ABBS have an agreement with a world-leading Israeli supplier of energy-absorbing seats for armoured vehicles and offshore racing power boats. Following our approach to them, they are now developing seats for Crashworthy Urban Air Mobility aircraft (UAMs) and other light aircraft/helicopters for ABBS to sell.

The company has many years of experience in designing energy-absorbing seats with a focus on ergonomic designs and the very best protection levels against high-G loading scenarios which can cause spinal injuries.

The crashworthy seat for the UAM aircraft will weigh less than 6.5 kg with an exceptional patented energy absorbing mechanism to protect against the rapid deceleration created during a hard landing or crash. The seat will be manufactured from advanced materials using a unique manufacturing process that the company developed in-house.

Design and appearance are just as important to the company as the effectiveness of the technology so it has partnered with a world-renowned designer for BMW, Fiat, Ferrari, Maserati, and McLaren to combine his deep understanding of the mobility industry with their unmatched technology for energy and impact absorption.

ABBS will be able to offer these seats both as part of our Advanced Blast protection system for vehicles, and as part of our Zero-Zero Safety System for eVTOL aircraft.

AVCP - Zero-Zero Safety System Stroking Seats

 

This arrangement was instigated by ABBS following our involvement with the EUROCAE/EASA eVTOL Safety Committee, where ABBS personnel are currently responsible for drafting the Certification Standards for the Crashworthy Seats which will probably become a standard fit for these aircraft in due course.

In recent webinars both NASA and the FAA representatives have all been assuming that Stroking Crashworthy Seats will be an essential part of the whole aircraft safety systems, although they may not be mandated. We have proposed mandating stroking seats for these aircraft to EASA because they are the very best and simplest means of protecting the occupants from spinal injuries but the CAA, EASA and the FAA are all reluctant to tell the aircraft designers how to achieve the required results because they say it could inhibit innovation. This is a potentially valid point in some areas of technology but it becomes a strange position in our view when passenger safety is critical to the success of these eVTOL aircraft.

One issue is that stroking seats have previously been used primarily in military helicopters and are therefore designed to work with the normal range of ‘standard military adults’ weighing from about 60kg to 110kg. The fact that children and smaller adults, plus obese adults heavier than 110kg will be using these aircraft means that a wider range capability is ideally required. This is where the unique and patented energy absorbing mechanism developed by the Israeli company will pay dividends in due course, especially as we can guide the certification standard draft towards the ultimate capability of the mechanism. This is not to say that other mechanisms cannot provide the same performance, but they will probably be heavier and more complex than our solution.

This is going to be a medium to long term contributor to the development of the ABBS business, but it is an important niche to be in as it goes very well with the AVCP Zero-Zero systems as another part of the whole eVTOL Aircraft Safety Suite.