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DESIGN AND WEIGHT OPTIMIZATION OF HELICOPTER SKID

TUBE USING FEA


Submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements
for the award of
BACHELOR OF ENGINEERING
by
ATHRESH.S
Reg No. 2826112
PRITHVI.P
Reg No. 2826146
THOMSON MANOJ.B
Reg No. 2826161
SARASWATHY.K
Reg No. 2826153

DEPARTMENT OF AERONAUTICAL ENGINEERING
SATHYABAMA UNIVERSITY
(Established under section 3 of UGC Act, 1956)
JEPPIAAR NAGAR, RAJIV GANDHI ROAD,
CHENNAI 600 119.
MARCH-2012




DEPARTMENT OF AERONAUTICAL ENGINEERING

BONAFIDE CERTIFICATE
This is to certify that this Project Report is the bonafide work of Mr. ATHRESH.S
Reg. No: 2826112 who carried out the project entitled DESIGN AND WEIGHT
OPTIMIZATION OF HELICOPTER SKID TUBE USING FEA under our
supervision from November 2011 to March 2012.


Internal Guide External Guide

Mr. T.SELVAKUMARAN Mr. A.T.Rao
Assistant professor, Dept of Aeronautical Chief Manager,
Sathyabama University Stress Group, RWR&DC
Chennai. HAL, Bangalore.

Head of the department
(Dr. B.S.M. Augustine)



Submitted for viva voce examination held on 23
rd
March 2012


Internal examiner External examiner


DECLARATION

I Athresh.S hereby declare that the Project Report entitled DESIGN AND
WEIGHT OPTIMIZATION OF HELICOPTER SKID TUBE USING FEA is done by
me under the guidance of Mr.T.Selvakumaran and Mr.A.T.Rao at Hindustan
Aeronautics Limited (HAL), Bangalore is submitted in partial fulfillment of the
requirements for the award of the degree in BACHELOR OF ENGINEERING.





DATE: 23
rd
March 2012
PLACE: Chennai SIGNATURE OF THE CANDIDATE
















ACKNOWLEDGEMENT
We express our profound gratitude and heart-felt thanks for motivating and
inspiring us to pursue the Engineering degree with lot of zeal and confidence,
helping us to express our creative visions and ideas throughout the whole
time-frame of the course. And also for providing us with a wonderful opportunity to
perform our final year academic project in prestigious organization HINDUSTAN
AERONAUTICS LIMITED (Bangalore) to the following Prime visionaries of our
university:
Chancellor : Col.DR. JEPPIAAR, M.A.B.L, Ph.D.
Directors :Thiru.N.Marie Johnson, B.E., M.B.A.,Ph.D.
:Tmt.Mariazeena Johnson, B.E., M.B.A., Ph.D.
Dean : DR.B.Sheela Rani, Ph.D.
(PG studies & Research)
Dean : DR.T.Sasiprabha, Ph.D.,
(Publications & Conferences)
Registrar : DR.S.S.Rau, M.B.A., and Ph.D.
Controller of Examination : DR.K.V.Narayanan, M.E., Ph.D.
Head of the Department : DR.B.S.M AUGUSTINE, M.E., Ph.D.

It is with immense pleasure, we express our regards and profound gratitude to
Mr.A.T.Rao, chief Manager, Stress Group and RWR& DC (HAL) for his kind
gesture in accepting our request to guide and assist us in under taking this project
work successfully.
Our sincere regards for the help and guidance rendered by Mr R.Ravindranath,
HOFG, Stress Group, RWR & DC (HAL) throughout the course of this project.

We also extend our sincere thanks to Mr.K.S.Narayana Rao, Technical
consultant RWR &DC, (HAL) for directing us to do the project work in RWR &
DC.

We are very thankful to our respectable guide Mr.T.SelvaKumaran, Assistant
Professor, Department of Aeronautical Engineering, for his valuable
suggestions and assistance regarding our project work.

CHAPTER
NO.
TABLE OF CONTENTS PAGE NO.


ABSTRACT (i)
LIST OF FIGURES (ii)
1. INTRODUCTION 1
1.1 HAL COMPANY PROFILE 1
1.2 ROTARY WING RESEARCH & DEVELOPMENT CENTRE 3
1.3 HELICOPTER LANDING GEAR 5

2. SCOPE OF THE PROJECT 7
2.1 CHARACTERISTICS & FUNCTIONS OF SKID TUBE 7
2.2 SKID TYPE ADVANCED LIGHT HELICOPTER 8
2.3 UPCOMING SKID BASED LUH 10
2.4 SKID TUBE MATERIAL- AL 7075 11

3. STRUCTURAL ANALYSIS 13
3.1 ANALYSIS METHODS 13
3.2 STEPS INVOLVED IN FEA 15
3.3 ADVANTAGES & LIMITATIONS OF FEA 17
3.4 LINEAR ANALYSIS- FEA 18

4. INTRODUCTION TO NASTRAN/PATRAN PACKAGE 21
4.1 COMPARISON OF CONVENTIONAL WITH FEA 21

5. ANALYSIS OF ACCURACY OF THE NASTRAN/PATRAN 23
5.1 CANTILEVER WITH CIRCULAR CROSS SECTION
UNDER POINT LOAD
23
5.2 BUCKLING OF BEAM (BOTH ENDS HINGED) 26
5.3 RESULTS & SUMMARY 29
5.4 OBSERVATION 29


6. STRESS ANALYSIS OF SKID TUBE OF A HELICOPTER 30
6.1 LOAD CASES 30
6.2 SKID TUBE ANALYSIS 31

7. WEIGHT OPTIMIZATION ANALYSIS & STUDY 44
7.1 WEIGHT OPTIMIZATION SIMULATIONS 44
7.2 COMPARISON & OBSERVATIONS OF ALL
SIMULATIONS (2D) RESULTS
54

8. RESULTS AND DISCUSSIONS 55

9. CONCLUSION 56

10. BIBLIOGRAPHY / REFERENCES 57













ABSTRACT
Rotary wing aircrafts are used extensively in both civil and military missions on a
regular basis. Generally these aircraft consists of two kinds of landing gears.
1. Oleo-strut landing gear with wheels
2. Skid landing gear

The oleo-strut landing gears offer the
advantages of initial taxing and take-off.
They have additional design
complexities. Skid landing gears on the
other hand offers simplicity in design
and reduction in empty weight. Skid
landing gears make more sense, offer
greater ease and needs very little
maintenance. One of the significant
drawbacks is ground handling which is a
difficult process. Skid landing gears
have a unique way of being
crashworthy.

Fig 1: Skid tube model
Design significance:
To present a landing gear skid tube of the rotary wing aircraft that is more ease of
use practically in all kinds of environments and simultaneously offering better
strength, crashworthiness. Generally skid tubes are fabricated from metal alloys
such as aluminium 7075.
I. Optimize the weight of the skid tubes.
II. Evaluate the reliability and performance parameters based on different
kinds of stress-strain behaviour patterns exhibited and deformations.
III. To minimize the gross weight (W
G
) and empty weight (W
E
) of the skid tubes
by using FEA packages and also matching it with necessary hand
calculations.
IV. Considering different load cases.
(i)

LIST OF FIGURES

FIG
NO.
NAME OF THE FIGURES PAGE NO.
1.
Skid tube model
(i)
2.
Mi-28 with wheel type landing gear
5
3.
Sarang with skid type landing gear
6
4.
Dhruv (ALH) helicopter for Indian Air Force
8
5.
HAL - features of LUH
10
6.
7075 (T6) - Alloy used in the skid tube
11
7.
Linear analysis stress strain curve
18
8.
Cantilever beam
23
9.
Deflection for 5.1
25
10.
Maximum bending stress for 5.1
25
11.
Buckling of beam
26
12.
FEA results of beam under buckling
28
13.
Helicopter skid tube with defining length
30
14.
Ref. Image of loading conditions (2D) for load case B
31
15.
FE model of the skid tube with constant thickness, 3.4 mm
32
16.
General loading diagram
33
17.
Deflection (1D) for simulation (1) - case A
35

(ii)

