Landing gear strut failure on this United Airlines Airbus A320 at Newark

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Tony Aiello, a television reporter for WCBS-TV in New York City tweeted this image, it looks like a landing gear collapse. Somebody else commented that it might be a strut failure*. Anyway some serious damage for this United Airlines Airbus A320. The FAA confirmed no passengers on board.

* The landing gear system includes:

  • Strut
  • Shock absorber
  • Extraction/retraction mechanism
  • Brakes
  • Wheel
  • Tyre

The main functions of the landing gear are as follows:

  1. Energy absorpton at landing
  2. Braking
  3. Taxi control

About the shock absorber, its main role is to zero the vertical component of the airplane velocity during landing, with no rebound and limited load transfer to the vehicle structure. Its secondary requirement is to allow a comfortable taxiing. Different types of shock absorbers are available, but when costs and dimensions allow, a hydraulic system is commonly used.

Substantially the system structure is made of a moveable piston that, when loaded, compresses a gas (nitrogen) in a cylinder and causes an oil flow through orifices. The system elasticity is due to the gas transformation while the damping effect is due to the liquid pressure losses (through the orifices).

Source: member Avro (long time no see!)

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