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  • 27

Fixed Gear Is the New Retractable

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Three of the fastest new single-engine piston aircraft are equipped with fixed gear, rather than retractable landing gear. (www.flyingmag.com) More...

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preacher1
preacher1 7
It's simply amazing how they can do this but you can't tell an old dawg like me that hanging gear don't produce drag. They may be above their forerunners in speed and fuel savings category but would be that much more if they were retract and less gear. As I will probably be on insulin after this surgery and have my ticket yanked anyway it makes no difference but after 36+ tears of calling for gear on every takeoff, I can't see breaking that habit. LOL
jkudlick
I wonder how the added drag of fixed gear fares vs. the added weight of retractable gear, though.
BaronG58
BaronG58 6
That has been the age old argument. Yes, retract adds weight, yet offers a cleaner plane. Retractable gear add to maintenance cost. Does a few extra knots justify or offset cost. Maybe back in the day. I think it has been reduced to personal choice and pocket book issue. I fly a retract and I love it but would be just as happy with good performing fixed gear. Either way my preference is three round rubbery things are where they are suppose to be when its time to cross the numbers 8-)
preacher1
preacher1 2
Definitely a preference. LOL
ltcjra
ltcjra 2
Good post Preacher1.
alberto25
Lou Sanchez 1
As someone said, it comes down to preference. Real birds don't fly with their "gear" down. Neither will I.
s20609
s20609 1
I was expecting Peter Garrison to assess the modern qualities of smooth composites with respect to aerodynamics. Clearly smoothing of the nose cowl, windscreen and doors to body precision, and optimized fuselage contours of a TTX or Cirrus all lead to significant reductions in parasite drag. The remaining frontal area ratio of the landing gear should be the benefit for a retractable gear on any aircraft.
My preference is a used Columbia 350 over any available new 40 year old airframe. Esthetically and aerodynamically, the fixed gear has improved significantly since the '60's. Today single engine GA aircraft economies are best served with creative fixed gears.
jdriskell
Nothing like "down and welded".
preacher1
preacher1 1
3 green, down & locked. LOL. This will go on forever, but it's kinda like BaronG58 says down here below, " Either way my preference is three round rubbery things are where they are suppose to be when its time to cross the numbers". LOL
africantilapia
Adrian Piers 1
Three rubbery things??

Have a look at this fixed gear that is HUGE, and remember, that aircraft broke the world speed record!

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Supermarine_S.6B
jdriskell
Think what it would have done without the floats.
BigTuna
Tim Burga 1
"Positive rate, gear up."

"No."
pappyroehrer
Bob Roehrer 1
reminder physics 101: drag increases as square of speed. the faster these fixed gear go, the more likely they make 'em disappear (the gear). Or put it another way, a fixed gear bird will always bump up against that law- you'll never see a 300k fixed gear (that doesn't gobble fuel).
sriklin
Seth Riklin 1
As I was out two weeks ago in my Columbia 400 shooting approaches at KTME, I am confident that the Bonanza pilot in the pattern was wishing he had three down and welded. He flew multiple low passes trying to get someone to confirm his gear was down, as he had no green lights. After some very tense flying, he landed and the gear held.

steveemery1939
Steve Emery -1
To Adrian:
In everyday English, the "Three round rubbery things" commonly refer to the tires (or tyres in England).

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