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Landing Gear

A new $300 million IDIQ Air Force contract will expand UDRI’s work in landing gear sustainment

By Pamela Gregg, Communication Administrator, 937-229-3268

A new indefinite-delivery, indefinite-quantity Air Force contract with a ceiling of $300 million will allow the University of Dayton Research Institute to pursue work in aircraft landing gear sustainment engineering.

The contract, which came with an initial award of $1,000 for program planning, could lead to work under an Air Force effort to develop a comprehensive landing gear integrity program. Led by the 417th Supply Chain Management Squadron (SCMS) at Hill Air Force Base, Utah, the program will enable SCMS to proactively manage the safety and sustainment of landing gear on all aircraft under its authority, including a number of cargo, transport, fighter and other aircraft.

“Landing gear are made to last the original design life of an aircraft, but as the Air Force works to safely extend the life of legacy aircraft, there is a concurrent need to ensure the integrity of landing gear systems throughout their extended operational life as well,” said Mike Bouchard, head of UDRI’s applied mechanics division. “That requires the design of a comprehensive program of work to fully evaluate those systems, including all structural and nonstructural components, and recommend best practices in landing gear sustainment. This program would benefit nearly all fixed-wing aircraft across the Air Force.”

Work orders under the award could include evaluating the service life, age, maintenance and repair history of landing gear; predicting future service life; structural and fatigue analysis; digital 3D modeling; assessing availability of older system parts; and collecting or developing the engineering software, processes and technical data needed to ensure the integrity and readiness of the landing gear for the life of the aircraft.

UDRI also would develop a configuration management system and process, using the TeamCenter digital platform for data storage and maintenance, to provide the SCMS all the tools, data, reports and other resources they need to manage landing system safety.

UDRI researchers have performed a variety of engineering services, including design, analysis, testing, modeling, prototyping, reverse engineering and failure analysis, for landing gear across multiple Air Force aircraft. In 2018, UDRI was awarded a $96 million indefinite-delivery, indefinite-quantity contract for engineering service in support of landing gear sustainment; the ceiling on that award was increased to $288 million in 2020.

May 6, 2021

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