A retractable, crashworthy main landing gear for a utility helicopter was designed, fabricated and tested to the crashworthiness requirements of a vertical velocity of 42 fps, at ± 10° roll and −5°/+ 15° pitch. The landing gear is very compact and highly
maintainable, and automatically extends in less than two seconds in an emergency. Through energy absorbing trade‐off studies and crashworthiness analyses, the gear was optimized to absorb 60 percent of the energy from a level impact at 42 fps; the remaining energy was absorbed by the
fuselage and the stroking seat. The landing gear was evaluated through single‐gear platform and iron‐bird drop tests. Analytical models were also used to predict the performance of the landing gear design. The analysis results compared very well with the test results. The test
and analysis results identified differences in the behavior of the gear in the two types of tests.
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Document Type: Research Article
McDonnell Douglas Helicopter Company, Mesa, Az.
Publication date: 1992-07-01
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