landing gear

The front oleo strut was a stripped-down F-15 unit with new forward struts and the addition of a trailing arm, painted red, to combat shimmy tendencies. The shock absorber travel was reduced to cater to the height requirements of the YF-23 fuselage, which sits lower to the ground than an F-15. Slightly different trailing arms were used: PAV-1's hinged to the rear and PAV-2's to the front. The electrical power coupling socket for the avionics can be found inside the front wheel well on the starboard wall.


Image 02. The front wheel well of PAV-2. The power coupling can be seen top left. The SPIDER sticker was applied during the first restoration of PAV-2 at the Western Museum of Flight and is an error. The radio callsign of PAV-2 was actually Grey Ghost, not Spider.

The main oleo legs were trailing-axle cantilevered units unique to the aircraft, not borrowed from the F-15 or F-18, as popular opinion would suggest, although F-18 main wheels were employed. The configuration of the undercarriage was very straight-forward and simple. The main units retracted rearwards and straight up into the body without any swivel of the wheel (unlike the F-15 and F-18 which both swivel the wheels to lie flat underneath the fuselage). There are slight differences in the finish of PAV-1's main wheel wells and the colour of the strut calibration markings compared to PAV-2. Howard Mason takes credit for producing the first clear and complete walkround of PAV-1. He is the first to produce clear complete shots of the main wheel wells.


Image 11. PAV-1 port side.

Last updated November 2010.

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