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US airline may fit airbags in all aircraft seats

US airline may fit airbags in all aircraft seats

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Old Mar 19, 09, 12:15 pm
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US airline may fit airbags in all aircraft seats

http://www.flightglobal.com/articles...aft-seats.html

An unidentified US airline is considering fitting its entire fleet with seatbelt-mounted airbags as the countdown begins to implementation of a long-awaited rule requiring new-build aircraft to meet tougher passenger safety standards.

From October newly delivered aircraft in the USA must be equipped with seats capable of withstanding a 16g dynamic longitudinal acceleration in a crash and be configured to limit the risk of severe head injury.
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Old Mar 19, 09, 12:42 pm
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Accidental deployment anyone?
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Old Mar 20, 09, 7:20 am
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Originally Posted by Palal View Post
Accidental deployment anyone?
That was my first thought when I saw this, and I imagined that it had a bumper-trigger like some of the first automobiles. As soon as you experience a birdstrike on the nose, everyone on board gets a faceful of expanding plastics - fun times!
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Old Mar 20, 09, 10:20 am
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Birdstrike on the nose would hardly be a 16g deceleration.

And the numbers of accidental deployments in cars seems so small that it's not even newsworthy.

This could be a critical item to make some currently non-survivable crashes...survivable.
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Old Mar 20, 09, 10:26 am
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Originally Posted by Wilbur View Post
Originally Posted by Palal View Post
Accidental deployment anyone?
That was my first thought when I saw this, and I imagined that it had a bumper-trigger like some of the first automobiles. As soon as you experience a birdstrike on the nose, everyone on board gets a faceful of expanding plastics - fun times!
calling all lawyers.....calling all lawyers.....

Originally Posted by DenverBrian View Post
Birdstrike on the nose would hardly be a 16g deceleration.

And the numbers of accidental deployments in cars seems so small that it's not even newsworthy.

This could be a critical item to make some currently non-survivable crashes...survivable.
no, but some yutz taking down their carry on (which doesn't have to be heavy and over stuffed) and "nailing the seatbelt-mounted airbag" in just the right spot could be enough to cause a deployment....

good idea but bad concept (if that makes any sense)
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Old Mar 20, 09, 6:34 pm
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Originally Posted by goalie View Post
calling all lawyers.....calling all lawyers.....

no, but some yutz taking down their carry on (which doesn't have to be heavy and over stuffed) and "nailing the seatbelt-mounted airbag" in just the right spot could be enough to cause a deployment....

good idea but bad concept (if that makes any sense)
I dunno...millions of people thump, pound, honk and beat on their steering wheels every day. I think the technology is quite safe.
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Old Mar 20, 09, 7:32 pm
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Originally Posted by DenverBrian View Post
I dunno...millions of people thump, pound, honk and beat on their steering wheels every day. I think the technology is quite safe.
i agree about the technology and it being safe but beating on the steering wheel is a bit different than dropping a 40-50 pound 22" wheel-aboard on the seat and seat belt-i think that could be a problem as that happens all the time
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Old Mar 20, 09, 7:43 pm
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I would imagine the system is like a car's system -- there's a central crash detector that sets off the airbags in the whole plane. There's not going to be a sensor in each seat.
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Old Mar 21, 09, 4:53 pm
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This is a highly logical and significantly overdue move. We are seeing more significant head injuries as the result of the new seats. Previous seat design has not had personal injury criteria. Therefore, new seats were designed which met the new crashworthiness requirements and are now doing more damage to the people. So, now survivable accidents are then leading to injury or even death. Even worse, some bracing positions are likely to lead to significant trauma too. There are other bracing positions, particularly those in the US, that do not minimise personal injury. This is all known stuff but the FAA does not seem capable of changing its recommendations or approvals and the airlines are too scared to change without FAA dictation.

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Old Mar 21, 09, 9:40 pm
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As one who would undoubtedly wind up with a broken neck in any sudden stop scenario (too tall to get into the "brace postion") I can only think this is a good move. Anything that might help us avoid impacting the back of the seat in front with our heads sounds good to me.
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Old Mar 22, 09, 8:15 am
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Originally Posted by abmj-jr View Post
As one who would undoubtedly wind up with a broken neck in any sudden stop scenario (too tall to get into the "brace postion") I can only think this is a good move. Anything that might help us avoid impacting the back of the seat in front with our heads sounds good to me.
Including lap/shoulder combo belts, which I sure wish the airlines would adopt.
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Old Mar 23, 09, 3:15 am
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I wonder if these airbags would go off only in crashes that are likely to cause a break-up of the air frame? One of the things I am confused by is how evacuation times would be effected by these airbags. Presumably the airbags would be more intrusive than having a book in the seat back pocket (which is already a no-no). I am sure they deflate quickly (unlike in comedy TV) but still....
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Old Mar 23, 09, 9:06 am
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Originally Posted by SFOtoBOS View Post
Presumably the airbags would be more intrusive than having a book in the seat back pocket (which is already a no-no). I am sure they deflate quickly (unlike in comedy TV) but still....
Those in use by Air New Zealand in Business Premier are contained in slightly oversized and rather heavier seatbelts. I would imagine that they could be installed without too much trouble in other cabins.

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Old Mar 23, 09, 1:55 pm
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Originally Posted by msmorley View Post
Those in use by Air New Zealand in Business Premier are contained in slightly oversized and rather heavier seatbelts. I would imagine that they could be installed without too much trouble in other cabins.

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If true, then they're already in use and the United States is behind.
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Old Mar 23, 09, 2:01 pm
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Thumbs up

The airbag component of the seat belt can be seen in one of the photos from this trip report (with the orange juice) - although this is on SQ rather than NZ.

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