The A380 has 4 nose-wheel doors. Look:

Source: Airliners.net

Why does it have 4 nose-wheel doors?

  • 5
    $\begingroup$ Possibly because one giant one would be a lot of load on a single door? Think of physics, the further away from a pivot any force applied multiplies by the distance. If the door were one giant door (considering it has to have the same opening size), the door hinge would have to be significantly bigger (more complicated). $\endgroup$
    – Ron Beyer
    Mar 6 '16 at 18:08
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    $\begingroup$ Actually there are 4 doors! Is that what you mean? Could be due to the curvature of the nose, and @RonBeyer comment is valid too. This is cool for souvenirs. Not a record though. $\endgroup$
    – mins
    Mar 6 '16 at 18:37
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    $\begingroup$ To add on to @mins comment, many other aircraft for all different purposes have 4 doors for the nose gear. $\endgroup$ Mar 6 '16 at 18:46
  • $\begingroup$ @SMSvonderTann Yes! The 757 has another nosewheel door, for example $\endgroup$
    – kepler22b
    Mar 6 '16 at 18:47

Having multiple door sections for the nose gear is a common design. Looking closely at the photo below may make the reason more clear:

A380 from below

When the nose gear retracts, it swings forward. You can see that the wheels will need a larger opening than the narrower strut. So instead of having one door with a strange shape or that is larger than it needs to be, it is split into two sections. This also allows the forward doors to be closed once the gear is extended, which reduces drag.

Splitting the doors down the middle allows for symmetry, and it reduces the amount of surface area each hinge or actuator must support. This results in 4 separate door sections.

Looking at the main landing gear, you can see it uses a similar design. For example, the outboard gears swing inwards on retraction. The doors that cover the main gear bays are larger, and are only open during extension or retraction, and are otherwise closed. The smaller doors at the locations of the struts remain open.

  • 4
    $\begingroup$ Please provide proper attribution of your photo. $\endgroup$
    – CGCampbell
    Mar 7 '16 at 12:50

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