Mobile Aircrew Restraint System - MARS
NAVAL AIR WARFARE CENTER AIRCRAFT DIV PATUXENT RIVER MD
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For several decades, aircrew working in the cabin of military helicopters have used a simple nylon chest strap with an adjustable tether. commonly called a gunners belt, as their fall protection system. The chest strap is donned and the tether is clipped to various anchor points in the cabin in order to provide fall protection. However. aircrew have been thrown out of the aircraft during mishaps, when using this configuration. This paper discusses the development of a system that provides a substantial improvement in fall and crash protection. The system consists of a webbing retractor that mounts to the aircraft cabin ceiling, extending and retracting webbing as the aircrew moves about the cabin. Attached to the retractor mount is a modified gunners belt with a shorter tether. Should the aircraft crash or the aircrew fall, the retractor locks, preventing further webbing extraction. By preventing slack from developing, and proper location of the retractor within the aircraft, the system significantly improves the likelihood the aircrew will remain within the cabin. Additional work is underway to eliminate the gunners belt completely by utilizing the lifting harness already worn as part of the AIRSAVE survival vest, thus distributing the crash or fall loads over the aircrew members body.
- Escape, Rescue and Survival