Have there been any passenger aircraft that used pneumatics for all of their on board systems that required force actuation, such as:

  • landing gear;
  • wheel brakes;
  • nose wheel steering;
  • propeller brakes;
  • passenger door operation?

1 Answer 1


Yes there have been, and some of them are still flying.

enter image description here

This article is about the fully pneumatic actuation systems on board the F27s built by Fokker and by Fairchild. If there was a leak, it was leaking clean air. System pressure was 3,300 PSI = 228 bar.

Some of the advantages cited:

Many factors favored the use of pneumatic systems on the F-27, most significant of which was an approximate 100-lb weight saving over electrical and hydraulic systems.

  • Lighter weight
  • Faster operation
  • No flammable liquids
  • Cleaner and easier to maintain

The systems were designed 50 years ago, fully aeronautical lightweight design. Could most definitely be used to pump up the tyres in this question to 16 bar.

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ From the source it is clear that compressed air powered landing gear, wheel brakes, nose wheel steering, propeller brakes, and passenger door on this plane. Not the control surfaces, however. $\endgroup$
    – h22
    Commented Nov 11, 2017 at 8:16
  • $\begingroup$ No the control surfaces were fully reversible. The good old days, when pilots of airliners could feel the air flowing past their surfaces. Sigh.. $\endgroup$
    – Koyovis
    Commented Nov 11, 2017 at 9:11
  • $\begingroup$ Never realized the F-27 had such tiny horizontal stabs $\endgroup$
    – TomMcW
    Commented Nov 11, 2017 at 17:08

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