Over the last several months, we’ve covered a lot of different aircraft parts and functions as part of our goal to educate and inform pilots, mechanics, and aircraft owners about the importance of aircraft maintenance and keeping your systems in tiptop shape. Whether you fly a Beechcraft, Bombardier Challenger, Cessna, Citation, King Air, or Piper, AAI can help you get the aircraft parts you need better, faster, cheaper, and without losing quality. Regardless of what airframe you own, AAI’s goal is to help you get access to hard-to-find aircraft parts without the headaches, long lead times, and high prices.
In this article, we’re going to take a look at the role of shimmy dampers when it comes to Cessna Aircraft models and how to correct nosewheel shimmy problems, as well as different Cessna models and parts AAI offers.
What is a Shimmy Damper (and Why Would You Need One)?
A shimmy damper (or dampener depending on who you ask) is necessary when the aircraft has wheel imbalance or uneven tire wear, compounded with loose joints in the torque links scissors, causing the nose to shimmy. This can cause the front end of an airplane to vibrate, which can be alarming to pilots who have never experienced it before, as well as passengers. Not to mention, this can cause damage to the plane itself.
According to Cessna, the nose wheel shimmy damper used on Cessna Citation aircraft is a hydraulic unit that absorbs and dampens nose wheel shimmy during airplane takeoff, landing, and taxiing. The damper cylinder and piston are mounted on a rotating steering gear at the top of the landing gear strut assembly. The piston rod is bolted to a fixed arm on the landing gear trunnion.
How Does a Nose Wheel Shimmy Operate?
According to Cessna’s Citation component maintenance manual, the nose wheel shimmy is transmitted through the shock strut to a steering gear mounted on top of the strut assembly. As the steering gear turns, the barrel of the shimmy damper slides left or right along the piston rod. The fluid within the barrel is forced through an orifice in the piston. As the restricted fluid flows through the orifices, it absorbs and dampens the movement of the barrel, steering gear and nose gear wheel.
Check out this image from AOPA that illustrates what a typical shimmy damper does:
What Causes Nosegear Shimmy?
There are a few potential causes of nosewheel shimmy according to the Cessna maintenance manual:
🛩️ Nose strut attaching bolts loose
🛩️ Nose wheel out of balance
🛩️ Wheel bearings too loose
🛩️ Defective shimmy damper
🛩️ Shimmy damper low on fluid
🛩️ Loose torque links
There are a lot of causes behind nosewheel shimmy outside of the damper, so it’s important to get a full steering evaluation so you can have a better picture of what needs to be done to repair your aircraft.
Cessna 500 Series Shimmy Damper Servicing
AAI offers full overhaul, repair, and testing. Additionally, we hold DER bore repair approvals to repair the housing due to scoring and corrosion.
Interested in learning more about what a Cessna 500 Series shimmy damper servicing check looks like in the field? Check out this video:
AAI supports several Cessna Citation Models, including:
- Cessna 500
- Cessna 501
- Cessna 525 Series
- Cessna 550 Series
- Cessna 560 Series
We also offer the following shimmy damper parts:
Whether You Call It a Damper or Dampener, AAI Will Work on It
When you can’t find the parts you need, the problems multiply. You send in your plane for routine maintenance and expect to have it back in a week. But inspections turn up several parts that need to be replaced, which could take weeks or even months. What now?
The entire process of locating, ordering, and receiving certified aircraft accessories is a huge headache.
Uncertified, untested parts are all over the internet, but do you really want to risk your safety for convenience? Certified replacement parts can take a ridiculously long time to ship – sometimes months – and the cost can be absurdly high.
Unless you shop with AAI.
We’ll help you avoid the delays and headaches, and instead get certified, safe, and tested aircraft accessories so that you can fix your aircraft and get back to flying.
AAI provides FAA certified overhaul, repair and testing on shimmy dampers.
1. Call AAI
2. Get a quote
3. Fix your plane and fly