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Steering The Nose Gear: How?  
User currently offlineRA-85154 From Netherlands, joined Sep 2001, 618 posts, RR: 3
Posted (9 years 10 months 3 weeks 5 days 19 hours ago) and read 10746 times:

Hi !

I know a lot about aircraft and cockpits, but one thing I still haven't figured out yet Big thumbs up

How (or with what) do the pilots steer the nose gear of an aircraft?

Thankz
Martijn

23 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offline737doctor From United States of America, joined Mar 2001, 1332 posts, RR: 40
Reply 1, posted (9 years 10 months 3 weeks 5 days 18 hours ago) and read 10690 times:

This is the way it works for the 737:

Hydraulic power from system A is used to turn the nose wheels to either side from zero to 78 degrees. An alternate nose steering switch on the captain's panel allows power from hydraulic system B to turn the nose wheels if power from hydraulic system A is lost. Steering is controlled by a tiller wheel by the captain's left knee and by an interconnect mechanism from the rudder pedals. The tiller gives you full steering authority up to 78 degrees. Rudder pedal steering is available during takeoff, landing, and taxiing when small directional changes are required. Full deflection of the rudder pedals produces about 7 degrees of nose wheel steering. A squat switch on the nose landing gear ensures that rudder pedal steering is only available while the a/c is on the ground.



Patrick Bateman is my hero.
User currently offlineRduBE90Pilot From United States of America, joined Jun 2004, 63 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (9 years 10 months 3 weeks 5 days 17 hours ago) and read 10635 times:

On smaller aircraft, such as the King Air:

Ground steering is accomplished by direct linkage between the rudder pedals and the nose wheel steering linkage. After take-off, a straightener roller centers the nose wheel as the gear retracts into the wheel well.


User currently offlineKlaus From Germany, joined Jul 2001, 21353 posts, RR: 54
Reply 3, posted (9 years 10 months 3 weeks 5 days 15 hours ago) and read 10560 times:

Is the deflection of the nose gear proportional to the deflection of the tiller as in a car or does the tiller directly control the valves of the steering actuators ("more left" / "more right").

If it´s proportional, how exactly does the servo mechanism work in the older (mechanical) models to achieve that proportional control? (In the newer ones, I´d expect an angle sensor and a digital valve controller with analog or digital input from the tiller.)

Is the tiller self-centering?

Is there an indication of the current nose gear deflection in the cockpit?


User currently offlineMD11Engineer From Germany, joined Oct 2003, 13813 posts, RR: 63
Reply 4, posted (9 years 10 months 3 weeks 5 days 15 hours ago) and read 10551 times:

Actualy it is usualy just a mechanical system with a valve controled by the tiller and the rudder pedals through cables and a feedback, which closes the valve again once the desired angle is reached.
The control input from the rudder pedals is smaller.
On the 737, once the nose gear becomes airborne, the squat switch will give a signal to a small electrical actuator, which will disengage the rudder pedal input from the nose wheel steering mechanism, so that the fully extended gear can center itself through a centering cam inside the shock strut.
On the MD-11 this disconnection is done purely mechanically.

Jan


User currently offlineSinlock From United States of America, joined Dec 2000, 1598 posts, RR: 2
Reply 5, posted (9 years 10 months 3 weeks 5 days 14 hours ago) and read 10531 times:

On the ERJ-135,140,145

The nose wheel steering is done with the Flight Yoke. There is a thumb button that engages/disengages it.



My Country can beat up your Country....
User currently offlineKlaus From Germany, joined Jul 2001, 21353 posts, RR: 54
Reply 6, posted (9 years 10 months 3 weeks 5 days 13 hours ago) and read 10509 times:

MD11Engineer: Actualy it is usualy just a mechanical system with a valve controled by the tiller and the rudder pedals through cables and a feedback, which closes the valve again once the desired angle is reached.

Thanks... I guess the same was/is true for the flap positioning servos.

Do the newest models still use mechanical servos everywhere or have they moved towards electronic/digital ones in the meantime? (It´s obvious for primary flight control on FBW types, but what about flaps and nose gear steering?)


