Low Level Take Off

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CJS
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Low Level Take Off

Post by CJS »

Right, this might be the eggnog talking (hic...) but I've been thinking.

Wait, come back...

Various display acts have very exciting take off rolls - the Raptor for example - so I was wondering if you can take off simply by raising the undercarriage, assuming you're going fast enough of course, and effectively fly at the height that you would be if you were sat on the ground?

It's probably a stupid question but hey, happy Christmas :-)
With just the slightest bit of finesse, I might have made a little less mess.

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boff180
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Re: Low Level Take Off

Post by boff180 »

Was the party trick of the Belgian Fouga Magister solo display. He would just raise the gear and keep going without climbing :grin:

https://www.jetphotos.com/photo/6498797

https://www.airliners.net/photo/Belgium ... YxpQ%3D%3D

https://www.airliners.net/photo/Belgium ... Qx6g%3D%3D

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Tmyers123
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Re: Low Level Take Off

Post by Tmyers123 »

I think you’d better stop drinking now. :tongue:

In theory I assume it’s possible, as the flaps would probably generate enough lift under the wings for the aircraft to raise the undercarriage and stay airborne. The MiG-29 takeoff at RIAT 2015 wasn’t too far off what you’re describing.

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ericbee123
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Re: Low Level Take Off

Post by ericbee123 »

I think the aircraft would need to lift off the ground ( only inches ) as most undercarriages ( especially modern ones ) have a switch that gets pushed down when there is “weight on the wheels” stopping the undercarriage from being retracted while the aircraft is still on the ground. You would need to take the weight off the wheels, so lift until the switch disengages before selecting gear up - or maybe you can select gear up as you taxy ( depending on aircraft model and if this is possible ) and the wheels will instantly raise as soon as the aircraft starts lifting and there is no weight on the wheels.

I think that older aircraft don’t have this safety feature and you can, for instance raise the undercarriage on a parked Spitfire for instance and “mess it up” as it lowers itself groundwards.
Disclaimer-I have spell/grammar checked this post, it may still contain mistakes that might cause offence.

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Pen Pusher
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Re: Low Level Take Off

Post by Pen Pusher »

Buccaneer came close to doing that on take off.

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Mike
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Re: Low Level Take Off

Post by Mike »

It was tried with a B-25 in the US a few years back. The results weren't pretty and it was a miracle that nobody was badly hurt. I saw the wreck when it was being unloaded from the truck back at the restoration shop. It took a year and an awful lot of $$$$$ to get it flying again.

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Re: Low Level Take Off

Post by Mike »

ericbee123 wrote:I think that older aircraft don’t have this safety feature and you can, for instance raise the undercarriage on a parked Spitfire for instance and “mess it up” as it lowers itself groundwards.

You'd have to be pretty bloody stupid to do that, it's not just a simple pull of a lever or press of a button to select 'chassis up' on a Spitfire.

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Re: Low Level Take Off

Post by ArabJazzie »

When i first saw the question, i immediately thought of the Bucc. Remember something about the aircraft could roll on departure, maybe because of airflow around the main gear legs, but part of carrier departure checks was select gear up. Dont know what the RAF did, but remember some low departures from airshows at Leuchars and the week i had at Lossie way back when. Some old jets needed to get the gear out the road asap to remove the drag to get some acceleration and hence lift.

There have been some notable arrivals in the past, especially IAT at Boscombe Down one year with Su-27s i think it was.

Mike wrote:
ericbee123 wrote:I think that older aircraft don’t have this safety feature and you can, for instance raise the undercarriage on a parked Spitfire for instance and “mess it up” as it lowers itself groundwards.

You'd have to be pretty bloody stupid to do that, it's not just a simple pull of a lever or press of a button to select 'chassis up' on a Spitfire.


Think this has happened in the last couple of years?
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ericbee123
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Re: Low Level Take Off

Post by ericbee123 »

Mike wrote:
ericbee123 wrote:I think that older aircraft don’t have this safety feature and you can, for instance raise the undercarriage on a parked Spitfire for instance and “mess it up” as it lowers itself groundwards.

You'd have to be pretty bloody stupid to do that, it's not just a simple pull of a lever or press of a button to select 'chassis up' on a Spitfire.


