Single seat/single engine fighter landing gear positioning logic

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Staff Sergeant
Nov 3, 2022
Mansfield, Ohio, USA
This is about the positioning of the landing gear legs and hinges either ahead of or behind the front wing spar on most single seat/single engine fighters. The majority seem to have favored the position ahead of the spar. Which makes sense given that it stands the best chance of increasing ground clearance for the prop on a tail dragger.

However, some did have the set up reversed, in the landing gear was located behind the front wing spar. This was notable on like the P-47 and basically all known Hawker designs that used a retractable undercarriage (Hurricane, Henley, Tornado, Typhoon, Tempest, P1027/P1030, Fury/Sea Fury).

Is there logic/method to the madness for that arragement (I also know that the Spitfire used it for its outwardly retracting undercarriage)? I know that it made it possible for the wing leading edge radiators on the Tempest I, Fury I and certain versions of the Fairey Firefly (since the radiator brackets attached to the front spar leading edge), but wouldn't that also impact fuel tankage if you run wing fuel tanks?

And is there any production/manufacturing considerations at hand, be it wing structure or the landing gear itself?

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