3456 Landing Gear Fairings

10-10-2008, 04:02 AM

jar59nh | 3456 Landing Gear Fairings

Hi All,

After a discussion I had at the Splash-In, someone asked me to post my MLG fairings on our website. As you know the main gear legs stick down about 1.5 inches into the slipstream. Not exactly good for our speed. Also, if you don't put the fairings on the upper part of the strut leg (the one's provided in the kit) you will end up with disturbed air there.

The picture you see is composed of 2 different fairings. The gear leg fairing was molded onto the leg and foam attached to a fiberglass bottom layer, shaped and then covered with another layer of glass. The pieces provided in the kit will work well also. I wrapped the outer glass layer over the leading edge of the gear leg so water would not get under it and rip it off the leg.

The second part of the fairing is made with a half-inch sheet of foam heated to bend over the gear leg and then tapered onto the bottom of the wing. It is then covered with 1 ply of glass on the inside (upper surface, towards gear leg) and then removed, trimmed and fiberglassed to the bottom wing skin. After the glass sets, I cut out the wheel shape so a small part of the fairing will follow the wheel. It is screwed into 6 threaded holes in the gear leg and then glass cuffs are bonded onto the leading edge of the gear leg for more support. This keeps water forces from removing the small fairing.

The on wing portion has larger gaps towards the inboard wheel well area and these are filled with some more foam and the entire area is glassed over. I don't believe I will use an outboard gear door as it would be mechanically more complicated and more susceptible to damage from water forces. In case of a flat tire, the fairing comes down to just above the wheel rim. Hopefully in that case the fairing won't be damaged.

I figured if I didn't build this now, I would never build it when the airplane was flying. This is a very dirty area of the airplane and hopefully this will clean it up a bit.

Happy building, John

10-15-2008, 04:04 AM

Mike | 3461

John, Good post. In the near future I would like to start "cleaning up" the dirty areas. The wheel wells are the starting point. Good Ideas.....

11-11-2016, 01:33 AM


Good looking job! We did something similar on N898RW (the n# I've reserved) but not as nice. Your long lead fore & aft should reduce drag. Ours was more abrupt and may not reduce drag as much but will help keep the crap out. We stopped at the axle c/l, because I have a friend with a grass strip. Would have liked to do a spring loaded outer door, but didn't get around to it.

Craig Easter sent me an awesome AutoCad layout of a mechanism that would open the outer door and then close it after the main gear is down. He also sent me a layout of the nose gear of the SeaStar which swings forward like a Cessna or Bonanza-steerable and self centering on the way up. That arrangement would have precluded the problem Mike Reibling had at the Clear Lake splashin when the nose gear got caught in the door.

I noticed limit switches approx. 45deg ea. way on the nose swivel. One in the center would have helped. On the drive to the splashin, I got a private tour of the Icon factory at Nut Tree. Photos not allowed, but I crawled under the nose of a finished plane at the end of the assembly line and noted the rear swinging free swivel nose gear had a little roller detent notch at the back of the top washer to keep it centered. FOOD FOR THOUGHT!