The Often Ignored But Super Important Airplane Landing Gear
There is quite some engineering that goes into landing a plane smoothly.
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We love to fly but rarely think about the landing. However, there is some pretty extensive engineering that goes into developing a plane's landing gear to ensure our rides have smooth and problem-free endings.
The retractable gear that is now so commonplace was first engineered for Glenn Curtiss’ Triad airplane all the way back in 1911. At the time, the gear was used to help the amphibious plane take off or land on water. However, the wheels soon proved very popular and by the 1930s, retractable landing gear was being made for all kinds of aircraft models.
Today, these mechanisms can make up between 3 and 5% of the total weight of planes. They also require significant maintenance time and effort. However, they are well worth the work as they provide increased efficiency and safety.
Not anyone can develop landing gear. These highly specialized devices are made by specific manufacturers and the more time goes by the more the gear needs to have minimum weight, minimum volume, reduced life cycle costs, and shorter development times. Talk about being a demanding sector!
How are these specialized components made and by whom? How exactly do they function and who is responsible for their deployment? We take a deep look into the often ignored but crucial world of landing gears.