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Title 14Chapter ISubchapter CPart 25Subpart D → Subject Group


Title 14: Aeronautics and Space
PART 25—AIRWORTHINESS STANDARDS: TRANSPORT CATEGORY AIRPLANES
Subpart D—Design and Construction


Landing Gear

§25.721   General.

(a) The landing gear system must be designed so that when it fails due to overloads during takeoff and landing, the failure mode is not likely to cause spillage of enough fuel to constitute a fire hazard. The overloads must be assumed to act in the upward and aft directions in combination with side loads acting inboard and outboard. In the absence of a more rational analysis, the side loads must be assumed to be up to 20 percent of the vertical load or 20 percent of the drag load, whichever is greater.

(b) The airplane must be designed to avoid any rupture leading to the spillage of enough fuel to constitute a fire hazard as a result of a wheels-up landing on a paved runway, under the following minor crash landing conditions:

(1) Impact at 5 feet-per-second vertical velocity, with the airplane under control, at Maximum Design Landing Weight—

(i) With the landing gear fully retracted; and

(ii) With any one or more landing gear legs not extended.

(2) Sliding on the ground, with—

(i) The landing gear fully retracted and with up to a 20° yaw angle; and

(ii) Any one or more landing gear legs not extended and with 0° yaw angle.

(c) For configurations where the engine nacelle is likely to come into contact with the ground, the engine pylon or engine mounting must be designed so that when it fails due to overloads (assuming the overloads to act predominantly in the upward direction and separately, predominantly in the aft direction), the failure mode is not likely to cause the spillage of enough fuel to constitute a fire hazard.

[Amdt. 25-139, 79 FR 59430, Oct. 2, 2014]

§25.723   Shock absorption tests.

(a) The analytical representation of the landing gear dynamic characteristics that is used in determining the landing loads must be validated by energy absorption tests. A range of tests must be conducted to ensure that the analytical representation is valid for the design conditions specified in §25.473.

(1) The configurations subjected to energy absorption tests at limit design conditions must include at least the design landing weight or the design takeoff weight, whichever produces the greater value of landing impact energy.

(2) The test attitude of the landing gear unit and the application of appropriate drag loads during the test must simulate the airplane landing conditions in a manner consistent with the development of rational or conservative limit loads.

(b) The landing gear may not fail in a test, demonstrating its reserve energy absorption capacity, simulating a descent velocity of 12 f.p.s. at design landing weight, assuming airplane lift not greater than airplane weight acting during the landing impact.

(c) In lieu of the tests prescribed in this section, changes in previously approved design weights and minor changes in design may be substantiated by analyses based on previous tests conducted on the same basic landing gear system that has similar energy absorption characteristics.

[Doc. No. 1999-5835, 66 FR 27394, May 16, 2001]

§§25.725-25.727   [Reserved]

§25.729   Retracting mechanism.

(a) General. For airplanes with retractable landing gear, the following apply:

(1) The landing gear retracting mechanism, wheel well doors, and supporting structure, must be designed for—

(i) The loads occurring in the flight conditions when the gear is in the retracted position,

(ii) The combination of friction loads, inertia loads, brake torque loads, air loads, and gyroscopic loads resulting from the wheels rotating at a peripheral speed equal to 1.23VSR (with the wing-flaps in take-off position at design take-off weight), occurring during retraction and extension at any airspeed up to 1.5 VSR1 (with the wing-flaps in the approach position at design landing weight), and

(iii) Any load factor up to those specified in §25.345(a) for the wing-flaps extended condition.

(2) Unless there are other means to decelerate the airplane in flight at this speed, the landing gear, the retracting mechanism, and the airplane structure (including wheel well doors) must be designed to withstand the flight loads occurring with the landing gear in the extended position at any speed up to 0.67 VC.

(3) Landing gear doors, their operating mechanism, and their supporting structures must be designed for the yawing maneuvers prescribed for the airplane in addition to the conditions of airspeed and load factor prescribed in paragraphs (a)(1) and (2) of this section.

