Landing Gear | The Brakes
In the case of most modern airplanes, airplane brakes consist of multiple pads (called caliper pads) that are hydraulically squeezed toward each other with a rotating disk (called a rotor) between them. The pads place pressure on the rotor which is turning with the wheels. As a result of the increased friction on the rotor, the wheels inherently slow down and stop turning. The disks and brake pads are made either from steel, like those in a car, or from a carbon material that weighs less and can absorb more energy. Because airplane brakes are used principally during landings and must absorb enormous amounts of energy, their life is measured in landings rather than miles Used to slow the aircraft Typically located on the main gear only Applied by either a hand control or by foot pedals (toe or heel) Foot pedals operate independently and allow for differential braking and can supplement nose-wheel/tail-wheel steering for ground operations Disc brakes most common on trainers Most brake systems are hydraulically actuated Air brakes may be used to slow the aircraft for landing and while in flight Breaks controlled by top of the rudder pedal to apply pressure A parking break helps keep the break applied during ramp operations.