Landing exposes the landing gear strut and the entire aircraft structure to high-level forces and shocks. Maintenance of landing gear and brakes is critical to safety. Aircraft brake dynamometer testing simulates actual operating conditions, including taxiing, take-off and landing.
Aviation engineers perform a series of quality and fatigue tests on the landing gear. Touchdown on the runway is by far the largest load case for the landing gear. The wheels accelerate to landing speed in almost no time. The inertial mass of the wheels creates a large force.
For realistic testing, the wheels of the landing gear are accelerated up to landing speed. Then the landing gear is dropped, creating a load similar to a real touchdown. By measuring these forces, the landing gear design can be verified and the forces and moments occurring in the aircraft structure can be determined.
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