Landing gear and its importance

Landing gear and its importance

Photo: Main Landing Gear of Airbus A330

Landing gear and its importance

Scientific inventions and discoveries have mounted the epitome of success due to their remarkable achievements which has led to man’s ease and comfort. Often on admiring these miraculous and ironical achievements, we neglect the obvious and hideous ones which actually act as the main support system to these all.
Retractable Landing Gear AviationNepal
           Photo: Retractable Landing Gear
Similarly, aircraft or airplanes which have become the easiest means of travel and have actually become one of the travelling fantasies for millions of people worldwide would never become this comforting without it’s heart i.e. the landing gears. Often called the nose landing gear or undercarriages, these are defined as the supportive gears which balance the aircraft in the process of landing or take-offs Of many unnoticeable yet most important part of an air-vehicle, this landing gear allows the aircraft to do safely land, take-off or even taxi about without causing any damage.

Thus, there are many varieties of these gears depending upon the aircraft (space craft, airplane, helicopter, jet plane, etc) and each having its own unique design and function. For launch vehicles and space craft lander, the landing gear is typically designed to support the vehicle only post flight and are not used for take-off or surface movement.Just as the cerebro-spinal fluid in the spinal cord acts as a shock absorber and provides support to the body, these gears also perform the same function which in this case works on the artificial body i.e. the aircraft. Some aircraft travel greater miles and are comparatively faster. Such aircraft have retractable under carriages which fold away during flight which adds a supplement to its comforting features by eventually reducing the resistance or drag. With the glorious multiplication in advancement, these landing gears have also advanced to much extent with time. Therefore once when their function was limited to support and aid the aircraft during landings and take-off, where now the aircraft are much equipped with skis for snows, floats for water etc.

Most modern aircraft have tricycle undercarriages too where in there are two main wheels towards the front of the aircraft and a single much smaller wheel or skid at the rear. But, as the air crafts’ size increases, they are made with more wheels to cope up with the weight. A best example to this is World’s largest jet aircraft: the Ukrainian Antonov An-225 which has four wheels on twin strut nose gear units.

AN 225 Aviationnepal Nose Landing Gear

    Photo: Antonov 225 Nose Landing Gear

So, if you are misinterpreting the nose landing gear to be some sort of miniature wheel attached to the aircraft with not-so-important function then let me remind you, it is that wheel which connects you from the air to the land and vice versa and makes every flight a successful one.


            Photo: Nose Landing Gear MA60

Thus without these gears, one can hardly dream of flying. And yes, the inventions don’t end here, with advancement, these gears have actually enabled us to float or ski as well which again adds to the success of technology resulting in man’s ease and comfort.

Article: Anurup Pathak   
Bachelor of Engineering in Information Technology, (Undergraduate)