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Technical Paper

Spin-Up Studies of the Space Shuttle Orbiter Main Gear Tire

One of the factors needed to describe the wear behavior of the Space Shuttle Orbiter main gear tires is their behavior during the spin-up process. An experimental investigation of tire spin-up processes was conducted at the NASA Langley Research Center's Aircraft Landing Dynamics Facility (ALDF). During the investigation, the influence of various parameters such as forward speed and sink speed on tire spin-up forces were evaluated. A mathematical model was developed to estimate drag forces and spin-up times and is presented. The effect of prerotation was explored and is discussed. Also included is a means of determining the sink speed of the orbiter at touchdown based upon the appearance of the rubber deposits left on the runway during spinup.
Technical Paper

Shuttle Landing Runway Modification to Improve Tire Spin-Up Wear Performance

Landings of the Space Shuttle Orbiter at 200 knot speeds on the rough, grooved Kennedy Space Center runway have encountered greater than anticipated tire wear, which resulted in limiting landings on that runway to crosswinds of 10 knots or less. The excessive wear stems from wear caused during the initial tire touchdown spin-up. Tire spin-up wear tests have been conducted on a simulated KSC runway surface modified by several different techniques in an effort to reduce spin-up wear while retaining adequate wet cornering coefficients for directional control. The runway surface produced by a concrete smoothing machine using cutters spaced 1 3/4 blades per centimeter was found to give adequate wet cornering while limiting spin-up wear to that experienced in spinups on smooth concrete.
Technical Paper

The Effect of Runway Surface and Braking on Shuttle Orbiter Main Gear Tire Wear

In 1988, a 1067 m long touchdown zone on each end of the Kennedy Space Center (KSC) Shuttle Landing Facility (SLF) was modified from its original heavy-broom finish with transverse grooves configuration to a longitudinal corduroy surface texture with no transverse grooves. The intent of this modification was to reduce the spin-up wear on the Orbiter main gear tires and provide for somewhat higher crosswind capabilities at that site. The modification worked well, so it was proposed that the remainder of the runway be modified as well to permit even higher crosswind landing capability. Tests were conducted at the NASA Langley Aircraft Landing Dynamics Facility (ALDF) to evaluate the merit of such a modification. This paper discusses the results of these tests, and explains why the proposed modification did not provide the expected improvement and thus was not implemented.
Technical Paper

Cornering and Wear Behavior of the Space Shuttle Orbiter Main Gear Tire

One of the factors needed to describe the handling characteristics of the Space Shuttle Orbiter during the landing rollout is the response of the vehicle's tires to variations in load and yaw angle. An experimental investigation of the cornering characteristics of the Orbiter main gear tires was conducted at the NASA Langley Research Center Aircraft Landing Dynamics Facility. This investigation compliments earlier work done to define the Orbiter nose tire cornering characteristics. In the investigation, the effects of load and yaw angle were evaluated by measuring parameters such as side load and drag load, and obtaining measurements of aligning torque. Because the tire must operate on an extremely rough runway at the Shuttle Landing Facility at Kennedy Space Center (KSC), tests were also conducted to describe the wear behavior of the tire under various conditions on a simulated KSC runway surface. Mathematical models for both the cornering and the wear behavior are discussed.
Technical Paper

F-106B Airplane Active Control Landing Gear Drop Test Performance

Aircraft dynamic loads and vibrations resulting from landing impact and from runway and taxiway unevenness are recognized as significant factors in causing fatigue damage, dynamic stress on the airframe, crew and passenger discomfort, and reduction of the pilot's ability to control the aircraft during ground operations. One potential method for improving operational characteristics of aircraft on the ground is the application of active-control technology to the landing gear to reduce ground loads applied to the airframe. An experimental investigation was conducted on a series-hydraulic active control nose gear. The experiments involved testing the gear in both passive and active control modes. Results of this investigation show that a series-hydraulically controlled gear is feasible and that such a gear is effective in reducing the loads transmitted by the gear to the airframe during ground operations.
Technical Paper

The Generation of Tire Cornering Forces in Aircraft with a Free-Swiveling Nose Gear

Various conditions can cause an aircraft to assume a roll or tilt angle on the runway, causing the nose tire(s) to produce significant uncommanded cornering forces if the nose gear is free to swivel. An experimental investigation was conducted using a unique towing system to measure the cornering forces generated by a tilted aircraft tire. The effects of various parameters on these cornering forces including tilt angle, trail, rake angle, tire inflation pressure, vertical load, and twin-tire configuration were evaluated. Corotating twin-tires produced the most severe cornering forces due to tilt angle. A discussion of certain design and operational considerations is included.