A review on the optimisation of aircraft maintenance with application to landing gears

  • P. Phillips
  • D. Diston
  • A. Starr
  • J. Payne
  • S. Pandya


Current maintenance programmes for key aircraft systems such as the landing gears are made up of several activities based around preventive and corrective maintenance scheduling. Within today’s competitive aerospace market innovative maintenance solutions are required to optimise aircraft maintenance, for both single aircraft and the entire fleet, ensuring that operators obtain the maximum availability from their aircraft. This has led to a move away from traditional preventive maintenance measures to a more predictive maintenance approach, supported by new health monitoring technologies. Future aircraft life will be underpinned by health monitoring, with the ability to quantify the health of aerospace systems and structures offering competitive decision-making advantages that are now vital for retaining customers and attracting new business. One such aerospace system is the actuator mechanisms used for extension, retraction and locking of the landing gears. The future of which will see the introduction of electromechanical replacements for the hydraulic systems present on the majority of civil aircraft. These actuators can be regarded as mission critical systems that must be guaranteed to operate at both take-off and landing. The health monitoring of these actuation systems can guarantee reliability, reduce maintenance costs and increase their operational life span. Aerospace legislation dictates that any decisions regarding maintenance, safety and flight worthiness must be justified and strict procedures followed. This has inevitably led to difficulties in health monitoring solutions meeting the necessary requirements for aerospace integration. This paper provides the motivation for the research area through reviewing current aircraft maintenance practices and how health monitoring is likely to play a future strategic role in maintenance operations. This is achieved with reference to current research work into developing a health monitoring system to support novel electromechanical actuators for use in aircraft landing gears. The difficulties associated with integrating new health monitoring technology into an aircraft are also reviewed, with perspectives given on the reasons for the current slow integration of health monitoring systems into aerospace.


Health Monitoring Preventive Maintenance Landing Gear Maintenance Management Corrective Maintenance 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    Gramopadyhe, A., k. & Drury, C., G. (2000) Human Factors in Aviation Maintenance: How we got to where we are. International Journal of Industrial Ergonomics, 26, 125-131.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Jones, R.I. (2002) The more electric aircraft - Assessing the benefits. Proceedings of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, Part G: Journal of Aerospace Engineering, 216(5), 259-269.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Greenbank, S.J. (1991) Landing gears-the aircraft requirement. Proceedings Institute of Mechanical Engineers, 205.Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    DTI (2007) Report on progress with the national aerospace technology strategy.Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Phillips, P., Diston, D., Payne, J., Pandya, S., Starr, A. (2008) The application of condition monitoring methodologies for certification of reliability in electric landing gear actuators. In The 5th International Conference on Condition Monitoring and Machine Failure Technologies. Edinburgh, UK.Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Patkai, B., Theodorou, L., McFarlane, D,. Schmidt, K. (2007) Requirements for RFID-based Sensor Integration in Landing Gear Monitoring - A Case Study. Auto-ID Lab, University of Cambridge.Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Knotts., R.M. (1999) Civil Aircraft Maintenance and Support Fault Diagnosis from a Business Perspective. Journal of Quality in Maintenance Engineering, 5(4), 335-348.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Jenson, D. (2008) Europe’s Challenges In a Dynamic MRO Market. April 2008 [cited 4th April 2009]; Available from: Scholar
  9. 9.
    Fitzsimons., B. (2007) The BIG Picture: Airline MRO in a Global Context. Airline Fleet & Network Management, 52, 46-54.Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Kothamasu, R., S.H. Huang, and W.H. VerDuin (2006) System health monitoring and prognostics - a review of current paradigms and practices, in International Journal of Advanced Manufacturing Technology. Springer-Verlag. 1012-24.Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Mobley, R.K. (2002) An Introduction to Predictive Maintenance. Materials & Mechanical. Elsevier Butterworth-Heinemann.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • P. Phillips
    • 1
  • D. Diston
    • 1
  • A. Starr
    • 2
  • J. Payne
    • 3
  • S. Pandya
    • 3
  1. 1.School of Mechanical, Aerospace and Civil EngineeringUniversity of ManchesterManchesterUK
  2. 2.University of HertfordshireHatfieldUK
  3. 3.Messier Dowty LtdGloucestershireUK

Personalised recommendations