18.
Maximum Bending stress (1D) for simulation (1) case A
35
19.
Deflection (2D) for simulation (1) case A
35
20.
Maximum Bending stress (2D) for simulation (1) case A
36
21.
Maximum Bending stress (2D) for simulation (1) case B
38
22.
Deflection (2D) for simulation (1) case B
38
23.
Skid tube with constant thickness, 4mm
39
24.
Deflection (1D) for simulation (2) case A
41
25.
Maximum Bending stress (1D) for simulation (2) case A
41
26.
Deflection (2D) for simulation (2) case A
41
27.
Maximum Bending stress (2D) for simulation (2) case A
42
28.
Maximum Bending stress (1D) for simulation (2) case B
43
29.
Maximum Bending stress (2D) for simulation (2) case B
43
30.
Skid tube with variable thickness (simulation 3)
44
31.
Maximum Bending stress (1D) for simulation (3) case A
45
32.
Deflection (1D) for simulation (3) case A
46
33.
Maximum Bending stress (2D) for simulation (3) case A
46
34.
Deflection (2D) for simulation (3) case A
46
35.
Maximum Bending stress (1D) for simulation (3) case B
47
36.
Deflection (1D) for simulation (3) case B
47
37.
Maximum Bending stress (2D) for simulation (3) case B
48
38.
Deflection (2D) for simulation (3) case B
48

(iii)

39.
Skid tube with variable thickness (simulation 4)
49
40.
Maximum Bending stress (1D) for simulation (4) - case A
50
41.
Deflection (1D) for simulation (4) - case A
51
42.
Maximum Bending stress (2D) for simulation (4) - case A
51
43.
Deflection (2D) for simulation (4) - case A
51
44.
Maximum Bending stress (1D) for simulation (4) - case B
52
45.
Deflection (1D) for simulation (4) - case B
52
46.
Maximum Bending stress (2D) for simulation (4) - case B
53
47.
Deflection (2D) for simulation (4) - case B
53
48.
Graph for strength to weight
55


















(iv)


Page | 1

1. INTRODUCTION
1.1 HAL - COMPANY PROFILE:

Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) was established on 1
st
October 1964.
The merger of Hindustan Aircraft Limited with Aeronautics India Limited and
Aircraft Manufacturing Depot, Kanpur formed the company.
The company traces its roots by the innovating efforts of an industrialist with
an extraordinary vision, the late Seth Walchand Hirachand, who set up
Hindustan Aircraft Limited at Bangalore in association with the erstwhile princely
State of Mysore in December 1940. The Government of India became a
shareholder in March 1941 and took over the management in 1942.
Today HAL has 19 Productions Units and 10 Research and Design Centres
in 8 locations in India. The company has an impressive track record 15 types of
aircrafts/ Helicopters manufactured with in-house R&D and 14 types produced
under license. HAL has manufactured over 3646 Aircraft/ Helicopters, 4096
engines and overhauled over 9447 aircraft and 29886 engines.
HAL has won seven international & National Awards for achievements in R&D,
Technology, Managerial Performance, Exports, Energy Conversation, Quality and
Fulfillment of Social Responsibilities.
HAL was awarded the INTERNATIONAL GOLD MEDAL AWARD for
Corporate Achievement in Quality and Efficiency at the International
Summit (Global Rating Leaders 2003), London, UK by M/s Global Rating
and UK in conjunction with the International Information and Marketing
Centre (IIMC).
HAL was presented the international- ARCH OF EUROPE Award in Gold
Category in recognition for its commitment to Quality, Leadership,
Technology and Innovation.
Page | 2

At the National level, HAL won the GOLD TROPHY for excellence in
Public Sector Management, instituted by the Standing Conference of
Public Enterprises (SCOPE)
Some of the prestigious Awards received during last 4 years are:
Conferred NAVARATNA status by the Government of India on 22
nd
June
2007
Raksha Mantris Awards for excellence for the years 2006-07, 2007-08 and
2008-09

1.1.1 COMPANYS MISSION:
To become a globally competitive aerospace industry while working as an
instrument for achieving self-reliance in design, manufacture and maintenance of
aerospace defence equipment and diversifying to related areas, managing the
business on commercial lines in a climate of growing professional competence
1.1.2 HELICOPTER COMPLEX:

RWRDC ( Rotary wing research & development centre )
HELICOPTER MFG DIVISION
HELICOPTER MRO
COMPOSITE MFG DIVISION
BARRACKPORE DIVISION

1.1.3 CURRENT PROJECTS:
ADVANCED LIGHT HELICOPTER (ALH)
LIGHT COMBAT HELICOPTER (LCH)
LIGHT UTILITY HELICOPTER (LUH)

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1.2 ROTARY WING REASEARCH & DEVELOPMENT CENTRE:
RWR & DC undertakes full range of design tasks for civil and military
helicopters. It has extensive facilities for design and development, testing and
analysis of structure/ transmission system/ integration of engine/ avionics as well
as accessories.
RWR & DC is the nodal agency for successful design and development of
Dhruv Advanced Light Helicopter (ALH) for wide range of military and civil
applications. Ongoing projects include weapon system integration on ALH and
development of Light Combat Helicopter (LCH).
1.2.1 STRESS GROUP IN RWR&DC:

A helicopter has to satisfy several functions of several disciplines. One of
the functionaries is stress analysis group. The job is to ensure that the component
must be light and yet strong enough and reliable. So to carry out the same, the
stress group works. The activities of the stress group are as follows:

Application of modern analytical tools to perform stress computations.
Synthesis of results with feedback data obtained from ground and flight
testing incorporating these improvements in to the component design.
1.2.2 FUNCTIONS OF STRESS GROUP:
Design co-ordination:
Assisting the designer in preparing the layouts regard to dimensioning, material
selection in the preparing the layouts regarding to dimensioning, material
selection in the preliminary design stages and optimization of the
structure/component in the final steps.

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Test lab and ground test co-ordination:
To ensure the accuracy of the analytical calculations, the stress group must
have the interaction with the TEST LAB to obtain the information on the base
allowable design stresses.
Equivalent material substitution regarding strength and stiffness
reconsiderations.
Component test plan/ program, test order preparation, follows up of ground
test activity and synthesis of post test data results.

Flight testing co-ordination:
Flight monitoring i.e. identification of parameters to be measured and
synthesis of post flight test results.
Manufacturing and production co-ordination:
Analysis of snags, suggestion of reworks and repair schemes on deviations
of course, which are within the acceptable limits.
Interaction with certification agencies:
Continuous interaction with the certification agencies for compliance of
design requirements.





1.3 HELICOPTER LANDING GEAR:
1.3.1 CLASSIFICATION OF LANDING GEAR:
Landing gear for helicopter is mainly of two types. They are skid type
&wheel type landing gear. Skid type landing gear is simple lighter from weight
point of view, involving lesser maintenance and cheaper but is difficult for ground
handling since separate ground handling system is needed and difficult to cater for
higher crashworthiness. Wheel type landing gear is complex and heavier from
weight point of view this requires more maintenance & costlier but it can be used
for easy maneuvering on ground. It is used to cater for higher crashworthiness
requirements.
1.3.1.1 Wheel type landing gear:
Wheel type landing gear depending upon the number of landing gear
per helicopter and location of installati
a) Tricycle nose wheel type is the one in which one main landing gear is installed
in the front and two landing gears are installed at the rear of the CG.
b) Tail wheel type is the one in which two main landing gears are installed in the
front and one landing gear
c) Quadricycle type is the one which has two landing gears installed in the front
and two in the rear of the CG of the helicopter.

Fig.2: Mi-
HELICOPTER LANDING GEAR:
CLASSIFICATION OF LANDING GEAR:
Landing gear for helicopter is mainly of two types. They are skid type
&wheel type landing gear. Skid type landing gear is simple lighter from weight
point of view, involving lesser maintenance and cheaper but is difficult for ground
ince separate ground handling system is needed and difficult to cater for
higher crashworthiness. Wheel type landing gear is complex and heavier from
weight point of view this requires more maintenance & costlier but it can be used
ground. It is used to cater for higher crashworthiness
Wheel type landing gear:
Wheel type landing gear depending upon the number of landing gear
per helicopter and location of installation can be classified as follows:
cle nose wheel type is the one in which one main landing gear is installed
in the front and two landing gears are installed at the rear of the CG.
Tail wheel type is the one in which two main landing gears are installed in the
front and one landing gear installed at the rear of the CG.
Quadricycle type is the one which has two landing gears installed in the front
and two in the rear of the CG of the helicopter.


