Numerical Simulation of Glider Crash Against a Non-Deformable Barrier
This study, describing computer simulation of a glider crash against a non-deformable ground barrier, is a part of a larger glider crash modeling project. The studies were intended to develop a numerical model of the pilot - glider - environment system, whereby the dynamics of the human body and the composite cockpit structure during a crash would make it possible to analyze flight accidents with focus on the pilot's safety. Notwithstanding that accidents involving glider crash against a rigid barrier (a wall, for example) are not common, establishing a simulation model for such event may prove quite useful considering subsequent research projects. First, it is much easier to observe the process of composite cockpit structure destruction if the crash is against a rigid barrier. Furthermore, the use of a non-deformable barrier allows one to avoid the errors that are associated with the modeling of a deformable substrate, which in most cases in quite problematic. Crash test simulation, carried out using a MAYMO package, involved a glider crash against a wall positioned perpendicularly to the object moving at a speed of 77 km/h. Computations allowed for determination of time intervals of the signals that are required to assess the behavior of the cockpit and pilot's body - accelerations and displacements in selected points of the glider's structure and loads applied to the pilot's body: head and chest accelerations, forces at femur, lumbar spine and safety belts. Computational results were compared with the results of a previous experimental test that had been designed to verify the numerical model. The glider's cockpit was completely destroyed in the crash and the loads transferred to the pilot's body were very substantial - way over the permitted levels. Since modeling results are fairly consistent with the experimental test, the numerical model can be used for simulation of plane crashes in the future.