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|Formerly||The Woodward Governor Company|
|Nasdaq: WWD (WGOV prior to 2011)|
S&P 400 Component
|Founded||Rockford, Illinois, United States (1870 )|
Number of locations
|42 plants and offices in 12 countries (2019)|
|Tom Cromwel|(Vice Chairman & COO)|
|Products||Control systems and components|
Number of employees
|~9,000 (FY MAY 2019)|
Woodward, Inc. is an American designer, manufacturer, and service provider of control systems and control system components (e.g. fuel pumps, engine controls, actuators, air valves, fuel nozzles, and electronics) for aircraft engines, industrial engines and turbines, power generation and mobile industrial equipment.
Woodward, Inc. was founded as The Woodward Governor Company by Amos Woodward in 1870. Initially, the company made controls for waterwheels (first patent No. 103,813), and then moved to hydro turbines. In the 1920s and 1930s, Woodward began designing controls for diesel and other reciprocating engines and for industrial turbines. Also in the 1930s, Woodward developed a governor for variable-pitch aircraft propellers. Woodward parts were notably used in the GE engine on United States military's first turbine-powered aircraft. Starting in the 1950s, Woodward began designing electronic controls, first analog and then digital units.
The company was founded in Rockford, Illinois, in 1870 with Amos W. Woodward's invention of a non compensating mechanical waterwheel governor (U.S. patent No. 103,813). Thirty years later, his son Elmer patented the first successful mechanical compensating governor for hydraulic turbines (U.S. patent No. 583,527). In 1933, the company expanded its product line to include diesel engine controls (U.S. patent No. 2,039,507) and aircraft propeller governors (British patent No. 470,284). Woodward governors followed the rapid advancement of diesel engine applications for railroads, maritime and electrical generation in many fields. The advent of gas turbine engines for aircraft and industrial uses offered still more opportunities for Woodward designed fuel controls. And, of course, the science of electronics has added impetus to this industry.
Elmer E. Woodward conceived, designed, and developed the first successful propeller control in 1933. This model PW-34 propeller governor is on display at the Udvar-Hazy annex of the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum.
Modern day company
As of 2007, Woodward Governor Company became a billion-dollar company with establishments worldwide, including Japan, China, and Europe.
On January 26, 2011, the company announced that shareholders had approved the name change to Woodward, Inc.
A growing number of general aviation and commuter aircraft rely on Woodward AES overspeed governors, synchronizers and synchrophasers for turboshaft, turboprop, and reciprocating engines. As of September 2016[update], approximately 34% of the company's sales were to the defense market, including parts for the V-22 Osprey ($645,000 revenue per aircraft) and the F/A-18 ($335,000 revenue per aircraft). The engines that are controlled by Woodward Aircraft engines systems include those from Honeywell (TPE331), General Electric (CT7), Pratt & Whitney Canada (PT6A series), Raytheon, Vans, and Rotax Corporations.
In April 2018, Woodward Inc. purchased L'Orange GmbH for $859 million. This supplier of fuel-injection components for stationary, marine, offshore, and industrial engines was part of Rolls-Royce's power-systems business in Germany, the US and China. On January 12, 2020, the company announced an intent to merge with Hexcel, according to the Wall Street Journal. On April 20, it was announced the merger was called off, as a result of the health crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. The COVID19 crisis also led to a sharp drop in revenues for Woodward, Inc.
Woodward family patents
- US patent 103813, Woodward, Amos W., "Improvement in Water-Governors", issued 1870-05-31
- US patent 432105, Woodward, Amos W. & Woodward, Elmer E., "Water-Wheel Governor", issued 1890-07-15
- US patent 438876, Woodward, Elmer E., "Lathe Center Grinder", issued 1890-10-21
- US patent 466817, Woodward, Elmer E., "Orange Sizer", issued 1892-01-12
- US patent 497903, Woodward, Elmer E., "Adjustable Nozzle", issued 1893-05-23, assigned to James Leffel & Company
- US patent 583527, Woodward, Amos W. & Woodward, Elmer E., "Governor for Water Wheels", issued 1897-06-01
- US patent 608245, Woodward, Elmer E., "Governor for Water-Wheels", issued 1898-08-02
- US patent 679353, Woodward, Elmer E., "Governor for Water-Wheels", issued 1901-07-30
- US patent 811349, Woodward, Amos W., "Stove or Furnace", issued 1906-01-30
- US patent 979239, Albertson, Robert; Woodward, Frank M. & Woodward, Amos W., "Exhibitor", issued 1910-12-20
- US patent 1106434, Woodward, Elmer E., "Speed-Regulator", issued 1914-08-11
- US patent 2039507, Woodward, Elmer E., "Diesel Engine Governor", issued 1936-05-05, assigned to Woodward Governor Company
- GB patent 470284, Woodward, Elmer E., "Automatic Governor Control for Controllable Pitch Propeller", issued 1937-08-12, assigned to Woodward Governor Company
- US patent 2204640, Woodward, Elmer E., "Governor Mechanism", issued 1940-06-18, assigned to Woodward Governor Company
- US patent 2273408, Woodward, Elmer E. & Woodward, Walter T., "Speed Regulating System", issued 1942-02-17, assigned to Woodward Governor Company
- "Explore Our Markets". Retrieved 2015-01-07.
- "About Woodward". Woodward. September 2014. Retrieved 2015-01-07.
- "US SEC: Form 10-K Woodward, Inc". U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Retrieved January 25, 2018.
- "Woodward's History". Woodward, Inc. Retrieved 5 March 2019.
- "Hydro Governors and Controls: A Perspective | Energy Central". energycentral.com. Retrieved 2020-06-30.
- Kinney, Jeremy R. (2017-03-24). Reinventing the Propeller. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-1-107-14286-2.
- U.S. Patent 103,813 US patent 103813, Woodward, Amos W., "Improvement in Water-Governors", issued 1870-05-31
- U.S. Patent 583,527 US patent 583527, Woodward, Amos W. & Woodward, Elmer E., "Governor for Water Wheels", issued 1897-06-01
- U.S. Patent 2,039,507 US patent 2039507, Woodward, Elmer E., "Diesel Engine Governor", issued 1936-05-05, assigned to Woodward Governor Company
- GB patent 470284, Woodward, Elmer E., "Automatic Governor Control for Controllable Pitch Propeller", issued 1937-08-12, assigned to Woodward Governor Co
- Brown, Steven; McCutcheon, Kimble D. (2003). "Aircraft Propulsion Artifacts Case; Stephen F. Udvar-Hazy Center". Aircraft Engine Historical Society. Retrieved 2015-01-07.
- Woodward Governor drops the ‘Governor’, Bizjournals.com, 26 January 2011
- "Gabelli & Company's 22nd Annual Aircraft Supplier & Connectivity Conference" (PDF). Gabelli.com. 20 September 2016. p. 31. Retrieved 2 May 2019.
- Pat Ferrier, Woodward buys part of Rolls Royce, pays $17M to move California operations to Fort Collins, Coloradoan.com, 9 April 2018
- "Woodward and Hexcel Announce Mutual Termination of Merger". 2020-04-20. Retrieved 2020-07-21.
- Pat Ferrier, Woodward's sales plunge amid ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Coloradoan.com, 7 August 2020