User currently offlineMD11Engineer From Germany, joined Oct 2003, 13813 posts, RR: 63
Reply 7, posted (9 years 10 months 3 weeks 5 days 11 hours ago) and read 10470 times:

On the A320 and later the flaps and slats are controled electrically, same as the nose wheel steering. The A320 has 3 cable systems, if I remember correctly, it´s been a while, rudder, stabilizer trim and emergency landing gear extension.

Jan


User currently offlineKlaus From Germany, joined Jul 2001, 21353 posts, RR: 54
Reply 8, posted (9 years 10 months 3 weeks 5 days 11 hours ago) and read 10452 times:

That´s what I suspected.
Thanks.


User currently offlineBA97 From Canada, joined Apr 2004, 377 posts, RR: 0
Reply 9, posted (9 years 10 months 3 weeks 5 days 4 hours ago) and read 10368 times:

Question to those holding the tiller/wheel...how do you stay on the yellow line when you are turning or lining up at a gate? You are driving semi blind...no?


there is economy class, business class, first class...then Concorde..pure class
User currently offlineJetfixer75 From United States of America, joined May 2004, 29 posts, RR: 0
Reply 10, posted (9 years 10 months 3 weeks 5 days 4 hours ago) and read 10357 times:

Rigging the steering on a 737 is such a "joy"!!! I think I'd rather gouge out my eyes with a screwdriver rather than squeeze through those aft pressure panels.

User currently offlineQantasA332 From Australia, joined Dec 2003, 1500 posts, RR: 26
Reply 11, posted (9 years 10 months 3 weeks 5 days 3 hours ago) and read 10336 times:

Question to those holding the tiller/wheel...how do you stay on the yellow line when you are turning or lining up at a gate? You are driving semi blind...no?


View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Luis Rosa



 Big thumbs up

Cheers,
QantasA332


User currently offline320tech From Turks and Caicos Islands, joined May 2004, 491 posts, RR: 5
Reply 12, posted (9 years 10 months 3 weeks 5 days 2 hours ago) and read 10316 times:

Klaus:

On the A320 and Dash-8, at least, there is something called a LVDT or RVDT (Linear or Rotary Variable Differential Transducer) that measures the position of the nosewheel. This information is sent to the BSCU (Brake and Steering Control Unit - A320) or ECU (Electronic Control Unit - Dash), where it is compared to the tiller or rudder input. The BSCU/ECU then commands the hydraulic valve to port more or less pressure to the steering cylinder, and the wheels move as commanded.

Is the tiller self-centring? Yes.

Is there indication in the cockpit? No.

[Edited 2004-06-03 07:26:18]


The primary function of the design engineer is to make things difficult for the manufacturer and impossible for the AME.
User currently offlineMD11Engineer From Germany, joined Oct 2003, 13813 posts, RR: 63
Reply 13, posted (9 years 10 months 3 weeks 5 days 2 hours ago) and read 10311 times:

In myold company (LH Technik SXF) we had a short, skinny young guy to do the rigging of the 737 nose wheel steering cables. He wassmallenough to fit comfortably through those panels into that tight space beside the wheel well. Only problem was, he was singing the whole time while he was working  Wink/being sarcastic .

Jan


User currently offlineRA-85154 From Netherlands, joined Sep 2001, 618 posts, RR: 3
Reply 14, posted (9 years 10 months 3 weeks 5 days ago) and read 10294 times:

Thanks for the replies guys~!!!  Smile

I keep learning!



User currently offlineKEESJE From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 15, posted (9 years 10 months 3 weeks 4 days 21 hours ago) and read 10273 times:

"Is there indication in the cockpit? No."

and even if there is an indicator the pilot has to take a look at the right moment, check out this photo & caption  Wow!


View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Erwin



User currently offlineKlaus From Germany, joined Jul 2001, 21353 posts, RR: 54
Reply 16, posted (9 years 10 months 3 weeks 4 days 19 hours ago) and read 10240 times:

320tech: On the A320 and Dash-8, at least, there is something called a LVDT or RVDT (Linear or Rotary Variable Differential Transducer) that measures the position of the nosewheel. [...]

Looks like a standard electronic servo setup, indeed. Thanks.  Smile

320tech: Is the tiller self-centring? Yes.
Is there indication in the cockpit? No.


With the tiller self-centering, that would probably eliminate the need for such a display.


