Our Carbon Fiber Landing gear is an industry first. They were derived from hundreds of hours of flight testing over several years. Initially they were developed for 180 size profile 3D airframes. The only gear available were 6061 T6 plate gear which worked till the 5th or 6th Harrier Landing when they would squat out and have to be bent back. After that they would keep spreading out even with moderate landings. The more aluminum bends the weaker it becomes and yields easier each successive landing.
I started as everyone does and vacuumed bagged many layers of traditional commercially available STANDARD weight carbon cloth. This certainly made an incredibly strong gear, but had absolutely no flex and ultimately would yield very little till it would delaminate at the top fuselage bend snapping above that bend.
Reassessing how a Landing gear should work it was very obvious it needs to do just that, WORK! By “Working”, I mean it has to actually flex across the whole gear from axle to, and through the fuselage mounting bolts. Also obvious was the fact that carbon fiber is incredibly strong but traditional layups make it very very stiff. This transfers all the landing loads directly to the fuselage and would break the wood mounting points on very hard landings. This was totally Unacceptable.
Through many variations using several types and weights of High Modulus carbon, I was able to produce a highly flexible landing gear that did exactly what I wanted. This gear flexed from the axle through the lower bend and carried through the upper fuselage bend. To facilitate the large flexing travel the gear needed to be higher. This actually makes the airplane sit nose high very similar to full scale aerobatic planes and large prop biplanes.
For some reason damn near all manufacturers these days believe an airplane that has no ground clearance and sits like a pattern airplane is what people who love all aspects of flying want. They are forgetting, no actually, they are completely dismissing selfishly a full part of a flight that people who really love flying consider truly the funnest part of flying…..LANDINGS! I am that person and am offended by arrogant manufacturers who continue to force this bullshit stance and lack of prop clearance on the industry because some form of competition flying only uses the landing gear twice in a flight, takeoff and landing. And that 1 Landing is with the engine OFF!!!!!
The landing gear on all planes available today are either aluminum or carbon. The aluminum gear works of course yet acts exactly as aluminum gear has since aluminum was invented. The carbon gear varies wildly from Airfoiled to flat plate or Radiused arched gear.
Each and every carbon gear supplied and available today ALL have the same problem, THEY ARE TOO STIFF! All transfer every single jar and jolt from the runway directly into the fuselage ultimately ripping the mounting blocks out of the fuselage on hard landings. The ones that aren’t stiff or are too stiff and weak simply break upon hard landings or delaminate at the fuselage bend.
I started 2 years ago with the Mamba 70 after flying like a dumbass and running the plane out of fuel….again….in exactly the wrong place downwind and low in a harrier! After replacing the gear and welding the mufflers I got to work replicating exactly what I had done years ago and started laying up prototype gear. 8 prototypes later and 86 gallons of fuel through the same Mamba 70 airframe wearing out a DA70 along the way (giving way for the Super Mamba…. more to come on that!) led to the gear I’m offering today.
This gear is Ultra Flexible and yields to the landing surface always. The plane sits 1.5” higher and allows flexing while preserving the prop clearance. The most important aspect of this is its ability to absorb the shock of hard landings and each jolt and jar from uneven surfaces and not transfer that immediately to the fuselage and mounting blocks. This is similar to crush zones and airbags in vehicles in that it dissipates energy through Flexural strength while diminishing the overall impact load.
This is truly an industry first and a game changer in landing gear technology.
Please try my gear on all your favorite Flex Innovations airplanes!
Mamba 70, RV8, Mamba 60E and Cessna gear are available now! Package deals available.
Enjoy this aspect of flight as much as I do with big deep harrier landings, one wheel to the other dragging wingtips and full throttle high speed takeoff rolls while laughing the whole time! Truly flying…. and landing as it should be!!!