Wind tunnel tests were conducted to deter- mine the aerodynamic forces generated on aircrew flight helmets. Three helmets were tested: two used by aircrews flying ejection seat aircraft in the U.S. military, the Navy HGU-33/P and the Air Force HGU-53/P; and one prototype helmet of significantly different shape and volume. Axial and normal forces were measured through a range of pitch and yaw angles. It was found that large forces exist tending to promote helmet loss during ejection, and that simple modifications to the current helmet configurations can reduce those forces by as much as 40%. It is demonstrated that the proper design of future helmet external geometry can contribute to the increased safety and survivability of aircrews in the ejection environment.
Journal of Aircraft
United States Government
Scholarly Commons Citation
Sestak, T. A., Howard, R. M., & Heard, C. A. (1989). Aerodynamic Forces on Flight Crew Helmets. Journal of Aircraft, 26(9). https://doi.org/10.2514/3.45850
Timothy Sestak was not affiliated with Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University at the time of the publication of this work. At the time, he was affiliated with the Naval Air Development Center in Warminster, Pennsylvania.