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  1. #1

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    A Question about Hard Landings and Strong Landing Gear

    From time to time I watch some videos, and I notice that some people make some odd landing choices. I'm not making fun of anyone. My Question, and this Video is only an example, is do some of these people know how to make their landing gears extra extra strong?

    http://youtu.be/sOe_tptaR98


  2. #2
    Charlie P.'s Avatar
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    RE: A Question about Hard Landings and Strong Landing Gear

    Sure. Occasionally you see landing gear all beefed up and the firewall seperated from the fuselage on a hard landing, or the wing saddle crushes, or the wings seperate at the failed root joint. But the landing gear is OK!

    Same logic that puts a 30A fuse in a 5A circuit so you don't have to replace the fuse as often. But when all the magic blue smoke escapes . . .
    Charlie P. (NY) "Gravity is weak but persistant".

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  3. #3

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    RE: A Question about Hard Landings and Strong Landing Gear

    My Apprentice has some rather hard landings, and the nose gear shows it quite well. It tends to bend back rather easily on a landing now, which has resulted in a few nose overs and buster spinners.  For such a light plane, it can sure hit the ground hard, no matter how softly I try to bring it down. 

    The Kadet though kisses the ground so softly that you can barely hear the wheels roll.  Maybe the balance point is off on the Apprentice, too much nose. 

    The T-34 I have though, the wing slots for the gear are tough, but the gear isnt, already snapped one main gear, and made a new set, bent those too.  

    My landings have gotten a LOT better though, so the next set will likely go a long time before they get all bent out of shape.  Rather the gear bend than break the plane. 
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  4. #4
    SeamusG's Avatar
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    RE: A Question about Hard Landings and Strong Landing Gear

    Got that right Charlie. The gear flexes for a reason.

  5. #5

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    RE: A Question about Hard Landings and Strong Landing Gear

    People are too used to seeing ARFs these days, that is a Smith Mini Plane and it is kit built, a kit built plane will put up with things that will destroy an ARF. It's not a secret or surprise. I'm guessing this is a new pilot that just bought that plane at a swap meet and couldn't wait for spring to fly it. I was waiting to see it taking out the power in a 10 block area too! I was also thinking the snow and ice would have slowed the plane down but the pilot decided on the pancake splatt type of landing. I'm pretty sure the person that built this Smitty knew what he was doing. It looked and flew very well and put up with a newbie landing.
    Drinking and driving are illegal, why do bars have parking lots
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  6. #6

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    RE: A Question about Hard Landings and Strong Landing Gear

    Better " Throttle management " helps a lot on landing and in his case it really would have . ENJOY !!! RED

  7. #7

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    RE: A Question about Hard Landings and Strong Landing Gear


    ORIGINAL: red head

    Better " Throttle management " helps a lot on landing and in his case it really would have . ENJOY !!! RED
    Yep, wasn't untilI flew a glow engine that I learned the throttle on landing. The Electric RTF's land with no power, or they dont land at all.

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  8. #8

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    RE: A Question about Hard Landings and Strong Landing Gear

    The landing gear, or any structure for that matter, will fail at its weakest point. So........ the question is, do you want a really strong landing gear plate, that when it fails, takes out 1/2 of the fuselage structure, or a moderate one that lets go with minimal damage. I prefer the moderate one. Throttle control, and knowing how slow the plane will actually fly are key factors in a good landing.
    zx32tt

  9. #9
    SeamusG's Avatar
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    RE: A Question about Hard Landings and Strong Landing Gear

    A friend had a rough landing with his Pulse XT60 the other day. The bottom of the Pulse is flat. The 1/4"plywood landing gear plate is inserted into a "slot" in the bottom sheeting. The plate was painted to match the covering - but not covered. The landing gear is attached to the plate with metal bolts.

    pic 1 - kinda sorta how it looked originally
    pic 2 - if nylon bolts were used, the gear basically collapses - a little rash on the bottom film.
    pic 3 - if metal bolts were used (and they were) the gear and plate are torn off. Not a biggie to re-install the plate. Again, little rash on the bottom film.
    pic 4 - well braced with (yellow) tri-stock. The gear tears out the sides and part of the bottom structure of the plane. Plenty of structural and cosmetic repair.

    It's our choice ...
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  10. #10

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    RE: A Question about Hard Landings and Strong Landing Gear

    The problem is not the landing gear, it is the pilot.

