Why do MiG-29 have a front-wheel of landing gear placed in front of an intake? would not it throw water or stones into the intake as mentioned in Raymer?

I am designing an aircraft based on the reference aircraft MiG-29. I have used an RD33 twin-engines with twin intakes placed in chin position beneath the fuselage. Which design configurations should be kept in mind? The intake I have selected is a ramp intake.

MiG-29 with landing gears

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ apparently not! $\endgroup$
    – L'aviateur
    Apr 14, 2020 at 11:23
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    $\begingroup$ Would be hard to put the nosewheel behind the engine intakes, yes? Unless they were moved forward a lot. I suppose the nose strut hinge point could be moved back to swing the strut forward if there were enough space under the pilot for the wheel well. $\endgroup$
    – CrossRoads
    Apr 14, 2020 at 11:24
  • $\begingroup$ Highly related answer in which you can see intake protections. $\endgroup$
    – Manu H
    Apr 14, 2020 at 11:26
  • $\begingroup$ A good answer may mention how far from main gear the nose gear can/should be. $\endgroup$
    – Manu H
    Apr 14, 2020 at 11:37
  • $\begingroup$ To confirm awnsers: youtu.be/FjuzYaqXpws $\endgroup$
    – L'aviateur
    Apr 14, 2020 at 12:16

1 Answer 1


The MiG-29 series of aircraft are designed to operate from poor quality airfields, and for this reason, they feature separate air intakes for use while moving on the ground.

See this article, including pictures of the aircraft: https://www.airforce-technology.com/projects/mig29/

Notice the additional louvre-shaped intakes on top of the aircraft's leading edge extensions.

Quote from the article:

The MiG-29 is the world’s first aircraft fitted with dual-mode air intakes. During flight, the open air intakes feed air to the engines.

While moving on the ground, the air intakes are closed and air is fed through the louvres on the upper surface of the wing root to prevent ingestion of foreign objects from the runway. This is particularly important when operating from poorly prepared airfields.

In general, aircraft designers will have to consider factors such as the aircraft's weight distribution and center of gravity when choosing a position for the landing gear. If you compare with other fighter aircraft of similar layout and configuration, such as the F-15 or the F-18, you will notice that most aircraft have the landing gear approximately in line or in front of the air intakes, mostly because either changing the landing gear position or the length of the air intakes only to move the landing gear behind the air intakes would likely create other problems, such as undesirable taxi characteristics, unstable takeoff/landing roll or undesirable aerodynamics in flight. The configuration where the landing gear is approximately in line or in front of the air intakes, on the other hand, has been used successfully on many existing types, so it can be assumed that there are no major problems that would be solved by moving the landing gear further back.

As it can be seen on the MiG-29, there are also other ways to avoid specifically dirt or foreign objects ending up in the air intakes during takeoff and landing.


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