Home Military Aviation This video of a B-52 taking off in heavy crosswinds clearly shows why the BUFF needs outrigger wheels

This video of a B-52 taking off in heavy crosswinds clearly shows why the BUFF needs outrigger wheels

by Dario Leone
This video of a B-52 taking off in heavy crosswinds clearly shows why the BUFF needs outrigger wheels

Since the fuselage is so narrow, the “track” of the main landing gear is also fairly narrow, which means it isn’t very stable; it wouldn’t take much to tip over a B-52 if it didn’t have those outriggers!

Taken on Apr. 5, 2019 the impressive video in this post shows 3 B-52 Stratofortress strategic bombers fighting heavy crosswinds to take off from RAF Fairford.

Noteworthy the B-52 has a crosswind landing gear system that aided the crew during windy conditions. According to a BUFF driver “you can’t slip the airplane very much because you’ll start to drag the wing, which is disastrous. So, they installed a cross-wind landing gear system that allowed the plane to be cranked up to 20 degrees off center.”

B-52 model
This model is available from AirModels – CLICK HERE TO GET YOURS.

The mighty BUFF also features the so called outrigger wheels, or just outriggers. Most aircraft that have a narrow main landing gear use them, including the AV-8 Harrier.

If you’ll notice, the B-52 has a fairly narrow fuselage, and the high-set wing is pretty far off the ground, so the only place they could put the main landing gear was inside the fuselage.

This video of a B-52 taking off in heavy crosswinds clearly shows why the BUFF needs outrigger wheels
This print is available in multiple sizes from AircraftProfilePrints.com – CLICK HERE TO GET YOURS. B-52H Stratofortress 2nd BW, 20th BS, LA/60-0008 “Lucky Lady IV”. Barksdale AFB, LA

However, since the fuselage is so narrow, the “track” of the main landing gear is also fairly narrow, which means it isn’t very stable; according to an interesting post appeared on Quora, it wouldn’t take much to tip over a B-52 if it didn’t have those outriggers!

The landing gear of the B-52 is of the same bicycle arrangement as employed on the B-47 but has four two-wheel bogies instead of the two bogies used on the earlier aircraft. As compared with their location on the B-47, the outrigger wheels are positioned much nearer the wingtip on the B-52. 

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Welcome to The Aviation Geek Club, your new stopover aviation place. Launched in 2016 by Dario Leone, an Italian lifelong - aviation geek, this blog is the right place where you can share your passion and meet other aviation enthusiasts from all over the world.

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