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Is There A Benefit In Putting Low Skids On A Helicopter?

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I donna know... seems the likelyhood of pranging the TR increases. I guess it depends who is flying the ship. It is a better view and slight Airspeed increase can be expected. If your going to be landing in taller brush I would avoid it like the plague.





K, we have three jetrangers on low skids, and one on high skids. Can you guess which one gets the T/R strike????? Bing! The high skid gear one. Low skid gear is the way to go, unless your kinda round, and then it sucks when you get stuck under the machine.

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On this subject, like numerous others in aviation, you can beat the crap out of it until the cows come home and it still remains the same. Both points of view are completely understandable also.


If someone has spent considerable time on BOTH high and low skid gear on any a/c, they may or may not prefer one over the other, but will apprecaite and value both 100%.


To those who have spent the vast majority of the experience on either high or low skid gear, their bias will naturally be in favour of that which they are most comfortable with.......and more power to them becaquse that's what we all strive for in this profession as much as possible.


As far as speed in a 206 goes, then it puts an automatic smile on my old face whenever the subject comes up. Speeds in a 206 nowadays are a complete non-factor because it was one of the factors that made the 206 stand-out at it's introduction and now there are few R/W that are not faster. That factor would have taken place anyway, but was enhanced because the 206 got slower as it aged and got a more powerful engine. My first 206 weighed-in at 1485 lbs and if you wanted to go faster then me in CRUISE, then be prepared to do so in excess of 130-135MPH. Yeah......the subject of 206's and speed makes me smile a lot.......on low OR high skids. :lol:

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  • 8 months later...

Resurrecting an old topic here but does anyone have any info on putting a 206L on low gear with the front spacers removed? I've seen a couple over the years with this configuration and not sure if it's approved or not? Seems to have the best of both worlds with all the benefits of low gear but with the tail rotor clearance as high as if it was on high gear. A Long-Ranger on low gear really puts the tail close to the ground on takeoffs and landings.

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I would say that removing the spacers to lower the nose and raise the tail with the skids flat on the ground wouldn't do you any good as the machine will still be at the same deck/fuselage angle in a hover.


Most of the TR strikes I've heard of happened just prior to touch down maneuvering in a confined area, or just as the heels of the skids touched the ground.


My opinion only.

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Low skid gear machines are faster and have more payload. Remember a hundred pounds is 3 percent torque or a half hour of extra fuel.

Also high skid gear with flite steps induce a vibration that cant be balanced out.

That equates to a less smooth ride, higher fatigue rates and premature wear out of components that hold the transmission on the deck.

Tail rotor clearance is marginally more on a high skid machine, but that is only after the machine is sitting on the ground. Tail rotor clearance is identical on approach to landing or low level maneuvering. :punk:

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I'm surprised no one has made mention of a 206 with no skids - yes there must be a few of you out there that have seen one!


..... or how about the 206 with retractable gear? I can not find it on the internet but I remember about 25 years ago someone developed a 206 with retractable wheels. I don't even know if it became certified but I remember pictures of one. It had a useful load of about 600 lbs but supposedly cruised at 140 mph easily. The nosewheel retracted into a bay where the landing lights are and the mainwheels were in sponsons bolted to the hard points where the service step is attached down to the cross tube attach point. It looked like a mini Air Wolf. I would love to know what happened to that idea.

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