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Army Helicopter Crashworthiness
ARMY RESEARCH AND TECHNOLOGY LABS FORT EUSTIS VA APPLIED TECHNOLOGY LAB
This paper discusses the evolution of crash survival design criteria, its influence on the formulation of a US Army military standard for rotary-wing aircraft crashworthiness, and its application to current and new-generation Army helicopters. Emphasis is given to the need for a total systems approach in design for crashworthiness and the necessity for considering crashworthiness early in the design phase of a new aviation weapon systems development effort. The actual application of crashworthiness to Army helicopters is presented with statistics that show dramatic reductions in fatalities and injuries with implementation of a crashworthy fuel system. Current and planned US Army RD to improve crashworthiness technology is discussed, including full-scale crash testing, human tolerance definition, improved energy absorbers, crew restraint systems, and crash impact characteristics of composite helicopter structures. Applicability of the work within Army helicopter crashworthiness to commercial civil helicopters is shown. The cost effective aspects of designing helicopters to be more crash survivable are also discussed.
This article is from the Proceedings of the Conference on Flight Mechanics and System Design Lessons from Operational Experience Held in Athens, Greece on 10-13 May 1983, ADA137 607, p14-1 - 14-17.
Approved for public release; distribution is unlimited.