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Crosswind landing gear (castering wheels)

I’ve read that this was some kind of option on Cessna taildraggers, many years ago.

It allows one to land in the crab i.e. aligned with the combined vector of the wind and the forward motion, rather than just the runway which how we normally land.

Administrator
Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

AT Aviation have a Cessna 195 with crosswind gear for sale. A bit like Marmite. This example is also turbocharged if you need 190KTAS at 23 gph. Not your mother’s Cirrus.

Enstone (EGTN), Oxford (EGTK)

I remember reading an article several years ago written by a chap who was involved in experimental development work for castoring landing gear for airliners back in the sixties.
My abiding memory of the article were his remarks about how hilarious some of the landings were.

Last Edited by flybymike at 11 Nov 16:37
Egnm, United Kingdom

The B52 has this gear, and I wonder why it has not been more widely adopted? Perhaps the lack of directional control makes it unsuitable for narrow runways.

Administrator
Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

I understand some airliners can land crabbed – which isn’t the same as having landing gear that caster fully, but which achieves the same thing.

Some light aircraft are crosswind limited by the taxi, not by the landing. I can’t imagine that castering gear would help that much here – though perhaps you could have a lock.

EGCW

Obviously the B-52 has to be held wings level upon landing because the wing tips would otherwise hit the ground. I think for other planes that don’t have that issue, the associated weight and complexity discourage the castling gear concept. The weight and complexity of non-castoring landing gear that’s designed for crabbed landings must also be substantial, so I think accepting the necessity for cross controlled slipping and one wheel landings more generally provides performance benefits when airborne.

Having said that, and going slight off topic, it’s really something to fly a no-rudder-pedals Ercoupe to a crosswind landing in a big crab and have it sort itself out completely upon impact. The landing gear is extremely overbuilt, forged trailing links etc. All you have to do is fly the crab to the ground, keeping the ailerons centered and the nose in the air. I did it just a couple of times on one flight and it made a positive impression. An Ercoupe is almost unbelievably easy to fly.

Last Edited by Silvaire at 11 Nov 17:28

Isn’t the B52 landing gear pilot-controlled i.e. is configured to point on the runway bearing?

Free-castoring wheels would be a nightmare – like a supermarket trolley.

Administrator
Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

RobertL18C wrote:

a Cessna 195 with crosswind gear for sale. A bit like Marmite. This example is also turbocharged if you need 190KTAS at 23 gph. Not your mother’s Cirrus.

Interesting pic doing the rounds on Facebook of it sitting upside down in a field.

No Hassell :-)
EIBR

kwlf wrote:

I understand some airliners can land crabbed
A friend used to work for a landing gear maker, they tested the gear landing at MLW to a 30 or 35 degree crab angle IIRC.

ESMK, Sweden
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