The aerodynamic effect of a retractable landing gear

Defrance, Smith J
March 1933

Tests were conducted in the N.A.C.A. full scale wind tunnel at the request of the Army Air Corps to determine the effect of retractable landing gear openings in the bottom surface of a wing upon the characteristics of a Lockheed Altair airplane. The tests were extended to include the determination of the lift and drag characteristics throughout the angle-of-attack range with the landing gear both retracted and extended. Covering the wheel openings in the wing with sheet metal when the wheels were extended reduced the drag only 2 percent at a lift coefficient of 1.0, which was assumed for the take-off condition. Therefore, the wheel openings in the bottom side of the wing have a negligible effect upon the take-off of the airplane. Retracting the landing gear reduced the minimum drag of the complete airplane 50 percent.

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