Landing gear integration in aircraft conceptual design

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Virginia Tech

The design of the landing gear is one of the more fundamental aspects of aircraft design. The design and integration process encompasses numerous engineering disciplines, e.g., structure, weights, runway design, and economics, and has become extremely sophisticated in the last few decades. Although the design process is well-documented, no attempt has been made until now in the development of a design methodology that can be used within an automated environment. As a result, the process remains to be a key responsibility for the configuration designer and is largely experience-based and graphically-oriented. However, as industry and government try to incorporate multidisciplinary design optimization (MDO) methods in the conceptual design phase, the need for a more systematic procedure has become apparent.

The development of an MDO-capable design methodology as described in this work is focused on providing conceptual designer with tools to help automate the disciplinary analyses, i.e., geometry, kinematics, flotation, and weight. Documented design procedures and analyses were examined to determine their applicability, and to ensure compliance with current practices and regulations. Using the latest information as obtained from industry during initial industry survey, the analyses were in terms modified and expanded to accommodate the design criteria associated with the advanced large subsonic transports. Algorithms were then developed based on the updated analysis procedures to be incorporated into existing MDO codes.

landing gear, kinematics, flotation, center of gravity, weight