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Major Components (Part Three) Landing Gear

in Aircraft Structure

The landing gear is the principal support of the airplane when parked, taxiing, taking off, or landing. The most common type of landing gear consists of wheels, but airplanes can also be equipped with floats for water operations, or skis for landing on snow. [Figure 2-12]

The landing gear consists of three wheels—two main wheels and a third wheel positioned either at the front or rear of the airplane. Landing gear with a rear mounted wheel is called conventional landing gear.

Airplanes with conventional landing gear are sometimes referred to as tailwheel airplanes. When the third wheel is located on the nose, it is called a nosewheel, and the design is referred to as a tricycle gear. A steerable nosewheel or tailwheel permits the airplane to be controlled throughout all operations while on the ground. Most aircraft are steered by moving the rudder pedals, whether nosewheel or tailwheel. Additionally, some aircraft are steered by differential braking.

Figure 2-12. Types of landing gear: floats (top), skis (middle), and wheels (bottom).

Figure 2-12. Types of landing gear: floats (top), skis (middle), and wheels (bottom).


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