Aircraft Maintenance: Landing Gear Actuators and Gearbox Transmissions 

An aircraft’s landing gear actuator or gearbox transmission are critical components responsible for deploying and retracting the landing gear system. These components undergo significant stress during every flight, resulting in wear and tear that requires regular maintenance and repairs. Ensuring the proper functioning of the landing gear actuator or gearbox transmission is essential for safe and reliable aircraft operations. 

In this article, we will explore what a landing gear actuator and gearbox transmission is, preventative maintenance tips and overhaul requirements commonly needed for these crucial aircraft components.  

What is a Landing Gear Actuator and Gearbox Transmission?  

A landing gear actuator or Gearbox Transmission is a mechanical or hydraulic device responsible for deploying and retracting an aircraft’s landing gear. It converts the input energy, typically hydraulic or electrical, into linear motion to extend or retract the landing gear system. The actuator is an integral part of the landing gear system and is crucial for safe takeoffs and landings.  

While most Cessna and Piper aircraft utilize hydraulic actuators for retractable landing gear, popular Beechcraft models such as the Bonanza, Baron and King Air aircraft use an electromechanical gearbox transmission.  Typical components found in hydraulic landing gear systems are hydraulic actuators, pumps, braces, while electromechanical systems use a gearbox transmission, electric motor, rods and linkages.  

Typical components found in hydraulic actuators: 

➡️ Piston 

➡️ Piston Rod 

➡️ Cylinder 

➡️ Seals 

➡️ Internal Locking Devices  

Typical components found in gearbox transmissions:  

➡️ Gears 

➡️ Shafts 

➡️ Bearings 

➡️ Seals  

➡️ Rods and Linkages   

Preventative Maintenance Tips for a Landing Gear Actuator and Gearbox Transmissions: 

Depending on your aircraft model, maintenance and repairs for your landing gear actuator might vary. However, for hydraulic landing gear actuators and gearbox transmissions there are some common preventative maintenance tasks you’ll need to keep in mind:  

⚙️ Wipe piston rods after each flight to remove moisture and debris 

⚙️ Follow the lubrication schedule outlined in the maintenance manual  

⚙️ Check for damage, cracks   and corrosion on a regular basis  

⚙️ Inspect for oil leaks and service with oil regularly 

⚙️ Inspect connecting joints and bolts for looseness  

⚙️ Functional check retract system as outlined in maintenance manual 

How Long Does a Landing Gear Actuator and Gearbox Transmission Last and when should overhaul be completed? 

The lifespan of a landing gear actuator or gearbox transmission depends on a few different factors. Aircraft type, the actuator’s design, frequency of use, and maintenance practices followed can all have an impact on how long a landing gear actuator lasts.  

With proper maintenance, landing gear actuators can often last for the lifespan of the aircraft, which can be several decades. However, it’s important to note that actuators are subject to wear and tear over time, and components such as seals, bearings, and gears may require periodic replacement or refurbishment to ensure continued reliable performance.  

Most aircraft have specific calendar or cycle overhaul requirements for landing gear actuators or gearbox transmissions to maintain airworthiness.  For aircraft that do not have specific requirements, it is important to inspect at minimum during annual inspection to determine if overhaul is needed.    

Insider tip: 

Corrosion and wear tend to be the worst problem with landing gear actuators and gearbox transmissions.  At AAI, we commonly receive parts in for leaks and are able to identify more severe root causes that need to be fixed and fully restored. Instead of just replacing seals, we perform detailed inspections and develop surface repairs or parts manufacturing to ensure parts are ready to be put back in service for many years to come. 

AAI Services Cessna, Piper, and Beechcraft Landing Gear Actuators  

There’s no part too small when it comes to keeping your landing gear maintained for safe operation. Detailed, thorough, and expert work is required to get the job done the right way. At AAI, we know your ultimate goal is to get your plane fixed so you can fly. That’s why we go above and beyond to help you avoid extra costs by creating repairs and manufacturing the parts on your aircraft that are prone to corrosion and wear, like landing gear components.   

When it comes to landing gear repair and overhaul, quick turnaround times are important. You don’t want a hangar full of planes propped up on jacks, creating a traffic jam for everyone trying to maneuver around them. AAI completes landing gear inspections and repairs in-house so that parts get turned around quickly and you can return your aircraft to normal operation.   

AAI Services Beechcraft Landing Gear Gearbox Transmissions 

When it comes to your Beechcraft aircraft, we understand how frustrating it is to deal with long lead times, delays, untested parts, and high prices without quality service. When you have a grounded plane, the last thing you want to deal with is a service station that only cares about getting your money.   

With AAI, you get the quality parts you need at a price that makes sense for everyone. We genuinely care about the service you’re receiving, which is why we put ourselves in our customers’ shoes daily. You’ll always speak to a real person on the phone and get the human touch that comes from years of technical experience and industry experts.   

We make it easy for you to get the parts you need:  

1. Call AAI  

2. Get a quote  

3. Fix your plane and fly  

Check out our certified parts and accessories for Beechcraft Aircraft here.  

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