Chinook Crashworthy Seats Pass Major Testing Milestone

Griffon Defense Systems (GDS) of Chesterfield, Michigan announced today the successful completion of dynamic crash testing of the Australian Defence Forces award-winning crashworthy CH-47 troop seat.
As a precursor to production GDS, working with the National Institute of Aviation Research (NIAR) located in Wichita Kansas, completed testing of a crashworthy troop seat as part of the ADF’s Main Cabin Upgrade (MCU) package for the CH-47 Chinook. This effort is part of a contract from the Australian Defence Forces (ADF) to GDS for production of the Main Cabin Upgrade (MCU).

The seat testing, conducted at NIAR, demonstrated crash load attenuation that significantly exceeds the requirements of FAR29, and meets the requirements of MIL-STD-85510 with an occupant weight of 240lbs, at 21.1G forward (sideways facing) and 26.6G downward. The seat in combination with a five point harness provides a stroking design that attenuates energy during a crash event to reduce loads and accelerations experienced by the occupant, greatly enhancing survivability.

Crashworthy seating is a mandatory feature of new aircraft designs, however this is the first time that MIL-STD-85510 compliant passenger seating has been developed for the older CH-47 aircraft. This innovative design won a number of safety awards for “Best Solution to an Identified Workplace Issue” in Australia during 2011.

The seat is part of an integrated upgrade package (the MCU) replacing the legacy CH-47 floor and troop seats with a fully integrated cargo and seating solution. The solution enables a CH-47 aircraft to be reconfigured in flight, without tooling, to accept a wide range of palletized, wheeled, or passenger cargo, within a crashworthy and ballistically protected environment. The MCU is the only known solution to offer full passenger crashworthy seating within the main cabin area of Chinook and not constrain the aircraft’s roles or attributes.

Len Brown, Project Manager at the Australian Defence Forces, said "The ADF is pleased to be associated with GDS. Working with GDS in a collaborative effort as we have, we have designed the safest and arguably the most multi role efficient Chinook in existence anywhere in the World. Certainly GDS has established a new benchmark in Occupant Safety and Cargo Operations efficiency. The MCU is gaining a lot of interest from International Defence Forces and it is easy to see why. In acknowledging what is available in the Market Place today, it is believed the MCU will become the Solution of Choice.”

The ADF, GDS, and NIAR are preparing additional tests to certify the deck and surrounding structure with the certified seat. This data aims to confirm a system acceptance with an “installed system rating” goal of 16G forward and 26.6G downward at 240 lbs.

Source: Griffon Defense Systems
Date: May 21, 2013