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Transport Aircraft Seating in Rotorcraft Crash Testing

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The Federal Aviation Administration has regulations designed to protect aircraft occupants in the event of a crash. An impact test of a CH-46 airframe at NASA provided full-scale crash data on the performance of transport category aircraft seating systems. The crash pulse measured at the floor differed from the certification tests, and the performance of the seats did as well. To assess injuries in the spinal column, lumbar loads were collected for all anthropomorphic test devices. The passenger seats remained attached to the floor structure; however, the experimental subfloor structure failed for the forward occupants. The restraint system functioned properly, but the compressive lumbar loads measured were significantly higher than those allowed for the certification tests. This testing demonstrated that seats dynamically qualified for lower impact severities (14g) were able to maintain structural integrity but were not able to control spinal injury risk.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: July 1, 2018

This article was made available online on June 19, 2018 as a Fast Track article with title: "Transport Aircraft Seating in Rotorcraft Crash Testing".

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

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