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Safety Standards four-seater gyroplane FC-4

The most important features of Fusioncopter FC4 are the safety parameters. We used the world’s newest technologies, as well as our own unique security systems for the design of this advanced gyroplane to provide the best possible safety for the crew and passengers.

The gyroplane was designed to meet all safety requirements according to the Certification Specifications for Small Rotorcrafts CS27.

Safety begins with the engine

Fusioncopter is powered by certified 100 hp (73.6 kW) Rotax 912S aircraft engines, tested during thousands of operating hours during airplane and rotorcraft flights worldwide. These engines are considered highly reliable. Nonetheless, we have equipped the vehicles with two such engines in order to prevent an emergency landing in case of a potential failure of one of
the engines to provide the highest possible safety. The fuel supply system meets the requirements of CS27 by ensuring a separate fuel flow to each engine.

In FC4 a pusher configuration is used, which helped in achieving three important goals. First of all, the propellers are working far away from the cabin, so the risk of walking into their range on the ground or any crew or passenger injury as a result of failure was minimized. Second of all, this configuration has allowed us to minimize the distance between the propellers and hence a potential pulling asymmetry in the event of an engine failure. This has a substantial impact on the pilot’s ability to react efficiently to a potential threat. Finally, the propellers are conveniently located close to the empennage, which helps to improve the performance of both the rudders and the horizontal tail.

Safety is a well thought out construction

Safety has already been the objective during the first day of designing. Engines in small planes are located directly in front of the cockpit, while the engines in small gyroplanes are directly behind the cockpit. The probability of a fire caused by engine failure is scarce, but in the worst case the crew and passengers always want to be as far as possible from the source of ignition. Thanks to the Fusioncopter FC4’ s construction design the engines are far from the cabin and the main part of the fuselage. They are separated by a fire resistant steel bulkhead and the engine mounting pylon. Additionally, in case of ground impact the engine will not hit the cabin and consequently remain far away from the crew.

Safety is defined by strength and durability reserves

The rotor is the most important element of any gyroplane.The craft is suspended under the rotor, it’s what carries the heaviest load and lifts the machine up. It is not possible for the gyroplane to fly without one. Fusioncopter FC4’s rotor head was designed and tested according to the strictest standards.
The rotor’s shaft is essential to safety and has a Reserve Factor of 10 in relation to the maximum expected load of the gyroplane during flight. This means it can carry a load of up to 30 tons without any risk of damage. The entire head was tested using overload (1.5 times higher than the highest expected flight load) without any damage. We ran out of possibilities in the load testing facility at the Institute of Aviation in Warsaw when trying to cause any kind of damage in order to determine the actual strength and durability of the rotor, still not causing any serious damage. All key components of the gyroplane, including the front and the main landing gear, the tail part, the rivets of the hull and the engine cradle, were all tested for structural stability. In preparation for flight tests, loads of up to 100% of the expected flight load, as well as test loads up to 150% were used to ensure the safety of the craft.

Safety means protecting the life and health of the crew

The damage of the craft is irrelevant in comparison to the survival of the crew. This objective has guided us while designing and constructing the energy absorbing system for the Fusioncopter FC4’s seats. We have conducted dozens of kinetic tests and have built a light yet durable chair with special energy absorbing elements to meet the strictest crash standards set by the Certification Specifications for Small Rotorcrafts CS27. These standards impose severe test conditions involving a dynamic ground impact at a 60 degree angle. The impact must be carried out to obtain a deceleration of 30G which makes it an even stricter regulation than the ones for commercial airplanes. The spine of the test dummy used for the tests should withstand a possible collision, which means most of the kinetic energy has to be absorbed by the seat in order to save the life of the crew member and protect their spine. The seat crash test was conducted in the Automotive Industry Institute (PIMOT) in Warsaw. The seat was struck at a speed exceeding the standard minimums and the deceleration during the collision reached 34 G, which exceeds the requirements of the regulations by far. Despite these severe test conditions, the seat absorbed all of the extra energy, reducing the force on the spine and subsequently avoiding any potential spinal injury. This seat design is unique in Europe and worldwide.