Extraordinary and Special Purpose Landing Gear Systems
A landing gear system comprises the most compelling assembly of engineering skills. Its importance to the successful design of an aircraft can be favorably compared with that of the aircraft's wings and engines. A landing gear system consists of several different engineering disciplines, and is continually in the public eye especially with regard to safety.
The primary objective of AIR4846 is to present a record of a variety of interesting gears, gear/aircraft systems and patents, and to discuss wherever possible the lessons learned, and the reasons for the design. Thus, the document is not only a historical account, but a means of recording technical knowledge for the practical benefit of future landing gear designers.
Commendable efforts have been made over the years by several individuals to make such recordings, and AIR4846 will make continual reference to them. This applies to all books, papers, or specifications that have the approval of the SAE A-5 Committee.
AIR4846 also accepts the premise that an essential aircraft requirement can often justify a gears' complexity and consequent weight. However, the document's purpose is not to recommend, but to provide reliable, authenticated information. Hence, the gear designer would be better equipped to adjudicate trade studies rationally, while not restricting his/her innovative skills.
Each gear design feature will be associated with as many aircraft examples as possible, and every effort will be made to ensure accuracy, authenticity, and detail clarity.
Section 2 of this document describes the features of landing gear which are addressed in the specific descriptions of various landing gears (Category A). Also, special types of landing gear are categorized as Category B.