December 31, 2012
Henry Canaday Washington
Landing-gear shops should be busy in the next few years as commercial jet aircraft ordered in 2004 and 2005 begin to require gear removal and overhaul.
The Aviation Week Intelligence Network's forecasts show demand for overhauls of nearly 4,100 nose gear and more than 4,000 shipsets of main landing gear for that fleet from 2013-15. The forecast spans Airbus, Boeing, Douglas and McDonnell Douglas mainline, and Bombardier, Embraer, Fokker and BAE regional jets.
Approximately 80% of main landing gear overhauls will be performed on mainline jets, the rest on RJs. Roughly three-fifths of mainline overhauls will be on Boeing models, about one-third on Airbus jets and the remainder on older aircraft.
Nearly half of all RJ gear overhauls will be required for Bombardier CRJs, and more than one-third will be done on Embraer ERJs. BAE and Fokker will split the remaining sixth of overhauls roughly evenly.
Within mainline fleets, narrowbodies generally dominate, more strongly for Airbus than Boeing. More than half of Boeing overhauls will be required for main gear on 717s, 727s, 737 Classics and 737NGs. Almost one-third of all Boeing landing-gear overhauls will be on 737NGs alone. For Airbus, the narrowbody share is nearly three-quarters of total Airbus overhauls.
Among Boeing widebodies, about a quarter of total Boeing overhauls will be for older 757s and 767s. The newer 777 will account for less than 10% of total Boeing main-gear overhauls.
For Airbus, newer A330s and A340s together represent about 15% of total Airbus gear overhauls, while A300s and A310s combine for more than 10%.