: Mi-28 having wheel type landing gear

Page | 5
Landing gear for helicopter is mainly of two types. They are skid type
&wheel type landing gear. Skid type landing gear is simple lighter from weight
point of view, involving lesser maintenance and cheaper but is difficult for ground
ince separate ground handling system is needed and difficult to cater for
higher crashworthiness. Wheel type landing gear is complex and heavier from
weight point of view this requires more maintenance & costlier but it can be used
ground. It is used to cater for higher crashworthiness
Wheel type landing gear depending upon the number of landing gear
cle nose wheel type is the one in which one main landing gear is installed
in the front and two landing gears are installed at the rear of the CG.
Tail wheel type is the one in which two main landing gears are installed in the
Quadricycle type is the one which has two landing gears installed in the front
1.3.1.2 Skid type landing gear:
Skid tube landing
rear cross tube and two skid tubes. The cross tubes are attached to the structure
outside the structural envelop, which has distinct advantage of easy installation of
cross tubes and ease of maintenance.
Fig.3: Sarang having skid type landing gear
The skid tubes are curved in the front portion and have end caps at the rear
end. Replaceable wear plates are attached to the bottom of skid tubes by screws
to avoid damage to the skids.
The cross tube is attac
shoe consists of a sleeve which receives the end of the cross tube, a curved
bracket which rests on the skid tube and a gusset which connects the sleeve and
the curved bracket. The front cross tube, the rea
are made up of an aluminium alloy. The shoe connecting the cross tubes and the
skid is made up of steel.
Size of the cross tube and skid tube is arrived at based on the landing
velocities stipulated in standards like
DEFSTAN 00970 etc. energy is absorbed by deflection of both cross tubes .which
are supported at the structural brackets. Energy absorbing capability is evaluated
by static and drop tests of cross tubes. The ski
installing ground handling wheel system for towing the helicopter.
Certification requirements specify a set of landing conditions for which the
undercarriage has to be designed. The loads arising out of critical landing
like vertical landing, forward drag landing, side drag landing & single skid landing
needs to be considered during the design stage.

Skid type landing gear:
Skid tube landing gear system consists of a forward cross tube, a
rear cross tube and two skid tubes. The cross tubes are attached to the structure
outside the structural envelop, which has distinct advantage of easy installation of
cross tubes and ease of maintenance.

: Sarang having skid type landing gear
The skid tubes are curved in the front portion and have end caps at the rear
end. Replaceable wear plates are attached to the bottom of skid tubes by screws
to avoid damage to the skids.
The cross tube is attached to skid tubes by means of skid shoe. The skid
shoe consists of a sleeve which receives the end of the cross tube, a curved
bracket which rests on the skid tube and a gusset which connects the sleeve and
The front cross tube, the rear cross tube and the skid tubes
are made up of an aluminium alloy. The shoe connecting the cross tubes and the
Size of the cross tube and skid tube is arrived at based on the landing
velocities stipulated in standards like federal aviation regulations (FAR 29), AR 56,
DEFSTAN 00970 etc. energy is absorbed by deflection of both cross tubes .which
are supported at the structural brackets. Energy absorbing capability is evaluated
by static and drop tests of cross tubes. The skid landing gear has a provision for
installing ground handling wheel system for towing the helicopter.
Certification requirements specify a set of landing conditions for which the
undercarriage has to be designed. The loads arising out of critical landing
like vertical landing, forward drag landing, side drag landing & single skid landing
needs to be considered during the design stage.
Page | 6
gear system consists of a forward cross tube, a
rear cross tube and two skid tubes. The cross tubes are attached to the structure
outside the structural envelop, which has distinct advantage of easy installation of
The skid tubes are curved in the front portion and have end caps at the rear
end. Replaceable wear plates are attached to the bottom of skid tubes by screws
hed to skid tubes by means of skid shoe. The skid
shoe consists of a sleeve which receives the end of the cross tube, a curved
bracket which rests on the skid tube and a gusset which connects the sleeve and
r cross tube and the skid tubes
are made up of an aluminium alloy. The shoe connecting the cross tubes and the
Size of the cross tube and skid tube is arrived at based on the landing
federal aviation regulations (FAR 29), AR 56,
DEFSTAN 00970 etc. energy is absorbed by deflection of both cross tubes .which
are supported at the structural brackets. Energy absorbing capability is evaluated
d landing gear has a provision for
Certification requirements specify a set of landing conditions for which the
undercarriage has to be designed. The loads arising out of critical landing cases
like vertical landing, forward drag landing, side drag landing & single skid landing
Page | 7

2. SCOPE OF THE PROJECT
The weight optimization of the skid tube for the upcoming LUH is a vital part
of the on-going research work which is to develop all new light weight Helicopter.
The skid tube though being small component of the helicopter has a greater
prominence attached to it due to its functions and characteristics.
Reduction in the weight of the skid tube also results in the reduction of
overall weight of the skid landing gear which is significant for Light utility
Helicopter. A Finite Element Analysis of skid tube is done using Patran/Nastran
Package.
This project will give insight and a uniform approach to the weight reduction
process of skid tube. A whole lot of new ideas and required key basic inputs will
also emerge for further weight optimization of skid tube by the end of this project.

2.1 CHARACTERISTICS & FUNCTIONS OF SKID TUBE:

Skid tubes are basically used in landing the helicopter when a helicopter
lands. The skid tube is the first part of the helicopter that touches the ground but
the main aim for the usage of skid tube is that it doesnt deform or deflect at the
time of landing instead the skid tube transfers the load to the cross tube which
intern deflect in such a way the skid tube does not damage itself during landing.
The front end bending portion of the skid tube is used for many functional
purposes such as to toe the helicopter. It acts as a towing hook it is used during
the maintenance ground work of the helicopter. The significant function of the
bending portion is to prevent the damage of skid tubes during the landing of the
helicopter using single skid landing with forward velocity and during angle landing.
The skid tube has provision for the attachment of cross tubes. The length
of both skid tubes of the helicopter and its thickness are same whereas forward
cross tube dimensions are slightly different from the aft cross tube of helicopter.


2.2 SKID TYPE ADVANCED LIGHT HELICOPTER:

The Dhruv (Pole Star
Aeronautics Limited (HAL). It is a multi
for both military and civil operators. The Dhruv is suitable for utility and ground
attack roles. A number of variants exist. Current military operators of the HAL
Dhruv are India, Bolivia, Burma, Israel, Maldives and Nepal. It is also being
considered by Chile and Peru.
Development of the HAL Dhruv, previously known as the Advanced Light
Helicopter (ALH), began in 1984, however progress was slow. First prototype
made its maiden flight in 1992. Because of delays, constructional issues, lack of
funding and political reasons, production of the Dhruv began only in 2000 and 75
helicopters were delivered to Indian armed forces by 2007. Its estimated
requirements include 120 helicopters for the army, 120 for the navy and 60 for the
air force.
Fig.4: Dhruv (ALH)
The HAL Dhruv has a conventional design. About two
made from composite materials. Cockpit section of the fuselage is made of Kevlar
and carbon-fibre. The Dhruv is capable to fly at very high altitude
crucial requirement considering India's terrain. In generally it is a low
high-performance helicopter
stub wings to carry up to eight anti
rocket pods for 68-mm or 70
can carry four anti-ship missiles or two torpedoes
SKID TYPE ADVANCED LIGHT HELICOPTER:
Pole Star) light utility helicopter was developed by Hindustan
Aeronautics Limited (HAL). It is a multi-role and multi-mission helicopter, intended
litary and civil operators. The Dhruv is suitable for utility and ground
attack roles. A number of variants exist. Current military operators of the HAL
Dhruv are India, Bolivia, Burma, Israel, Maldives and Nepal. It is also being
eru.
Development of the HAL Dhruv, previously known as the Advanced Light
Helicopter (ALH), began in 1984, however progress was slow. First prototype
made its maiden flight in 1992. Because of delays, constructional issues, lack of
reasons, production of the Dhruv began only in 2000 and 75
helicopters were delivered to Indian armed forces by 2007. Its estimated
requirements include 120 helicopters for the army, 120 for the navy and 60 for the

: Dhruv (ALH) helicopter for Indian air force
The HAL Dhruv has a conventional design. About two-thirds of its weight is
made from composite materials. Cockpit section of the fuselage is made of Kevlar
fibre. The Dhruv is capable to fly at very high altitudes, what is a
crucial requirement considering India's terrain. In generally it is a low
performance helicopter. Helicopters supplied to Indian army are fitted with
stub wings to carry up to eight anti-tank missiles, four air-to-air missiles an
mm or 70-mm unoperated rockets. Naval variant of the Dhruv
ship missiles or two torpedoes.
Page | 8
) light utility helicopter was developed by Hindustan
mission helicopter, intended
litary and civil operators. The Dhruv is suitable for utility and ground
attack roles. A number of variants exist. Current military operators of the HAL
Dhruv are India, Bolivia, Burma, Israel, Maldives and Nepal. It is also being
Development of the HAL Dhruv, previously known as the Advanced Light
Helicopter (ALH), began in 1984, however progress was slow. First prototype
made its maiden flight in 1992. Because of delays, constructional issues, lack of
reasons, production of the Dhruv began only in 2000 and 75
helicopters were delivered to Indian armed forces by 2007. Its estimated
requirements include 120 helicopters for the army, 120 for the navy and 60 for the
thirds of its weight is
made from composite materials. Cockpit section of the fuselage is made of Kevlar
s, what is a
crucial requirement considering India's terrain. In generally it is a low-cost and
Helicopters supplied to Indian army are fitted with
air missiles and four
mm unoperated rockets. Naval variant of the Dhruv
Page | 9

Some helicopters are completed with a gun turret, fitted with the M621 20-
mm cannon. The WSI or Weapon System Integrated versions of the Indian army
will be fitted with the Nag anti-tank missiles. These missiles are currently under
development. The Nag has imaging infrared guidance and a range of 4 km.
Cabin of the HAL Dhruv can accommodate 12 - 14 troops. In the air
ambulance configuration it can carry four stretchers and two medical attendants.
Prototype helicopter was fitted with two Turbomeca TM 333-2B2 turbo shaft
engines, developing 990 shaft horsepower each. Countermeasures of the Dhruv
can include radar and missile detectors, infrared jammer, and chaff and flare
dispensers.


















