Retractable Undercarriages - George Dowty

Extract of a lecture by George H Dowty reported on by the The Aeronautical Journal – May 1936

“When invited to give this lecture in a building overlooking London’s river, my thoughts wandered back to many pleasant hours spent watching nature’s graceful handiwork, the common seagull, so familiar to those of us who still have “time to stand and stare” in these hustling days of speed and yet more speed.

Wheeling with arched pinions and webbed feet retracted backwards into auxiliary tail organs, these effortless soarers are a vision of tomorrow.

What aeronautical engineer, released for a moment from the narrow confines of the drawing board and the workshop, could wish for more profitable day dreaming than a quiet half-hour spent on London Bridge (shall we say?), admiring the cunning perfection of natural flight?

And who could wish for better inspiration for the subject of this paper than a glimpse now and again at Nature’s own elegant solution of the undercarriage problem? …. “

Dowty, G. (1936). Retractable Undercarriages. The Journal of the Royal Aeronautical Society, 40(305), 249-303. doi:10.1017/S0368393100107291

The Heston "Phoenix" Five-seat Cabin Monoplane (200 h.p. D.H. "Gipsy-Six engine).
The Heston "Phoenix" Five-seat Cabin Monoplane (200 h.p. D.H. "Gipsy-Six engine).

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