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Concorde Nose Landing Gear & Aircraft Steering operation
There are many reasons why Concorde’s landing gear differs from that of other passenger aircraft. One of these is that the steerable twin wheeled nose unit is situated behind the fight deck, and makes taxing very different to that of other aircrafts. The landing gear location and dimensions, although critical have been in fact a compromise. The nose landing gear is in a far from idea location, it is 40 ft aft of the nose; think about having to turn on a taxiway, T-junction or following the centre line into an arrival gate between two other aircraft with the steering that far behind you.
Another difference is that it retracts forward up into the belly of the fuselage, this was because of the need to plan for the free-fall mechanism; The nose landing gear was designed and built by Hispano.
The nose landing gear is used for steering Concorde on the ground and unlike most of Concorde, the steering is entirely conventional, it is electrically signaled from either pilot’s stations on the flight deck, and powered by the main hydraulics with auto-change to standby hydraulics. The steering control handles will operate the wheels + or – 60 degrees; flight control rudder pedals will steer + or – 10 degrees while Concorde is on the ground only.
Should the hydraulics fail, and then the standby system fail too, there is a free-fall mechanism for the nose landing gear which is located under the passenger cabin floor.
Nose landing gear facts
Number of wheel on the bogie – 2
Direction of retraction – Forwards
Tyre size – 31X10.75-14
Tyre type – Dunlop (British Airways) Goodyear (Air France)
Tyre pressure – 190PSI
Brakes – None fitted
Steering – Electrically signalled and hydraulically controlled
The manufacturer – Hispano
The emergency Operation of the main landing gear – A, Hydraulically lowered by standby system. B, Mechanical release and freefall to lock
Normal operation – Hydraulic system (Green)
1, Strut charging valves:
2, Towing fitting:
3, Shock absorber:
4, Fork fittings:
5, Interphone box:
7, Brace arms:
8, Brace link:
9, Actuating cylinder:
10, Brace struts:
11, Drag strut:
12, Up-lock roller:
13, Steering unit:
14, Steering jack:
15, Upper torque link:
16, Lower torque link:
17, Wheel axle: