The present study concerns with the performance of a skid landing gear (SLG) system of a rotorcraft impacting the ground at a vertical sink rate of 5.0 m/s. The impact attitude is per chapter 527 of the Airworthiness Manual (AWM) of Transport Canada Civil Aviation and FAR Part 27 of the U.S. Federal Aviation Regulation. A single degree of freedom helicopter model is investigated under two rotor lift factors 0.67 and 1.0. Three Configurations are evaluated: a) A conventional SLG; b) SLG equipped with a passive viscous damper and c) SLG incorporated with a magnetorheological energy absorber. The non-dimensional solutions of the helicopter model show that the passive damper system could reduce the maximum acceleration experienced by the helicopter occupants by 21% and 19.8% in comparison to the undamped system for the above rotor lift factors, respectively. However, the passive damper fails to constrain the non-dimensional energy absorption stroke of the damper within the given 18 cm maximum stroke and a bottoming out of the damper piston was noticed. Therefore, the alternative and successful choice was to employ a magnetorheological energy absorber (MREA). To improve the MREA controllability and to resettle the payload with no oscillations, i.e. in one cycle, two different Bingham numbers for compression stroke and rebound stroke were defined in the non-dimensional solution. Several simulations were conducted for different values of Bingham numbers. Among these numerical simulation results, the solution that implemented the optimum Bingham numbers was found to be the only one feasible solution. In this case the MREA with optimum Bingham number for compression could utilize the full energy absorption stroke to attain soft landing. In the rebound stroke, the generated optimal on-state damping force successfully controls the bounce of the payload until the payload settles down to its original equilibrium position with no oscillations.

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