Cracking in an Aircraft Nose Landing Gear Strut
A crack was detected in one arm of the right-hand horizontal brace of the nose landing gear shock strut from a large military aircraft. The shock strut was manufactured from a 7049 aluminum alloy forging in the shape of a delta. A laboratory investigation was conducted to determine the cause of failure. It was concluded that the arm failed because of the presence of an initial defect that led to the initiation of fatigue cracking. The fatigue cracking grew in service until the part failed by overload. The initial defect was probably caused during manufacture. Fleet-wide inspection of the struts was recommended.