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15
th
International Congress on Sound and Vibration
6-10 July 2008, Daejeon, Korea

SHOCK AND VIBRATION ISOLATION PERFORMANCE OF
DOUBLE-STAGE OLEO-PNEUMATIC SHOCK ABSORBER FOR
ROTORCRAFT
Yoon-kyu Lee
1
, Sang-wook Lee
2
,

* Kwang-joon Kim
3
Ph. D. Student
1
and Professor
3
1
Center for Noise and Vibration Control, Department of Mechanical Engineering, KAIST
Science Town, Daejeon 305-701, Korea
seal1472@kaist.ac.kr

Senior researcher
2

2
Korea Aerospace Research Institute, Science Town, Daejeon 305-333, Korea


Abstract

Roles of shock absorber for rotorcraft are complicated due to several different requirements.
In landing, the shock absorber has to absorb efficiently vertical kinetic energy of the rotorcraft
and in taxiing it has to isolate the rotorcraft from excitations by runway of varying quality. The
requirements for both smooth landing and comfortable taxiing do not match well with each
other. To resolve this problem, a shock absorber with double-stage gas chamber and
unsymmetrical damping device is studied. Mechanism of this absorber with nonlinear stiffness
and damping characteristics depending on stroke, velocity and deformation of flapper valve is
investigated to derive a dynamic model. For each of the landing impact and taxiing excitations,
dynamic performances of the double-stage oleo-pneumatic shock absorber will be illustrated
and effects of the inherent nonlinearities will also be discussed.
1. INTRODUCTION
The oleo-pneumatic shock absorber for the wheel type rotorcraft landing gear mainly
developed to have optimal performance in the case of landing. The resulting suspension layout
may lead to unsatisfactory vibration isolations when the rotorcraft is operating on the ground.
When taxiing, the landing gear has to carry the rotorcraft over taxiways and runways of varying
quality, a requirement that is mirrored by its MIL-A-8863C [1]. Thus the requirements for the
soft landing and for comfortable taxiing lead to a design contradiction. One of the main
problems is that relatively low damping factor for landing is required to make use of the full
stroke. This makes the shock absorber too weak for rolling when taxiing which leads to an
excitation of fuselage mode. Another problem is that the conventional oleo-pneumatic shock
absorber at static equilibrium state has relatively high stiffness due to avoid the ground
resonance instability which is not suitable to isolate the vibration from the road and has very
little of the total stroke available for the higher compressive loads resulting from traversing
bumps.
In order to design oleo pneumatic shock absorber for the purpose of resisting landing impact
and attenuating vibration when the rotorcraft is operating on the ground, the accurate
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characterization of the shock absorber is of paramount importance. Indeed, the characterization
makes it possible to define a sufficiently precise mathematical model of oleo-pneumatic shock
absorber for design purposes. In this research work, an approach for model of double-stage
oleo-pneumatic shock absorber is presented. Specifically, a nonlinear mathematical model for
the double-stage oleo-pneumatic shock absorber is developed. Then the shock and vibration
isolation performance of landing gear are observed and the effects of the double-stage
oleo-pneumatic shock absorber nonlinearities will be discussed
2. MECHANISM OF DOUBLE-STAGE OLEO-PNEUMATIC SHOCK
ABSORBER
Figure 1 shows schematic diagram of oleo-pneumatic shock absorbers. It consist of a
chamber(1) filled with gas(mostly dry air or nitrogen) which is compressed during the stroke
and provides the characteristics of a pneumatic spring, and an oil volume which is pressed
through small tube(valve) between main chamber(3) and recoil chamber(5) at compression and
expansion to account for the damping of the stroke motion. The frictions due to tightness of the
seal at main piston and separators also work as a damper.



