Investigation of external airbags for rotorcraft crashworthiness

H Kim, B P D Kirby

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (SciVal)


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.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)809-816
Number of pages8
JournalAIAA Journal of Aircraft
Volume43 May-Jun
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2006

Bibliographical note

ID number: ISI:000238670500027


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