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Author Topic: Ideas of Aircraft for Disabled People  (Read 894 times)

Offline hesham

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Ideas of Aircraft for Disabled People
« on: June 07, 2017, 09:11:34 am »
Hi,

here is some ideas for airplanes and a helicopter,intended for disabled people,one of
them was a concept from MAI in 1987 (ask our Mercy God to help and bless them all).

http://www.aviajournal.com/arhiv/1999/799/st8_799.html

Offline covert_shores

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Re: Ideas of Aircraft for Disabled People
« Reply #1 on: June 09, 2017, 11:44:03 pm »
Is the last one a Russian WIG design?
COVERT SHORES: www.hisutton.com

Offline hesham

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Re: Ideas of Aircraft for Disabled People
« Reply #2 on: June 10, 2017, 07:17:56 am »
Hi Covert,

I think it looks like WIG.

Offline DWG

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Re: Ideas of Aircraft for Disabled People
« Reply #3 on: June 27, 2017, 09:10:18 am »
Running the article through Google Translate, it's talking about a need to carry a wheelchair along when flying to a different location. Little bit of an essay coming up.

As it happens I actually am a wheelchair user, and I've flown gliders in the past, and I'm not entirely convinced these are practical solutions, or even that they're looking at the right problem. I'm unconvinced wheelchairs, even a lightweight, titanium-framed, active-user chair like mine, the sort being talked about in the article, are suitable for flying from.  Most active user chairs have a back that doesn't come above the waist, mine's higher, but I had to actively specify that, and it still doesn't support my upper back or head. If I can feel uncomfortably unsupported on a train, imagine what I'm going to feel in a crash-landing. And that back connects to the main frame through a set of fairly flimsy hinges designed to be readily collapsed by people who may not have a great deal of grip strength. Worse, even on active user chairs, the seat cushion usually sits on four or so webbing straps held together with velcro. You could fit a five-point harness, but there's a definite chance of the whole seating solution collapsing under load.

And that's for a rigid frame, most chairs aren't rigid, they're folders with a locking X-joint under the seat, in most cases a fairly flimsy one. My initial chair was a folder and I had to go back to Wheelchair Services and say 'look, this is actually making my condition worse' - I partially dislocated my hip at least twice when it flexed under me, ironically as I went over kerb-cuts in both instances. Now imagine what that joint, and/or the back, and/or the seat support webbing, is going to do if you slam 2-300kgs or more of pilot and structure down onto it at several G. The other seating issue is where do you put the pilot's chute? Okay, not everyone wears one in light/sports/general aviation, but they're standard issue when flying a conventional glider, and I'm not about to fly with a lower level of safety than non-disabled types. But if you're seated in a chair that's sized to fit you fairly precisely then that parachute becomes a problem.

Then there's the idea proposed in the article of using the wheels as undercarriage. I've had two friends who've had front casters shear in the past year. One of them just rolling along a corridor. Imagine the undercarriage digging in to ground loop when the undercarriage is also the chair you're sitting in, and the point digging itself in is at most 15cm from your feet.

There's a wider issue of whether flying from the chair is even necessary. Most non-disabled people are stuck in the 'wheelchair-bound' mentality, but mention that around disabled people and we're likely to break out the bondage jokes. The reality is 5 out of 6 wheelchair users have some ability to walk, and most of the rest will be able to transfer from chair to a seat without help. So arguably the focus should be on ensuring there's level access to the pilot's seat and space to deploy a hoist for those who can't transfer unaided. As for flying to other locations, then yes, I will want my chair at the other end, but I'm also likely to want a change of clothing and other essentials, and even a rigid framed chair will collapse to the size of a large suitcase in about 30s - the wheels pop off and the back folds down (and that suitcase size includes the handy, backpack-sized bag that hangs underneath my seat). The optimum solution for most disabled people will be a seat they can transfer into and space behind or beside it for a collapsed chair and its wheels - exactly the solution we're used to with cars. (I'm excluding powerchairs from this  segment as they're just too large and heavy for light aviation aircraft as a rule).

That's not to say that standard cockpit seating can't be an issue, I did have to decide I couldn't continue to fly in a standard glider's seat due to pain/fatigue levels, but that was down to my legs not being supported, and would have been relatively easily fixable with cushions or a moulded support, doubly so with a hand-controlled rudder.

Where you could make a case for piloting from a wheelchair is with people who need fairly complex seating solutions, but that's a level of need that's both relatively uncommon and likely to need help getting the aircraft preflighted, so the support would potentially be there to transfer into a similarly set-up pilot's seat even if you need to transfer by hoist.

Where there's a larger demand for flying in a chair is with airline passengers, particularly those who need adapted seating. This isn't helped by passenger assistance often being less than brilliant, making people reluctant to have to rely on it for boarding.  Unfortunately I think the same issues with regard to chair rigidity apply, more so in fact as general aviation is likely skewed toward active users with rigid chairs, while airline passengers will fall closer to the standard distribution of most people having cheap folding chairs. There may even be floor pressure and weights and balance issues wrt the larger powerchairs, which can weight 2-300kg without their occupant. An airline-flight specific issue will be protecting the head of the passenger behind from possibly impacting with chair, or handles, or rear-mounted controls or oxygen cylinders durng a crash. And of course economics will rear its ugly head. I reckon a minimum of 7 economy seats would have to be given up for a single wheelchair space, though only 10 for 2. (Even a standard-sized manual chair likely overlaps a 3x2 area of seating at economy pitch, a six-wheeled outdoor powerchair definitely does, two chairs side by side should hopefully fit in a 3x3 set of seats, and you'll need to knock 1 seat off the exit row to widen the aisle enough to reach the allocated spaces as we're legally barred from the exit row itself).

Offline hesham

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Re: Ideas of Aircraft for Disabled People
« Reply #4 on: June 28, 2017, 06:35:52 am »
Thank you DWG.

Offline riggerrob

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Re: Ideas of Aircraft for Disabled People
« Reply #5 on: August 08, 2017, 08:48:32 am »
Dear DWG,
Thanks for your insights.
When selecting parachutes, my first recommendation is always a Ballistic Recovery Chute because it simplifies the decision tree, reducing reaction time during an emergency.

You are correct to consider parachutes early in your cockpit design. It is difficult to add parachutes to an existing design, especially if the second pilot is larger than the first (e.g. Sokol Galeb).
Start by determining if you have extra leg room or extra headroom. If you have 2 to 4 inches of extra legroom, then I suggest a back type pilot emergency parachute. Back type PEPs come in a bewildering array of sizes and shapes to make a variety of sizes of pilot comfortable in a variety of seats. Back type PEPs make up 80 percent of the PEP market.

OTOH if you have no extra leg room, but plenty of extra headroom, then install a seat type parachute. Seat type parachute containers are 2 to 4 inches thick depending on the strength (aka. Speed rating) of the parachute. Additional cushions or blocks can be installed to fine tune the fit.

On a more general note, in the past we recommended Cessna Cardinals for ease of entry because of their high wings and lack of wing struts. Now several LSAs also provide similar ease of access to wheel-chair bound pilots.