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Shock and Vibration
Volume 16 (2009), Issue 2, Pages 175-194

Adaptive Landing Gear: Optimum Control Strategy and Potential for Improvement

Grzegorz Mikułowski and Łukasz Jankowski

Smart-Tech Centre, Institute of Fundamental Technological Research, Swietokrzyska 21, 00-049 Warszawa, Poland

Received 17 July 2007; Revised 7 March 2008

Copyright © 2009 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


An adaptive landing gear is a landing gear (LG) capable of active adaptation to particular landing conditions by means of controlled hydraulic force. The objective of the adaptive control is to mitigate the peak force transferred to the aircraft structure during touch-down, and thus to limit the structural fatigue factor. This paper investigates the ultimate limits for improvement due to various strategies of active control. Five strategies are proposed and investigated numerically using a~validated model of a real, passive landing gear as a reference. Potential for improvement is estimated statistically in terms of the mean and median (significant) peak strut forces as well as in terms of the extended safe sinking velocity range. Three control strategies are verified experimentally using a laboratory test stand.