Aircraft Landing Gear Support

Aircraft landing gear are attached to the wing spars or other structural members, many of which are designed for the specific purpose of supporting the landing gear. Retractable gear must be engineered in such a way as to provide strong attachment to the aircraft and still be able to move into a recess or well when stowed. A trunnion arrangement is typical. The trunnion is a fixed structural extension of the upper strut cylinder with bearing surfaces that allow the entire gear assembly to move. It is attached to aircraft structure in such a way that the gear can pivot from the vertical position required for landing and taxi to the stowed position used during flight. [Figure 1]

Aircraft Landing Gear Support
Figure 1. The trunnion is a fixed structural support that is part of or attached to the upper strut cylinder of a landing gear strut. It contains bearing surfaces so the gear can retract

While in the vertical gear down position, the trunnion is free to swing or pivot. Alone, it cannot support the aircraft without collapsing. A drag brace is used to restrain against the pivot action built into the trunnion attachment. The upper end of the two-piece drag brace is attached to the aircraft structure and the lower end to the strut. A hinge near the middle of the brace allows the brace to fold and permits the gear to retract.

For ground operation, the drag brace is straightened over center to a stop, and locked into position so the gear remains rigid. [Figure 2] The function of a drag brace on some aircraft is performed by the hydraulic cylinder used to raise and lower the gear. Cylinder internal hydraulic locks replace the over-center action of the drag brace for support during ground maneuvers.

Aircraft Landing Gear Support
Figure 2. A hinged drag strut holds the trunnion and gear firm for landing and ground operation. It folds at the hinge to allow the gear to retract


You May Like