So are you saying it can’t happen or agreeing with me that it can happen ?

BTW - I know (like Geoff does) that it can and has happened.

If the standard OP for Buccaneers from carriers was “select gear up” before launch it must have the weight on wheels security feature and only allows the raising of the U/C after the weight of the aircraft has left the wheels ( ie it’s airborne - by inches, but it has taken off )
Disclaimer-I have spell/grammar checked this post, it may still contain mistakes that might cause offence.

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st24
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Re: Low Level Take Off

Post by st24 »

ArabJazzie wrote:When i first saw the question, i immediately thought of the Bucc. Remember something about the aircraft could roll on departure, maybe because of airflow around the main gear legs, but part of carrier departure checks was select gear up. Dont know what the RAF did, but remember some low departures from airshows at Leuchars and the week i had at Lossie way back when. Some old jets needed to get the gear out the road asap to remove the drag to get some acceleration and hence lift.

There have been some notable arrivals in the past, especially IAT at Boscombe Down one year with Su-27s i think it was.

Mike wrote:
ericbee123 wrote:I think that older aircraft don’t have this safety feature and you can, for instance raise the undercarriage on a parked Spitfire for instance and “mess it up” as it lowers itself groundwards.

You'd have to be pretty bloody stupid to do that, it's not just a simple pull of a lever or press of a button to select 'chassis up' on a Spitfire.


Think this has happened in the last couple of years?
Merry Christmas,
Geoff.

Indeed, Buccs had a "quick up" button specifically for carrier use but the RAF employed it as it looked spectacular! As soon as the main gear oleos extended, i. e. the weight came off them, they retracted very quickly. A lot of high performance jets will get the gear up as soon as possible as the acceleration will rapidly exceed the gear limiting speed.
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Re: Low Level Take Off

Post by Pen Pusher »

Spitfire wheels up after landing - Rolls-Royce Mk XIX/January 2013

A Second World War Spitfire crashed after landing when its pilot pulled the wrong lever, an accident report has concluded.

The plane had successfully landed at East Midlands Airport and was taxiing off the runway when the experienced 46-year-old male flyer selected the handle to retract the landing gear, bringing the wheels up and ditching the aircraft on the ground.

The pilot's error on January 7 this year shut the runway in Derbyshire for more than two hours, with flights having to be diverted or delayed.

A report bulletin to the Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) read: "The pilot stated that he had intended to retract the flaps but inadvertently selected the undercarriage to the 'up' position.

"However, the handles for each mechanism are on opposite sides of the cockpit."

The pilot had more than 9,200 hours' flying experience, of which 89 hours were in this type of plane, according to the report.

The wooden propellor on the 1945-built Mark XIX aircraft shattered as the plane grounded, with the crash also damaging the left wing and parts of the engine housing.

Unlike modern aircraft, there is no fail-safe switch preventing the undercarriage wheels from being retracted once the aircraft has landed.

The plane, owned by Rolls-Royce and based at the airport, was flown in the war on reconnaissance missions but has more recently taken part in aerial displays.


https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/h ... 10570.html

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iainpeden
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Re: Low Level Take Off

Post by iainpeden »

A B-52 relies on the curviture of the earth to assist its take off.

Anyway, Chris; aren't all take offs at low level by definition!
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Re: Low Level Take Off

Post by melvyn hiscock »

Viv Bellamy once told me he had seen some American pilots come to pick up some Spitfires from Worthy Down. As they took off, they did this whole thing of keeping low and pulling the gear up. There was a general murmer of appreciation but then he saw Jeffrey Quill taxi out and take off, the tail came up early and one leg popped into the well, the other one remaining down At the end of the run, the other one popped up too. He had selected 'gear up' early and had put enough side load and weight on one side so that one wheel retracted and the other didn't. At the end of the run, the weigh on the remaining wheel was removed and it popped into the well.

Like all things at low level, it is OK until it goes wrong.

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Re: Low Level Take Off

Post by Mike »


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Re: Low Level Take Off

Post by melvyn hiscock »




Ooooh can you imagine the 'interview without biscuits' that followed this!

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motormouser
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Re: Low Level Take Off

Post by motormouser »

Those safety switches aren't fool-proof!

