Vertical Drop Test of a Narrow-Body Transport Fuselage Section with Overhead Stowage Bins
A 10-foot-long fuselage section from a Boeing 737-100 airplane was dropped from a height of 14 feet generating a final impact velocity of 30 feet per second. The fuselage section was configured to simulate the load density at the maximum takeoff weight condition. The final weight of 8870 pounds included cabin seats, dummy occupants, overhead stowage bins with contents, and cargo compartment luggage. The fuselage section was instrumented with strain gages, accelerometers, and high-speed cameras. The fuselage sustained severe deformation of the cargo compartment. The luggage influenced the manner in which the fuselage crushed, affecting the gravitational (g) forces experienced by the test section. The seat tracks experienced 15 g's vertical deceleration. Although numerous fuselage structural members fractured during the test, a habitable environment was maintained for the occupants, and the impact was considered survivable.