft.
Nexcelle supplies the nacelle system for the LEAP-1C engine powering the COMAC C919 aircraft and the Passport engine powering the Global 7000 and Global 8000 aircraft. In 2011, Aircelle (now Safran Nacelles) selected MRAS to supply the thrust reverser system and EBU for the LEAP-1A engines for the Airbus A320neo aircraft.
MRAS continues to innovate with its portfolio of products in production and under development, and the team looks forward to what the future brings.