For every aircraft landing, the procedure consists of the descent to the runway, contacting the ground and reducing speed, and then taxiing to the terminal or final designated area. Landing is aided through many stems and components of the aircraft including wing flaps, thrust, and/or aircraft wheel and brake systems. In this blog, we will discuss a few of the procedures and aircraft landing gear components used to bring a flight to a successful end.
The first step in landing an aircraft consists of communication with the airport approach controller. With their aid, the pilot makes adjustments to their approach so that they are optimally aligned with the airport with good altitude and speed. After this, the pilot is handed off to the local controller, who then takes over, ensuring that the landing surface is safe and all aircraft clearance is in order as the aircraft nears touchdown. For the sake of reducing drag during flight, many aircraft feature retractable gear that is deployed hydraulically, electrically, or manually depending on the size of the airplane.
When finally landing, there are various components that are designed to withstand the impact, as well as aid in slowing down to a stop. Tires and wheels utilize shock absorbers to dampen the impact upon touchdown, and flaps and brakes work together to reduce speed to bring the aircraft to a halt. Reverse thrusters may also be used to redirect exhaust forward, creating more braking power, as well as to take stress off the wheels.
Most modern aircraft feature disc brakes that create stopping power through friction. These can be single, dual, or multiple disc brake systems. The heavier the aircraft, the more wheels it may have. The pressure of the tires and tubes also affect the ability to land, and having a balance between too little and too much pressure is important. This is due to too much pressure affecting braking power and leading to runway damage. On the other hand, having too little pressure can be dangerous and lead to accidents. Altogether, with the brakes and wheels, the aircraft can come to a safe stop so that it can easily taxi to its final destination and finish the flight.
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