Accelerations in transport-airplane crashes

G. Merritt Preston, Gerard J. Pesman
Feb 1958

Full-scale transport airplanes were crashed experimentally to determine the crash loads that result from a variety of crash events. It was concluded that pressurized transport airplanes can withstand high-impact-angle crashes and still maintain survivable areas within the fuselage. During unflared-landing crashes greater fuselage crushing occurred with high-wing than with low-wing airplanes. Airplanes with strong fuselage structures that do not deform and produce sharp, well-supported plowing edges will have relatively low longitudinal acceleration during crashes similar to those studied. Normal accelerations exceeding human tolerance can occur in crashes in which modest fuselage damage occurs. Within the scructural range represented by the airplanes crashed, the configuration of the airplane had little effect on the normal acceleration.

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