All You Need To Know About The B-52 Stratofortress Bomber’s Unique Swiveling Landing Gear | Aviation

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A U.S. Air Force B-52H Stratofortress (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Alexander W. Riedel) The inset shows the B-52 during a crabwalk at RAF Fairford (screenshot from video by Misael Ocasio Hernandez)

The U.S. Air Force’s iconic B-52 bomber was ingeniously designed with landing gear that can be positioned up to 20 degrees left or right of the centerline for both takeoff and landing.

A crabbed landing, also known as a crab landing or crosswind landing, is a technique used by pilots to land an aircraft safely when there is a significant crosswind blowing across the runway. During a crabbed landing, the aircraft’s nose is pointed into the wind to maintain the desired ground track, while the aircraft’s longitudinal axis (the fuselage) is aligned with the runway centerline. This results in the aircraft appearing to be “crabbing” sideways as it approaches the runway.

In practical terms, during a crabbed landing approach:

  1. Approach Phase: The pilot flies the aircraft towards the runway with the nose pointing into the wind to counteract the crosswind’s drift. This means the aircraft is not aligned with the runway centerline but is instead pointed slightly into the wind.
  2. Final Approach: As the aircraft descends towards the runway, the pilot maintains this crab angle to counteract the crosswind and keep the aircraft tracking straight towards the intended…


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