1. I have heard that there is very little drag from the fiberglass fixed main gear because the fixed main gear strut is tear-drop shaped with wheel pants. Is that true?
Yes, there is naturally a little less drag with an airfoil shaped strut and using wheel pants, but not near as much as retracting the main gear. ALL our customers have reported demonstrated 19 to 25+ mph INCREASE in cruise speed ( depending on engine, quality of workmanship, and aircraft weight ) because their main gear is retracted.
2. Is it true that “a retractable main gear could not possibly be as strong or as light as the fixed gear”?
This is simply not true if referring to our Oleo Strut Main Retracts – everyone knows this ( just look at them ) ! If it were true, why would so many aircraft designs have oleo strut retractable landing gear?!? This statement may be true for other attempts at main retracts for canards – I don’t know. You’ll have to determine this for yourself.
3. I read somewhere that “retracting the main gear into the strake would sacrifice fuel capacity”.
In fact, there is NO fuel loss for the Cozy MK-IV or AeroCanard with the fuel sump under the rear seat. In fact, you will probably GAIN 1 to 3 gallons. Therefore, the range is increased, NOT decreased. You are faster and have the same, or more, gas on board!
4. It has been stated that if I put your gear on my plane I will “only travel 5 or 10 knots faster, have to land more often from fuel ( letting down from 10,000 ft, spending 1/2 hour on the ground, and climbing back to 10,000 ft. ) therefore would not be cost effective”. Have I been mislead?
Yes indeed! That is a VERY false statement !! You can figure this one out all by yourself from the facts above.
5. Is it true that my “insurance costs will increase” just because I have put your the mains retract on my aircraft?
Not true! Lets get something straight, these Canard aircraft are already Complex High Performance Aircraft with a nose retract, belly board and Experimental to boot. If anything, insurance would go down since it is SAFER to have all 3 gear up in an off-field landing, and rates will go down for many other reasons.
6. I have heard that your gear is not insurable.
Also not true. In fact, the insurance companies are very impressed with our gear, stating how “substantial” they are, and that they are much better than most other landing gear they have seen on Sport Aircraft, and wished more Canard builders would install our Main Retracts.
7. What about increased maintenance costs?
Once the main retracts are properly installed, they are virtually maintenance free. There’s no increase in maintenance costs.
8. I read somewhere that installing your main retracts will “increase building time.”
Not so! In fact, customers are demonstrating every installation that there is less installation time than installing the fixed main gear.
9. I have also heard “that retractable main gear are subject to failure ( to go Down )”. Is that true?
This is not true of our gear. It is impossible not to get our gear Down and locked easily every time under any situation. The gear is held Up hydraulically – no mechanical Up-locks to get out of adjustment. Our main retracts are triple redundant DN.
10. My friends have been warning me, “you may forget to lower the gear!”
Your friends are poor pilots. They are just admitting their limitations and problems, not yours, ( and should have their nose gear fixed Down permanently also, if they are that worried ). Lets get something else straight – these canard aircraft are ALREADY retractable gear aircraft because of the retractable NOSE gear – if you are “forgetful”, you will forget the nose wheel as well. You will have horns and lights going off if you ever forget to put the gear Down. This kind of “Forgetfulness” ( forgetting to lower the gear ) is like forgetting to put your pants on. Further, if a pilot uses “forgetfulness” to justify why you should not put in our Main Retractable Gear, they are ignoring checklists, horns, lights, training and procedures — and the plane not slowing down will be a HUGE head-knocker. There is also a much bigger underlying problem here – one must wonder why these individuals are still driving a car, let alone flying an aircraft!
11. What about off-field landings? I have heard your retractable main gear attached to the main spar “would probably cause more structural damage, including rupturing of the fuel tanks and increased likelihood of fire”.
That is absurd! These few people obviously have no concept of operating any kind of complex retractable gear small aircraft, or seen most all other production aircraft in the world, including the Beech Starship. If you have an off-field or water landing with any small retractable gear aircraft, all 3 gear would be UP – no damage to the spar or fuel tanks, and minor damage to the overall aircraft. Fact is, with the mains fixed Down, the fixed main gear will probably flip the plane over in an off-field or water landing possibly killing you and/or your passenger(s), or they will catch those power lines where the main retracts won’t, or the fixed main gear will tear out and the rear seat passenger(s) could be hanging out the bottom of the plane dragging along the pavement when the gear rips out the bottom of the fuselage – all of these events have already occurred way too many times. Inadvertent off-field or water landings is one of the main reasons many of our customers have decided to install our Main Retracts – it’s SAFER!
12. Is it true that installing main retracts will “increase building costs at least $4000”?
False! Our Main Retract kit is only $5995. Subtract out the fixed main gear, layups, labor, and hardware, the building cost increase would be WAY less than $4000. A couple thousand dollar increase in the overall production of your Dream Machine, less than 2% of the overall plane costs, is a very small amount when you consider all the benefits the main retracts gain you talked about above. The increase in speed alone pays for the Main Retracts in economy ( better MPG ), and the increased speed may get you around or ahead of a weather front – what’s that worth to you just once? ( Ask your wife / family. )
13. Will there be added weight to my plane?
Actually, there should be no weight gain, but some have managed to add 1 to 7 lbs. to the empty weight. Still a pretty good trade for all that you get, don’t you think!
14. What about drop testing of the gear?
Our Retractable Oleo Strut Main Gear have been drop tested at 2200 lbs. per FAR, which is 150 lbs.more than the published GW of the Cozy MK-IV and AeroCanard, which has never been drop tested ! Interesting that someone wants to know if our Main Retracts have been Drop Tested when no other Canard landing gear has.
15. It is my friend’s personal belief that during take-off when the main wing begins to fly and unloads the main gear, the oleo struts begin to extend, raising the aircraft’s aft section and effectively decreasing AOA. Is that true?
NO! If so, someone better warn BeechCraft, AVtec 400, Jet Cruiser, etc. If the main wing starts to fly before the canard, there’s something wrong with the canard and / or the engine is not canted 1.5 to 2.5 degrees.
16. But is it true that the nose lifts off before the main wing begins to fly (carrying load off the main gear)?
YES!! – Absolutely! The canard begins to fly first and the plane rotates. If the wing begins to fly before the canard, then the canard is stalled – a plane that really does this has some serious canard problems, and / or the engine is not canted 1.5 to 2.5 degrees, whether the mains are retract oleos, fixed oleos, or the fixed hoop gear.
17. Now I am wondering if the main wing does start lifting at this time, wouldn’t the hoop style fixed gear also stand up creating a negative AOA too?
CORRECT!!! – logic prevails when one thinks this through. Any aircraft that cruises 150+ MPH should have retracts and a constant speed prop, too 🙂 . Don’t listen to jealous poltroon nay-sayers who don’t know what they are talking about – just simply call us and find out the facts yourself!