SITIS Archives - Topic Details
Program:  SBIR
Topic Num:  AF071-318 (AirForce)
Title:  Development of Castings for Landing Gear aluminum forgings
Research & Technical Areas:  Materials/Processes

  Objective:  Demonstrate improved landing gear components designed for, and produced with, high performance casting processes.
  Description:  Many landing gear components are manufactured from 7000 series aluminum forgings. In landing gear structures where high strength, and low cost is desired, 7000 series aluminum forgings are commonly used. Although forgings allow low weight structures and high performance, the cost and associated logistics lead time are significantly greater than castings. New casting alloys with sufficient mechanical properties are entering the market that may offer a performance advantage over the forged 7000 series baseline. Some of these alloys also have greatly improved corrosion resistance, and would be far more durable in service; two key issues that necessitate periodic depot maintenance (PDM). Additionally, current casting processes are available that negate the defect issues that plagued cast components in earlier years. If these technologies are combined and demonstrated successfully, the result would be an aircraft landing gear components with potentially improved performance (weight & operating envelop), lower costs, far shorter logistics lead time, and maintenance-free for it’s service life. The positive impact to logistics supportability for these landing gear components would be significant.

  PHASE I: Demonstrate the feasibility of producing aircraft landing gear components from a casting process, using an existing component design; reconfigured, structurally modeled and analyzed using modern casting alloys.
  
  PHASE II: Further develop, optimize and implement the approach from Phase I and demonstrate the performance improvements by manufacturing multiple development & test articles designed in Phase I. Mechanical & environmental properties will be optimized and validated. Aircraft qualification testing, and on-aircraft service evaluations will be conducted.

  DUAL USE COMMERCIALIZATION: Military application: Multiple uses for both military and commercial aircraft landing gear applications. Any aircraft currently utilizing forged aluminum landing gear components will have applications for this approach. Commercial application: Multiple uses for both military and commercial aircraft landing gear applications. Any aircraft currently utilizing forged aluminum landing gear components will have applications for this approach.

  References:  1. AS8860 : Landing Gear Structural Requirements as Listed in the MIL-886X Series of Specifications 2. MIL-A-8860 General Specification for Airplane Strength and Rigidity 3. MIL-A-8861 Airplane Strength and Rigidity Flight Loads 4. MIL-A-8862 Airplane Strength and Rigidity Flight Loads: LANDPLANE LANDING AND GROUND HANDLING LOADS 5. MIL-A-8864 Airplane Strength and Rigidity Flight Loads

Keywords:  Aircraft, landing gear, casting, logistics.

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