Landing gear is one of the most unsung and yet crucial elements on any fixed-wing aircraft, from the first-ever retractable gear fitted onto Glen Custiss’ 1911 A-1 “Triad” biplane to the Airbus A350 and Boeing 787 today.
In the same vein, the landing gear components that make up these assemblies are just as vital, and thus deserving of proper maintenance, repair, and overhaul. Not surprisingly, the size and specifics of landing gear vary from aircraft to aircraft, based on their size, weight, landing/takeoff speeds and stresses, and other parameters.
The Main Components
A typical landing gear assembly is comprised of the following components, each of which serves a specific function:
- Anti-skid system: The anti-skid system momentarily releases the brakes on one or more wheels during landing, to prevent the aircraft from losing its grip on the runway.
- Axle: The axle provides the mounting/rotational points for the landing gear wheels.
- Brakes: Just as in a car, the landing gear brakes are used to slow the aircraft and reduce its stopping distance on the ground.
- Leg: This is the main vertical component that holds the axle to which the landing wheels are mounted at the lower end, and the rotating link to the cross beam at the upper end that is attached to the aircraft.
- Retraction actuators: These motorized components raise and lower the landing gear.
- Shock absorbers: The landing gear shock absorbers lessens the impact and stress of landing on the aircraft’s airframe and landing gear assembly. Typically filled with hydraulic fluid and a gas such as air or nitrogen, a shock absorber consists of two telescoping cylinders with closed ends. The upper cylinder is attached to the aircraft and does not move. The lower cylinder (aka the piston) slides in and out in the upper cylinder as needed to absorb shocks during landing and takeoff.
- Side braces: These components provide strength and stability to the main landing gear.
- Steering: The nose wheel landing gear is equipped with a steering mechanism to maximize the aircraft’s ability to maneuver on the tarmac.
- Tires: The inflated, highly durable doughnut-like surfaces that make direct contact between the aircraft and the runway.
- Torque links: These links are attached to the shock absorbers’ moving lower cylinders to keep them aligned.
- Wheels: The wheels are the metal hubs that attach to the landing gear axles, and are outfitted with tires.
Maintenance is a Must
With the exception of ‘consumables’ like brake pads and tires, landing gear components are ‘rotables’ — parts that can be restored to full operational status for a manufacturer-specified number of times by a qualified, certified land gear MRO (maintenance, repair and overhaul) facility such as Aerospace Rotables.
For every single one of these rotables, adhering to regularly scheduled maintenance is a must, because the aircraft’s safety is literally riding on its landing gear. Also essential are fulfilling required landing gear overhauls — whether as mandated by the manufacturer or due to indications of potential problems during operations — and landing gear repairs whenever necessary.
A word to the wise: Addressing potential landing gear issues as soon as they are detected saves time, money, and avoids costly AOG (aircraft on ground) flight delays.
The Aerospace Rotables’ Difference
Inconsistent service and expensive surprises are all too common in the landing gear overhaul process. Fortunately, Aerospace Rotables’ proven track record for reliable results and cost-effective solutions keeps our airline clients on budget and in the air. The reason: We uphold an uncompromising standard for landing gear overhauls that protects your passengers, cargo and fulfills your turn-around time (TAT).
Aerospace Rotables does this for you in four ways:
- Cost-Effective Process: We keep Beyond Economical Repair (BER) and scrap rates to a minimum, while our all-inclusive pricing on labor eliminates out-of-scope charges. This means our clients save 25- 30% per event over industry norms.
- Quality and TAT Control: The entire landing gear overhaul is performed in-house, ensuring that Aerospace Rotables maintains 100% control of quality and TAT fulfillment.
- Flexible Options: We offer four different services to reduce TAT time and get planes back into the air fast.
- Easy to Understand Contracts: Our paperwork is written in clear language, and doesn’t have out-of-scope charges and excessive BER/Scrap rates.
Our landing gear overhaul is also better in three key ways:
- Once we’ve seen what a landing gear component client needs, we craft a customized solution for them with all-inclusive labor fees and a trustworthy TAT deadline specified in print.
- We keep our clients informed on their projects through weekly reports that are honest and transparent.
- We keep our promises: Aerospace Rotables is committed to on-time delivery and cost savings, because we share our clients’ sense of urgency.
The Bottom Line
Compared to the competition, Aerospace Rotables’ clients save 25-30% on their landing gear MRO costs,while being serviced by one of the largest landing gear MRO facilities in the world. We work with major cargo and lessor companies such as Atlas Air, ATSG, AVOLON, DAE, Aviation Capital Group, and DHL.
Avoid unnecessary days spent on the ground and gain a long-term, trustworthy partner for landing gear overhauls from start to finish.
Contact Aerospace Rotables today!