Homework Question on Landing gear
Essay due about metals in aircrafts and how metal usage can change throughout the years within aviation.
- Briefly explain how landing gears could look like, how they work, and the materials commonly used in current day landing gears.
- Steel is commonly used in landing gears nowadays, however, why would it be better to use aluminum instead of steel?
- Which components of the landing gear can be changed to aluminum?
- Show in a diagram which materials which were made of steel can be made of aluminum. I need a before diagram of an old/existing landing gear and how it looks like, and an after diagram of an improved landing gear, with the materials changed clearly labeled, why these materials changed, and why are they better than the previous materials used.
- I also need to briefly discuss how much the landing gear weighs nowadays and how much lighter it may weigh after some materials have been switched to aluminum.
- I also need to discuss why this change would be important to the aircraft.
- However, the most important part of this section is of future speculations of how the landing gear could evolve and how it would look like in terms of materials.
- Focus on the future speculation of the gear and the two diagrams of a gear before change of materials and the gear after.
- If no after picture can be found online, you may draw a very simple labeled hand drawn sketch.
- Also focus on, why were these materials changed and why is this beneficial.
Homework Answer on Landing gear
The greatest concern is why the future evolution of the landing gear should see the manufacture of most of its components shifting from the use of steel to aluminum metal. One of the greatest challenges facing the development or operation of the landing gear in aircraft is its weight. There is no doubt that the landing gear is one of the most heavily loaded structures in aircraft second only to the engine. Pritchard (2001) argues that the weight varies from around 3 percent of aircraft all-up weight a fixed type of landing gear to around 6 percent for the retractable type of landing gear.
There is the need to reduce the burden regarding the weight of the landing gear, and this should occur without interference with how it functions, performs, or operates. The achievement of this objective relies heavily on the use of materials with fracture toughness, fatigue properties, and higher strength. The metal with these properties is aluminum or its high strength alloys, and thus, the argument that it would be better to use aluminum instead of steel in aircraft landing gear is underscored.
With the anticipation that the weight of the landing gear will be reduced significantly in future, most of its structural components will be changed from steel to aluminum. One of its components that can be modified to aluminum is the shock strut. The latter accounts for a significant amount of the landing gear’s weight, and thus, changing it to aluminum will be essential if its weight is to be reduced. Besides, the axle is also made of steel and should be changed to aluminum to help reduce the landing gear’s weight.