::[ kampungkai ]::

Friday, September 1

Landing Gear - Leg Of An Aircraft

Aircrafts are built to fly, not to roll on the tarmac. But it has to roll on the runway in order to gain speed and lift off into the sky. Besides, something's gotta support the whopping 100+ tonne giant while u step into it.

It wouldnt be something like the U.F.O where the aircraft floats 1ft above ground, would it? NO. u r right. It's the landing gear, the wheels, the legs that support the weight of the aircraft while on ground.

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Boeing 777 (How to identify? Cos it has 6 wheels on the main l/gear)

Tyre pressure is crucial. Before each flight (or few hours after a flight when the wheels have cool down), an Aircraft Maintenance Engineer MUST do a pre-flight inspection, whereby checking the tyre pressure is part of the pre-flight inspection list.

Depending on aircraft models, some aircrafts tyres are inflated to 180 pounds/square inch, some 192psi, some 200 psi, and some 210psi. It varies with each model and load. And it is important to only check the pressure when the wheels are cool, or else u'll get a wrong reading. Wrong reading might cause an under-inflated tyre when the aircraft lands in a cold climate airport. (cold=shrink)

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All commercial airliner tyres are inflated with nitrogen. Why? Well, they dun burn easily, they are light, they are easily available, and they can cope with heat better. (Correct me if i'm wrong on this, cos i'm not a Chemist. And if u're 1, pls tell me more about it, pls?)

Just for simple knowledge, I noticed that most MAS aircraft uses MICHELIN tyres. Have yet to see any Goodyear or Bridgestone or Goodrich.

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A330 l/gear

That's the main strut supporting most of the weight. It's made of VERY VERY VERY VERY VERY VERY VERY HARD and STIFF MAGNESIUM ALLOY. Powered by high pressure hydraulics, the l/gear is deployed and retracted by a push on the button.

Notice that red band hanging from the strut? There's a pin at the end of the band, whereby it is slotted into the l/gear locking socket to prevent the l/gear from being retracted while on ground. Simple terms: It locks the wheels.

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I'm 5' 10"

The previous pic makes the l/gear looks small. Now i'm standing beside the A330 wheels for u to compare. It's huge. Slowly check out how complicated it is.

Since the l/gear is such an important part of an aircraft, it has to be maintained to its approved design standards. And maintainance includes overhaul. Overhaul means the whole thing is removed from the aircraft, paint stripped, X-rayed to check for cracks, serviced, repainted and re-installed.

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Aircraft on Jacks

Notice the 3-legged jacks supporting the aircraft. And the wheels have been removed from the bearings for overhaul.

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Disc Brakes

Ventilated Multi-Disc Brakes of a Boeing 737. 6 pistons actuated by electro-hydraulics to compress the disc and brake linings. During landing, these disc turn molten red while braking, producing a tremendous heat that can fry an ostrich egg within 1 second.

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Nose l/gear

KW - Kilo Whiskey. It is a short form for the registeration of this aircraft 9M-MKW. Much smaller than the main l/gears, it has a red band too to lock the wheels.

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Tow truck

U know what? This is the only vehicle in the world where the driver is lower than the wheels! hahaha... pretty cool ya? this is considered a big tow truck used to push-back big aircrafts.

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As simple as that. Forward gear, neutral, and reverse gear. Oh, and left hand driving. In order to drive this truck, u gotta get a driving license for airfield from Malaysia Airlines, and also from the Department of Civil Aviation, DCA.

As i said from the very beginning. The legs of the aircraft are very important to the aircraft. It's exactly the same like the human leg. And if u do not take care of it, this will happen and cause serious injury.

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A Bad Sprain

p/s: that's not my leg... but my batchmate's


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