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How a Messerschmitt Me 163 plane lands?

  1. Apr 9, 2014 #1
    Can someone tell me how a German plane Messerschmitt Me 163 lands? Because I found out that this plane lands without landing gears.
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 9, 2014 #2


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    Skids are enough, aren't they.
  4. Apr 9, 2014 #3


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    Planes will land with or without landing gear, although the former is preferable.
  5. Apr 9, 2014 #4


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    They don't need landing gear because they explode on touch down.
  6. Apr 9, 2014 #5

    jim hardy

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    and often on takeoff.

    there are documentaries... they just belly land on a retractable skid.
  7. Apr 9, 2014 #6
    hmm then why the modern jets aren't designed in that way? It would probably save some money and fuel^^
  8. Apr 9, 2014 #7


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    The Me 163 was a stopgap design, based on glider prototypes, with the rocket engine added in
    The plane had only about 10 minutes endurance, the expectation was that the landing would be dead stick.
    As the residual fuel sometimes exploded from the landing impact, powered landings were no less risky.
    A follow on, the Me 263 was expected to have regular landing gear, but never made it into hardware.

    Modern jets weigh 10-20 times as much as the Me 163, which at less than 10,000 pounds fully loaded was truly svelte. Their wings are not 10-20 times bigger, so they have much higher sink rates and landing speeds.
    Landing on skids, even if hydraulically damped, would break their airframes. The USAF did experiment with landing on air cushions deployed from the aircraft, but the effort did not go forward.
  9. Apr 9, 2014 #8


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    Landing planes on skids was not a new idea for the Me 163, but it works best if you land on water. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Seaplane

    Some old aircraft like the de Haviland Tiger Moth had a tail skid rather than a third wheel, but some have been modified with a tail wheel for use on paved runways rather than grass.

    The "only" problem with the skid is that if you want to turn the plane around in a restricted space, you have to get out of the cockpit and lift the tail off the ground.
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