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misgav

landing gear exposed in flight?

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After months of serious flying around with the B737NG, I thought I knew every surface feature by heart.Then I noticed something strange... The landing gear.When the wheels are retracted, they go into the aircraft belly. But unlike other commercial jets (PSS Airbus 319 for example),here the wheels remain visible. There is no round plate to cover them.I don't get it. If the aircraft skin is not continuous and flush smooth, isn't this going to create a lot of drag?What about the -60C temps at FL350. Doesn't that affect the tire rubber and the hydraulic system moving the wheels?Eytan OrnsteinFreddy's Flying Circus

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Eytan,That was the way the 737 was designed. It has been that way since its inception when it first flew in April of 1967. It is a cost and weight saving measure. There is a "hub cap" on the outside wheel to fair in the wheel as well as seals to close the gap when the wheels are retracted. Just think, no doors or hydraulic actuators all save weight and cost.As far as the tire temperatures are concerned, they are no different than any aircraft. The wheel wells are unpressurized on all aircraft and subject to the same temperatures as the outside.Tom

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