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Content archived on 2024-04-19

Crashworthiness for commercial aircraft


The main objectives of this crashworthiness research programme are to increase the level of safety in moderate commercial aircraft crashes, to enhance European knowledge and capabilities with respect to crashworthiness of commercial aircraft, and to enable European partners to play a stronger role in future airworthiness requirement discussions.
The technical aspect of the programme of work was aimed at prediction techniques for structural responses, local structures and occupant responses when subjected to impact loading.

It has been shown that critical parameters for passenger safety during a moderate crash scenario are: energy absorption by the global aircraft structure, immediate survival space, uncluttered passage way for evacuation and minimising injuries to allow evacuation with minimum assistance.

The building of technology re-affirmed the well tried approach of analysis-test-correlation cycle in most structural analysis work. This technique was used with considerable success in the study of overall aircraft fuselage structure (drop test) and in local structure and occupant interactions.

The use of analysis and test techniques developed in this programme will enable accurate assessment of these criteria for passenger safety to be made during the design and synthesis of an aircraft. When exploited in an appropriate manner, this will improve passenger safety in moderate crashes.

The development and use of these techniques in Europe have been enhanced significantly during this programme of work especially with the achievement of the major milestone of the drop test.
The research programme will develop advanced non-linear dynamic modelling computerised methods for use in future commercial aircraft crashworthiness studies. These methods will enable investigated of overall airframe energy absorption mechanisms, the immediate environment of the occupant and occupant reaction to the crash impulse to be undertaken.

A full supporting test programme will be carried out to provide basic material property data and to verify the analysis methods developed in the study.

It is intended that this research programme will develop guidelines for the future improvement of commercial aircraft crashworthiness analysis and design techniques.

Overview of Technical Programme

Crashworthiness for Commercial Aircraft is a three year work programme, which is currently in its first year. The programme comprises the following four main task areas:-

1. Establishment and Distribution of Background data.
2. Establishment, Verification and Comparison of Analysis Methodologies.
3. Studies of Major Airframe Structure.
4. Studies of Occupant and Local Structure.


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Call for proposal

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EU contribution
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New Filton House
BS99 7AR Bristol - Filton
United Kingdom

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Participants (17)