Weight Optimization of an Armored Crashworthy Crewseat Through the Use of Advanced Materials and Design

Period of Performance: 01/01/1988 - 12/31/1988

$425K

Phase 2 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Simula, Inc.
Tempe, AZ 85283
Principal Investigator

Abstract

THE OBJECTIVE OF THIS PHASE II PROGRAM, "WEIGHT OPTIMIZATION OF AN ARMORED CRASHWORTHY CREWSEAT THROUGH THE USE OF ADVANCED MATERIALS AND DESIGN," IS TO DEMONSTRATE A SIGNIFICANT WEIGHT REDUCTION IN THE CURRENT STATE OF THE ART OF ARMORED CRASHWORTHY CREWSEATS. SEATS OF THIS TYPE ARE BEING INCORPORATED IN THE LATEST GENERATION OF ARMY HELICOPTERS: THE UH-60A BLACK HAWK AND THE AH-74A APACHE. THE DESIGN OF THESE AIRCRAFT, AND HENCE THE ARMORED CRASHWORTHY CREWSEATS, IS APPROXIMATELY TEN YEARS OLD. PRELIMINARY DESIGN WORK FOR THE ARMY'S LHX HELICOPTER DEVELOPMENT PROGRAM HAS INDICATED THAT THE EXISTING TECHNOLOGY FOR THIS COMPONENT WILL NOT MEET THE PROJECTED WEIGHT REQUIREMENTS. THE PURPOSE OF THIS STUDY IS TO DEMONSTRATE THE FEASIBILITY OF SIGNIFICANT WEIGHT REDUCTIONS WHILE MAINTAINING THE BALLISTIC AND CRASHWORTHINESS PERFORMANCE REQUIREMENTS. THERE ARE TWO DISTINCT METHODS TO REDUCE WEIGHT OF EXISTING ARMORED CRASHWORTHY CREWSEATS. THE FIRST METHOD IS THROUGH SELECTION OF APPROPRIATE ADVANCED MATERIALS WHICH HAVE RECENTLY BEEN DEVELOPED. THE STATE OF THE ART IS ADVANCED WITH THIS METHOD BY DIRECT ONE-FOR-ONE SUBSTITUTION OF MATERIALS WITHIN THE CURRENT DESIGN APPROACH. THE SECOND METHOD WOULD BE TO ALTER THE DESIGN APPROACH TO UTILIZED THESE NEW MATERIALS TO THEIR FULLEST ADVANTAGE. THE TWO METHODS COMPLEMENT EACH OTHER AND SHOULD RESULT IN THE LOWEST POSSIBLE CREWSEAT WEIGHT.