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Designing for a Crashworthy All‐Composite Helicopter Fuselage

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The helicopter fuselage should be designed to protect the occupants in a crash‐impacf environment. In the design of a composite fuselage, the energy absorbing features of structural elements which constitute the fuselage are material, shape, and type of construction. The failure mode, predetermined through material selection, design and method of construction, and the element shape, when optimized for ply orientation and geometry, can enhance the energy absorbing capacity of structural elements. This paper identifies the crashworthiness design parameters and presents a building‐block approach in developing crashworthiness design data of composite materials and design features of structural elements. The data are generated from results of quasi‐static and dynamic tests and provide a guide to the comparative influences of crashworthiness parameters in the design of composite structural elements of a helicopter fuselage.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Air Vehicle Research, Research Projects, McDonnell Douglas Helicopter Company, Mesa, Ariz.

Publication date: 01 April 1987

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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.)

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