The landing gear on the bottom of the plane allows the plane to taxi, take-off and land without damage. Just like a car, the wheels allow the vehicle to move, as well as stops it from getting scraped (or maybe torn off like a tin can) on the ground.
Just like trucks, larger, heavier planes have 2 sets of wheels to help balance the weight. But when the wheels aren’t in use, they retract up into the wheel well, and while they’re up there, they’re tilted.
What’s up with that?
As is the case with just about everything else on a plane, space is at a premium. That includes the wheel well. So when the landing gear retracts into the wheel well, it tilts a bit to fit into the wheel well space.
For most planes, the tilt is such that the rear wheels are below the front wheels (sort of like how your heel strikes down before the ball and toes of your foot when you walk) and are the ones that hit the ground first. For 767s, the front wheels are the lower ones.
Of course, HOW it all happens is a lot more complex than my (very simplified) explanation. There are hydraulics, actuators, sensor systems, struts, axles and a bunch more that go into how the system all works. This video explains it better than I ever could:
But WHY it happens? It just saves space.
By the way – that video above? It’s 7 minutes, 47 seconds long. Yes, 747. 😉
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This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary