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On skis and wheels

Publication date: 2017-02-28

Tags: miscellany

On skis and wheels

During the interwar period liner aircraft used to change wheels to skis...

... to cope with the uncomfortable fact of airports not being cleared of snow, either because of the lack of effective snow blowers or grassy runways.

However, what happened when the destination airfield was cleared by a thaw?

First, skis also worked well on wet grass, but what about the reverse situation – taking off from grass, and landing on snow?

Here, combined landing gear was masterminded; the wheels rested inside the ski’s supporting construction, and could be partially extended down.

The depicted Fokker F-VII, flying in the colours of LOT Polish Airlines, had an even more sophisticated undercarriage, where the level of thewheels’ extension could be regulated from the cockpit. So fancy!

Fokker VII skis, photo: LOT Polish Airlines

Fokker VII, photo: LOT Polish Airlines

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