Page | 10

2.3 THE UPCOMING SKID BASED LIGHT UTILITY HELICOPTER:

Fig.5: HAL features of Light Utility Helicopter

2.3.1 Roles of LUH:
Reconnaissance and surveillance.
Carry small body of troops.
Scout.
Casualty evacuation.
Airborne forward air controller.
2.3.2 Performance:
Maximum speed 250 kmph
Rate of climb 7.5 m/s
Range/Payload @ S.L 350 km / 500 kg
Service ceiling 6.5 km

Page | 11

2.4 SKID TUBE MATERIAL ALUMINIUM 7075:

Aluminium 7075 is an aluminium alloy, with zinc as the primary alloying
element. It is strong, with strength comparable to many steels, and has good
fatigue strength and average machinability. 7075 aluminium alloy's composition
roughly includes 5.6-6.1% zinc, 2.1-2.5% magnesium, 1.2-1.6% copper, and less
than half a percent of silicon, iron, manganese, titanium, chromium, and other
metals. It is commonly produced in several heat temper grades, 7075-O, 7075-
T6, and 7075-T651.
7075 tech sheet T6 temper 7075 is the alloy which is commonly used in the
manufacture of the skid tubes. 7075 tech sheet T6 temper 7075 has an ultimate
tensile strength of 74 - 78,000 psi (510 - 538 MPa) and yield strength of at least 63
- 69,000 psi (434-476 MPa). It has failure elongation of 5-8%


Fig.6: 7075-T6-the alloy used in the skid tube
2.4.1 Corrosion resistance:

Alloy 7075 has been thoroughly evaluated for corrosion resistance of
atmospheric weathering, stress-corrosion cracking and exfoliation in all currently
available tempers. These values have been used as a standard for comparison in
the development of more recent high strength aerospace alloys. Within the 7XXX
series of alloys, resistance to general corrosion attack, SCC and exfoliation
improves significantly in the overage tempers (T7 type) compared with peak
strength tempers (T6).
Page | 12


Generally, the T76 type temper is considered the exfoliation resistant
temper, while the T73 type temper is considered the SCC resistant temper. It
should be noted that T73 is as resistant to exfoliation as T76, but at lower strength
levels. For applications where good surface appearance is required or in corrosive
environments, alcald 7075 sheet and plate products are recommended.

2.4.2 Mechanical properties of Aluminium 7075:

Description Value
Young's modulus (MPa) 70000 72000
Shear modulus (MPa) 27500 28000
Tensile strength (MPa) 480 530
Elongation (%) 2 8
Yield strength (MPa) 350 450
Density (kg/mm
3
) 0.000002810









Page | 13

3. STRUCTURAL ANALYSIS

The structural analysis involves evaluation of following things,
Displacement at certain points
Stress Distribution
Natural Frequencies
Critical buckling loads
Vibrations
Pressure, Velocity and Temperature distribution
Crack growth, Residual strength and fatigue life

3.1 ANALYSIS METHODS:
There are three different approaches to achieve the above mentioned
objectives:
Experimental methods.
Analytical methods
Approximate or Numerical methods.
3.1.1 EXPERIMENTAL METHODS:
In this type prototypes can be used. If we want to change the dimensions of
the prototype, we have to disassemble the entire prototype and reassemble it and
then testing should be carried out. It needs man power and materials. So, fits time
consuming and costly process.
3.1.2 ANALYTICAL METHODS or THEORITICAL METHODS:
In these methods, problems are expressed by mathematical differential
equations. It gives quick and closed form solutions. It is used only for simple
geometries and idealized support and loading conditions.

Page | 14

3.1.3 NUMERICAL METHODS:
Analytical solutions can be obtained only for certain simplified situations.
For problems involving complex material properties and boundary conditions, the
engineer prefers numerical methods that give approximate but acceptable
solutions. The following three methods are under numerical solutions:
Functional Approximation
Finite Difference Method (FDM)
Finite Element Method (FEM)
3.1.3.1 Functional Approximation method:
The classical methods such as Rayleigh- Ritz methods (variation approach)
and Galarkin methods (weight residual method) are based on functional
approximation but vary in their procedure for evaluating the unknown
parameters.
Rayleigh Ritz method is useful for solving complex structural problems,
encountered in finite element analysis.
Weighted Residual method is useful for non-structural problems.
3.1.3.2 Finite Difference Method (FDM):
Finite difference method is useful for solving heat transfer fluid mechanics
and structural mechanics problems. It is applicable to any phenomenon for
which differential equation along with the boundary conditions is available. It
works well for two dimensional regions with boundaries parallel to the co-
ordinate axes.
The starting point in the finite difference method is that the differential
equation must be known before hand. After that, the region is subdivided
into a convenient number of divisions. The differential equation is applied
successfully at various points of the subdivided region, a set of
simultaneous equations are generated which upon solving leads to the
approximate solution of the problem.
This method is difficult to use when regions have curved or irregular
boundaries and its difficult to write general computer programs.
Page | 15

3.1.3.3 FINITE ELEMENT METHOD (FEM):
In this method a body or structure in which analysis to be carried out is
subdivided into smaller elements of finite dimensions called finite elements.
Then the body is considered as assemblage of these elements connected
at a finite number of joints called Nodes or Nodal points. The properties of
each type of finite element is obtained and assembled together and solved
as whole to get the solution.
Finite element method is used to solve physical problems involving
complicated geometrics, loading and material properties which cannot be
solved by analytical method. This method is extensively used in the field of
structural mechanics, fluid mechanics, heat transfer, mass transfer, electric
and magnetic field problems.
3.2 STEPS INVOLVED IN FINITE ELEMENT ANALYSIS:
The basis of finite element analysis is the representation of the body or
structure by an assemblage of sub-division called finite elements. These elements
are considered interconnected at joints which are called nodes or nodal points.
The finite element analysis involves the following steps in finite element
formulation and solution to an engineering problem.
i) Discretize and select the element types:
The above step involves dividing the body into an equivalent system of finite
elements with the associated nodes and choosing the most appropriate element
type to model most closely the actual physical behaviors. The elements must be
made small enough to give better results.
ii) Select an interpolation or displacement model:
The above step involves choosing a displacement model or function within
each element. The function is defined within the element using the nodal values of
the element. The functions are usually expressed in polynomials of order linear,
quadratic and cubic, etc. However, trigonometric series can also be used.

Page | 16

iii) Define the strain-displacement and stress-strain relations:
This involves derivation of stresses and strains using strain-displacement
and stress-strain relations.
iv) Derive the element stiffness matrix and equilibrium equations of element:
In this step, the stiffness matrix and equilibrium equations for one, two or
three dimensional elements are obtained based on either, direct equilibrium
method, or work or energy methods or weighted residual methods.
K = Bt D B dV
v) Assemble the element equilibrium equations to obtain the global
equilibrium equations and imposition of boundary conditions:
This step involves the individual element equations in step 4 to be added
together using a method of superposition to obtain the global equation for the
whole body. To remove singularity (determinant of stiffness matrix leads to zero)
problem, we must impose certain boundary conditions so that the body remains in
equilibrium instead of moving as a rigid body.
[K] {u} = {F}
vi) Solve for the unknown generalized displacements:
In this step, we solve for unknown displacements in global equilibrium
equations by using elimination such as Gauss method or an iterative method.
vii) Solve for the element strains and stresses:
The quantities of strains and stresses in each element can be obtained by
using the relationships between strain-displacement and between strain-stress.
They are directly expressed in terms of displacements determined in step 6.
{} = [B] {u} & {} = E [B] {u}



