Investigation of external airbags for rotorcraft crashworthiness


Kim, H. and Kirby, B. P. D., 2006. Investigation of external airbags for rotorcraft crashworthiness. AIAA Journal of Aircraft, 43 May-Jun (3), pp. 809-816.

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Airbags have commonly been implemented internally in automobiles for passenger safety, but they are considered for a variety of applications such as the landing system of the Mars Pathfinder to absorb the impact energy. This paper presents a feasibility study of aa external airbag system for rotorcraft to improve the crashworthiness. It introduces a simple kinematic model for an external airbag system, which is validated against published experimental results of automobile airbags. Using a simplified helicopter geometry, several airbag system designs are investigated, and their potential benefit; for crashworthiness are quantified. The results of this preliminary investigation show that an external airbag system is able to reduce fatalities, thereby significantly improving the crashworthiness of a rotorcraft.


Item Type Articles
CreatorsKim, H.and Kirby, B. P. D.
DepartmentsFaculty of Engineering & Design > Mechanical Engineering
ID Code1834
Additional InformationID number: ISI:000238670500027


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