Home > Uncategorized > The Aircraft Landing Gear

The Aircraft Landing Gear

Every private pilot should be familiar with several types of landing gear for aircraft. The undercarriage or landing gear in aviation, is the structure that supports an aircraft on the ground and allows it to taxi, takeoff and land. Typically wheels are used, but skids, skis, floats or a combination of these and other elements can be deployed, depending on the surface.

To decrease drag in flight some undercarriages retract into the wings and/or fuselage with wheels flush against the surface or concealed behind doors; this is called retractable gear.If the wheels rest protruding and partially exposed to the air stream after being retracted, the system is called semi-retractable. This  feature is more common among larger aircraft.

Conventional landing gear is an aircraft undercarriage consisting of two main wheels forward of the centre of gravity and a small wheel or skid to support the tail.The term persists, having begun in the time when the majority or “convention” of airplanes were thus configured, even though nowadays most aircraft are configured with a tricycle landing gear.

The term taildragger is aviation jargon for an aircraft with a conventional undercarriage, although some writers have argued that the term should only refer to an aircraft with a tail skid and not a tail wheel.

Tricycle gear describes an aircraft undercarriage, or landing gear, arranged in a tricycle fashion. The tricycle arrangement has one wheel in the front, called the nose wheel, and two or more main wheels slightly aft of the center of gravity. Because of the ease of operating tricycle gear aircraft on the ground, the configuration is the most widely used on aircraft models.

There are other types like unconventional landing gear which instead of wheels will utilize skis, skids or floats. It all depends on what the pilot has in mind for the aircraft.

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