3.2.1 FLOWCHART OF FINITE ELEMENT


3.3 ADVANTAGES AND LIMITATIONS OF FEA
3.3.1 Advantages:
FEA can easily handle complex geometry.
FEA can handle complex analysis like vibration, heat transfer, fluid dynamics,
transient and non-linear type of problems and so on.
FEA can handle complex loading like node based loading, element based
loads, time or frequency dependent loading, etc.
FEA can handle complex restraints
analyzed.
FEA can analyze bodies comprised of non homogenous and non i
materials.
Special material and geometric effects can be


CREATE GEOMETRY
ASSIGN MATERIAL PROPERTIES
FINITE ELEMENT MESHING
CREATE BOUNDARY CONDITIONS
CREATE LOAD CASE
ANALYSIS USING NASTRAN SOLVER
CHART OF FINITE ELEMENT ANALYSIS:
DVANTAGES AND LIMITATIONS OF FEA:
can easily handle complex geometry.
can handle complex analysis like vibration, heat transfer, fluid dynamics,
linear type of problems and so on.
can handle complex loading like node based loading, element based
loads, time or frequency dependent loading, etc.
can handle complex restraints-indeterminate structures can be
can analyze bodies comprised of non homogenous and non i
Special material and geometric effects can be modeled and handled.
CREATE GEOMETRY
ASSIGN MATERIAL PROPERTIES
FINITE ELEMENT MESHING
CREATE BOUNDARY CONDITIONS
CREATE LOAD CASE
ANALYSIS USING NASTRAN SOLVER
READ RESULTS
POST PROCESSING
Page | 17

can handle complex analysis like vibration, heat transfer, fluid dynamics,
can handle complex loading like node based loading, element based
indeterminate structures can be
can analyze bodies comprised of non homogenous and non isotropic
and handled.
3.3.2 Limitations:
An approximate solution.
An element dependent solution.
Element density affects the solution, i.e., the element size should be adjusted
to capture gradients. Susceptible to user introduced
A specific numerical result is obtained for a specific problem. A general closed
form solution that permit
various parameters is not produced and is applied to an approximation of the
mathematical model of a system.
A powerful computer and reliable

3.4 LINEAR ANALYSIS FEA
Fig.7: Linear analysis
Linear means a straight line variation
straight line (y=mx) passing through origin.E Elastic Modulus is slope of the
curve and is a constant. In real life after crossing yield point material follows non
linear curve but software follows straight line .Component brake into two separate
pieces after crossing ultimate stress but software based analysis never show
failure in this fashion .It shows single unbroken part only with red colour zone at
the location of failure .Analyst has to conclude whether the component is safe or
fail by comparing the Maximum
material.
An approximate solution.
An element dependent solution.
Element density affects the solution, i.e., the element size should be adjusted
to capture gradients. Susceptible to user introduced modeling errors.
A specific numerical result is obtained for a specific problem. A general closed
form solution that permit one to examine system response to changes in
various parameters is not produced and is applied to an approximation of the
mathematical model of a system.
A powerful computer and reliable FEA software are essential.
FEA:
Linear analysis- Stress strain curve
Linear means a straight line variation. The Hookes law is an equation of
) passing through origin.E Elastic Modulus is slope of the
curve and is a constant. In real life after crossing yield point material follows non
linear curve but software follows straight line .Component brake into two separate
mate stress but software based analysis never show
failure in this fashion .It shows single unbroken part only with red colour zone at
the location of failure .Analyst has to conclude whether the component is safe or
Maximum Stress value with yield or ultimate stress of
Page | 18
Element density affects the solution, i.e., the element size should be adjusted
errors.
A specific numerical result is obtained for a specific problem. A general closed
one to examine system response to changes in
various parameters is not produced and is applied to an approximation of the

. The Hookes law is an equation of
) passing through origin.E Elastic Modulus is slope of the
curve and is a constant. In real life after crossing yield point material follows non
linear curve but software follows straight line .Component brake into two separate
mate stress but software based analysis never show
failure in this fashion .It shows single unbroken part only with red colour zone at
the location of failure .Analyst has to conclude whether the component is safe or
lue with yield or ultimate stress of
Page | 19

3.4.1 Static analysis:
There are two conditions for static analysis
i. No variation of force with respect to time (dead weight),dF/dt = 0
ii. Equilibrium conditions
3.4.2 Stress-Strain Curve:
A Uniaxial Tensile Test is used to derive the material property known as
Youngs Modulus or the Modulus of Elasticity. Stress is calculated by dividing the
load by the cross sectional area of the test specimen. Strain is calculated by
dividing the change in length by the original length.
Every material will respond to the applied force in different ways generating
different curves. The slope of the curve at any given point is the Modulus of
Elasticity of the material. In the elastic region, the slope is generally linear, so the
Modulus of Elasticity remains constant.
3.4.3 Assumptions and Limitations of Linear Static Analysis:
A number of important assumptions and limitations are inherent in linear
static analysis. As a finite element analyst, you are responsible for ensuring that
these restrictions are understood and accounted for. Failure to do so will result in
an analysis that on the surface appears credible, but in reality is not faithful to the
structures physical behaviour. Restrictions on linear static analysis are
summarized as follows:
LINEAR ELASTIC MATERIAL: Our material is assumed to be homogeneous
and isotropic. We are restricted to material in which stress is directly
proportional to strain (linear) and to loads that do not take the material beyond
its permanent yield point (the material remains elastic). In addition, we assume
that the unloaded structure is free of initial or residual stress.



Page | 20

SMALL DISPLACEMENTS: We are restricted to the small displacement
assumptions used in the formulation of governing equations for linear beam,
plate, shell, and solid behaviour and in MD Nastran element development. In
practice, these assumptions mean lateral plate deflections substantially smaller
than the thickness of the plate and beam deflections substantially less than the
smallest dimension of the beams cross section. Violating linear analysis
restrictions on small displacements quickly leads to grossly inaccurate
displacement results-large displacements require nonlinear analysis methods
SLOWLY APPLIED LOADS: In linear static analysis our structure is in static
equilibrium. Loads must be slowly applied, which means that they induce no
dynamic effects. Some types of loads, such as impact loads, violate this
restriction in an obvious way. Some loads are not as obvious. Suppose that
you place a brick on the surface of a cantilever beam and then release the
brick quickly. The resulting maximum deflection will be greater than the final
static equilibrium position. Although impact is not involved, dynamic effects
occur. Therefore, slowly applied can, for our purposes, be taken to mean a
load that does not result in significant dynamic behaviour.











Page | 21


4. INTRODUCTION TO NASTRAN / PATRAN PACKAGE

Patran (processors) and NASTRAN (solver) are FEA tools that are used to
solve all kinds of structural models. Basic exercise problems related to structural
elements have been solved using the software to get acquainted with and for
hands-on experience on the package.
About Patran:
Geometry creation tools for efficient FE modeling
CAD clean-up tools to eliminate or minimize manual effort
FE solver support to reduce input deck editing
Post-processing and reporting tools for easy results evaluation
Scripting for pre/post processing automation
Compatible with Unigraphics, CATIA V5 and PRO-E drawings

About Nastran:
Structural solutions
High performance FEA for fast results
Multi discipline optimization

4.1 COMPARISON OF CONVENTIONAL WITH FEA:
Primary objective in solving an engineering problem is to get required unknown
field variables which describe the behavior of the entire body. This objective can
be attained either by using conventional or by means of modern numerical
technique FE method.

Page | 22


4.1.1 Conventional method:
Trial functions are assumed to describe exact field variables over entire
solution domain satisfying the boundary conditions.
Procedure involves algebraic work with mathematical expressions formed of
the basis of solid mechanics and yields appropriate results.
Procedure will become cumbersome and the complexity increases with
size, type of structure consists of geometrical/material non linearity and
complicated boundary conditions.
Commonly used methods are POTENTIAL ENERGY, RITZ and
GALERKINS METHODS.

4.1.2 FE Analysis:
Formulation of solution involves choosing shape function to define field
variables at each constituent unit called elements with grid points. Boundary
conditions can be implemented after the formulation.
Information regarding the structure as a whole or at individual levels can be
obtained.
Algebraic work corresponding to the solid mechanics is programmed in a
systematic manner and formulated in the form of shape/geometry of
structure. Unlike in conventional method user need not work with the
algebra but to deal with the geometry.
Yields approximate results which may deviate with a minimum percentage
error from exact values.
Ability to consider alternate loading and boundary conditions for the same
geometry.
Fast automatic calculations, simultaneous display and interpretation of
results.




