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Manual Gear Retraction Mechanism

Posted By:
Matthew Hanneken
Homebuilder or Craftsman
#1 Posted: 8/3/2010 16:43:12

Trying to research different manaul landing gear retraction methods.  I'd like to learn more about how they actually work.  How down locks and up locks work, etc.

EAA Sport Aviation Mach of 1980 Tony Bingelis talks about a lever operated method being easier than a crank.

Wondering if anyone can send some info my way on manual retraction with this lever method?  Or any schematics concerning retractable landing gear--perhaps some of you have copies of plans you can scan and email me?

If so, here's my email address:  matthewfas@gmail.com

I'm particularly interested in amphibian manually retractable landing gear--Coot, Trojan or Lake, Osprey, etc. but anything is better than nothing.  I've heard that Glasairs and Lancairs have simple and light designs.

Any help would be appreciated.


Mark Wood
Vintage Aircraft Association Member
#2 Posted: 8/5/2010 22:43:15

One good resource is the landing gear plans offered by Anton Cvjetkovic. His system is sort of a hybrid between a lever and a crank, using a ratchet mechanism. He offers plans for the landing gear from his CA-65 separately, for only $25. I purchased a set for my "maybe someday" file, and I found them very informative. I think a number of people have used his plans as a starting point for their own aircraft over the years. You can get a lot of information for a modest investment. Here is the link to his web site:




Happy hunting!


Matthew Long
Homebuilder or Craftsman
#3 Posted: 8/6/2010 09:05:08 Modified: 8/6/2010 09:12:14


Not amphib, but the Mooney Mite manual gear might be a good place to start for a simple, well-proven design.

"The most unusual feature of this little airplane, not counting its sensational rate of climb, is the neat manually-operated retractable landing gear. A long lever, similar to the parking brake on a pre-war auto, is mounted on the far right side of the cockpit. In the "down" position, this handle locks forward into a slot just above the right rudder pedal. To retract the gear, the pilot merely leans forward, grabs the handle, pulls down on it to release it from the slot and then brings it back about 18 inches into another slot just to the right of the seat. That's all there is to it! No hydraulic pump or electric motor- just dependable pilot-power."

--Pilot report by Don Downie, SKYWAYS, August, 1949

This article with pics and many more on the Mooney Mite Site.

Don Maxwell has some step-by-step photos of the manual gear in a larger Mooney as well.




******* Matthew Long www.cluttonfred.info
Joanne Palmer
Young Eagles Pilot or VolunteerHomebuilder or Craftsman
#4 Posted: 8/8/2010 19:03:39

If you want to look at retraction methods and analysis, you need to have a copy of Landing Gear Design for Light Aircraft by Ladislao Pazmany.   It is available at EAA publications and Amazon http://www.amazon.com/Landing-Gear-Design-Light-Aircraft/dp/0961677708.