  11. #11

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    RE: A Question about Hard Landings and Strong Landing Gear

    I use 4-40 high grade steel screws/bolts even in 40% planes to hold in the LG, I have had problems using the 1/4 20 nylon bolts in the past and quit using them. I also just drill-tap and thin CA the mounting holes. In case of a bad landing or mild crash the wood block will strip out then I can just drill out the block bigger and use the brass inserts or blind nuts to repair.
    I always use angle stock on my LG blocks too. I can't recall the last time I have had a LG block come out or need repairing. I have been know to even have a bad landing or two.
    The Smith Mini Plane in the video is built like a little tank so it wasn't a big surprise to see it still in one piece after that flop. A set of ski's would be better then wheels though.
    Drinking and driving are illegal, why do bars have parking lots
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  12. #12

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    RE: A Question about Hard Landings and Strong Landing Gear

    Having watched the video, there's no nice way to say it ... incompetent.

    You can't expect to design flying structures that will tolerate that sort of abuse.














    It'd probably be kinder to say, "lack of competence."

  13. #13
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    RE: A Question about Hard Landings and Strong Landing Gear

    ORIGINAL: Lamoilleriver

    The problem is not the landing gear, it is the pilot.
    +1...
    I never see a proper setup and landing anymore...espeically since 3d and the electrics...everyone just plops down and then grunt over the bent/broken gear.
    Mike -
    I was born a pilot... 100 years to late.

  14. #14
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    RE: A Question about Hard Landings and Strong Landing Gear


    ORIGINAL: bogbeagle

    Having watched the video, there's no nice way to say it ... incompetent.

    You can't expect to design flying structures that will tolerate that sort of abuse.
    right.. to treat what looks to be a really nice looking classic smithy that way....sad
    Mike -
    I was born a pilot... 100 years to late.

  15. #15
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    RE: A Question about Hard Landings and Strong Landing Gear

    I have seen many 'normal landings' where the landing gear fell off. As a result, I build my planes with a "much stronger" landing gear. I love making landings, and because of this, I make 5-10 landings during every flight. My landings are usually very good, but occasionally I screw up and make a hard landing. I very rarely rip off the gear. I like to use "torsion-bar" type main gear, and am very creative in anchoring it to keep the weight down and yet be very strong, even when used on foam planes.

  16. #16
    Moderator j.duncker's Avatar
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    RE: A Question about Hard Landings and Strong Landing Gear

    Carbon fibre landing gear is better than ali. It is lighter and flexes more but returms to its original shape.

    Fit it with nylon bolts so that if you do wipe it off the bolts break. Hot screwdriver to remove the broken bits and a set of new bolts and you are off again.

    Although the most flexible cart I ever had was wire and was crafted for multiple touch and goes in fun fly comps.

    LIKE THIS http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IcpiMTWw69Y
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  17. #17

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    RE: A Question about Hard Landings and Strong Landing Gear

    I would rather have the bolts shear off than have to repair the bottom of the fuse. Just went through it with my Dewey, the gear was bolted on metal bolts and nuts, ripped the bottom out when it went in from a rudder failure.  I used 1/4-20 nylon for the repair.  I had a missed landing with my kadet one day and if it weren't for the nylon bolts, it would have really messed the fuse up, especially considering it was a tail drag conversion.  I also used a plastic landing gear so it has lots of give, but I have yet had a hard landing with it.
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  18. #18

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    RE: A Question about Hard Landings and Strong Landing Gear

    I agree that it is not the landing gear, but rather the pilot. I have a flying buddy that has been flying for quite a long time, at least 3 years and he has yet to accomplish a good landing on a plane other than his GWS Slow Stik. It seems like everytime he puts another plane in the air, he botches the landing. I wonder if it's because of the springy nature of the Slow Stik gear that he tries to land all the planes like his Slow Stik. I have been flying a lot less time than he but have no problem landing any of my planes. The only exception is my new Flyzone Focke-Wulf 190 Select Scale that has pretty fragile retractable landing gear. Even though I flew this plane very well, the landing was not perfect and it broke a linkage on the LG. A little CA and she was good to go, but IMO nothing should have broken. I disagree however that "electric" planes can all land without power, Not true. My PZ T-28 Trojan has to have some power or it tends to drop hard on  the runway. l can however, land my HZ Super Cub, Champ, Firebird Stratos and Ares Gamma all on dead stick no problem.

  19. #19

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    RE: A Question about Hard Landings and Strong Landing Gear

    Some guys just can't be bothered to learn those non-flashy technical parts of the hobby like landings. A slow stick practically lands itself. I suppose you could botch it by diving the plane straight in, but other than that it's hard to mess up. But some guys take years to develop a feel for managing that stall in the final seconds of the landing procedure, and bounce them in as a result.
    No kid, I said break ground and fly into the wind!

