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Retractable Undercarriage


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#1 Ricky

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Posted 15 October 2008 - 09:52 AM

I was wondering - which was the first aircraft with retractable undercarriage? And, as a follow-on, which was the first aircraft in military service with retractable undercarriage?

#2 Romantic Technofreak

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Posted 16 October 2008 - 07:14 AM

Ricky, I only can tell aircraft that are well known, so they are:

Civil: Boeing Monomail (May 1930) and Lockheed Sirius (September 1930).

Military: Grumman XFF-1 (December 1931, despite its otherwise old-fashioned look).

Looks like these being the first aircraft of this style that went into serial production, but I am not completely sure.

The trouble is: there must have been earlier trials. I have a picture of a German WWI prototype floatplane - with retractable float, but nothing about aircraft of that time using retractable wheels.

Regards, RT

#3 Kutscha

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Posted 16 October 2008 - 10:07 AM

from wiki

A design for retractable landing gear was first seen in 1876 in plans for an amphibious monoplane designed by Frenchmen Alphonse Pénaud and Paul Gauchot. Aircraft with at least partially retractable landing gear did not appear until 1917, and it was not until the late 1920s and early 1930s that such aircraft became common.

#4 Wuzak

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Posted 16 October 2008 - 10:26 PM

from wiki

A design for retractable landing gear was first seen in 1876 in plans for an amphibious monoplane designed by Frenchmen Alphonse Pénaud and Paul Gauchot. Aircraft with at least partially retractable landing gear did not appear until 1917, and it was not until the late 1920s and early 1930s that such aircraft became common.


So Pénaud and Gauchot had decided to put retracting undercarriage on their plane before they knew it would fly?

#5 Kutscha

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Posted 17 October 2008 - 04:12 AM

It would seem so. ;)

#6 Groggy

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Posted 17 October 2008 - 03:14 PM

Hi.
This is of interest what was it please?
I have a picture of a German WWI prototype floatplane - with retractable float, but nothing about aircraft of that time using retractable wheels.

#7 ChrisMcD

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Posted 17 October 2008 - 09:59 PM

Hi Groggy,

The earliest I know of is the Dayton Wright racer of 1920

http://en.wikipedia....on-Wright_Racer

http://www.aerofiles...dayton-xps1.jpg

and I think this was the earliest

http://www.aerofiles...ywright-rb1.jpg

Edited by ChrisMcD, 17 October 2008 - 10:04 PM.


#8 Romantic Technofreak

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Posted 18 October 2008 - 03:20 PM

I made a request on airwarfareforum.com and repeat the pictures here because it is there they are not visible for non-members and becoming a member is time-costly.

Some people answered and their informations are really worthwile.

First aircraft with retractable undercarriage at all seems to be a German one, the Wiencziers Renneindecker (=racing monoplane) from 1911. It reportedly flew:
Posted Image

Followed by the French Donnet-Leveque amphibium from 1912. Its wheels were not really retractable, but could be lowered and lifted.
Posted Image

The Gotha WD-10 prototype was already mentioned by myself and Groggy. It flew and the retraction mechanism worked, but the aircraft crashed. People from AWF submitted the first three pictures, the third is the one from my collection:
Posted Image
Posted Image

#9 Romantic Technofreak

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Posted 18 October 2008 - 03:22 PM

Posted Image
Posted Image

One from AWF mentioned the Cherbakov-Villish VM-6 fighter prototyp from Russia, early 1918, although the picture given shows nothing about a retraction mechanism.
Posted Image

The Dayton-Wright RB-1 from 1920 was already mentioned by Chris McD:
Posted Image

#10 Romantic Technofreak

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Posted 18 October 2008 - 03:25 PM

First time here? Scroll up please!

The first serial aircraft using a retractable undercarriage was the Loening "Flying Shoehorn" series, starting in the first half of the 20s of last century, the retraction mechanism being as peculiar as the aircraft in general. See here the Loening OL-8:
Posted Image

The first multiengined aircraft with the wheels retracting backward into an engine nacelle obviously was the Curtiss Condor in January 1933, followed by the Douglas DC-1 in June 1933.

Regards, RT




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