While you´re "here": Could you please say a word or two about the A320 rudder control system in this thread: Airliners.net Aviation Forum - Rudder Limiters & Ntsb Which Comm A/craft? Please!  Big thumbs up


User currently offlineEMBQA From United States of America, joined Oct 2003, 9364 posts, RR: 11
Reply 17, posted (9 years 10 months 3 weeks 4 days 11 hours ago) and read 10171 times:

On the ERJ-135,140,145

The nose wheel steering is done with the Flight Yoke. There is a thumb button that engages/disengages it.


So what is the steering tiller next to the Capt's knee for......??

View Large View Medium

Photo © Europix


If I remember correctly from ERJ School, the yoke only gives you 5 to 8 degs of turning radius, and only really used during the final moments of take off and landings. The real steering is done by the tiller which gives you significantly more turning radius.



[Edited 2004-06-03 22:56:54]


"It's not the size of the dog in the fight, but the size of the fight in the dog"
User currently offlineMender From United Kingdom, joined Feb 2004, 237 posts, RR: 0
Reply 18, posted (9 years 10 months 3 weeks 3 days 22 hours ago) and read 10107 times:

Klaus
"how exactly does the servo mechanism work in the older (mechanical) models to achieve that proportional control? "

This works in exactly the same way as any other cable controlled hydraulic actuator such as an aileron or rudder actuator. This would be very easy to explain using a pen and paper. I'll try my best with text.

If you imagine the actuator has a hydraulic control valve mounted on the body of the actuator. Bolt the body of the actuator with the control valve to the wing and the moveable end of the actuator to the control surface.

If you apply a minute input to the control valve the actuator will slowly extend to maximum extention. A larger input will make the actuator extend to max quicker. With the actuator connected like this you do not have any "feedback" to the control valve.

Now imagine the same setup as above but turn the actuator around and connect the moveable end of the actuator to the wing and the body and control valve to the control surface.

Now what happens is that when you put a small input into the control valve via your control cable the actuator and control valve extends away from the control cable pulley and "nulls" the input so stops extending. Move the cable more and the actuator extends a little move then nulls. This is a feedback system.

I hope you can understand this. It'd be very easy to understand is you could see it.


User currently offlineKlaus From Germany, joined Jul 2001, 21353 posts, RR: 54
Reply 19, posted (9 years 10 months 3 weeks 3 days 21 hours ago) and read 10091 times:

Thanks again.

I generally know how a mechanical servo works; I just tried to find out how exactly it would have been implemented in this case.

Nothing beats being able to actually have a look at the real thing with hands-on explanations... But this forum here is still not a bad substitute.  Wink/being sarcastic


User currently offlineStarlionblue From Greenland, joined Feb 2004, 16908 posts, RR: 67
Reply 20, posted (9 years 10 months 1 week 1 day ago) and read 9866 times:

Question to those holding the tiller/wheel...how do you stay on the yellow line when you are turning or lining up at a gate? You are driving semi blind...no?

Actually a lot of pilots prefer to taxi with the nose gear to one side of lines. Since these tend to have lights inset in the middle, riding directly on the line will yíeld a bump-bump-bump-bump to the ride. No big deal but I guess it either wears out the tires or is aesthetically irritating.  Big grin



"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots."
User currently offlineXFSUgimpLB41X From United States of America, joined Aug 2000, 4183 posts, RR: 37
Reply 21, posted (9 years 10 months 1 week 12 hours ago) and read 9785 times:

Starlion- the bumps are offset from the centerline actually. If you are right on the centerline then you won't have the "stevie wonder" centerline.


Chicks dig winglets.
User currently offlineGeorg From Estonia, joined Feb 2004, 27 posts, RR: 0
Reply 22, posted (9 years 10 months 4 days 12 hours ago) and read 9660 times:

I know that Dash8 can be also switched to mode where you can turn nosewheel with yoke.


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User currently offlineT prop From United States of America, joined Apr 2001, 1018 posts, RR: 1
Reply 23, posted (9 years 9 months 2 weeks 5 days 7 hours ago) and read 9425 times:

I know that Dash8 can be also switched to mode where you can turn nosewheel with yoke.

Never heard of that, and I've worked on Dash 8's for years. Is it something new, or is this somthing the Q400 has? Sounds handy if the F/O wants to steer.

T prop.


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