What is STEER on Airbus A330? (Steering)

When it comes to aircraft, one of the most important systems is the steering system, which allows the pilot to control the direction of the aircraft on the ground. The Airbus A330, a popular wide-body twin-engine jetliner, is equipped with a comprehensive steering system known as STEER (Steering).

In this article, we will explore the functionality and features of the steering system on the Airbus A330, including its components and how it assists in taxiing, takeoff, and landing operations.

The Functionality of the STEER System

The STEER system on the Airbus A330 enables the pilot to have precise control over the directional movement of the aircraft while it is on the ground. It consists of multiple components that work together to ensure smooth and efficient maneuvering.

At the heart of the STEER system is the nose wheel steering. The nose wheel is responsible for the steering of the aircraft during taxi, takeoff, and landing. It is connected to the cockpit controls through a complex network of hydraulic actuators and sensors. When the pilot inputs a steering command, it is transmitted to the nose wheel through these actuators, allowing for precise control of the aircraft’s direction.

Additionally, the STEER system incorporates a system known as Steering Differentiation, which enhances the aircraft’s maneuverability during tight turns. This system allows the pilot to maintain control of the aircraft even at low speeds and in challenging ground conditions.

The Components of the STEER System

The STEER system on the Airbus A330 comprises several key components that work in unison to provide effective steering capabilities. These components include:

  • Nose Wheel Steering Actuators
  • Steering Control Unit
  • Steering Feedback Unit

The nose wheel steering actuators are responsible for converting the input signals from the pilot into actual movement of the nose wheel. These actuators consist of hydraulic cylinders that move the nose wheel left or right based on the pilot’s commands.

The steering control unit is the brain of the STEER system. It receives inputs from the pilot’s control column and translates them into commands for the nose wheel steering actuators. The control unit also incorporates various algorithms and control laws to optimize the steering performance based on the aircraft’s weight and speed.

To provide the pilot with feedback on the position of the nose wheel, the steering feedback unit is utilized. This unit consists of sensors that monitor the actual position of the nose wheel and relay that information back to the cockpit. This feedback allows the pilot to have a real-time understanding of the aircraft’s movements while taxiing or maneuvering on the ground.

The Role of STEER System in Taxiing, Takeoff, and Landing

The STEER system plays a crucial role in various phases of an aircraft’s operation on the ground, including taxiing, takeoff, and landing. Let’s explore how this system assists in each of these phases:


During taxiing, the steering system allows the pilot to navigate the aircraft on the ground with precision and control. The nose wheel steering, operated through the STEER system, enables smooth turning and maneuvering, even in tight spaces like taxiways and ramps.

Additionally, the STEER system’s steering differentiation feature enhances the aircraft’s ability to make sharp turns at low speeds, further optimizing taxiing operations.


Once the aircraft is ready for takeoff, the STEER system assists in aligning the aircraft with the centerline of the runway. The nose wheel steering ensures that the aircraft remains on the correct path during the takeoff roll, allowing for a smooth and controlled ascent.

Moreover, the STEER system provides a vital safety feature called Rudder Limitation Function. This function limits the rudder’s travel during takeoff to prevent excessive yawing moments and maintain the aircraft’s stability.


During the landing phase, the STEER system aids in aligning the aircraft with the runway centerline and ensuring a safe touchdown. The pilot can use the nose wheel steering to make small adjustments to maintain the desired track while descending.

Furthermore, the STEER system provides the pilot with a feature known as Autobrake Steering Control. This feature assists the pilot in maintaining the aircraft’s direction during the deceleration phase, making it easier to control the aircraft’s movement on the runway after touchdown.


The steering system, or STEER system, is a vital component of the Airbus A330, providing pilots with precise control over the aircraft’s movements on the ground. With its various components and features, the steering system ensures safe and efficient taxiing, takeoff, and landing operations.

From the nose wheel steering actuators to the steering control unit and feedback unit, every component of the STEER system works together to enable seamless maneuverability. With the assistance of the STEER system, pilots can confidently navigate the Airbus A330 in a wide range of ground conditions and tight spaces.

Next time you step on board an Airbus A330, you can appreciate the importance of the steering system and its role in the aircraft’s safe and reliable operation on the ground.

For More: What is MSA on Airbus A330? (Minimum Safe Altitude)