Pilots use cockpit controls that receive information from the engine, like the PT-6A, for optimum ground handling of turbo prop airplanes. However, without landing equipment and gear, the plane could not be controlled on the ground at all. Landing equipment and gear are used for takeoff, landing, and taxiing of an airplane.
Conventional Landing Gear
Planes with two wheels forward of the aircraft’s center of gravity are known as conventional landing gear. Often seen in older aircraft, pilots must brake carefully as, without a wheel at the front of the plane, the turbo prop airplanes pitch easily. Because the tail is free to move in any direction, planes with conventional landing gear are difficult to control when landing or taking off, even with the cockpit controls found with the PT-6A engine.
Tricycle Landing Gear
Tricycle landing gear looks much like its name indicates, with one wheel on the nose of the plane and two main wheels. This configuration makes the plane less likely to tip over and easier to handle on the ground.
Tandem Landing Gear
Used for very large aircraft, tandem landing gear has two sets of main landing gear, located one behind the other on the fuselage. This allows planes with highly flexible wings to be better managed on the ground. In some cases, small wheels are added to the tips of the wings to keep them from scraping the ground.
Turbo prop airplanes, such as the PT-6A, often have cockpit power-plant controls for greater ground-handling capability. Although these controls focus on propeller control, the propeller and landing gear often work in tandem, especially during takeoff and landing. Because landing equipment and gear are a crucial part of the ground operations of any airplane, these cockpit controls found on the PT-6A play an important role in ensuring the safe takeoff and landing of turboprop airplanes.
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