Figure 1. Schematic diagram for Single-stage type and double-stage type of landing gear

Figure 2 shows load(force)-stroke curve for single-stage type and double-stage type
oleo-pneumatic shock absorber. For a landing load, the curves are plotted from to ① ③. The
areas under the total load-stroke curve(①~②) correspond to the energy generated by the
respective forces. The spring force increases with stroke, storing energy. The restricted flow in
orifice (or small tube with valve) and friction forces dissipate energy until the shock absorber
comes to rest at the static equilibrium state point (③).
For the landing impact load, the curve of double-stage oleo-pneumatic shock absorber is
plotted from to ① ③ in figure 2(b): from fully extended state to static equilibrium state via fully
compressed state. The break-over point in figure 2(B) is an arbitrary position at which the
secondary chamber becomes active and cause the sudden change in the load-stroke curve. Then,
compared with single stage one, the static equilibrium state position of double-stage type is
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closer to middle of stroke. With the sudden load occurring at static equilibrium state point, the
optimum increments of stroke are available for traversing either bump or hollows.
(a) Single-stage type (b) Double-stage type

Figure 2. Load-stroke curve of oleo-pneumatic shock absorber

To be free from ground resonance, the landing gear stiffness at static equilibrium point has to
be rather stiff value. This hard stiffness is also necessary because rotorcraft weight variations
during the boarding of passengers or while loading freight and arms should not result in
substantial landing gear stroke. Thus, the break-over point for double-stage oleo-pneumatic
shock absorber should be selected at about 1.2 times of the static equilibrium point.
For the dynamic load occurring at static equilibrium state, the dynamic stiffness of the shock
absorber is shown as a blue dotted line in figure 2 which depend on excitation amplitude.
Compare to single-stage oleo-pneumatic shock absorber, the double-stage oleo-pneumatic
shock absorber has soft dynamic stiffness for large amplitude excitation. From this reason, the
landing gear with double-stage oleo-pneumatic shock absorber has good vibration isolation
capability for the rough field ground excitation and it will be shown in chapter 4.

3. MATHEMATICAL MODELING OF DOUBLE- STAGE OLEO
-PNEUMATIC SHOCK ABSORBER

Consider a double-stage oleo-pneumatic shock absorber model shown in figure 3 to derive a
mathematical model for landing gear.
Figure 3 (a) shows the forces acting on the cylinder. Balancing forces on the cylinder gives
the following equation:

(1)

The term on the left hand side of Eq. (1) is the inertial motion term, g is the gravitational
acceleration, ffriction is the friction present in the gear, and all other terms are as described in
figure 3. This equation assumes that the fluid pressure in the upper cylinder is identical to the
pneumatic pressure.

(a) (b) (c)
(a) (b) (d) (C)




③ ③
Excitation amplitude
Break-over point
U u U 1 P frition
M x M g PA P(A A ) f = − + − ∓
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Figure 3(b) shows the forces acting on the piston. Summing the forces on the lower
mass(piston and wheel) the force balance equation is:

L t L 1 P t t t t frition
M x M g PA P(A A ) k x c x f = + − − − − ±
(2)

The pressure terms in Eq. (1) and (2) are as yet unknown and need to be related to the
positional variables x
u
and x
t
or their derivatives. The double-stage pneumatic springs due to
compressed gas(nitrogen or air) in two gas chamber can be approximated as a polytropic
process the following pressure-volume relationship governs for a closed system:

n
2
u double 0 u t
2 P
L
i) P P P P , x x x
L x(A /A)
⎛ ⎞
≤ = = −
⎜ ⎟

⎝ ⎠

n
2
u double 0 b
2 b P
L
ii) P P P P , x Break over point
L x (A /A)
⎛ ⎞
= = =
⎜ ⎟

