Optimal occupant protection comes first
“A substantially extended range of applications and increasingly stringent requirements for usability in various mission scenarios require optimisation of modularity, ergonomics and especially the crash safety of seating systems.” In this statement from Björn Kanstorf, Manager of the Business Unit Cabin Solutions at the company Autoflug, the subject is the latest developments of crash-safety for the occupants of the latest generation of military helicopters. “Especially the increase in the load on seating, due to highly developed personal equipment and the accompanying increase in weight also calls for light seating systems to realize efficient use of the air vehicles,” Kanstorf added.
Recently, the medium-sized company received the order for adaptation of the in-house developed passenger seats for use in CH-53 in the GS configuration as currently used in the German Armed Forces. The modification of all machines in service is to begin immediately after the development stage.
The main characteristics of the new seating system are very low dead weight, flexible and fast installation and dismantling in the helicopter to achieve optimal “mission flexibility”, and substantially increased occupant protection, especially in the event of a crash.
The family concept worked out at Autoflug for such seating systems enables swift development and qualification. At the same time it allows swift reaction to new operational, ergonomic and safety-relevant requirements. For example, Autoflug, based in Northern Germany, has also been entrusted with the development of a special “Mission Troop Seat” for the NATO helicopter NH90, which will be put to use on the basis of the requirements of a user nation in its organizations. Use by further user states is, however, possible at any time. The seats in this development only represent a component which can be built up into a complete cabin system with a large number of further items of equipment. The solutions here range from stretchers for the transport of the wounded through a wide range of storage solutions for items of equipment to special racks for the storage of “personal survival packs,”,PSPs for short, to make survival possible in emergency. All components of the Autoflug airFLEX family of products are here optimally coordinated with each other, thus ensuring the efficient use of the limited available space in helicopter cabins.