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This image of a LC-130 taking off from a snow runway shows that in addition to wheels on the landing gear, it's also been equipped with skis.

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/f/f1/LC130-Takeoff-Greenland.swn.jpg
Source: Wikimedia Commons.
We're getting a lot of use out of this image lately!

How do these skis get stowed when the gear retract?

  • Do the skis become part of the gear door?
  • Is there enough room in the gear bay for the skis?
  • Are modifications to the gear bays necessary to accommodate the skis?
  • Is there any modification necessary to the movement of the gear to accommodate the skis? (i.e. some gear rotate as they stow. I'm not sure if the C-130s do or not.)
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    $\begingroup$ The gear stays out. There is no space for it inside the wells. $\endgroup$ – Peter Kämpf Apr 15 '16 at 17:05
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    $\begingroup$ For clarification, @PeterKämpf, do the gear retract but the skis stay outside, or do they not retract the gear at all, operating like a fixed gear plane? If they don't retract the gear at all, I can only imagine that would significantly impact range. $\endgroup$ – FreeMan Apr 15 '16 at 17:30
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The skis partially retract.

Here is an image of one with the gear retracted:

enter image description here
Source: UW Oshkosh

Do the skis become part of the gear door?

From looking at the images with the gear deployed and then the ones with the gear stowed, it appears that the skis do form the gear doors.

Is there enough room in the gear bay for the skis?

No, the skis are not retracted into the aircraft.

Are modifications to the gear bays necessary to accommodate the skis?

It doesn't appear to be, but there may be modifications to the retraction mechanism to allow the wheels to be stowed while the ski is still outside of the aircraft.

Is there any modification necessary to the movement of the gear to accommodate the skis? (i.e. some gear rotate as they stow. I'm not sure if the C-130s do or not.)

It does appear that there is, yes. The ski's can be deployed without the wheels touching the ground, or the skis can remain retracted and the wheels extended for paved runway operations. Take a look at these two photos:

enter image description here
Source: PIntrest

Notice how the wheels are on top of the skis? Now take a look at this one:

enter image description here
Source: FlyIan.net

You notice that the skis are still retracted and the wheels are extended through the skis.

If you want to know what was modified for the gear doors, take a look at this image of a "normal" C-130:

enter image description here
Source: YouTube

Notice how the rear gear door goes a quarter way up the "pontoon"? The version with skis has a fixed panel that replaces the gear door and matches up with the profile of the skis to reduce drag.

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    $\begingroup$ I gave you a +1 before the edit. Sadly, I cannot give you 3 more post-edit. $\endgroup$ – FreeMan Apr 15 '16 at 19:04
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The LC-130 is heavily modified but when the skis retract, they stay outside the aircraft.

Lockheed LC-130 From Wikipedia

"The aircraft are equipped with retractable skis that allow the aircraft to land on snow and ice as well as on conventional runways."

The skis retract until they are almost flush

"The skis retract until they are almost flush with the fuselage during flight, and they can also retract the skis and deploy regular wheels."

LC-130 in flight

enter image description here source: http://www.nzff.org/viewtopic.php?t=13402&p=8272160

enter image description here source: http://www.vaq34.com/lc130list/c-130h.htm

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    $\begingroup$ Please credit the sources of your images. $\endgroup$ – David Richerby Apr 15 '16 at 18:24
  • $\begingroup$ The first image is a screenshot from a flight simulator... $\endgroup$ – Hugh Apr 16 '16 at 5:29

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