The paper deals with the motion control of an aircraft door hinged at its lower edge. The door opens under the influence of weight, restrained by cross-mounted air springs and dampers. The goal is to mechanically control the motion so as to bring the door in a specified time from rest at a specified initial position to rest at a specified final position, while minimizing the peak force in the dampers. It is shown that such a velocity profile requires to engage the dampers at an optimized position and simultaneously start to modulate the spring moment so that it equals the weight moment at the final position. A variable-geometry solution is proposed consisting of a mechanical feedback in which the door rotation drives an elongation of the spring levers via bevel gears and screw leads. The associated double two point boundary value problem is solved by casting it into a constrained optimization form, yielding the required damper engagement position, the amount of spring lever extension and the damper lever length. The approach is illustrated by a design example.

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Vanderplaats, G.N., 1984, Numerical Optimization Techniques for Engineering Design, New York: McGraw-Hill Book Company.
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