Crashworthiness for Commercial Aircraft

Under Brite/Euram sponsorship a three year European research programme commenced in 1993 aimed at providing guidelines for the improvement of aircraft crashworthiness design techniques. This was to be achieved by the use of extensive analytical studies supported by experimental work on materials, components and full scale aircraft structures. Part of this work was the application of Multi-Body and Hybrid (i.e. Multi-Body combined with Finite Element) analysis techniques to study the immediate environment of the occupant and the reaction of the occupant to the crash impulse and interaction with the surrounding structure.

16G Model

In Cooperation with Aircraft manufacturers such as British Aerospace Airbus and MBB, and seat manufacturers such as Keiper-Recaro, an analysis project comprising occupant simulations and sled testing was conducted for this programme. An elaborate model consisting of two seat rows, populated with a total of five dummies was developed and validated against sled tests.

The computer simulations models were used to analyze the forces on occupants, seat frame and floor structure during a crash landing. The crash accelerations were represented by horizontal and vertical triangular pulses of 16 G and 14 G magnitude respectively. The analysis clearly showed the benefits of assuming a crash position in case of an emergency landing. It also showed the desirability of increased survival space for occupants sitting in a front row, facing a cabin bulkhead. 16G Simulation