Landing gear fixtures find new home

  • Published
  • By Jenny Gordon
  • Robins Public Affairs
You could possibly land an aircraft without them, but be prepared for a very bumpy ride ahead. Known as the largest airlifter in the Air Force, a weapon system as massive as a C-5 Galaxy poses a commanding presence as it prepares to land on a runway.

That landing sequence however can only perform as smoothly as its landing gears that rest under the aircraft. Prior to that descent, every inch of a C-5's landing gear is carefully mounted, assembled and tested at the Warner Robins Air Logistics Complex. 

The task falls to the mechanics who work in the 559th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron's C-5 Main Landing Gear Shop. 

"This is what the aircraft needs to land - the entire weight of the aircraft is on these gears," said David Hattan, 559th AMXS first line supervisor. "When they leave our shop, they are ready to go."    

The shop has a new home now. Its two massive fixtures have been relocated to a newly-renovated area in Dock 2 in Bldg. 125. Assembly began on the first fixture in October, with the second moving to its permanent home in mid-December. 

It's one of the first shops to enjoy the benefits of the new state-of-the-art maintenance hangar. 

The move was part of a transition which began in 2014 as a maintenance and repair roof replacement project is underway that will close the building's four docks in various phases. 

The retractable multiple-bogie landing gear system on a C-5 is composed of separate struts and bogie assemblies, which feed into tires and brakes, along with various wiring, such as hydraulic and electrical lines that feed into them. 

"It's really an amazing piece of art," said John Hoffman, 559th AMXS aircraft mechanic. 

His son, an Army combat engineer, flies on the C-5 his father works on. "There's not a job on this base I'd rather be doing," Hoffman said. 

The landing gear fixture itself can adjust to the worker, since the platform moves allowing gears to be brought straight inside. 

Diagnostics and troubleshooting work is greatly enhanced as a result. 

The landing gears arrive at Robins from the Ogden Air Logistics Complex in Utah, where mechanics there perform depot maintenance on each assembly. 

Sometimes they arrive new or overhauled, and a team of seven Robins mechanics build them back up 100 percent for placement on an aircraft. 

The landing gear shop here produces 16 main landing gears per year, along with four nose gears. 

It typically takes about 15 days for the shop to strip landing gears before it's packed and shipped back to Ogden ALC; on the build-up side, which takes 30 days. 

The shop's third test stand fixture is scheduled to be moved later this year.