⎝ ⎠
(3)
n
1 b
u double u
1 P
L x
iii) P P P P
L x(A /A)
⎛ ⎞ −
> =
⎜ ⎟

⎝ ⎠


As the piston is forced to move with respect to the cylinder, a pressure differential is
developed across the piston causing the fluid to flow through orifice and valve in piston. At the
compression stroke the same amount of oil which is the insertion volume of the piston rod is
pressed and flows through the piston valve which is described in figure 3(c-ii) and at the
extension stroke the fluid flows through the piston valve which is described in figure 3(c-iii).
The mass flow rate Q
c
and Q
e
are different from each other because the orifice valve of the
piston have different number of orifice in compression and extension. In compression it
generates relatively small damping forces which prevent greatly increased flow velocities and
reduce the maximum peak force. It means that the shock isolation performance for the landing



OIL
MUa
A
PU
ffriction
P1,(A-AP)
P
s
=pressure in primary gas chamber at static position
P
zero
=pressure in primary gas chamber at full extension
PU

=pre-charge pressure in secondary gas chamber
P
c
=pressure in primary gas chamber at full compression
A = inner area of cylinder Ap =piston area


(i) Static equilibrium
(iii) Extension
(ii) Compression


Q
e

Q
c

Ao : Orifice area

AP
MLg
t t t t
kX cX +

ffriction


P1,(A-AP)
(a) (b) (c)
Figure 3. Schematic diagram of double-stage oleo-pneumatic shock absorber
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and bump impact depends on the compression damping force. While, in extension, the small
number of orifice generates optimal damping force which is enough to attenuate the vibration
when taxiing and rebounding impact force.
The hydraulic damping force of shock absorber is determined by the pressure acting on the
both sides of the piston. Assuming that oil is incompressible, the damping force due to restrict
flow through valve can be calculated in the following equation:

2
2
di
u 1
P
2 C
ρ
Δ = (4)
Where,
2
1 p
2
orifice
d u
u
Nd
= ( N =number of orifice )

The C
d
is called the discharge coefficient in equation (4) is determined by equations (5)
which are based on experiments [2].

1
1
2
2
d1
o o
1
2
d2
o o
L L
C 1.5 13.74 for 0.02
d Re d Re
L L
C 2.78 64 for 0.02
d Re d Re


⎡ ⎤
⎛ ⎞
⎢ ⎥
= + <
⎜ ⎟
⎢ ⎥
⎝ ⎠
⎢ ⎥
⎣ ⎦
⎡ ⎤ ⎛ ⎞
= + >
⎢ ⎥ ⎜ ⎟
⎢ ⎥ ⎝ ⎠ ⎣ ⎦
(5)

The friction force exerted by three piston seals being pressed against the wall of the cylinder
depends on the pressure difference in the oil and gas chamber. It can be described as derivative
of stroke x.

friction f
f C sign X =

(6)
Where,
f f n
C F =μ

f
n
: frictioncoefficient
F :normal forcedueto tightness between pistonandcylinder wall
μ


The value of C
f
should be obtained by experiments.
Then, the mathematical model of double-stage type rotorcraft landing gear is obtained by
combining the equations (1) ~(6):

U u U double n u t
2
P double u t u t 2
di o
M x M g P A F sign(x x )
A
(A A ) P (x x ) (x x )
2C NA
= − − μ −
⎧ ⎫
⎛ ⎞ ρ ⎪ ⎪
+ − − − −
⎨ ⎬ ⎜ ⎟
⎝ ⎠ ⎪ ⎪
⎩ ⎭



L t L double n u t t t t t
2
P double u t u t 2
di o
M x M g P A F sign(x x ) K X C x
A
(A A ) P (x x ) (x x )
2C NA
= + + μ − − −
⎧ ⎫
⎛ ⎞ ρ ⎪ ⎪
− − − − −
⎨ ⎬ ⎜ ⎟
⎝ ⎠ ⎪ ⎪
⎩ ⎭


(7)
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4. SHOCK AND VIBRATION ISOLATION PERFORMANCE OF DOUBLE-
STAGE OLEO-PNEUMATIC SHOCK ABSORBER

