Page 6 - AAA NOVEMBER - DECEMBER 2015 Online Magazine
P. 6


          VER ST

        Leg Work

        It takes a lot to put an aircraft on a strong footing
        By Subodh Agarwal

                                            If AIRCRAfT dELIVERY CYCLES ARE any   CRJs, and more than one-third will be
                                            indication, the landing-gear shops should   done on Embraer ERJs. BAE and Fokker
                                            be busy in the next few years. Commercial   will split the remaining sixth of overhauls
                                            jet aircraft ordered in the last decade are   roughly evenly.
                                            approaching the 10 year milestone and are   The requirement to remove and overhaul
                                            therefore due for landing gear overhaul.  landing gear is about every 10 years,
                                               Forecasts show demand for overhauls   depending on aircraft use and model.
                                            of nearly 4,100 nose gear and more than   During every landing, the landing gear
                                            4,000 shipsets of main landing gear   has to absorb high dynamic loads when
                                            for these aircraft in the next couple of   up to 285 tons of aluminum and payload
                                            years. The forecast spans Airbus, Boeing,   arrive on the main runway. As the landing
                                            Douglas and McDonnell Douglas mainline,   gear becomes the sole direct link between
                                            and Bombardier, Embraer, Fokker and   the airframe and tarmac, it is vital to the
                                            BAE regional jets.                  safe conclusion of the flight.
                                               Approximately  80  per  cent  of  main   A landing gear combines a multitude of
                                            landing gear overhauls will be performed   parts, large and small, all of them intricately
                                            on mainline jets: roughly three-fifths of   meshed. Working on it therefore requires a
                                            these will be on Boeing models, and about   process chain with an outstanding degree of
                                            one-third on Airbus jets.           coordination among all participants. This
        The global landing gear                As per the Aviation Week Intelligence   includes repair, overhaul and certification
        maintenance market saw a            Network’s forecasts made in December   designed  to increase  efficiency  and
        growth of 130 per cent from 2008
        to 2013 and is estimated to reach   2012, nearly half of all regional jets gear   minimise the economic implications of
        US$1,11 billion by 2022             overhauls will be required for Bombardier   landing gear maintenance.
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