Landing gear is the one of the key components for improving aircraft crashworthiness because its primary function is the energy absorption. But, in general, the shock absorbers are designed to have best efficiency for normal landing cases and can be ineffective when faced with very high sink speed. Thus special design and implementation are necessary for landing gear to have crashworthiness. For this purpose, various concepts have been studied and put to practical use such as structural pin, pressure relief valve and additional energy absorbing devices, etc. In this paper, the composite tube is investigated as an extra energy absorber and adopted to landing gear to increase shock absorbing performance in case of crash. To do this, first the quasi-static and impact test of composite tubes are conducted and the analysis model is tuned to explain the test results. During the correlation process, the failure modes and the specific energy absorption of the composite tubes are analyzed and the optimal configurations are searched.
The overall performance of landing gear including the composite tube is analyzed by developing a simplified dynamic model. Each force-stroke relation of oleo-pneumatic shock absorber, tire and composite tube are modeled as spring and damper, then the equation of motion is solved to obtain the crash responses. In this model, after the bottoming of shock absorber, the crushing of composite tube is activated for additional energy absorption. Numerical solutions show that the enhanced shock absorbing capability in case of crash when the composite tube adopted. For practical use, the landing gear performance should be verified by drop tests and this is author’s future research project.