Research and technical papers on airworthiness

The following technical papers and research provide background information on airworthiness topics. They don’t necessarily reflect our policy.

Crashworthiness of automotive child restraints in transport category aircraft

RMIT University undertook this research project under the sponsorship of CASA.

It aims to gain a better understanding of the crashworthiness of automotive child restraint systems (CRS) in transport category aircraft under emergency landing dynamic conditions.

The research considered 3 different CRS installation methods:

  • aircraft seat lap belt
  • European ISOFIX system
  • North American LATCH system.

It also evaluated typical airline economy class seating configurations involving forward-facing CRS installed by each of these methods in terms of:

  • level of protection offered to the CRS occupant
  • the injury potential for a passenger seated directly aft of the CRS
  • the effect of the CRS on aircraft seat loading and dynamic behaviour.

Our prior research projects into child restraint formed the basis for the development of a computer model. This model conducts experiments in a virtual environment.

The method analysed many seat configuration parameters at the same time. It also looked at some parameters where physical testing could not be measured.

Shrimpton A (2011) A numerical investigation into the crashworthiness of automotive child restraints in transport category aircraft.

Automotive child restraint installation methods in transport category aircraft - Phase two

This research continues the investigation into the dynamic performance of automotive child restraints when fitted to an economy class airline seat.

It compares the performance of child restraints when attached by the following installation methods:

  • ISOfix
  • LATCH
  • a lap belt
  • a child in their own airline seat
  • lap held infants restrained by a supplementary loop belt.

The testing also:

  • gathered data for Lower Anchorages design standards
  • investigated injury levels to an adult seated in the row behind an automotive child restraint.

Bathie M (2009) An investigation of automotive child restraint installation methods in transport category aircraft - Phase II.

Automotive child restraint installation methods in transport category aircraft

This report looks into the dynamic performance of automotive child restraints when fitted to an economy class airline seat.

There was specific focus on the top tether contribution to dynamic performance as typically configured by airlines in Australia.

It also compares the performance of current Australian infant restraints to ISOfix type infant restraints.

ISOfix restraints do not use the car or aircraft seat belt for retention. Instead, they use a steel link that latches to a mating fitting in the seat bight.

Bathie M (2007) An investigation of automotive child restraint installation methods in transport category aircraft.

The use of nondestructive testing in the inspection of aging aircraft

This paper was presented to the Aging Commuter Aircraft Conference, Canberra in August 1992.

A nondestructive testing (NDT) inspector with 40 years’ experience cautioned damage tolerance proponents about their increasing reliance on NDT to manage structural fatigue in aging aircraft.

Hollamby DC (1989) A Perspective on the use of NDT in the inspection of aging aircraft.

Human injury model for small unmanned aircraft impacts

This paper describes an injury prediction model for the impact of small remotely piloted aircraft (RPA) into a person on the ground.

The model provides estimates of injury severity as a function of the RPA’s mass and impact velocity.

One of the goals is to determine a non-lethal RPA mass for purpose of drafting air traffic regulations for the rapidly developing civil RPA market.

Civil Aviation Safety Authority (2013) Human injury model for small unmanned aircraft impacts.

Potential damage assessment of a mid-air collision with a small remotely piloted aircraft

This paper analyses the damage potential to manned aircraft from a mid-air collision with a small unmanned aircraft.

It considers the scenarios of:

  • engine ingestion
  • impacts into fuselage and cockpit windscreen.

The study aims to provide velocity estimates, above the expected penetration of the aircraft structure.

The consequences of the penetration will depend on the impact location. This is not explored in this report.

Civil Aviation Safety Authority (2013) Potential damage assessment of a mid-air collision with a small RPA.

Last updated:
5 Dec 2021
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