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Phil Croucher

Wheels Or Skids For Rocky Ground

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Hi guys - there's a question that keeps popping up in the EASA exams about whether skids or wheels are best for landing on rocky ground - so I thought I'd ask the experts :)

 

They are looking for wheels as the correct answer

 

phil

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Wheels are great on pavement and rocky ground. Not because of the tyre but due to the suspension/shock absorber taking up some unevenness and the minimal contact area.

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Helicopters started out with wheels ...... early Bell's and Sikorsky's and the like.

 

When companies like Okanagan began pioneering mountain flying they requested the aircraft be redesigned to be equipped with skids.

 

I hope this helps anwer your question.

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Hmm,,,lets put something smaller, with brakes, brake lines etc into hard things which have a tendancy to shift move and thus catch pinch and wreck things softer. Great if you are the supplier of these soft things. Bad if you are the driver and maintainer of said soft things. Larger helicopters tend to have larger wheels and not be utilized in the role of landing in rocky creek beds or mountains. Not really a choice for the lights as they are not heavy enough to wreck their skids due to landing on rocks(for the most part) especially with after market companies producing super strong skid gear. And probably why for the last 50 years there has been no light helicopter built with wheels other than Agusta.. Wheels are excellent to maintain low downwash whilst maneuvering around obstacles or aircraft and provide the ability to make running landings and takeoffs to provide customer comfort. No rocks though.

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Hard one to answer,as an engineer I have seen the effect of rocks on 205 gear and they get bent up real good.I personally hate landing on rocky ground in any type of heli ops as I have seen gear snap in half and that aint pretty when its running.I worked around and flew (very little) on the S-58.That gear was great.If the rocky ground is not to different in size it is no problem,I would say better than skids.With heavy loads on pavement you can hit translational lift while on the ground.The wheeled gear on the k-max is great,just take the bearpaws off for rocky landings,did I say I worked on the k-max?

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Guess we would have to read the original question... "best for landing..."

 

Not talking about brakes or ease of maintenance, just landing, and for uneven ground I'm pretty sure the correct answer is wheels.

 

R...

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