Aircraft components are subject to fatigue damage. The prediction of fatigue life has significant influence on maintenance and flight operations. Light aircraft, designed for recreational purposes, have vital components that are subject to a hard time maintenance approach. The focus of this article is on a simple method for predicting fatigue life. The method is applied to a light aircraft’s fixed landing gear leg. The landing gear leg is modelled in a computer aided design environment. The load spectrum is determined, based on a characteristic flight profile. Principal strains are determined with finite element analysis. Fatigue life is calculated with the Coffin-Manson low cycle fatigue relation. The Palmgren-Miner rule is applied, and cumulative damage is determined. The results are compared to actual landing gear leg fatigue damage and the hard time replacement interval which is given in the corresponding maintenance manual.
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Prognostics and Healht Management, Aircraft, Landing gear, Fatigue life, Low cycle fatigue
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