Ultimate Jets West Coast

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F-16 Main Gear

Posted by Shaun Evans on December 25, 2010 at 2:40 PM

I've received several inquiries over the years asking about the F-16's main gear and whether or not they work well without shocks on the mains.  Different people have different flying styles and different ideas of what 'works' on a plane, but there is a simple answer here...  Yes, these gear work great and don't need oleo struts.  For one thing, the fuselage is designed to absorb shock and distribute the load efficiently.  More importantly, not all landing gear need shocks on them, as evidenced by the fact that we've all been modeling for over 100 years and all but the last 20 have been without shocks on our gear!  Even now, the vast majority of model airplanes have no oleo struts on their landing gear.  In the case of these, all you need to know is that even at 20 pounds dry, the airplane comes in for hard landings and those gear don't break.  They don't break the airplane.  One last thing--the absence of shocks (which, by the way, we used to have on these gear until we got tired of selling parts to customers who broke them) is one of the reasons that this airplane tracks arrow-straight on the ground without the need for a gyro.  The opposite was true for the similarly-sized BVM F-16.

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