DEVELOPMENT AND TESTING OF HELICOPTER CREW SEAT/CUSHION TO INCREASE SURVIVABILITY
Small Business Information
Triangle Research And
P.o. Box 12696, Research Triangle, NC, 27709
Richard A. Mckinney
AbstractThis Phase I program would examine the feasibility of developing aircraft seat cushions that can help crews of the AH-1W to survive crashes. The effort will focus on adapting novel hydraulic air cushioning structures (HACS) to absorb the impact energy of a crash. These HACS structures, which are elastomeric compounds with controlled air-flow passages, when incorporated within the seat or cushion, could absorb tremendous amounts of impact energy during a crash. Combined with current stroking seat technology, the cushions could significantly reduce the average rate of 14.5 G and the maximum G currently experienced in helicopter seat drop tests conducted by Simula. With these shock absorbing qualities, the cushions have the potential to render certain kinds of crashes more survivable. The cushions would not be highly expensive and could be easily designed to be retrofitted to existing aircraft. In addition, later Phase II studies could investigate the incorporation of fire retardant materials to aid in the survival of post-crash fires.
* information listed above is at the time of submission.