Page | 23

5. ANALYSIS OF ACCURACY OF THE NASTRAN/PATRAN
5.1 CANTILEVER WITH CIRCULAR CROSS SECTION UNDER POINT LOAD:
5.1.1 CONVENTIONAL METHOD:

Fig.8: Cantilever beam
The load and moment are applied at the free end of the beam and the other
end is fixed.
Load, P = 1000 N
Length, L = 100 mm
Diameter, D = 50 mm
Youngs Modulus, E = 70000 N/
2

Moment of inertia, I =

64
(
4
) (ref 7)
=

64
(
4
)
= 306640.625
4

Deflection,
max
=
PL
3
3 EI
( ref 7)
=
1000 (100)
3
3 (70000)(306640.625)


max
= 0.015 mm
Page | 24

Bending Equation,
M
I
=
o
Y
=
E
R
(ref 7)
M

= PL (ref 7)
= 1000 (100)
= 100000 N-mm
y = D/2 = 50 / 2 = 25 mm (ref 7)


=
M Y
I
(ref 7)
=
(100000) (25)
12.5664





Note: Here

=
x
.In this problem there are no
y
and
xy.
Hence bending stress is
equal to principal stress (both major and minor) in magnitude.

5.1.2 FE ANALYSIS:

FE idealization: Total diameter of 50 mm circular cross section is idealized
with (3d- tetra) TET 10 elements.
Geometrical properties: Diameter, Area, M.I (moment of inertia) of cross
section is provided with PBAR card.
Material properties : Youngs modulus and shear modulus (G) of aluminium
are provided with MAT1 card.
Boundary conditions: Fixed at one end by constraining all the
displacements.
Loading at the other end: Only vertical load, P = 1000 N.

= 8.152 N/mm
2
Fig.9
Fig.10: Maximum stress

Result:
Methods
Analytical
FEA


9: Deflection, at the free end
: Maximum stress, at the free end
Deflection,
(mm)
Max. Bending stress,
(N/
2
)
0.015 8.152
0.017 8.15
Page | 25


stress,
Page | 26
5.2 BUCKLING OF A BEAM (BOTH ENDS HINGED):

5.2.1 CONVENTIONAL METHOD:

Fig.11: Buckling of beam
Material used: Steel
Crippling load, P
cr
=

2
E I
L
2
(ref 7)

Length of the column, L = 200 mm
Diameter of the column, d = 10 mm
Youngs modulus, E = 2.1 10
5
N/mm
2

Moment of Inertia, I = (/64) d
4
(ref 7)
= (/64) 10
4
= 490.87
4

P
cr
=

2
EI
L
2
(ref 7)
=

2
(2.1)(10)
S
(490.87)
200
2

Allowable Critical buckling load,
P
cr
= 25.3 kN
Page | 27


5.2.2 FE ANALYSIS:
5.2.2.1 Linear buckling analysis:

In NASTRAN, a structure defined for static analysis can also be run for
buckling also. This solution gives results firstly with static results and can be
estimated by multiplying the applied load by lowest Eigen value (fundamental
buckling mode).
Critical buckling load, Pcr =
lowest
x P
applied


In buckling analysis, the stiffness matrix of structure (K) in static analysis is
extended to include interaction between the in-plane forces and lateral bending by
introducing additional elements K
ij
. Linear buckling analysis ignores the effect of
structural imperfections on the behaviour of the structure under load and yields a
buckling load for a perfect structure which is always higher than the buckling load,
which is found in tests on real structures.
5.2.2.2 Buckling FE analysis:
FE idealization: Total length of 200mm is idealized with CBAR elements
Geometrical properties: Diameter, Area, M.I (moment of inertia) of cross
section is provided with PBAR card.
Material properties: Youngs modulus and shear modulus (G) of steel are
provided with MAT1 card.
Boundary conditions: Hinged Hinged condition: FOUR Degrees of
Freedom were constrained.
Loading: A compressive Force of 1000 N is applied axially through Force
card.
Fig.12: FE

Lowest Eigen value from FE
FEA Critical buckling load,





FEA results of beam under buckling
Lowest Eigen value from FEA results = 25.317
Critical buckling load,
c
= 25.317 (1000)
= 25317 N
Page | 28

Page | 29


5.3 RESULTS AND SUMMARY OF EXERCISE PROBLEMS:

5.3.1 STRESS ANALYSIS ON A CIRCULAR CANTILEVER BEAM:

S.NO DESCRIPTION CONVENTIONAL
METHOD
FE METHOD
1) Displacement due to
point load, (mm)
0.015 0.017
2) Maximum bending
stress, (N/mm
2
)
8.152

8.15


5.3.2 BUCKLING OF A BEAM (BOTH ENDS HINGED):

S.NO DESCRIPTION CONVENTIONAL
METHOD
FE METHOD
1) Crippling load,
c
(kN) 25.4 25.317

5.4 OBSERVATION:
It is observed that the example results on structural elements are similar in
both analytical method and FEA. Hence by using FE package the accuracy of the
expected results are good and the procedure is fast.




6. STRESS ANALYSIS OF SKID TUBE OF A HELICOPTER

The skid landing gear system components of LUH are designed to
withstand the limit as well as reserve landing loads as specified in FAR 29.501.
The gear in its most critically deflected position for the landin
considered and the ground reactions rationally distributed along the bottom of skid
tube.
Structural yielding of elastic spring members under limit load is acceptable.
The design maximum weight, CG and the load factor is determined as per F
29.471 through 29.475. Design ultimate load is estimated by the drop test with the
rotor disc 1.5 times (or less) that used in limit drop case and drop height 1.5 times
of that specified in FAR 29.725.
6.1 LOAD CASES:
The undercarriage system skid tube component of a helicopter has been
analyzed using FEA packages Patran/Nastran. The analysis of the skid tube has
been carried out by varying the thickness of the circular cross section FOR
OPTIMIZATION. The skid tube has been analyzed for different LOAD CASES as
PER AIRWORTHIENESS REQUIREMENTS as follows:
When a helicopter lands, the load is always concentrated between the
span of the cross tube joints in the skid tube.
A. Load applied is applied on length (2210.25 mm) of the skid tube.
B. Load applied is only on 33.3
the skid tube.
Fig.13: Helicopter skid tube with defining length
STRESS ANALYSIS OF SKID TUBE OF A HELICOPTER
The skid landing gear system components of LUH are designed to
withstand the limit as well as reserve landing loads as specified in FAR 29.501.
The gear in its most critically deflected position for the landing condition is
considered and the ground reactions rationally distributed along the bottom of skid
Structural yielding of elastic spring members under limit load is acceptable.
The design maximum weight, CG and the load factor is determined as per F
29.471 through 29.475. Design ultimate load is estimated by the drop test with the
rotor disc 1.5 times (or less) that used in limit drop case and drop height 1.5 times
of that specified in FAR 29.725.
The undercarriage system skid tube component of a helicopter has been
packages Patran/Nastran. The analysis of the skid tube has
been carried out by varying the thickness of the circular cross section FOR
OPTIMIZATION. The skid tube has been analyzed for different LOAD CASES as
PER AIRWORTHIENESS REQUIREMENTS as follows:
When a helicopter lands, the load is always concentrated between the
span of the cross tube joints in the skid tube.
Load applied is applied on length (2210.25 mm) of the skid tube.
Load applied is only on 33.3% of the length (2210.25 mm) i.e. 73
: Helicopter skid tube with defining length
Page | 30
STRESS ANALYSIS OF SKID TUBE OF A HELICOPTER
The skid landing gear system components of LUH are designed to
withstand the limit as well as reserve landing loads as specified in FAR 29.501.
g condition is
considered and the ground reactions rationally distributed along the bottom of skid
Structural yielding of elastic spring members under limit load is acceptable.
The design maximum weight, CG and the load factor is determined as per FAR
29.471 through 29.475. Design ultimate load is estimated by the drop test with the
rotor disc 1.5 times (or less) that used in limit drop case and drop height 1.5 times
The undercarriage system skid tube component of a helicopter has been
packages Patran/Nastran. The analysis of the skid tube has
been carried out by varying the thickness of the circular cross section FOR
OPTIMIZATION. The skid tube has been analyzed for different LOAD CASES as
When a helicopter lands, the load is always concentrated between the
Load applied is applied on length (2210.25 mm) of the skid tube.
i.e. 736 mm of

6.1.1 Reference image of boundary & loading conditions (2D)
for load case B:
Fig.14: Load applied is only on 33.3 % of the
The simulated loads are given in the table below:

Landing velocity FWD CG
Fwd C/T
Reserve landing
3.12 m/s
19716 N

Total load considered (FWD C/T) =

6.2 SKID TUBE ANALYSIS:

Skid tube 1D FE model and
elements and 2D quad elements. Initially
stress and deflection are estimated. FE results from two models are also obtained
for the same loading and compared.

