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Innovative Anti-Crash Absorber for a Crashworthy Landing Gear



This paper defines an innovative concept to anti-crash absorber in composite material to be integrated on the landing gear as an energy-absorbing device in crash conditions to absorb the impact energy. A composite cylinder tube in carbon fiber material is installed coaxially to the shock absorber cylinder and, in an emergency landing gear condition, collapses in order to enhance the energy absorption performance of the landing system. This mechanism has been developed as an alternative solution to a high-pressure chamber installed on the Agusta A129 CBT helicopter, which can be considered dangerous when the helicopter operates in hard and/or crash landing. The characteristics of the anti-crash device are presented and the structural layout of a crashworthy landing gear adopting the developed additional energy absorbing stage is outlined. Experimental and numerical results relevant to the material characterization and the force peaks evaluation of the system development are reported. The anti-crash prototype was designed, analysed, optimized, made and finally the potential performances of a landing gear with the additional anti-crash absorber system are tested by drop test and then correlated with a similar test without the anticrash system, showing that appreciable energy absorbing capabilities and efficiencies can be obtained in crash conditions.

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