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Cessna single engine airplane retractable landing gear

February 12, 2016 in Aviation

There is a 1/48 Cessna O-2 Skymaster on the build pile, whose civilian counterpart, the Cessna 337, has quite a few maintenance logbooks with my signature in them. Looking at the model brought back memories of the most terrifying aspect of 100 hour inspections on any Cessna retractable single, which is the landing gear retraction test. The airplane had to be jacked quite a ways to get clearance for the gear to swing, and no one who has ever done that will forget the first time watching the airplane sway to and fro on the jacks as the gear dropped out. So, for those who have never seen it and wondered where all those struts go, here is a video of the procedure. The airplane in the video is a 182RG, but the Skymaster gear operates identically. Pilots have told me there is no greater joy than having a hydraulic failure in flight with the mains dangling beneath the fuselage, and you’ll notice that no one in the video is inclined to be standing underneath the airplane while the test is in progress….


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2 responses to Cessna single engine airplane retractable landing gear

  1. I don’t think I realized before this that there are no main gear doors (and the nose gear doors have a pretty “forgiving” tolerance, too).

  2. Nothing will beat doing an emergency extend test on a 337 – you have to sit in the pilots seat, reach behind you, and give about 200 pumps on the manual pump handle to get the gear down and locked!
    (I’ve done gear swings on airliners up to Airbus A321’s, and they all jump, sway and shudder like their falling off the jacks!)

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