Why do airplanes put down the landing gear so early when landing?

Enhancing the landing experience, airplanes strategically lower their landing gear well in advance, setting the stage for a smooth and controlled descent onto the runway. This well-coordinated maneuver involves the reduction of thrust and the introduction of drag using flaps, landing gear, or speed brakes. By deploying the landing gear between 1000-2000 feet, approximately 2-3 minutes before touchdown, pilots ensure a stabilized approach, instilling confidence in passengers.

Moreover, the early deployment of the landing gear serves another purpose—it diminishes the unwanted clamor generated at higher speeds. By promptly engaging this system, the aircraft effectively mitigates noise disturbance, creating a more pleasant atmosphere for passengers throughout the landing phase.

In the rare occurrence of an emergency, airplanes possess a failsafe mechanism known as the emergency extension system. In such situations, if the main power system fails, the landing gear is automatically lowered. Assisted by the airflow and aided by redundant hydraulic systems in larger aircraft, the gear is securely positioned in the down-and-locked configuration. In smaller aircraft, manual extension systems allow pilots to crank the landing gear into place, ensuring a reliable backup system.

Overall, the prudent practice of deploying the landing gear early during landing not only guarantees a safe and stable approach but also minimizes noise disturbances. Furthermore, the presence of an emergency extension system provides an additional layer of reassurance, emphasizing the commitment to passenger safety and comfort.