AmSafe Introduces New Seatbelt Airbag Kit
AmSafe has introduced a new universally applicable seatbelt airbag kit for normal category Part 23 aircraft. In a podcast with AVweb, AmSafe Technical Support Manager James Crupi said they hope to have FAA approval for the product, which they’re calling the State of the Art Restraint System (SOARS) by May 2018. The company has been offering airbag seatbelt restraints to general aviation customers since 2004.
SOARS works with two- and three-point seatbelt systems. The airbag deploys when the sensor detects a force at or above 6 Gs for approximately 50 milliseconds. It also deflates in seconds in case aircraft occupants need to get out of the plane quickly after an accident. The crash sensor and system electronics are contained within the SOARS Electronic Module Assembly (EMA), which is powered by a non-rechargeable lithium battery. Both the EMA battery and the airbag inflators last for 10 years.
SOARS installation can be accomplished by an A&P. The system includes a push-to-test feature, so it doesn’t require additional diagnostic tools for inspection and testing. Cost for SOARS is targeted at $2,500 per kit, with each kit providing materials and instructions for installation of airbags on two seats.