Development of Improved Shock Struts and Landing Gear

Period of Performance: 01/01/1988 - 12/31/1988

$189K

Phase 2 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Simula, Inc.
Tempe, AZ 85283
Principal Investigator

Abstract

HYDRAULIC SHOCK STRUTS USED ON LANDING GEAR DO NOT ABSORB ENERGY EFFICIENTLY DURING CRASHES UNLESS SPECIAL VALVING IS PROVIDED TO CONTROL FLUID FLOW WITHIN THE STRUTS. IN PHASE I, SIMULA INC. DEVELOPED AND TESTED A PRESSURE RELIEF VALVE THAT OFFERS AN ATTRACTIVE BLEND OF FEATURES: IT IS ACCURATE, LIGHTWEIGHT, COMPACT, INEXPENSIVE, AND RUGGED. INCORPORATION OF THE VALVE INTO THE SHOCK STRUTS OF THE UH-60A BLACK HAWK, AH-64A APACHE, AND LHX COULD SIGNIFICANTLY IMPROVE ENERGY ABSORPTION DURING CRASHES. THE BENEFIT WILL BE A COMBINATION OF LOWER WEIGHT, LESS FUSELAGE DAMAGE DURING MODERATE CRASHES, AND GREATER SAFETY FOR OCCUPANTS DURING CRASHES OF ALL SEVERITIES. THE PROPOSED PHASE II FOLLOW-ON INCLUDES DESIGN, FABRICATION, AND TESTING TO DEMONSTRATE THE ADVANTAGE OF INCORPORATING THE VALAVE INTO THE SHOCK STRUCTS OF THE UH-60A BLACK HAWK AND APACHE HELICOPTERS. OPPORTUNITIES FOR MAJOR SHOCK STRUCT AND LANDING GEAR SIMPLIFICATION HAVE ALSO BEEN RECOGNIZED DURING PHASE I: A NEW LANDING GEAR CONFIGURATION IS PROPOSED FOR APPLICATION TO FUTURE AIRCRAFT, SUCH AS LHX. FEASIBILITY OF THE SAME WILL BE STUDIED ANALYTICALLY.