, Volume 71, Issue 1-2, pp 331-352
Date: 13 Nov 2012

Numerical continuation analysis of a three-dimensional aircraft main landing gear mechanism

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A method of investigating quasi-static landing gear mechanisms is presented and applied to a three-dimensional aircraft main landing gear mechanism model. The model has 19 static equilibrium equations and 20 equations describing the geometric constraints in the mechanism. In the spirit of bifurcation analysis, solutions to these 39 steady-state equations are found and tracked, or continued, numerically in parameters of interest. A design case study is performed on the landing gear actuator position to demonstrate the potential relevance of the method for industrial applications. The trade-off between maximal efficiency and peak actuator force reduction when positioning the actuator is investigated. It is shown that the problem formulation is very flexible and allows actuator force, length and efficiency information to be obtained from a single numerical continuation computation with minimal data post-processing. The study suggests that numerical continuation analysis has potential for investigating even more complex landing gear mechanisms, such as those with more than one sidestay.