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Airplane airbags catching on, generally

December 1st, 2010 / By: / Advanced Textiles, Industry News, Markets

A new federal rule requires airbags on some commercial flights, depending upon how seats are configured. The idea is catching on with general aviation aircraft—an estimated 50,000 are already in use—but most commercial airline airbag orders coming to AmSafe, Elkhart, Ind., are from Europe, Asia and Australia, not the U.S. “There’s a sort of gentleman’s agreement in aviation that no one ever advertises or competes on safety,” says Bill Voss, president and CEO of the Flight Safety Foundation, Alexandria, Va. Still, the technology is expanding into the aviation market, with flight schools among the early adopters. “If an aviation school goes out and acquires a new single-engine airplane, chances are very good that they will have airbags standard on that airplane,” says Tom Barth, AmSafe research and development director.

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