3
$\begingroup$

This photo from an answer on the Shuttle Approach and Landing Tests shows the front attachment between the Enterprise orbiter and the Shuttle Carrier Aircraft. The support strut reaches the attachment point through the opened landing gear doors. The landing gear is also lowered.

front attachment

During the ALTs, between the aircraft separation and landing, was there a period of time when the landing gear were raised and the doors closed? Or were the landing gear just left down and the doors open for the entire glide?

It's my understanding that Enterprise had no hydraulic system, so I'm not even sure how one would even do that. On the other hand, it would seem that it would make a difference in the Enterprise's flight response.

$\endgroup$
  • $\begingroup$ Enterprise had hydraulics otherwise it would have had no flight control. Elevons, rudder, etc were all hydraulic. There was an anomaly related to leaking fuel from an APU during one of the tests. $\endgroup$ – Organic Marble Sep 10 at 19:55
3
$\begingroup$

Based on photos I have seen, the image you have, is the oddity?

Looking at other photos of Enterprise as it separates from the Shuttle Carrier Aircraft (SCA) the gear is closed.

Enterprise leaving the SCA

Video of ALT-1 (one of the approach and landing tests) is online and shows no gear visible at separation, and a normal gear deployment late on approach.

All the rest I found are basically the same sort of view, and you cannot see the gear extended. So I think you managed to find an interesting picture that does not represent all the test cases.

$\endgroup$
  • $\begingroup$ @BowlOfRed Go edit that into the post... Feel free. $\endgroup$ – geoffc Sep 10 at 19:19
  • $\begingroup$ ALT-1, I think. $\endgroup$ – Organic Marble Sep 10 at 19:59
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ The ferry 747 uses the same attach points as the External Tank (so not using landing gear doors). $\endgroup$ – amI Sep 11 at 8:04
  • $\begingroup$ @aml correct! I missed that. $\endgroup$ – Organic Marble Sep 11 at 11:16

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.