6.1.1 Reference image of boundary & loading conditions (2D)
oad applied is only on 33.3 % of the total length i.e. 736 mm

simulated loads are given in the table below:
FWD CG AFT CG
Fwd C/T Aft C/T Fwd C/T
19716 N 19898 N 31724.5 N
Total load considered (FWD C/T) = 31724.5 N
6.2 SKID TUBE ANALYSIS:
Skid tube 1D FE model and 2D FE model are created using 1D
elements and 2D quad elements. Initially, by analytical approach critical bending
stress and deflection are estimated. FE results from two models are also obtained
for the same loading and compared.
Page | 31


total length i.e. 736 mm
(ref 1)
Aft C/T
__
2D FE model are created using 1D beam
by analytical approach critical bending
stress and deflection are estimated. FE results from two models are also obtained
Skid tube has been analyzed for both the load cases (load cases
under two simulations which differ in thickness as follows:
6.2.1. SIMULATION (1)
thickness 3.4 mm for load case
6.2.2. SIMULATION (1
thickness 3.4 mm for load case
6.2.3. SIMULATION (2)
thickness 4 mm for load case
6.2.4. SIMULATION (2)
thickness 4 mm for load case
6.2.1 SIMULATION 1- case A:
Fig.15: FE model of the
6.2.1.1 Analytical solution:
Load concentration span,
L
Thickness, t
Total load applied, P
(Vertical loading in Z
Outer diameter, D
Inner diameter, d

Skid tube has been analyzed for both the load cases (load cases
ch differ in thickness as follows:
SIMULATION (1) - case A: Analysis of the skid tube of constant
hickness 3.4 mm for load case-A
(1) - case B: Analysis of the skid tube of constant
thickness 3.4 mm for load case-B
SIMULATION (2) - case A: Analysis of the skid tube of constant
thickness 4 mm for load case-A
SIMULATION (2) - case B: Analysis of the skid tube of constant
thickness 4 mm for load case-B
case A:
FE model of the Skid tube with constant thickness, 3.4 mm
Analytical solution:
Load concentration span, 2210.25 mm
Thickness, t 3.4 mm
Total load applied, P
(Vertical loading in Z-axis)
31724.5 N
Outer diameter, D 90 mm
Inner diameter, d 83.2 mm
Page | 32
Skid tube has been analyzed for both the load cases (load cases-A & B)
Analysis of the skid tube of constant
Analysis of the skid tube of constant
lysis of the skid tube of constant
Analysis of the skid tube of constant

3.4 mm
Page | 33

Mass of the skid tube,
Mass = volume density (ref 7)
= (
2
r
2
) L
= 3.14 (4
2
41.6
2
) (3172) (0.000002810)
Mass = 8.24 kg
Moment of inertia, I =

64
(D
4
d
4
) (ref 7)
=

64
(90
4
83.2
4
)


w =
Ioad
Icngth
(ref 7)
=
31724.5
2210.25

w = 14.3533 N/mm


Fig.16: General load diagram



I = 868042.86 mm
4

Page | 34

M
A
=
W L
2
12
; M
B
=
W L
2
12
(ref 7)
=
(14.3533) (2210.25)
2
12

M
A
= 5.8432 1
6
N mm
M
B
= - 5.8432 1
6
N mm

M
C
=
W L
2
24
(ref 7)
=
(14.3533) (2210.25)
2
24

N
C
= 2.921 1
6
N mm

Maximum bending stress, =
M
A
Y
I
(ref 7)
=
(5.8432) (10
6
) (45)
868042.86

= 302 N/ mm
2


Deflection, =
W L
4
384 E I
(ref 8)
=
(14.3533) (2210.25)
4
(384) (70000) (868042.86)

= 14 mm



Page | 35

6.2.1.2 FEA solution:

Fig.17: Deflection (1D)

Fig.18: Maximum bending stresses (1D)
Fig.19: Deflection (2D)
Page | 36


Fig.20: Maximum bending stresses (2D)

6.2.1.3 Comparison of RESULTS in simulation 1-case A:
Solutions Deflection,
(mm)
Max. Bending stress,
(N/
2
)
Analytical 14 302
FEA (1D) 15 266
FEA (2D) 18 307

6.2.2 SIMULATION 1- case B:
Load applied is only on 33.3 % of the total length (2210.25 mm) i.e. 736 mm of the
skid tube.
Thickness, t 3.4 mm
Total Length, L 2210.25 mm



Page | 37

6.2.2.1 Analytical solution:
Using Macaulays method,
b = (0.333) (2210.25)
= 736 mm
a =
L-b
2
(ref 7)
=
2210.25-736
2

a = 737.125 mm
w =
31724.5
736

= 43.103 N/ mm
N
A
= w
12 b L
2
- 8 (L-a)
3
+ (L-b)
3
48 L
(ref 7)
N
B
= w
12 b L
2
- 8 (L-a)
3
+ (L-b)
3
48 L
(ref 7)

M
A
= 43.103
(12)(736)(2210.25)
2
- 8 (2210.25-737.125)
3
+ (2210.25-736)
3
(48)(2210.25)


N
A
= 8438486.943 N mm
N
B
= 8438486.943 N mm
=
M
A
Y
I
(ref 7)
=
(8438486.943) (45)
868042.86


= 437 N/ mm
2

Page | 38

6.2.2.2 FEA solution:

Fig.21: Maximum bending stresses (1D)

Fig.22: Maximum bending stresses (2D)

6.2.2.3 Comparison of RESULTS in simulation 1-case B:
Solutions Max. Bending stress,
(N/
2
)
Analytical 437
FEA (1D) 387
FEA (2D) 411

6.2.3 SIMULATION 2 case A
Fig.23: Skid tube with constant thickness,

Length, L
Thickness, t
Total load applied, P
(Vertical loading in Z
Outer diameter, D
Inner diameter, d

6.2.3.1 Analytical solution:
Mass of the skid tube,
Mass = volume
= (
2
= 3.14 (
Mass = 9.62 kg


case A:
d tube with constant thickness, 4 mm
Length, L 2210.25 mm
Thickness, t 4 mm
Total load applied, P
(Vertical loading in Z-axis)
31724.5 N
Outer diameter, D 90 mm
Inner diameter, d 82 mm
Analytical solution:
volume density
2
r
2
) L
= 3.14 (4
2
41
2
) (3172) (0.000002810)
2 kg
Page | 39

(ref 7)
Page | 40


Moment of Inertia, I =
n
64
(
4

4
) (ref 7)
=
n
64
(9
4
82
4
)
I = 1000768.24
4


From simulation- 1,
w = 14.3533 N/ mm
N
A
= 5.8423 1
6

N
B
= - 5.8423 1
6

N
C
= 2.921 1
6
N mm

=
M
A
Y
I
(ref 7)
=
(.842S) (1)
6
(4)
1768.24



Deflection, =
W L
4
384 E I
(ref 8)
=
(14.3533)(2210.25)
4
(384) (70000) (1000768.24)





= 262 N /
2

= 12.7 mm
Page | 41

FEA solution:

Fig.24: Deflection (1D)

Fig.25: Maximum bending stresses (1D)

Fig.26: Deflection (2D)
Page | 42

Fig.27: Maximum bending stresses (2D)
Result:
Solution Deflection,

(mm)
Maximum bending
stress,
(N/
2
)
Analytical 12.7 262
FEA (1D) 13.6 252
FEA (2D) 15.7 261

6.2.4 SIMULATION (2) case B:
Load applied is only on 33.3 % of the length i.e. 736 mm of the skid tube.
6.2.4.1 Analytical solution:
Thickness = 4mm; from sub case-1, N
A
= 8438486.943 N/mm
N
C
= M
A
+
w b L
4

w b
2
8
(ref 7)
= 8438486.943 +
(14.3533) (736) (2210.25)
4

14.3533 (736)
2
8

N
C
= 3.573 1
6
N/ mm
=
(8.4384) 10
6
(45)
1000768.24

= 379.43 N/mm
2

Page | 43

6.2.4.2 FEA solution:

Fig.28: Maximum bending stresses (1D)

Fig.29: Maximum bending stresses (2D)

Result:
Solutions Max. Bending stress,
(N/
2
)
Analytical 379
FEA (1D) 359
FEA (2D) 351

Page | 44

7. WEIGHT OPTIMIZATION ANALYSIS & STUDY
7.1 WEIGHT OPTIMIZATION SIMULATIONS:
Weight optimization is done considering the stress concentrated area in the skid
tube. Thickness has been varied in the same skid tube giving greater thickness to
the more stress concentrated area to reduce the overall weight of the skid tube.
The weight optimization is done for both the load cases (load cases A & B) under
two simulations.
7.1.1 SIMULATION (3) case A:
Analysis of the skid tube of variable thickness 3-4 mm for load case-A.