  20. #20

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    RE: A Question about Hard Landings and Strong Landing Gear

    Any landing can be soft if you have enough runway!   Wish I did without the 6 foot tall barriers on 3 sides!  Makes landings tricky with the bigger planes.
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    I don't crash I just land wrong

  21. #21

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    RE: A Question about Hard Landings and Strong Landing Gear


    ORIGINAL: Chucksolo69

    I agree that it is not the landing gear, but rather the pilot. I have a flying buddy that has been flying for quite a long time, at least 3 years and he has yet to accomplish a good landing on a plane other than his GWS Slow Stik. It seems like everytime he puts another plane in the air, he botches the landing. I wonder if it's because of the springy nature of the Slow Stik gear that he tries to land all the planes like his Slow Stik. I have been flying a lot less time than he but have no problem landing any of my planes. The only exception is my new Flyzone Focke-Wulf 190 Select Scale that has pretty fragile retractable landing gear. Even though I flew this plane very well, the landing was not perfect and it broke a linkage on the LG. A little CA and she was good to go, but IMO nothing should have broken. I disagree however that "electric" planes can all land without power, Not true. My PZ T-28 Trojan has to have some power or it tends to drop hardonthe runway. l can however, land my HZ Super Cub, Champ, Firebird Stratos and Ares Gamma all on dead stick no problem.
    Ifixed the landing problem with my E-Flite T-34 where it would float and float and float. Iput a glow motor on it, now it lands more scale like!

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    I don't crash I just land wrong

  22. #22

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    RE: A Question about Hard Landings and Strong Landing Gear


    ORIGINAL: jester_s1

    Some guys just can't be bothered to learn those non-flashy technical parts of the hobby like landings. A slow stick practically lands itself. I suppose you could botch it by diving the plane straight in, but other than that it's hard to mess up. But some guys take years to develop a feel for managing that stall in the final seconds of the landing procedure, and bounce them in as a result.
    I remember when I was first learning and watching others land. I set my mind to learn how to land my planes properly and not just once but make it become part of the mind to thumb routine each and every time. Approach is key. I see guys all the time busting up their gear and I notice the one problem is approach of course with all the other factors involved.

    I would take small orange cones to the field and set them up at each end and practice over and over my final leg, final approach, alignment, descent, altitude, etc. I will admit, repeatedly doing that over and over was the best thing I ever did for landing and saved me a lot of money. I have only botched my gear a few times in three years with hundreds upon hundreds of flights and those issues were mainly in equipment failures or extremely high wind conditions.

    I rarely ever have to tighten landing gear bolts or go hog wild on bracing and such. I just lightly strengthen some planes gear mounts. Sometimes I get a little tired and my landings are not the best, but then my flying is off too and that is when I am willing to take the risk of a bad landing. The one thing I won't do is fly my expensive planes when I am tired that is what my beaters are for.

  23. #23

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    RE: A Question about Hard Landings and Strong Landing Gear

    Yep, except for the first landing with my 4*, all my bad landings were due to a bad approach.  The 4* was an unexpected bounce. That bugger can bounce.
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    I don't crash I just land wrong

  24. #24

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    RE: A Question about Hard Landings and Strong Landing Gear

    I've been into several other hobbies and learned skills in all of them, which is helpful in knowing how to learn skills. Between shooting, karate, archery, and guitar I've learned to focus on one single skill or even one single part of the skill and repeat it until it's perfect. There is a fairly short window of time to reinforce an action and develop muscle and visual memory, so if a pilot wants to really get a maneuver right (or a musician wants to get a phrase right) he has to forego the fun and just do it over and over again. For landings, one tank of fuel used for nothing but touch and go's is more valuable than a year of flying once a week and only landing at the end of each flight. I divide up my hobby time between serious work and fun flying. Serious work is focusing on one action (lately it's maneuvers in the SPA novice sequence) for at least a whole tank of fuel and preferably two or three. Fun is just burning holes in the sky or flying around in circles and enjoying the show with my Cub or biplane. If a pilot really wants to learn to land well, he needs to do 30-40 landings in a day, paying attention to every tiny detail of each one. Then on another day when the wind is a little different, he needs to do it again and keep doing it until he knows how to manage his plane all the way until it stops rolling. Then when he gets a new plane, the whole process starts over again.
    No kid, I said break ground and fly into the wind!

  25. #25
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    RE: A Question about Hard Landings and Strong Landing Gear

    Practice, practice, practice like everyone has mentioned, and watch the wheels when getting ready to flair, not the plane.
    Bill.
    It is always better to be under the gun, than in front of it!


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