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Question: Landing Gear Construction

Jaxx

Posted a thousand or more times
#1
What type and size wire are you using to make the landing gear for your swappables, or any scratch build for that matter? Thanks
 

jhitesma

Some guy in the desert
Mentor
#2
I tried using coat hanger wire at first since it was what I had on hand. It kind of worked for the Nutball and Flyer, worked for take offs but not landings on the Old Fogey, and couldn't support the weight of the blender.

My LHS finally got in a order of wire and I picked up some. I'm honestly not sure what size it is, It wasn't marked and the bin it was in said it came as bundles of 3 but they were all bundles of 2 and looked bigger than the size the bin said. My calipers put it at just under 2.4mm so it was probably 3/32" which would match the pieces in a bundle as marked on the bins. It's a bit of a pain to work with but makes for MUCH better landing gear than the coat hanger wire. It's the same size as the coat hanger wire (maybe just a hair thinner) but much stiffer and for a 17" piece only 1g heavier.

I'd like to try the next size smaller, this was REALLY tough to bend with just needle nose pliers...but they were still out of the next size down :(

I'd love to find another source for good landing gear wire though. The LHS is the only place I've found that has suitable wire in the right size but their stock seems unreliable.
 

Jaxx

Posted a thousand or more times
#3
Thanks for the info. I picked up some push-rod wire from my LHS. I'm going to give that a shot. I have not tried bending it yet, so I don't know how easily it will bend. I was hoping I could find a build video here, where the parts list identified what they used for the landing gear, but I have not found one, so I thought I would try the forum.
 
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jhitesma

Some guy in the desert
Mentor
#4
I seem to recall one video where they said they were using 2mm wire for the landing gear. But I also seem to recall that they were implying that the earlier smaller planes used thinner wire.

It's the same wire as push rod wire...just a bit thicker.
 

Mera'din

Junior Member
#5
It isn't the same as pushrods wire. Piano wire is what FT used and it is tempered, kinda like a spring. You can bend it but it is stiffer and will go back to the shape you bent it at unless it take a hard hit.

Pushrods wire, while it may be the same diameter, is softer and easier to bend, but it won't hold up to hard landings. You will have to make repairs to it frequently.

When I went to get some wire I mistakenly picked up pushrods wire. It lasted one flight before I took it off and just started belly landing until I could get some piano wire.

Check your local hardware store, that is eventually where I got mine when the local hobby shop was out. It is even the same stuff the hobby store carried.
 

jhitesma

Some guy in the desert
Mentor
#7
It isn't the same as pushrods wire. Piano wire is what FT used and it is tempered, kinda like a spring. You can bend it but it is stiffer and will go back to the shape you bent it at unless it take a hard hit.

Pushrods wire, while it may be the same diameter, is softer and easier to bend, but it won't hold up to hard landings. You will have to make repairs to it frequently.
Sorry for the confusion. I've been using piano wire for my pushrods, I forgot about the softer wire sold specifically for pushrods since I don't use it.
 

DDSFlyer

Senior Member
#9
I was able to find 3/32 wire that matched up with the size of the wire used in the FT Cruiser speed build kit for my landing gear