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Addressing technical and human factors involved in the implementation of 3-point shoulder harnesses, on all seats, in passenger aircraft

European Union
Complete with results
Geo-spatial type
Project Acronym
STRIA Roadmaps
Vehicle design and manufacturing (VDM)
Transport mode
Airborne icon
Transport policies
Societal/Economic issues,
Transport sectors
Passenger transport


Background & Policy context

In the course of the DYNASAFE project, experimental prototypes had been built and dynamically tested to validate the concept of a three point shoulder harness, associated to a backrest controlled by an energy absorbing device. The desired performance gains regarding safe passenger restraint, and its compatibility with aircraft floor structures, were positively demonstrated during 2002 paving the way for a new aircraft seating system.


GOING-SAFE, directly following up on the DYNASAFE project, had the aim to progress from experiments to implementation, in addressing the technical, human and commercial factors involved in the development of a novel seating system for aircraft.

The project's specific objectives have been to:

  • Take advantage of the methodology and experience of the automotive industry and to integrate them with the expected results of the DYNASAFE project;
  • provide air transport with an equivalent level of passive protection, compatible with passenger comfort and airline requirements;
  • provide guidelines for a specific in-flight test programme of new seating systems; and
  • design an advanced, still experimental batch of seats, equipped with 3-point shoulder harness devices, ultimately readying the concept for manufacture, certification and
    installation onboard in-service aircraft.

GOING-SAFE's approach has been to:

  • Compile all interface requirements to comply with, while attempting to match the new seating system with the existing aircraft environments;
  • perform a preliminary 3D design of a standard economy triple-seat assembly and its components; and
  • perform the detailed design of each component, preparing 2D production drawings as well as 3D models of the different economy seat assemblies of a typical
    cabin layout shipset.


Parent Programmes
Institution Type
Public institution
Institution Name
European Commission, Directorate-General for Energy and Transport (DG TREN)
Type of funding
Public (EU)



  • Specified design requirements for installation of the DYNASAFE seat prototype in the Airbus A320 cabin;
  • optimised the design of the new GOING-SAFE seat in terms of structural improvements to reduce weight, production costs, assembly time and maintenance costs, as well as integrated all the styling and comfort aspects, while making the seat suitable for up to 95% of all passengers;
  • optimised design of 3-point shoulder harness, backrest, Discolock energy absorbing device, spreaders, seat pan, front beam, rear and front legsand fittings from the DYNASAFE prototype;
  • defined the general seat styling and specified the comfort design;
  • assessed seat assemblies with regard to limits in Head Injury Criteria (HIC); and
  • carried out extensive simulations and analyses to compare standard lap belts with 3-point shoulder harnesses, fully confirming the superior performance of the latter.

Policy implications

The GOING-SAFE seat concept has initially been foreseen for complete cabin layouts. However, currently such advanced seats are strictly required for front row economy seats only and on those aircraft which indeed require full dynamic certification compliance for passenger seats. These at the moment is relevant just for Airbus A340-500/-600 and Boeing B777 aircraft. Hence the market for a GOING-SAFE seat is limited to a mere 10% of all seats in economy.

In general, as long as airworthiness regulations do not prescribe the use of seats featuring 3-point shoulder harness devices, their application will be limited to front rows of newly built aircraft.


Key Findings


  • defined the general seat styling and specified the comfort design; and
  • assessed seat assemblies with regard to limits in Head Injury Criteria (HIC).


Policy Implications

No policy implications directly relevant to this theme. However, please note that implications for the project's key theme (Safety and Security) are generically applicable.


Key Findings

No results directly relevant to this theme. However, please note that some findings relevant to the project's key theme (Safety and Security) are generically applicable.


Policy Implications

No policy impl


Lead Organisation
EU Contribution
Partner Organisations
EU Contribution


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