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yDwEtzzLIGI[/youtube]

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Re: Low Level Take Off

Post by GertrudetheMerciless »

motormouser wrote:Those safety switches aren't fool-proof!


That didn't go well! :shock: :smile:

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Re: Low Level Take Off

Post by effects »

Lightning F3 at Binbrook early 80s, undercarriage override selected up at the start of a non reheated take off, aircraft gets airborne a little early settled back on the runway gear up, pilot pushes the throttles through the gate and climbs away however by then the ventral tank had been ruptured, fuel flowing freely into the now reheated exhaust resulting in a very spectacular departure. Aircraft returned safely.
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ArabJazzie
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Re: Low Level Take Off

Post by ArabJazzie »

motormouser wrote:Those safety switches aren't fool-proof!


Thought we were talking about gear up on take off roll and not landing? :tumbleweed:
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CJS
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Re: Low Level Take Off

Post by CJS »

We were, but hey :-D
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Re: Low Level Take Off

Post by ericbee123 »

The video of the Tornado IS a take off going wrong, I think.

It’s hard to see but it looks like he has set the landing gear to raise prior to take off (if that’s possible in a Tornado- if not he’s very quick on the lever to raise it). He’s rotated and took the weight off the wheels and it looks like the afterburner has flamed out, or something, he’s rotating then lifting, then a puff of smoke ( before he goes behind the taxying Tornado) and he’s coming back down as his wheels are retracting.

I never said it was fool proof or a clever thing to do, I was just describing how I believe you can’t just raise the gear and take off, you need to take the weight off the wheels to lift the gear - so you technically are airborne ( or not in that Tornado’s case - but he was momentarily ) before the wheels will retract.

I had to also add the disclaimer that old aircraft don’t have this otherwise someone will say “Spitfires don’t have this as so and so raised his gear when taxying and it flattened the aircraft and ruined the engine” - or something to that effect.
Disclaimer-I have spell/grammar checked this post, it may still contain mistakes that might cause offence.

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Re: Low Level Take Off

Post by ArabJazzie »

ericbee123 wrote:The video of the Tornado IS a take off going wrong, I think.

It’s hard to see but it looks like he has set the landing gear to raise prior to take off (if that’s possible in a Tornado- if not he’s very quick on the lever to raise it). He’s rotated and took the weight off the wheels and it looks like the afterburner has flamed out, or something, he’s rotating then lifting, then a puff of smoke ( before he goes behind the taxying Tornado) and he’s coming back down as his wheels are retracting.

I never said it was fool proof or a clever thing to do, I was just describing how I believe you can’t just raise the gear and take off, you need to take the weight off the wheels to lift the gear - so you technically are airborne ( or not in that Tornado’s case - but he was momentarily ) before the wheels will retract.

I had to also add the disclaimer that old aircraft don’t have this otherwise someone will say “Spitfires don’t have this as so and so raised his gear when taxying and it flattened the aircraft and ruined the engine” - or something to that effect.


I think the Tornado is landing as when it comes into shot, it looks like it is still airborne when crossing the concrete under run in the flare to land on the tarmac. Therefore a whole number of other issues come into play for that landing.
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Re: Low Level Take Off

Post by rf104g »

Hi,

it can still be done by a typhoon as seen at Konya in 2014 :smile:
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Re: Low Level Take Off

Post by Ian G »

The video is from Cottesmore in 1995. A bit more info on the replies gives:

Amazing footage. I was an instructor pilot at TTTE at the time and had just crewed out of my aircraft. I was walking back towards the line hut when I saw that aircraft and remember saying to my student "wow look, a crash!" It stayed there for quite a few hours and they had to get a crane in to shift it. The underside of the aircraft was worn to a wafer-thin piece of metal and it was in the hangar for ages, but I think it flew again. The cause was the pilot thinking he was moving the throttles forward for a roller landing, but instead he raised the undercarriage. A cognitive and expensive error!


I was told that the U/C has micro-switches fitted that "told" the system that the aircraft was on the ground but that during a roller,if the weight of the aircraft doesn't fully settle onto the U/C the micro-switches didn't trip the system.So a combination of floating onto the runway and selecting the wrong lever,both of which you could argue are design flaws!
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