I suppose that would come down to whether it was a passive or active/dynamic system.
I'm sure that there are some modern materials with excellent vibration reducing properties that could be incorporated into a seat design. But if some form of "vibration reduction system" needs to be engineered...?
Whilst I am all for vibration reduction, some of the current methods used in recent production aircraft also seem to remove some of the more prominent frequencies that would be useful indicators to the pilot that something was amiss.
I can think of two instances, 1 involving me in flight where the lack of vibration felt in the cockpit almost caused the loss of a tail rotor, there is no way it was not shaking whilst it was flying; and another more recent were the vibration felt was enough to curtail a ground run, the first machine had a vibration damper for the tail rotor frequencies (which also destroyed itself), the second did not. _________________ Gary
For the comfort and saftey, yes crash worthy is a must, but also you want to be safely strapped in, like HH said with the option of a 5 point harness. You may also want the seat slightly sculpted so that it can hold you in position when your flying some quick manouevers or in turbulance, bearing in mind sometimes you may be required to be leaning out of the door to look below you when your long lining (lifting things with the helicopter) so the seat can't be too sculpted or it would make that work uncomfortable.
Most seats use a physical crash worthy system, whereby the seat is on a hollow base, when you crash the sides of the base will collapse outwards or inwards and the whole seat will crumple down on them (think crumple zone). The method is quite crude though. You could use a shock absorber type system, or like you say some sort of airbag seat system which will inflate just before impact to hold you securly in your seat and provide some crash proofness to the bottom of the seat. All good ideas really. Just got to make sure something like the airbags where they will be deployed, arn't going to deploy accidentally such as if you had a slightly hard landing when training.
And to answer your second point, yeah you do get uncomfortable in the cockpits of the smaller helicopters sometimes. Bearing in mind your surrounded by glass and have very little shielding you from direct sunlight it can be abit like sitting in a greenhouse. Most helicopters have some sort of vent system to let the outside air in, or in the cold a heater system. In the expensive one's i imagine this upgrades to an air conditioning unit, but i don't know of any helicopters that blow cool/hot air though the seat, that would be excellent to keep you cool on a hot day. You could also have one of those air blade type things by the neck where it blows air across the neck too.
In the expensive one's i imagine this upgrades to an air conditioning unit,
By comparison, R44's aren't expensive, are they? Aircon for R44 is available as an optional extra, or retrofit unit. (There is, of course, the associated weight and power penalty...) _________________ J.
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