The intent of this AIR is twofold: (1) to present descriptive summary of aircraft nosewheel steering and centering systems, and (2) to provide a discussion of problems encountered and “lessons learned” by various airplane manufacturers and users. This document covers both military aircraft (land-based and ship-based) and commercial aircraft. It is intended that the document be continually updated as new aircraft and/or new “lessons learned” become available.
This document provides information on the current practices used by commercial and military operators in regards to hard landings (or overload events designated as hard landings). Since detailed information on inspections would be aircraft specific, this AIR provides only a general framework. Detailed information and procedures are available in the maintenance manuals for specific aircraft. Because hard landings potentially affect the entire aircraft, guidelines are listed here for non-landing gear areas. But, the primary focus of the document is the landing gear and related systems. The document may be considered to be applicable to all types of aircraft. This document does NOT provide recommended practices for hard landing inspections, nor does it provide recommendations on the disposition of damaged equipment. Refer to ARP 4915 and ARP 5600.
Verification of landing gear design strength is accomplished by dynamic and static test programs. This is essentially a verification of the analytical procedures used to design the gear. An industry survey was recently conducted to determine just what analysis and testing are currently being applied to landing gear. Timing in relation to first flight of new aircraft was also questioned. Opinions were solicited from designers of the following categories and/or types of aircraft: a Military - Large Land Based (Bomber) b Military - Small Land Based (Fighter) c Military - Carrier Based (Navy) d Military - Helicopter (Large) e Military - Helicopter (Small-attack) f Commercial - Large (Airliner) g Commercial - Small (Business) h USAF (WPAFB) - Recommendations It is the objective of this AIR to present a summary of these responses. It is hoped that this summary will be useful to designers as a guide and/or check list in establishing criteria for landing gear analysis and test.