(b) Landing gear lock. There must be positive means to keep the landing gear extended in flight and on the ground. There must be positive means to keep the landing gear and doors in the correct retracted position in flight, unless it can be shown that lowering of the landing gear or doors, or flight with the landing gear or doors extended, at any speed, is not hazardous.

(c) Emergency operation. There must be an emergency means for extending the landing gear in the event of—

(1) Any reasonably probable failure in the normal retraction system; or

(2) The failure of any single source of hydraulic, electric, or equivalent energy supply.

(d) Operation test. The proper functioning of the retracting mechanism must be shown by operation tests.

(e) Position indicator and warning device. If a retractable landing gear is used, there must be a landing gear position indicator easily visible to the pilot or to the appropriate crew members (as well as necessary devices to actuate the indicator) to indicate without ambiguity that the retractable units and their associated doors are secured in the extended (or retracted) position. The means must be designed as follows:

(1) If switches are used, they must be located and coupled to the landing gear mechanical systems in a manner that prevents an erroneous indication of “down and locked” if the landing gear is not in a fully extended position, or of “up and locked” if the landing gear is not in the fully retracted position. The switches may be located where they are operated by the actual landing gear locking latch or device.

(2) The flightcrew must be given an aural warning that functions continuously, or is periodically repeated, if a landing is attempted when the landing gear is not locked down.

(3) The warning must be given in sufficient time to allow the landing gear to be locked down or a go-around to be made.

(4) There must not be a manual shut-off means readily available to the flightcrew for the warning required by paragraph (e)(2) of this section such that it could be operated instinctively, inadvertently, or by habitual reflexive action.

(5) The system used to generate the aural warning must be designed to minimize false or inappropriate alerts.

(6) Failures of systems used to inhibit the landing gear aural warning, that would prevent the warning system from operating, must be improbable.

(7) A flightcrew alert must be provided whenever the landing gear position is not consistent with the landing gear selector lever position.

(f) Protection of equipment on landing gear and in wheel wells. Equipment that is essential to the safe operation of the airplane and that is located on the landing gear and in wheel wells must be protected from the damaging effects of—

(1) A bursting tire;

(2) A loose tire tread, unless it is shown that a loose tire tread cannot cause damage.

(3) Possible wheel brake temperatures.

[Doc. No. 5066, 29 FR 18291, Dec. 24, 1964, as amended by Amdt. 25-23, 35 FR 5676, Apr. 8, 1970; Amdt. 25-42, 43 FR 2323, Jan. 16, 1978; Amdt. 25-72, 55 FR 29777, July 20, 1990; Amdt. 25-75, 56 FR 63762, Dec. 5, 1991; Amdt. 25-136, 77 FR 1617, Jan. 11, 2012]

§25.731   Wheels.

(a) Each main and nose wheel must be approved.

(b) The maximum static load rating of each wheel may not be less than the corresponding static ground reaction with—

(1) Design maximum weight; and

(2) Critical center of gravity.

(c) The maximum limit load rating of each wheel must equal or exceed the maximum radial limit load determined under the applicable ground load requirements of this part.

(d) Overpressure burst prevention. Means must be provided in each wheel to prevent wheel failure and tire burst that may result from excessive pressurization of the wheel and tire assembly.

(e) Braked wheels. Each braked wheel must meet the applicable requirements of §25.735.

[Doc. No. 5066, 29 FR 18291, Dec. 24, 1964, as amended by Amdt. 25-72, 55 FR 29777, July 20, 1990; Amdt. 25-107, 67 FR 20420, Apr. 24, 2002]

§25.733   Tires.

