AS9120B, ISO 9001:2015, and FAA AC 0056B ACCREDITED

How to Maintain Aircraft Landing Gear

Aircraft landing gear is essential to flight, ensuring safe takeoffs and landings. Despite being active for a relatively short duration of the flight, landing gear involves many components for various systems. Practicing frequent maintenance is important for all systems in aircraft, and landing gear are no exception because they undergo immense pressure and wear with every flight. In addition to allowing aircraft to navigate the runway, landing gear must provide pilots with vital information, retract into storage to reduce drag, and maintain smooth operations without generating too much friction. When inspecting landing gear, it is vital to maintain all parts of the systems that make these functions possible.

The best way to begin inspection is to wipe down all surfaces to thoroughly check for any spots that may require repair, such as cracks, corrosion, or other trouble spots. This serves the dual purpose of revealing any faults as well as removing harmful debris prior to the lubrication process. When lubricating the landing gear, oils that mix with debris can create damaging corrosive substances that threaten the entire system. Following a whole system wipe-down, special attention should be paid to different parts for potential signs of damage. Moreover, the wheels endure heavy wear as they are a key component, so there are a lot of measures that should be taken to make sure they perform as well as possible.

When performing inspections on the wheels, one should first make sure all ground safety locks are installed. The wheels should move freely, brake reliably, and absorb shock safely; different parts aid in each of these functions including shock struts, trunnion and brace assemblies, bearings, shimmy dampers, wheels, wheel bearings, tires, and brakes. Additionally, wheel tire pressure should be checked for proper inflation and bolts that hold the wheels in place should be fastened tightly in place.

Wheel bearings play the important role of connecting the wheel to the axle and necessitate smooth rotation without generating too much friction, allowing for ideal operation on the runway. When inspecting the wheels, it is important to remove all bearings for cleaning, inspection, and lubrication. As with all other components of landing gear, wheel bearings should be inspected on the surface for signs of wear. If bearings are loose around the axle or weakened by impact, one should look into replacements. Bearings that are cleared for use should then be lubricated heavily with grease and placed back into position.

Given the fact that wheels are not used in flight, most aircraft employ retractable wheels to prevent drag, so all systems used to store wheels during flight should also be inspected. A landing gear retraction test should be performed to ensure all gears fall and lock into the proper positions, including up, down, and emergency extension positions. Additionally, all controls, including the switches that retract landing gear, emergency control handles, and position indicators used by pilots, should operate properly. This requires checking indicators in the cockpit and listening for unusual noises.

Lastly, all landing gear have specific supports and tolerances that make sure all parts stay in place, both during storage and when in use, making it important to examine landing gear doors, latches, and braces. Moreover, rigging and adjusting these parts prevents improper deployment of the wheels. Additionally, latches that move landing gear up or down must operate automatically and at the right time, meaning that the bolts and cables used to hold landing gear should be adjusted to angle the gear at the proper height for required clearance. Landing gear doors also require certain clearance from the aircraft body and should be inspected for proper tightness when closed to avoid drag or structural damage. Additionally, supports such as side braces that hold wheels in the down or up positions should be examined for their ability to lock into place at the proper height. Any links, springs, and actuators should also be adjusted to their proper heights, allowing for the correct amount of over-center travel of the side brace links. All adjustments should be made with aircraft on mounting jacks and landing gear in the down position.  

The ability to deploy, retract, and monitor landing gear properly is integral to safe flights, and routine maintenance makes this possible. Part Orbit is your parts procurement partner for over 2 billion aviation and aerospace parts. Owned and operated by ASAP Semiconductor, we only source parts from top manufacturers on our pre-approved vendor list, as quality is the cornerstone of our operations. We operate with a strict NO CHINA sourcing policy and AS9120B, ISO 9001:2015, and FAA AC 00-56B accreditation, that way you can rely on us to meet your needs while you focus on doing what you do best. Get started by requesting a quote today and receive a customized response within 15 minutes! 


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