Title page for ETD etd-01112005-124913

Document Type Master's Dissertation
Author Meintjes, Schalk Willem van der Merwe
URN etd-01112005-124913
Document Title Comparative study into occupant support concepts with respect to crash response
Degree MEng (Aeronautical Engineering)
Department Mechanical and Aeronautical Engineering
Advisor Name Title
Mr R J Huyssen Co-Supervisor
Prof N J Theron Supervisor
  • no key words available
Date 2003-10-09
Availability unrestricted
It is argued that together with improved protection structures and energy dissipation systems, a favourable pilot position with sufficient support and restraint could reduce fatalities in aviation accidents. In this document the crash response of three different pilot positions are compared to justify the proposal of supporting a pilot in the rather unusual prone position.

The normal seated and supine pilot positions have already been adopted and implemented in various aircraft. The occupant’s response to specified crash scenarios in these two positions was compared to that of a pilot in the prone position. To obtain the best prone pilot support configuration, different concepts were considered during the analysis. A dynamic event simulation program called ADAMS was used to perform the analysis and existing injury criteria and a study of common causes of aviation fatalities and human body tolerance limits were used to compare the results.

Additionally, methods to improve survivability of a pilot in the prone position during likely accidents were investigated with ADAMS. Concepts for the Exulans fuselage layout and energy absorption systems were proposed and recommendations for the pilot support system were derived from the results.

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