Landing gears are designed according to the characteristics of the aircraft. The weight of the airplane and its load capacity are the most determining parameter in this regard. For example; a six-wheels triple-bogie is used for a Boeing 777F with a maximum take-off weight of 776,000 lbs, on the other hand a two-wheels single-bogie is used for an Airbus A320 with a maximum take-off weight of 172000 lbs.
Apart from these commonly used characteristics, sometimes operators may request manufacturers to deviate from these specifications due to differences in usage conditions. There are many variations of modifications, such as transforming a Boeing 747 into a flying telescope instead of passenger and cargo transport, designing the cabin of business jets like an office, adding continuous flow oxygen systems instead of oxygen cylinders.
One of these variations is that Air India prefers double-bogie instead of single-bogie on A320 aircrafts landing gears. The fact that only Air India is using it in the world has been an interesting and curious subject. Why did they choose such a landing gear for a narrow body aircraft that is lighter than wide body aircraft? Let’s take a look!
Taxiways, runways, aprons, parking areas are constantly under the stress of these heavy aircraft. Runways have some characteristics just like airplanes. Some runways can resist intense stress, some cannot. Due to the low characteristic numbers of the runways in India, Air India has used such a solution. The stress on the runway was reduced in half by distributing the load on the landing gear of the aircraft to four tires instead of two.