133. Design Trends in Aircraft Landing Gear


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V N Forsgren: 133. Design Trends in Aircraft Landing Gear. 1956.



According to the AN standard forms for aircraft weight reports one of the principal components of aircraft structural weight is the landing gear. Furthermore, the landing gear has a profound, and often detrimental, effect on the design and construction of adjacent structure usually the wing or fuselage – or both. In the design of modern high speed aircraft the landing gear installation probably causes a disproportionate amount of deliberation, consultation, design studies, and layouts. The sonic or super sonic fighter has wings so thin that space for landing gear retraction is marginal or sometimes non-existent. The fuselage of a let fighter is primarily a nacelle for the let engine, which is quite essential for flight, but its size together with the large fuel space requirements leaves cramped quarters for the possible installation of the main landing gear. Using the conventional tricycle gear arrangement, the attachment of the main gear to the fuselage provides a rather narrow tread which may result in undesirable ground handling characteristics. The landing gear performs a useful function only while the airplane is on the ground; in flight its weight reduces aircraft performance. From the foregoing discussion it is easy to understand why landing gear design is not the favorite subject of aircraft engineers. However, the importance of the landing gear is readily apparent by merely watching the airline operations at your local airport. Undoubtedly many of the delegates to this conference arrived by air and have a personal conviction that the aircraft landing gear played on important part in the successful completion of their flight. It is probably safe to say that landing gears will be with us for years to come.


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