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1. Introduction. You must have seen aircrafts flying

in the sky. To keep it flying in the air a number of thing are required, similarly to move or keep it resting on ground it needs something in the form of landing gears. Helicopter is a versatile machine, it can land anywhere including runway, confined area, water or snow. Depending upon the task it also need some platform in the form of landing gears, may it be wheeled or skidded the purpose remains the same. 2. 3. Aim. To Preview a. Landing gears and its types. b. Purposes of the landing gears. c. Support structure.








Description and major components of landing gears.

e. Poppet Type Landing Gear Dampers (1) (2) (3)


Description. Purposes. Operation.

Pre/Post flight inspection. Assimilation check. Conclusion.


g. Latest trends in landing gears.

h. i.



Landing Gears.

The undercarriage or landing

gear in aviation is the structure that supports an aircraft on the ground and allows it to taxi, takeoff and land. Typically wheels are used, but skids, skis, floats or a combination of these and other elements can be deployed, depending on the surface. 5. Types of Landing Gears. Several types of landing gear are found on helicopters. Each type of landing gear provides a specialized functionality to the ship. The most common types of landing gear are detailed below: a. Skids. Skids are the most common type of landing gear used in light- and medium-class helicopters. Skids are permanent, nonretractable horizontal feet which provide a long, flat touchdown surface for the helicopter. b. Wheels. Wheels are primarily used on medium- and heavy-class helicopters and can be fixed in place, or be retractable into the fuselage. c. d. 6. Floats. Skis. Helicopters can also be equipped Another type of landing gear for Purposes of the with floats for water operations. landing on snow or soft terrain are skis. Purposes of the Landing Gears. a. landing gears are as under:Act as the support carriage when the helicopter is in ground contact.


b. c. 7.

Withstand the shocks encountered in landing and ground handling. Provide a stable platform to prevent ground resonance. The landing gear support

Support Structure.

structure is composed of two lateral cross beams, four hockey struts, two diagonal drag struts, and two stabilizer assemblies. These all are the load carrying members:a. Cross Beams. beams machining suspected bend. The lateral cross (figure-1) are made of 7075 T6 before hard assembly. landing or Little or no landing from

aluminum forging, primed and painted after maintenance is required however after a unusual attitude check the cross beam for If the bend is more than 1 inch, the cross beam is replaced. It takes the main load of the landing gear. b. Hockey Struts. Hockey struts (figure-2) are made of 7075 T6 aluminum forging. They are also cleaned, wash, primed and painted after machining before assembly. Being the load carrying member it also takes the load during landing and when helicopter is static on ground.




Drag Struts.

The two diagonally mounted

drag struts (figure-3) are made of aluminum tubing with ends swayed down from one inch diameter to half inch. The drag struts are attached with hockey strut and cross beams by fork assemblies. To allow for variations in the length of drag strut, washers may be added. After a suspected hard landing check the threaded portion for wear out. Bent drag struts can affect the landing gears alignment and should be replaced. d. Stabilizer Assy. The right and left stabilizer assemblies (figure-4) connect the out board ends of the cross beam and provide stepping areas for entry to each side of the cabin. These are also used for servicing and inspecting the helicopter. It maintains the constant longitudinal distance between the two cross beams. 8. and Description of Major Components of the Landing Landing gears consists of support structure 2 x skids. Skids are mounted with hockey struts and Gears.

are shock dampened. Each skid is connected to the fuselage structure through Hockey struts which are attached to the cross beams. Further details of landing gears are as below:-




Skids. Each skid (figure-5) is a seamless extruded aluminum alloy tube. To increase the abrasion resistance of the tubes, they are hard anodized to a thickness of approx 0.003 inch. In addition, an application of zinc chromate primer to interior surface gives extra surface protection. The inside of the tube is protected from entry of moisture or corrosive material such as dirt by forward and aft sealed caps. The caps are made of thermoplastic material. The caps are to remain sealed to prevent internal corrosion problems.


Skid Shoes.

Three skid abrasion shoes

(figure-6) made of Cobalt Barium are attached to the bottom of each skid tube. The shoes provide protection to the skid tube during ground contact. The shoes are individually replaceable and may be replaced in complete sets. c. Semi Rotating Sleeves. Mounted on the rear of the skid tubes are semi rotating sleeves (figure-7). These add increased flexibility to the landing gears. It improves the helicopter landing characteristics especially in autorotation. The rear end of the extension sleeve is also sealed by a thermoplastic cap, however due to its design characteristics water


or other liquids can seep in. Even though the internal structure has been treated against the corrosion, it is recommended that mud, sand etc be flushed off with fresh water and inspected frequently. 9. Poppet Type Landing Gear Dampers a. Description. Each damper (figure-8) consists of a black rubber cover, upper and lower mounting caps, a housing assembly with main poppet, rebound poppet and springs, a barrel and piston. On the lower side these are attached with the hockey struts and on the upper side with the cross beams. They are 13 inches long when extended and 9-11/32 inches when compressed. Forward dampers (flat tip) are charged with nitrogen 350 per square inch whereas aft dampers are charged with nitrogen 560 per square inch. These are identified For colder climates, with different part these are charged to 725 per square inch. numbers. A main orifice is placed between the two chambers, through which hydraulic fluid is metered into the pistons nitrogen chamber during damper compression. b. Purposes. The dampers serve multifold purposes which are: -




They absorb and dissipate the landing shock on the compression stroke of the landing gear.


