HarryStanhope From Australia, joined May 2012, 21 posts, RR: 0 Posted (1 year 5 months 2 weeks 3 days 21 hours ago) and read 4396 times:
Obviously retracting the undercarriage has advantages to all aircraft but I was wondering why some helicopters have them..
For a fixed wing it seems to make more sense to me seeing as they usually travel further, have less moving parts than a helicopter and can help slow the aircraft down...but would having retractable gear make all that much of a difference to a helicopter? Or is it more of an appeal to have wheels that come up? The Augusta 109 looks very slick with wheels up
dw747400 From United States of America, joined Aug 2001, 1266 posts, RR: 1
Reply 4, posted (1 year 5 months 2 weeks 3 days 4 hours ago) and read 4046 times:
The Bell 430 comes in both a skid and retractable gear version; retractable gear gives about a 10 knot boost in speed at normal cruise power. Not trivial, but not enough to justify the added cost and weight if you are doing short hops. Many folks seem to think the retractable gear on the 430 was mainly an effort to appeal to the corporate market.
Faster helicopters, like 109s and S76s likely derive a greater benefit from retractable gear.
An225 From Israel, joined May 2005, 198 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (1 year 5 months 6 days 10 hours ago) and read 2995 times:
In some cases, operators who have helicopters with retractable gear prefer to keep them locked down for MX reasons as well as boosting safety.
For example, the IAF operates their CH-56's with wheels down all the time.
AF1624 From France, joined Jul 2006, 677 posts, RR: 0
Reply 9, posted (1 year 5 months 5 days 17 hours ago) and read 2836 times:
Also, I imagine although there is a big gain from having a RG helicopter in terms of drag reduction - you have to consider the fact the RG system itself is a lot heavier than having just skids.
So I guess there's some balancing there somewhere to be done, there must be a break even point where the advantage of the drag reduction outweighs the advantage of having very light skids instead of a gear retraction mechanism.