Double-stage type and single-stage type landing gear which have same geometrical values
of size and same stiffness at static equilibrium state are compared
1
. Shock isolation
performances for the landing are evaluated with the value of maximum transmitted force
multiply maximum stroke of shock absorber as following equation (8):

Dimensionless ratio =
U U_ max U_ max
M x x
2 Input Energy ×

(8)

Figure 4. Load(force)-stroke curve for landing impact (3.05 m/s)

A smaller value of dimensionless ratio in eq.(8) is better for shock isolation performance.
Then, the figure 4 shows that the shock isolation ability of double-stage type landing gear is
better than the conventional single-stage one.

Figure 5. Bump input profile (MIL-A-8863C [1])

Figure 5 shows the bump input profile which is defined in MIL-A-8863C. It specifies the
bump in terms of bump amplitude vs. wave length.

1
Stiffness at static equilibrium point is presented in figure 4 as a blue dotted line
Unprepared fields →Bump H : 0.1128 m
Paved runway →Bump H : 0.0005 m
Semi-prepared fields →Bump H : 0.0532
Length L → 0.6096m (2 feet)
H X
Z [1 cos2 ( )]
2 L
= − π
0 0.1 0.2 0.3 0.4 0.5 0.6 0.7 0.8 0.9
0
0.5
1
1.5
2
2.5
3
3.5
Load-stroke curve
Relative deflection of shock absorber[x/x
max
]
L
o
a
d

f
a
c
t
o
r
[
F
/
F
s
t
a
t
ic
]
Spring force
Total force
0 0.1 0.2 0.3 0.4 0.5 0.6 0.7 0.8 0.9
0
0.5
1
1.5
2
2.5
3
3.5
Load-stroke curve
Relative deflection of shock absorber[x/x
max
]
L
o
a
d

f
a
c
t
o
r
[
F
/
F
s
t
a
t
ic
]
Conventional
single-stage type


U U _ max U _ max
M x x
2 Input Energy ×

= 0.6363
Double-stage type


U U _ max U _ max
M x x
2 Input Energy ×

= 0.4685
L
H x
z

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Figure 6. Load-stroke curve for bump impact (V
taxiing
=3m/s )

Figure 6 shows load-stroke curve of double-stage type and single stage type of
oleo-pneumatic shock absorber for the impact from a bump. For the impact from small bump,
there are no differences in load factor between double-stage type and single-stage type as
shown in figure 6-(a) and (b). But for the bump impact that makes the stroke exceed break-over
point, the double-stage oleo-pneumatic shock absorber has some advantage of the increased
load factor. It is shown in figure 6-(c) and (d).


Figure 7. Transmissibility curve for landing gear

A transmissibility of landing gear comparison between the single-stage type and

(a)
(a)
(b)
0.65 0.7 0.75 0.8 0.85 0.9
-1
-0.5
0
0.5
1
1.5
2
Load-stroke curve
Relative deflection of shock absorber[x/x
max
]
L
o
a
d

f
a
c
t
o
r
[
F
/
F
s
t
a
t
ic
]
Spring force
Total force
0.15 0.2 0.25 0.3 0.35 0.4
-1
-0.5
0
0.5
1
1.5
2
Load-stroke curve
Relative deflection of shock absorber[x/x
max
]
L
o
a
d

f
a
c
t
o
r
[
F
/
F
s
t
a
t
ic
]
Spring force
Total force
Bump height of semi prepared runway
H: 0.0532 m
Bump height of semi prepared runway
H: 0.0532 m
∆ F :0.48
∆ F :0.72
Break over point
Double-stage type Single-stage type
(d) (c)
10
-1
10
0
10
1
10
2
0
0.5
1
1.5
2
2.5
Frequency[Hz]
T
r
a
n
s
m
i
s
i
b
i
l
i
t
y
[
x
U
p
p
e
r