(a) When a landing gear axle is fitted with a single wheel and tire assembly, the wheel must be fitted with a suitable tire of proper fit with a speed rating approved by the Administrator that is not exceeded under critical conditions and with a load rating approved by the Administrator that is not exceeded under—

(1) The loads on the main wheel tire, corresponding to the most critical combination of airplane weight (up to maximum weight) and center of gravity position, and

(2) The loads corresponding to the ground reactions in paragraph (b) of this section, on the nose wheel tire, except as provided in paragraphs (b)(2) and (b)(3) of this section.

(b) The applicable ground reactions for nose wheel tires are as follows:

(1) The static ground reaction for the tire corresponding to the most critical combination of airplane weight (up to maximum ramp weight) and center of gravity position with a force of 1.0g acting downward at the center of gravity. This load may not exceed the load rating of the tire.

(2) The ground reaction of the tire corresponding to the most critical combination of airplane weight (up to maximum landing weight) and center of gravity position combined with forces of 1.0g downward and 0.31g forward acting at the center of gravity. The reactions in this case must be distributed to the nose and main wheels by the principles of statics with a drag reaction equal to 0.31 times the vertical load at each wheel with brakes capable of producing this ground reaction. This nose tire load may not exceed 1.5 times the load rating of the tire.

(3) The ground reaction of the tire corresponding to the most critical combination of airplane weight (up to maximum ramp weight) and center of gravity position combined with forces of 1.0g downward and 0.20g forward acting at the center of gravity. The reactions in this case must be distributed to the nose and main wheels by the principles of statics with a drag reaction equal to 0.20 times the vertical load at each wheel with brakes capable of producing this ground reaction. This nose tire load may not exceed 1.5 times the load rating of the tire.

(c) When a landing gear axle is fitted with more than one wheel and tire assembly, such as dual or dual-tandem, each wheel must be fitted with a suitable tire of proper fit with a speed rating approved by the Administrator that is not exceeded under critical conditions, and with a load rating approved by the Administrator that is not exceeded by—

(1) The loads on each main wheel tire, corresponding to the most critical combination of airplane weight (up to maximum weight) and center of gravity position, when multiplied by a factor of 1.07; and

(2) Loads specified in paragraphs (a)(2), (b)(1), (b)(2), and (b)(3) of this section on each nose wheel tire.

(d) Each tire installed on a retractable landing gear system must, at the maximum size of the tire type expected in service, have a clearance to surrounding structure and systems that is adequate to prevent unintended contact between the tire and any part of the structure or systems.

(e) For an airplane with a maximum certificated takeoff weight of more than 75,000 pounds, tires mounted on braked wheels must be inflated with dry nitrogen or other gases shown to be inert so that the gas mixture in the tire does not contain oxygen in excess of 5 percent by volume, unless it can be shown that the tire liner material will not produce a volatile gas when heated or that means are provided to prevent tire temperatures from reaching unsafe levels.

[Amdt. 25-48, 44 FR 68752, Nov. 29, 1979; Amdt. 25-72, 55 FR 29777, July 20, 1990, as amended by Amdt. 25-78, 58 FR 11781, Feb. 26, 1993]

§25.735   Brakes and braking systems.

(a) Approval. Each assembly consisting of a wheel(s) and brake(s) must be approved.

(b) Brake system capability. The brake system, associated systems and components must be designed and constructed so that:

(1) If any electrical, pneumatic, hydraulic, or mechanical connecting or transmitting element fails, or if any single source of hydraulic or other brake operating energy supply is lost, it is possible to bring the airplane to rest with a braked roll stopping distance of not more than two times that obtained in determining the landing distance as prescribed in §25.125.

(2) Fluid lost from a brake hydraulic system following a failure in, or in the vicinity of, the brakes is insufficient to cause or support a hazardous fire on the ground or in flight.

(c) Brake controls. The brake controls must be designed and constructed so that:

(1) Excessive control force is not required for their operation.

(2) If an automatic braking system is installed, means are provided to:

(i) Arm and disarm the system, and

(ii) Allow the pilot(s) to override the system by use of manual braking.

