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A novel retractable landing gear of a light amphibious airplane design, synthesis, analysis, and implementation

Sinchai Chinvorarat (Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, King Mongkut's University of Technology North Bangkok , Bangkok, Thailand)
Pumyos Vallikul (Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, King Mongkut's University of Technology North Bangkok , Bangkok, Thailand)

Aircraft Engineering and Aerospace Technology

ISSN: 0002-2667

Article publication date: 27 August 2021

Issue publication date: 30 November 2021

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to present a novel retractable main landing gear for a light amphibious airplane, while the design, synthesis and analysis are given in details for constructing the main landing gear.

Design/methodology/approach

The constraint three-position synthesis has given the correct path of all linkages that suitably fit the landing gear into the compartment. The additional lock-link is introduced into the design to ensure the securement of the mechanism while landing. Having the telescopic gas-oil shock strut as a core element to absorb the impact load, it enhances the ability and efficiency to withstand higher impact than others type of light amphibious airplane.

Findings

By kinematics bifurcation analysis, the optimized value of the unlock spring stiffness at 90 N/m can be found to tremendously reduce the extended-retracted linear actuator force from 500 N to 150 N at the beginning of the retraction sequence. This could limit the size and weight of the landing gear actuator of the light amphibious airplane.

Practical implications

The drop test of the landing gear to comply with the ASTM f-2245 (Standard Specification for Design and Performance of a Light Sport Airplane) reveals that the novel landing gear can withstand the impact load at the drop height determined by the standard. The maximum impact loading 4.8 G occurs at the drop height of 300 mm, and there is no sign of any detrimental or failure of the landing gear or the structure of the light amphibious airplane. The impact settling time response reaches the 2% of steady-state value in approximately 1.2 s that ensure the safety and stability of the amphibious airplane if it subjects to an accidentally hard landing.

Originality/value

This paper presents unique applications of a retractable main landing gear of a light amphibious airplane. The proposed landing gear functions properly and complies with the drop test standard, ensuring the safety and reliability of the airplane and exploiting the airworthiness certification process.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

The authors would like to thank the Thailand Science Research and Innovation (TSRI), and the Science and Technology Research Institute (STRI), KMUTNB, for the research cooperation and financial support throughout the project. A special acknowledgment goes to the Royal Thai Navy (RTN) for invaluable information toward the end of this project.

Citation

Chinvorarat, S. and Vallikul, P. (2021), "A novel retractable landing gear of a light amphibious airplane design, synthesis, analysis, and implementation", Aircraft Engineering and Aerospace Technology, Vol. 93 No. 10, pp. 1547-1558. https://doi.org/10.1108/AEAT-10-2020-0237

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

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