Future landing gear to use more stainless and CRAs
09 April 2018
The landing gear aftermarket offers less potential for new-generation aircraft than for older models. The reason is because mean time between overhauls is rising as advances in materials and coatings help to extend maintenance intervals.
“OEMs and airlines are both driving for increased time between overhauls, and as the effective on-wing life of gear increases, new equipment sales naturally become more dominant [than aftermarket sales],” says Paul Lavigne, director, landing gear engineering, UTC Aerospace Systems, in an interview with Inside MRO.
Lavigne says that typical overhaul intervals are stretching from eight to up to 14 years, meaning that some aircraft only require one landing gear overhaul in their life, rather than the more typical two.
The journey towards that state will feature increased use of composites, titanium and stainless steels; wear performance improvements such as non-metallic bearings; and enhanced corrosion protection through augmented use of nickel plating.
Health monitoring systems and attendant data analysis will further refine maintenance planning, allowing predictive and preventive maintenance and feeding into additional design improvements.
Image courtesy of mro-network.com