Absorb and dissipate the recoil shocks on the extension stroke of the landing gear during take off.


Act as a stable structure member to support static. helicopter during rotor engagement, disengagement and while



Landing gear damper (figure-9)

compression occurs at landing as impact loads are applied to the landing gear. At damper compression, displacement of hydraulic absorb fluid the and load, and fluid compression the of nitrogen occurs inside the damper to nitrogen compression displacement

determine the rate and limit of damper compression and provide a controlled resistance.

At initiation of compression stroke,

the piston housing applies pressure to hydraulic fluid in the lower area of the barrel chamber. Resultantly fluid pressure forces the main poppet up into


the seat in centre of the piston housing and unseats both rebound puppets at the sides. (3) During cont compression, relatively non-compressible hydraulic fluid is forced up through the 0.070 inch centre orifice of the main poppet to compress pressurized nitrogen inside the piston. Simultaneously fluid flows up through the three angular side vanes of both rebound poppets and the 0.050 inch relief port into the As upper area of the barrel the chamber.

compression in the piston

continues, and

nitrogen is compressed into a smaller volume pressure decreases housing. nitrogen pressure increases. Increasing nitrogen opposes the Nitrogen and rate progressively of damper rises

compression, in proportion to piston pressure approximately 4000 lbs per square inch by full damper compression. (5) During compression the unseated rebound poppets offer little resistance to fluid flow and the relief port also meters



fluid flow in the upper area of the barrel chamber.


At removal of the compression (figure-10) nitrogen pressure


against the top of the piston and the surface of hydraulic fluid forces the piston upwards. As the piston housing assembly moves up, the fluid unseats main poppet valve and is forced from the piston to the lower area of the barrel chamber at a high rate of flow through the 0.070 inch centre and eight 0.093 orifices in the main poppet valve. (7) barrel As the housing moves upward, chamber hold both rebound fluid pressure on the upper area of the poppets seated. Fluid flows from the

upper chamber through only the 0.050 inch relief port at a metered rate to con the rate of damper extension.

As nitrogen pressure decreases,

the rate of fluid flow and rate of extension progressively decreases proportionately. The anti extension spring provides a cushioned (damped) stop, at maximum damper extension.




With the helicopter on ground the fluid and nitrogen pressure


support the weight of the helicopter. In flight the weight of the landing gear extends the damper and the barrel top shoulder rests on the top of the anti extension spring. 10. Pre Flight Check (Landing Gear). a. Following must be ensured during daily inspection:Visually inspect landing gear dampers for leakage, replace damper if loss of hydraulic fluid is noted. b. Observe the stance of helicopter. If stance is nose down or extension of aft dampers appears to be unusual, perform following checks:(1) Raise and lower the tail boom above and below the normal rest position three times. (2) On the last cycle, slowly lower the tail boom to rest position and observe the stance (3). (3) Measure distance from shoulder of damper upper cap top edge to damper bottom cap on all dampers. Replace any






appears to be unusual, proceed as step


damper measuring less than following dimension: WITH MAIN TANK ONLY Left Aft Forward 8.4 9.1 Right 8.0 8.7

(When dimension is less than 8.0, recheck extension as per inspection before replacement).

Physically check the leakage by moving rubber cover. Visually check the condition, damage, nicks and cracks of skid shoes. Physically check fwd and aft cross beam for bend and condition. Check condition of semi rotating selves, there should be no cracks. Check hockey strut, that there is no bend. Check drag strut play and bend. Latest trends in landing gears


(6) (7) (8) (9) 11. 12.

Latest trends.

include retractable landing gears, floats and skis. Assimilation Check Q-1 Why semi rotating sleeves are mounted at the rear ends of the skid tubes ? A-1 It adds increased flexibility to the landing It improves the helicopter landing gears.

characteristics especially in autorotation.



Q-2 When dampers is to be replaced? A-2 Replace damper if loss of hydraulic fluid is noted. Measure distance from shoulder of damper upper cap top edge to damper bottom cap on all dampers. Replace any damper measuring less than required. 13. Conclusion. After studying the landing gears we can conclude that a strong and solid landing gears are must for every helicopter being the load carrying members. Special attention must be paid during pre and post flights to the landing gears alongwith different inspections.