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VE LANDING GEAR FAILURE (REINFORCEMENT)
(From CP20, Page 2, April, 1979)
There have been two reported main
gear failures, in which we suspect creep, since these occurred on overweight
airplanes in hot temperatures. The failure was on top of the main gear strut between the
mounting tabs, and showed up as a wrinkling or buckling of the BID wrap. This may have
been aggravated by not "setting" the gear (ref. CP #18 page 5). Main gear
"creep" will also show up as a slow long-term reduction of wheel camber or
increase of gear spread (distance between wheels). We now recommend the following:
1) Be sure to set your gear after every flight.
2) Inspect the top of the main gear strut, between the tabs, through the hole in rear seat bulkhead occasionally.
3) For new VariEzes under construction. Sand the entire gear strut dull and lay it trailing-edge down. Using RAEF, lay-up three plies of UND span-wise from axle to axle, draping each ply from trailing edge over the leading edge to trailing edge. Be sure fibers are straight. After cure, sand trailing edge smooth and apply the two plies of BID, one from the leading edge and one from the trailing-edge, per CP #15 page 6. Before laying up the attach tabs per CP #14 page 6. These three plies per side of UND will stiffen your gear about 15%.
4) If wrinkles, or loss of camber, or spread is noted in operation, remove the main gear strut, remove wheels, axles and brake lines. Strip off the tabs and thoroughly sand the entire strut. You may see evidence of compression fractures on the top surface of the gear. These can be repaired as follows: Lay up seven plies of UND, three plies from axle to axle (per #3 above) and the remaining four plies lay up 4" shorter on each side progressively, (see sketch). Then apply the BID and tabs, per #3 above.
(Click to enlarge)