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Investigation of the Crash Impact Characteristics of Composite Airframe Structures

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The results of a comprehensive review of the field of crash impact characteristics of advanced troop transport helicopter airframe structures constructed of composite materials is presented. Currently available information was surveyed on: the crash impact behavior of composite materials, the analytical tools for design of crashworthy airframe structures, and the airframe structure crashworthiness design criteria. Information on the crash impact behavior of composite materials was found to be limited. However, some interesting studies were found, including an automotive study which showed that by innovative design, composite materials could function efficiently as energy absorbers to reduce crash impact loads. Several promising analytical tools were found, but some test validation is needed. Conclusions are presented from studies that evaluated the use of the KRASH and DYCAST programs for the analysis of typical helicopter composite structures. Finally, effects of composite materials on the compliance of airframe structures with current Army crashworthiness requirements were investigated.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Bell Helicopter Textron, Fort Worth, Texas

Publication date: October 1, 1981

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  • The Journal of the American Helicopter Society is the world's only scientific journal dedicated to vertical flight technology. It is a peer-reviewed technical journal published quarterly by AHS International and presents innovative papers covering the state-of-the-art in all disciplines of rotorcraft design, research and development. (Please note that AHS members receive significant discounts on articles and subscriptions.)

    Journal subscribers who are AHS members log in here if you are not already logged in.

    Authors can find submission guidelines and related information on the AHS website.


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