Here are some other things to consider.
1) Noise - believe it or not, gear wells (and the gear themselves) are a major contributor to noise during the appr. phase. There was an article in AW
&ST a couple of years ago with respect to the Airbus's efforts to reduce this noise.
A few years ago a friend of mine was shocked when I identified his plane flying in the pattern behind me without turning around. For those of you into GA
airplanes, you can always recognize the whistle of a Piper Arrow with the gear down, it's very distinctive.
2) Weight - How can gear doors affect weight you wonder? Well, they keep the gear wells cleaner. By keeping dirt/grime/snow/ice etc. from being sprayed up into the well, you reduce the aircraft gross weight. It all adds up, especially over time. Older aircraft weigh more.
3) Reliability - this is really related to the above reason. The more you keep "crap" out of the wells, the more reliable the whole gear door sequencing is going to be. Can you imagine the cost of coming back to the field because the doors won't/can't close? It's not cheap. By the time you dump fuel (not free these days) to get down to your max landing weight, you've already inconvienced quite a few people, both those on the plane, and those at the destination waiting for the next flight. A very little problem can cost an airline quite a few $$$$$$.
I hope these ideas help. I'm not an engineer, they get paid the money to consider these things.
I just move the gear and the flaps for the Capn... "Gear up, flaps up, shut up. And you get the ugly one".
> And to the thread starter, this thread is more interesting than I would have guessed, thank you.
[Edited 2005-12-15 06:39:55]
[Edited 2005-12-15 06:41:53]
I don't like to be fueled by anger, I don't like to be fooled by lust...