Beech Starship Occupant Protection Evaluation in Emergency Landing Scenario 891015
Beech Starship is the first all-composites airplane in the world to get FAA certification for airworthiness. FAA had issued special conditions for Beech to demonstrate that the structural integrity of this airplane for the emergency landing conditions, FAR 23.561, is better or equal to the conventional metal airplanes. Beech submitted to FAA an ‘Emergency Landing Condition Evaluation Plan’ comprised of a series of tests and analyses that the Company opted to complete as bases of certification. The plan was approved by FAA. As part of this plan the Company conducted drop tests of keel beams and fuselage panels with keel beams at Beech facility and of two heavily instrumented fuselage barrels, with cabin seats and dummies mounted inside, at the Transportation Research Center (TRC) of Ohio. This paper presents the pertinent details including instrumentation and salient results of the fuselage barrel test. The tests clearly demonstrated that Beech Starship all-composites fuselage with the cabin chair and sub-floor structures is highly energy absorbing.