Anyone knows what's the plate behind the wheel of the Pilatus Porter for?

enter image description here

Looks like a sort of gravel kit.
Real gravel kits are used by jet powered aircraft to land on rough airfields.

In this case though, the engine is in front, so it is likely that it is only there to reduce the amount of dirt raised when landing/taking-off so to reduce the chances of damaging the aircraft.

  • 7
    I would suspect that without those plates stones might hit the lowered flaps during landing rollout. – Peter Kämpf Aug 10 at 10:37
  • Someone told me it could be used as a mechanical brake when landing on an upwards muddy runway, sticking the plates in the mud in order to stop the plane if it moves backwards ( due to the upslope). Does it make sense? – Flightfighter Aug 10 at 12:06
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    @Flightfighter it could make sense, but I would not expect it to be below the center of the wheel when "at rest" like in the pic. look at the right wheel, you can see that the supporting arm has a bend to lower the plate over the ground, such a bend reduces the load it can carry if used as a brake. Plus, the structure does not look like it is made to carry any load at all. – Federico Aug 10 at 12:09
  • Thank you buddies, it was kind of obvious but just wanted to be sure:) – Flightfighter Aug 10 at 17:25

Federico hit the nail on the head. It’s a gravel kit and works similar to the mud flaps on trucks. On rough airstrips, it prevents rocks, gravel and other FOD from striking the airframe and damaging it during the ground roll.

  • 2
    How does this add anything to the already existing answer? – Christian Aug 11 at 11:54

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