Fig.30: Skid tube with variable thickness
Mass of the skid tube,
Mass = volume density (ref 7)
= (
2
r
2
) L
1

= 3.14 (4
2
41
2
) (860.5) (0.000002810)
m
1
= 2.61 kg
Mass = volume density
= (
2
r
2
) L
2

= 3.14 (4
2
42
2
) (1105.125) (0.000002810)
m
2
= 2.55 kg
Page | 45

Mass = volume density
= (
2
r
2
) L
3

= 3.14 (4
2
41
2
) (1206.375) (0.000002810)
m
3
= 3.66 kg
Total mass of the tube = m
1
+ m
2
+m
3

= 2.61 + 2.55 + 3.66
= 8.82 kg

Margin of safety (MOS):
Design safety factor, DSF = 1.5
Fitting factor, F
F
= 1.15
MOS =
o
uIt
F
F
o
vs
DSF
1 (ref 7)
=
450
(1.15)(255)(1.5)
1



Fig.31: Maximum bending stresses (1D)
MOS = 0.02
Page | 46


Fig.32: Deflection (1D)

Fig.33: Maximum bending stresses (2D)
Fig.34: Deflection (2D)
Page | 47


Result:
Solutions Deflection,
(mm)
Max. Bending stress,
(N/
2
)
MOS
FEA (1D) 14.8 259 0.02
FEA (2D) 16.4 255 0.02

7.1.2 SIMULATION (3) case B:
Analysis of the skid tube of variable thickness 3-4 mm for load case-B
Load applied is only on 33.3 % of the length i.e. 736 mm of the skid tube.

Fig.35: Maximum bending stresses (1D)
Fig.36: Deflection (1D)
Page | 48


Fig.37: Maximum bending stresses (2D)

Fig.38: Deflection (2D)

Result:
Solutions Deflection,
(mm)
Max. Bending stress,
(N/
2
)
FEA (1D) 27 394
FEA (2D) 30 381

Page | 49


7.1.3 SIMULATION (4) case A:
Analysis of the skid tube of variable thickness 3-4 mm for load case-A

Fig.39: Skid tube with variable thickness
Mass of the skid tube,
Mass = volume density (ref 7)
= (
2
r
2
) L
1

= 3.14 (4
2
42
2
) (608) (0.000002810)
m
1
= 1.4 kg

Mass = volume density
= (
2
r
2
) L
2

= 3.14 (4
2
41
2
) (252.5) (0.000002810)
m
2
= 0.77 kg = m
4

Mass = volume density
= (
2
r
2
) L
3

Page | 50

= 3.14 (4
2
42
2
) (1105.125) (0.000002810)
m
3
= 2.55 kg
Mass = volume density
= (
2
r
2
) L
5

= 3.14 (4
2
42
2
) (953) (0.000002810)
m
5
= 2.19 kg
Total mass = m
1
+ m
2
+ m
3
+ m
4
+ m
5

= 7.68 kg
Margin of safety (MOS):
Design safety factor, DSF = 1.5
Fitting factor, F
F
= 1.15
MOS =
o
uIt
F
F
o
vs
DSF
1 (ref 7)
=
450
(1.15) (253)(1.5)
1


Fig.40: Maximum bending stresses (1D)
MOS = 0.03
Page | 51


Fig.41: Deflection (1D)

Fig.42: Maximum bending stresses (2D)
Fig.43: Deflection (2D)
Page | 52

Result:
Solutions Deflection,
(mm)
Max. Bending stress,
(N/
2
)
MOS
FEA (1D) 15.2 256 0.03
FEA (2D) 16.4 253 0.03

7.1.4 SIMULATION (4) case B:
Analysis of the skid tube of variable thickness 3-4 mm for load case-B
Load applied is only on 33.3 % of the length i.e. 736 mm of the skid tube.

Fig.44: Maximum bending stresses (1D)

Fig.45: Deflection (1D)
Page | 53


Fig.46: Maximum bending stresses (2D)

Fig.47: Deflection (2D)

Result:
Solutions Deflection,
(mm)
Max. Bending stress,
(N/
2
)
FEA (1D) 28.8 399
FEA (2D) 29.4 402

Page | 54


7.2 COMPARISON & OBSERVATIONS OF RESULTS:
7.2.1 COMPARISON AND OBSERVATIONS OF RESULTS OF SIMULATIONS
(2D) FOR LOAD CASE-A:
S.No Simulation for
load cases-A



(N/
2
)



(mm)


MOS Mass
(kg)
1 Simulation -1
(t = 3.4 mm)


307 18 0.07 8.24
2 Simulation-2
(t= 4 mm)


261 15.7 0.25 9.62
3 Simulation-3
(t= 3-4 mm)


255 16.4 0.02 8.82
4 Simulation-4
(t= 3-4 mm)


253 16.4 0.03 7.68

7.2.2 COMPARISON AND OBSERVATIONS OF RESULTS OF SIMULATIONS
(2D) FOR LOAD CASE-B:
S.No Simulation for
load case-B



(N/
2
)



(mm)


MOS Mass
(kg)
1 Simulation- 1 411 30.2 0.45 8.24
2 Simulation- 2 351 26.1 0.70 9.62
3 Simulation- 3 381 30.4 0.02 8.82
4 Simulation- 4 402 29.4 0.03 7.68

Margin of safety (MOS) is acceptable in simulation 3 & 4, the stress levels
are within the allowable maximum stress for the material concerned.
Weight saving = simulation (2) simulation (4) = 1.94 kg
Page | 55

8. RESULTS AND DISCUSSION
When simulation-2 is compared with weight optimization cases we can
clearly observe that maximum bending stress in simulation 3 & 4 are
approximately same. Therefore, we can say that stress concentration levels in the
weight optimization simulations which have variable cross-section is same as the
stress concentration levels in simulation-2 which has uniform cross-section of 4
mm thickness resulting in the reduction of gross weight (W
g
) and empty weight
(W
c
) of the skid tubes.
S.
No.


Simulations for
both the load
cases A & B
Mass

(kg)



Weight saving
(simulation 2 simulation x)
(Kg)
1 Simulation -1
(t = 3.4 mm)


8.24 1.38
2 Simulation -2
(t = 4 mm)


9.62
(Reference)


__
3 Simulation -3
(t = 3-4 mm)


8.82 0.8
4 Simulation -4
(t = 3-4 mm)


7.68 1.94

The graph below gives a clear view of reduction in weight without compromising its
yield strength for the suggested simulation (simulation 4).

Fig.48: Graph of strength to weight
Page | 56

9. CONCLUSION
The weight optimization of skid tube of a helicopter has been achieved by
varying the thickness of skid tube cross-sections considerably. At first a FEA
analysis has been performed for skid tube of constant thickness cross-sections
and the results have been validated by conventional method.

The following observations have been made:
i. The increase in thickness directly reduces the stresses and deflections
across the skid tube (ref- simulation 1 & 2).
ii. The stress concentration is more at the joints of cross-tube with skid
tube.
iii. The increase in thickness directly reflects in the increase of over all
weight of the skid tube (ref- simulation-2).

To reduce the overall weight without decreasing the structural strength of the
skid tube has been achieved.

The weight optimization is demonstrated in the simulation 3 & 4 where variable
thickness for different span lengths of the skid tube has been applied in such a
way that the thickness has been increased only at joints where the cross-tube
meets the skid tube so as to reduce the overall stress concentration in the skid
tube especially at the joint sections. At the same time the thickness has been
decreased considerably at the other spans of the skid tube which results in
significant weight reduction of the skid tube.

FE analysis has given a good insight for the better understanding of structural
components behaviour due to different loading cases in lesser time.

And there is still lot of scope for further weight optimization of skid tube by
using different materials.

Hands-on experience to practical working environments has been gained by
working under the RWR & DC STRESS GROUP DIVISION of HAL
organisation.
Page | 57


10. BIBLIOGRAPHY

1. HAL, RWR & DC, LUH reports & data sheets.
2. Gatlin Clifford I., Goebel Donald E. and Larsen Stuart E., Analysis of
Helicopter Structural Crashworthiness. Volume 1. Mathematical Simulation
and Experimental Verification for Helicopter Crashworthiness, JAN 1971.
3. Crist David and Symes L. H, Helicopter Landing Gear Design and Test
Criteria Investigation, AUG 1981.
4. Louis S. Brown, Sr., Vehicle skid assembly, OCT, 25, 1994.
5. James Liautaud, Cantilever helicopter skid tube JUNE, 8, 1993.
6. DR.R.K.Bansal, Strength of Materials.
7. DR.Sadhu Singh, Strength of Materials.
8. Wayne Johnson, Theory of helicopter.
9. http://www.awc.org/pdf/DA6-BeamFormulas.pdf
10. http://www.aviastar.org
11. www.helis.com