(d) Parking brake. The airplane must have a parking brake control that, when selected on, will, without further attention, prevent the airplane from rolling on a dry and level paved runway when the most adverse combination of maximum thrust on one engine and up to maximum ground idle thrust on any, or all, other engine(s) is applied. The control must be suitably located or be adequately protected to prevent inadvertent operation. There must be indication in the cockpit when the parking brake is not fully released.

(e) Antiskid system. If an antiskid system is installed:

(1) It must operate satisfactorily over the range of expected runway conditions, without external adjustment.

(2) It must, at all times, have priority over the automatic braking system, if installed.

(f) Kinetic energy capacity—(1) Design landing stop. The design landing stop is an operational landing stop at maximum landing weight. The design landing stop brake kinetic energy absorption requirement of each wheel, brake, and tire assembly must be determined. It must be substantiated by dynamometer testing that the wheel, brake and tire assembly is capable of absorbing not less than this level of kinetic energy throughout the defined wear range of the brake. The energy absorption rate derived from the airplane manufacturer's braking requirements must be achieved. The mean deceleration must not be less than 10 fps2.

(2) Maximum kinetic energy accelerate-stop. The maximum kinetic energy accelerate-stop is a rejected takeoff for the most critical combination of airplane takeoff weight and speed. The accelerate-stop brake kinetic energy absorption requirement of each wheel, brake, and tire assembly must be determined. It must be substantiated by dynamometer testing that the wheel, brake, and tire assembly is capable of absorbing not less than this level of kinetic energy throughout the defined wear range of the brake. The energy absorption rate derived from the airplane manufacturer's braking requirements must be achieved. The mean deceleration must not be less than 6 fps2.

(3) Most severe landing stop. The most severe landing stop is a stop at the most critical combination of airplane landing weight and speed. The most severe landing stop brake kinetic energy absorption requirement of each wheel, brake, and tire assembly must be determined. It must be substantiated by dynamometer testing that, at the declared fully worn limit(s) of the brake heat sink, the wheel, brake and tire assembly is capable of absorbing not less than this level of kinetic energy. The most severe landing stop need not be considered for extremely improbable failure conditions or if the maximum kinetic energy accelerate-stop energy is more severe.

(g) Brake condition after high kinetic energy dynamometer stop(s). Following the high kinetic energy stop demonstration(s) required by paragraph (f) of this section, with the parking brake promptly and fully applied for at least 3 minutes, it must be demonstrated that for at least 5 minutes from application of the parking brake, no condition occurs (or has occurred during the stop), including fire associated with the tire or wheel and brake assembly, that could prejudice the safe and complete evacuation of the airplane.

(h) Stored energy systems. An indication to the flightcrew of the usable stored energy must be provided if a stored energy system is used to show compliance with paragraph (b)(1) of this section. The available stored energy must be sufficient for:

(1) At least 6 full applications of the brakes when an antiskid system is not operating; and

(2) Bringing the airplane to a complete stop when an antiskid system is operating, under all runway surface conditions for which the airplane is certificated.

(i) Brake wear indicators. Means must be provided for each brake assembly to indicate when the heat sink is worn to the permissible limit. The means must be reliable and readily visible.

(j) Overtemperature burst prevention. Means must be provided in each braked wheel to prevent a wheel failure, a tire burst, or both, that may result from elevated brake temperatures. Additionally, all wheels must meet the requirements of §25.731(d).

(k) Compatibility. Compatibility of the wheel and brake assemblies with the airplane and its systems must be substantiated.

[Doc. No. FAA-1999-6063, 67 FR 20420, Apr. 24, 2002, as amended by Amdt. 25-108, 67 FR 70827, Nov. 26, 2002; 68 FR 1955, Jan. 15, 2003]

§25.737   Skis.

Each ski must be approved. The maximum limit load rating of each ski must equal or exceed the maximum limit load determined under the applicable ground load requirements of this part.

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