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BAC 221 in Detail

Landing gear

n text by Kai-Mikael Jää-Aro
n photos by Harald Barth and Kai-Mikael Jää-Aro



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The nose landing gear.
 

 




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Moving in to have a look at that stencil on the undercarriage cover. The flash reflection is not so elegant, but it brings out a very interesting detail: the earlier application of the same stencil text, but slightly offset. Possibly this is from the F.D.2 period, when the plane was finished in unpainted metal.
 

 




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This is the stencilling on the second set of nose gear covers, tailwards of the first we saw. The BAC 221 rebuild necessitated a considerably taller undercarriage than earlier.
 

 




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A three-quarter view of the nose gear. It is a very sturdy construction of high-tensile steel. It has been painted in light grey, but there has been a bit of paint chipping around the joints. We can also see parts of the rather complex retraction mechanism. The gear well covers appear to be painted in the same light grey on the inside surfaces and are also scuffed here and there.
 

 




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Standing inside the nose gear bay, looking towards the nose of the aircraft.
 

 




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Still in the nose gear bay, now looking upwards. Avionics equipment is accessible from here and have a rather worn appearance, suggesting frequent poking with screwdrivers.
 

 




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Completing the turn, now looking towards the tail of the aircraft. Still a bit of tubing and stuff, but the actual nose wheel bay seems empty enough, though a bit grubby. Note the hydraulics at the top of the picture.
 

 




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This is where those five hydraulic pipes lead: the starboard side rear nose gear cover. They presumably drive the locking mechanism. These rear covers were normally closed except during actual retraction/extension.
 

 




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Moving on to the main gear. This view of the starboard main landing gear is from three-quarters behind. Note that the "WG774" serial is not repeated on the port wing, nor on the wing top surface. It is however painted on both sides of the rear fuselage.
 

 




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Inside the port main gear well, looking towards the tail of the aircraft. Note here too how the area where the wheel ends up is kept clean of plumbing.
 

 




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The port side inner gear well cover. Things to note are the recess in front to fit the wheel and the "EXT I/C PLUG" box for communication with the ground crew. There has clearly been some overspray inside the well when the aircraft was painted – one wonders whether this was done with the wheels up and the covers weren't 100% tight.
 

 




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Extremely narrow wheels are necessary for retraction into the thin wings.
 

 

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