ITEMB Project “InTEgrated Main landing gear Box” is part of the Large Passenger Aircraft (LPA) Program area of Clean Sky 2 and is in connection with “Next Generation Lower Center Fuselage” LPA activities whose Topic Manager is Airbus.
Currently, the typical medium range aircraft configuration, like A320, sees the Main Landing Gear integrated under the wing of the aircraft and the LG bay made up of mostly of parts. ITEMB intends to explore a different scenario, based on an integrated landing system in the aircraft fuselage and aims to conceive a new configuration of the carriage trolley bay where the cart is to be integrated. The new approach is based on the use of composite materials.
Composite materials allow a reduction of weight and cost of the structural component. For this to happen, you need to get away from the design paradigms for metal components and start to “think in composite”. ITEMB’s ambition is, therefore, to create a single composite structure of the carriage bay that reduces assembly costs by optimizing and integrating the entire design, construction and maintenance of the aircraft.
The initial phase of the project have been focused in the conceptual studies of different configurations for the upper and vertical bulkhead of the Main Landing Gear bay and a trade-off has been made between them in order to finalize a suitable configuration to be considered for the next preliminary and detailed design phase of ITEMB. The different configuration have been compared in terms of most suitable loads path, of weight saving and in terms of manufacturing process. During this phase, in order to additionally substantiate the choice have been performed also some tests on very simple structural components.
Configuration of the upper and vertical bulkhead for the MLGB
Structural component tested
The concept of the Upper and Vertical Bulkheads of the Landing Gear Bay bay has been refined (reaching an advanced level of definition), this concept has been then subjected to tests with positive results. Tests have been done on samples of scale models of the composite structural parts, these have been produced specifically to be analyzed and subjected to possible corrective actions, before the realization of the final demonstrator.
During tests it has been possible to find good performances of some of the areas considered most critical, with a consequent reduction in the level of risk, which in perspective provides good guarantees in terms of reliability. The results that emerged in terms of weight reduction are also significant, the cost analysis also highlighted a reduction in assembly costs beyond expectations.
Since highly specialized companies with a strong focus on aeronautics are involved in the project, the achieved benefits will be transferred directly to aircraft European sector, thus strengthening the competitiveness of the partner and creating potential for growth by developing process innovations meeting the needs of the European, global markets. The combined reduction of of development costs and structural weight is much more beneficial for the long-term success and competitiveness of aircraft development .
This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No. 717190.