Integrity Improvement of Rotorcraft Main Gear Box (MGB)

The objectives

The main purpose of this research is to determine ways of improving the integrity of rotorcraft gearboxes. There are two primary objectives of the investigations to be carried out as part of the research. 

The first is to identify design parameters which could be utilised to improve component reliability and tolerance to flaws when subject to rolling contact fatigue by proposing safe parameter ranges that would either prevent initiation of cracks or limit cracking that does develop to result in surface damage such as spalling only. 

The second objective is to understand which alternative design solutions are available for the architecture of Rotor and Rotor Drive Systems and the design of individual components and assemblies that can reduce the number of potentially catastrophic failure modes. This shall be limited to a review of typical rotorcraft gearbox configurations and proposals for improvements based on the knowledge and experience of the organisation conducting the research.

The main tasks and deliverables

The project is structured in the following manner:

  • Task 1 — Evaluate and define Rotor and Rotor Drive System design options to prevent single points of catastrophic failure
  • Task 2 — Define adequate design parameters for component reliability and tolerance to flaws
  • Task 3 — Develop design parameter limitations
  • Task 4 — Determine threats that cannot be addressed by design
  • Task 5 — Investigate crack development in components utilising case-hardened materials