Warplanes: April 20, 2003


While automobile airbags have drastically reduced traffic deaths in the last three decades, they have only recently been applied to aircraft. Or at least to helicopters. Airbags are not very useful in fast, fixed wing aircraft. But some 80 percent of helicopter accidents are survivable. But 30 percent of the helicopter crash deaths occur in the "survivable" crashes. Thus air bag systems are being installed in U.S. Army UH-60 (Blackhawk) and OH-58 helicopters. Tests showed that the airbag systems reduced crash injuries by nearly 90 percent. 




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