At normal speeds, the gears are pretty sturdy... At higher speeds...
Back in 1979, TWA had a 727-100 hit .96M in a dive from FL390, and they extended the gear during the recovery sequence... (The "Hoot Gibson" Affair). The paragraph below is from the NTSB's report:
"Both main gear landing doors and their operating mechanisms were damaged extensively and a hydraulic line was ruptured. The sidebrace and actuator supports beam on the right gear were broken; the support beam for the left gear was intact. The uplock for the left gear was bent. The secondary wing skin panels above both actuator support beams were buckled upward."
They did get an unsafe gear indication as they headed to DTW
, but a fly-by showed the gear appeared down. They landed OK
. If the gear can survive .96M, anything less would appear to be a non-issue. (Gear doors are another matter).
BTW, this is NOT the same "Hoot Gibson" who was a NASA space shuttle pilot; they're two separate people...
ALL views, opinions expressed are mine ONLY and are NOT representative of those shared by Southwest Airlines Co.