When do the armed speed brakes of a B737-800 extend after landing?

Is it when the main gear makes contact with the ground, or must the nose gear also be on the ground?


1 Answer 1


The system will extend the flight spoilers when any strut (either main gear or the nosewheel) compresses; the ground spoilers deploy after the right main gear strut compresses. Everything will deploy even if the nosewheel is held off the runway, although that's not a recommended landing technique.

Additionally, other conditions are required:

  • the system is armed (speed brake lever in the ARMED detent, and the SPEEDBRAKE ARMED light illuminated)
  • radio altitude below 10 feet
  • both throttles at idle

Additionally, the system will deploy the spoilers without detecting strut compression if it senses main gear wheels spinning up to 60+ knots (presumably both sides, but the manual I'm looking at isn't clear on that).

Source: an airline manual that isn't public domain, so no link or screenshot - sorry.


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