Plain Bearing Selection for Landing Gear Applications
This document is intended to give advisory information for the selection of plain bearings and bearing materials most suitable for aircraft landing gear applications. Information included herein was derived from bearing tests and service experience/reports. Airframe/landing gear manufacturers, commercial airlines, the U.S. Air Force and Naval Air Systems Command provided input for the document.
Information is given on bearing installation methods and fits that have given satisfactory performance and service life.
Base metal corrosion is a major cause of problems in bearing installations for landing gears. Therefore, methods of corrosion prevention are discussed.
Effort is directed toward minimizing maintenance and maximizing life expectancy of landing gear bearings. Lubricated and self-lubricating bearings are also discussed.
There are wide ranges of bearing load and motion requirements for applications in aircraft landing gears. For this reason, it is the responsibility of the designer to select that information which pertains to the particular application.
Anti-friction bearings, defined as rolling element bearings generally used in wheel and live axle applications, will not be discussed in this document.
Copper-Beryliium (Cu-Be) alloy material has been banned for new design by many airframers and government environmental agencies, therefore new designs are utilizing properly designed alternative bearing material such as Copper Nickel Tin (Cu-Ni-Sn) alloy.
Landing gear shock strut bearing design and selection criteria are covered in AIR5883 and, therefore, are not discussed in detail in this document.