Can FAR103 Ultralights have retractable landing gear?

Discussion in 'The light stuff area' started by Bsky, Dec 12, 2014.

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  1. Dec 12, 2014 #1

    Bsky

    Bsky

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    I know LSAs have to have fixed. What about 103ULs?
     
  2. Dec 12, 2014 #2

    oriol

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    Since it is not explicitly forbiden on the part 103 regs it should be possible.

    As an example the Aeros nanotrike allow, the pilot itself, to retract the main landing gear.


    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lsgArZqIuWI


    Oriol
     
  3. Dec 12, 2014 #3

    Aesquire

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    Retractable gear is fine. You can even have a constant speed prop.

    Just gotta keep the weight down....and the stall & top speed, fuel & number of passengers.
     
  4. Dec 12, 2014 #4

    spduffee

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  5. Dec 14, 2014 #5

    danmoser

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    You can have a jet engine, retractable gear, in-flight adjustable pitch prop, flaps, slats, .. etc.
    Lots of things prohibited by LSA & other classifications are allowed under ultralight rules.
    Basically, all you have to comply with are empty weight (max. 155 lb. un-powered / 254 lb. powered), airspeed (24-55 knots powered), and fuel capacity (5 gallon max.) restrictions... and operate only during daytime while staying out of congested areas / controlled airspace..
    FAR 103 is great that way .. lotsa freedom !! :gig:
     
    Last edited: Dec 15, 2014
  6. Dec 16, 2014 #6

    Aesquire

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    IMHO, as a simple matter of practicality, retract gear on any aircraft needs a good reason for the mass and complexity.

    At speeds under 70 knots, the percent improvement in speed isn't worth it. On a Lancair? Your call.

    It does make sense in a motor glider, for L/D improvement, but you have to consider it as part of the overall drag bucket. Good fairings might be a better choice.

    Amphibians, for obvious reasons.

    Fighter replicas just for looks.

    Because you want to.:)
     
    Dana likes this.
  7. Dec 16, 2014 #7

    BBerson

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    If foot- launched, retractable undercarriage might be fairly simple. :gig: Birds do it.
     
  8. Dec 16, 2014 #8

    Aviator168

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    The main gear on the C210 has a very simple and lightweight mechanism.
    [​IMG]
     
  9. Dec 17, 2014 #9

    Vipor_GG

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    Unless you are going amphibious I don't see the need. The plane has to weigh in under 254lbs. That's hard enough to meet without adding something that really isn't needed.
     
  10. Dec 17, 2014 #10

    JamesG

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    But it would be so cool if you can pull it off...
     
  11. Dec 17, 2014 #11

    Victor Bravo

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    :roll::roll::roll:

    That my be the funniest thing I've ever seen on the internet.
     
  12. Dec 17, 2014 #12

    Victor Bravo

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    Because of the restriction in maximum cruising airspeed, you would be hard pressed to find a case where retract gear is justified on a powered aircraft. At 55 MPH the reduction in drag is not very significant.

    Because of the weight, you would be hard pressed to find a case where you can afford the extra weight on a 155 pound glider.

    One of the long-established tenets in glider design and soaring is that a well-faired fixed gear is much lighter and often lower drag than a mediocre retractable gear.
     
  13. Dec 17, 2014 #13

    JamesG

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    But it would be so cool if you can pull it off...
     
  14. Dec 17, 2014 #14

    billyvray

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    Many on this thread are correct that it's totally not worth it.

    But it's cool. At least until you forget to put the gear down....



    Bill
     
  15. Dec 17, 2014 #15

    JamesG

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    Its still cool. The pilot was just not cool.
     
  16. Dec 17, 2014 #16

    WonderousMountain

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    You could climb better.

    I like climbing, and Scandinavian women :whistle:
     
  17. Dec 17, 2014 #17

    Aviator168

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    You can also go the way of a Me 163. ;) I can't resist.
     
  18. Dec 17, 2014 #18

    JamesG

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    That is true. Who needs wheels anyway. :nervous:
     
  19. Dec 17, 2014 #19

    Aviator168

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    Why not. Almost all UL flights takes of and lands on the same airport/strip anyway. Maybe a single main wheel and two tiny wing wheels are enough to do the job.
     
  20. Dec 17, 2014 #20

    JamesG

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    I'll go you one better. Catapult launch, parachute landing? (this should make the "backyard fliers" perk up).
     

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