m
a
s
s
/
x
r
o
a
d
]
Transmissibility of landing gear
Single-stage type
Double-stage type
10
-1
10
0
10
1
10
2
0
0.5
1
1.5
2
2.5
Frequency[Hz]
T
r
a
n
s
m
i
s
i
b
i
l
i
t
y
[
x
U
p
p
e
r

m
a
s
s
/
x
r
o
a
d
]
Transmissibility of landing gear
Single-stage type
Double-stage type
Excitation amplitude : 0.02 m Excitation amplitude : 0.05 m
0.7325 0.733 0.7335 0.734 0.7345 0.735 0.7355 0.736
0.98
0.985
0.99
0.995
1
1.005
1.01
Load-stroke curve
Relative deflection of shock absorber[x/x
max
]
L
o
a
d

f
a
c
t
o
r
[
F
/
F
s
t
a
t
ic
]
Spring force
Total force
0.2325 0.233 0.2335 0.234 0.2345 0.235 0.2355 0.236
0.98
0.985
0.99
0.995
1
1.005
1.01
Load-stroke curve
Relative deflection of shock absorber[x/x
max
]
L
o
a
d

f
a
c
t
o
r
[
F
/
F
s
t
a
t
ic
]
Spring force
Total force
Bump height of paved runway
H: 0.0005 m
Bump height of paved runway
H: 0.0005 m
∆ F :0.0045 ∆ F :0.0045
Double-stage type

Single-stage type
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double-stage type landing gear by two different amplitude sinusoidal sweep simulation was
used to determine the vibration reduction capability. This process should not be confused with
the typical transmissibility used when dealing with linear system. Merely, the purpose of
simulation was to make a comparison vibration reduction between those two types of landing
gear. As shown in figure 7, double-stage type landing gear reveals improved transmissibility.
Especially, improvement of transmissibility is significant for the large excitation amplitude.
Because the dynamic stiffness of the double-stage oleo-pneumatic shock absorber which
described as blue dotted line in figure 2 is getting softer than the single-stage one as the
excitation amplitude getting bigger.


5. CONLUSIONS

Shock and vibration isolation performances of double-stage oleo-pneumatic shock
absorber were investigated in comparison with single-stage one. The results of analytical
study for the landing and taxiing simulation have led to following conclusions.
1. For the landing impact the double-stage oleo-pneumatic shock absorber showed a
good isolation performance compare with conventional single-stage one.
2. For the bump impact and the vibrations due to road excitation, the double-stage
oleo-pneumatic shock absorber performed well significantly even if the single-stage one has
a metering pin. This is because the dynamic stiffness of double-stage oleo-pneumatic shock
absorber is softer than single-stage one when the shock absorber operate in static equilibrium
state.
ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
This study has been supported by the KARI under KHP Dual-Use Component Development
Program funded by the MKE of Korea.
REFERENCES
[1] MIL-A-8863C, “Airplane strength and rigidity ground loads for NAVY acquired
airplanes,”1987
[2] Herbert E. Merritt, “Hydraulic control systems,” J ohn Wiley & Sons, 1967.
[3] J . N. Daniels, “A method for landing gear modeling and simulation with experimental
validation,” NASA LRC, J une 1996.
[4] W.W. Williams, G.K. Williams and W.C.J . Garrard, “Soft and Rough Field Landing
Gears,” SAE Paper 650844, Oct.1965.
[5] Hong Su, Rakheja and T.S. Sankar, “Random response analysis of a non-linear vehicle
suspension with tunable shock absorber,” J ournal of mechanical systems and signal
processing, 6(4), pp. 363-381, 1992.
[6] J . S. Przemieniecki, “Aircraft landing gear design: Principle and practices,” AIAA
Educational series, 1988.
[7] Wolf Krüger, “Integrated design process for the development of semi-active landing gears
for transport aircraft,” DLR, Institut für Aeroelastik, Oberpfaffenhofen, J un 1999.

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