1567. Impact of MIL-STD-1290 Crash Worthiness Requirements on Design of Helicopter Composite Structures


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J D Kronkhite: 1567. Impact of MIL-STD-1290 Crash Worthiness Requirements on Design of Helicopter Composite Structures. 1983.



This paper describes the results of a research program to investigate the impact of the U.S. Army’s MIL-STD-1290 crashworthiness requirements on the design of helicopter airframes constructed of composite (fiber-reinforced plastic) materials. The program included design, fabrication, and crash testing of two full-scale composite helicopter cabin sections. The cabin sections were derived from the Bell Helicopter Textron, Inc. (BHTI) preliminary design for the Army’s Advanced Composite Airframe Program (ACAP). Tests of key energy-absorbing components along with dynamic analysis using the KRASH computer program were utilized in the design of the composite cabin structures. The crash test conditions for the two cabin sections were representative of the 42 ft/sec vertical crash impact velocity requirement specified in MIL-STD-1290, assuming the landing gear had slowed the aircraft from 42 ft/sec to 30 ft/sec prior to fuselage contact. Roll attitudes of 0 degrees (flat) and 20 degrees were used in the two cabin drop tests. Test results from both drop tests indicated that the strong protective shell structure around the occupants remained intact; structural deformation was restricted to the areas designed to crush and absorb energy; and most important, the excellent post-test condition of the cabin protective shell structure and the performance of specially designed energy-absorbing components demonstrated that the Army’s crashworthiness requirement could be met by a composite structure.


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