3336. Composite Materials for Structural Landing Gear Components On CD-R


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Sijpkes, Vergouwen: 3336. Composite Materials for Structural Landing Gear Components On CD-R. 2004.



Although the use of fiber reinforced composite materials in landing gear applications has been under investigation for several years, until now this technology had not reached the maturity status of clearance for flight in primary structural application in landing gears. Due to the ever increasing demands on low weight and low life cycle cost, SP aerospace identified composite technology for use in landing gears as very promising in the medium to long term. Therefore a technology development program was started to show the feasibility of composite materials in this application. This program was partly funded by the Dutch government. To assure maturation of this technology up to its final stages, the decision was made to continue development up to full flight clearance qualification, validated by actual flight testing.
SP aerospace has established a Technology Roadmap to guide the technology development process. One of the appointed key elements is ‘Affordable Light Weight Components.’ Within this technology area, SP aerospace has been active in developing material applications for landing gears both in Polymer Matrix Composite (PMC) and in Titanium Matrix Composite (TiMMC). To be able to compare the performance of both the PMC and TiMMC applications, the lower drag brace of the F-16 main landing gear was used as a reference component. This structural landing gear component is manufactured in ultra high strength steel (for the heavy-weight version of the F-16). The PMC technology development program resulted January 2001 in the world?s first flight of a structural PMC component in a landing gear. In June of 2003 the world?s first flight for a TiMMC component was accomplished.


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