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Helicopter Retractable Undercarriage  
User currently offlineHarryStanhope From Australia, joined May 2012, 20 posts, RR: 0
Posted (8 months 3 days 8 hours ago) and read 3963 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  

9 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineStarlionblue From Greenland, joined Feb 2004, 16908 posts, RR: 67
Reply 1, posted (8 months 3 days 7 hours ago) and read 3924 times:

Retractable undercarriage makes a significant difference in drag and fuel burn even in general aviation planes doing 120-140 knots. Even spats on the wheels will give you a percent or two.

Many helicopters routinely exceed those speeds so retracting the undercarriage makes sense.

[Edited 2013-08-16 00:36:40]


"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots."
User currently onlineCrimsonNL From Netherlands, joined Dec 2007, 1798 posts, RR: 42
Reply 2, posted (8 months 2 days 20 hours ago) and read 3736 times:
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Quoting HarryStanhope (Thread starter):
The Augusta 109 looks very slick with wheels up

Not nearly as good as the Bell 222!


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User currently offlineStarlionblue From Greenland, joined Feb 2004, 16908 posts, RR: 67
Reply 3, posted (8 months 2 days 18 hours ago) and read 3695 times:

Quoting CrimsonNL (Reply 2):
Not nearly as good as the Bell 222!

  




"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots."
User currently offlinedw747400 From United States of America, joined Aug 2001, 1254 posts, RR: 1
Reply 4, posted (8 months 2 days 15 hours ago) and read 3613 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.



CFI--Certfied Freakin Idiot
User currently offlinecitation501sp From United States of America, joined May 2000, 208 posts, RR: 0
Reply 5, posted (8 months 1 day 23 hours ago) and read 3406 times:


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The S-76! All slicked up and moving.

501sp



Smoke and Thunder! Stage 2 FOREVER!!!
User currently offlineMax Q From United States of America, joined May 2001, 4059 posts, RR: 19
Reply 6, posted (7 months 3 weeks 4 days 9 hours ago) and read 2898 times:

The S76 is so beautiful it could almost persuade me to leave fixed wing..


The best contribution to safety is a competent Pilot.
User currently onlinetjwgrr From United States of America, joined Mar 2000, 2380 posts, RR: 3
Reply 7, posted (7 months 3 weeks 22 hours ago) and read 2589 times:

One of my favorite local RG 'copters.... an EC155 sporting maize and blue.....

http://www.helis.com/h/ec155_n155um.jpg



Direct KNOBS, maintain 2700' until established on the localizer, cleared ILS runway 26 left approach.
User currently offlineAn225 From Israel, joined May 2005, 185 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (7 months 3 weeks 21 hours ago) and read 2562 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.

An225


User currently offlineAF1624 From France, joined Jul 2006, 644 posts, RR: 0
Reply 9, posted (7 months 3 weeks 4 hours ago) and read 2403 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.



Cheers
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