Tactair Fluid Controls, with more than 50 years of experience manufacturing hydraulic and pneumatic controls, has expanded its expertise to the world of yachting, says company president Mike Yates. “We’re teaching a boat to fly,” he explained with a chuckle.

The aviation specialist recently launched a collaborative effort with Team Artemis Racing of Sweden to take its new AC48 catamaran to the new level. Visitors to the Tactair exhibit (Hall 3, Stand A117) can examine the AC48 catamaran model, and see what it means to transfer aviation expertise and knowledge to world-class yacht racing. The foils of the AC48 provide hydrodynamic lift, much like an aircraft’s wing, to reduce hull drag and still withstand up to 15 tons of pressure.

That effort is part of what makes Tactair a leader in its field, explained Yates. “We’re large enough to be meaningful and have the resources to invest in new technology and equipment, yet we’re small enough to respond quickly to a client’s needs.”

The company is “continually investing in new product line technology,” added Yates. Among the company’s latest products are landing gear control valves that adjust the rate at which a valve transitions, minimizing pressure spikes. Another example is the design of Tactair’s landing gear up-locks, incorporating improved material and process controls to reduce corrosion and improve reliability.

Looking to the future, internal research and developments are focused on integration of electro-mechanical actuation, electric motor controllers and sensors into its products, making them “lighter, smarter, less expensive and more reliable.”

Tactair has several new programs in development. Chief among them are: nosewheel steering and landing gear extension and retraction controls for the Mitsubishi regional jet; hydraulic power generation valves for the Embraer E2; and landing gear extension and retraction valves for Bombardier’s Global 7000/8000.

Approximately 50% of Tactair revenues are from military programs, which have been negatively impacted by sequestration. However, added Yates, “We believe world events are going to force Congress to address sequestration in 2015, at least for military spending.