AmSafe Introduces Lighter, Longer-Lasting Seatbelt Airbag

Service life increases to 10 years.

Safety product manufacturer AmSafe has introduced a next-generation seatbelt airbag that is lighter and has a longer service life than the company's current airbag restraint, which has been in production for 10 years and is installed in more than 7,000 general aviation aircraft. The new AmSafe seatbelt is narrower and features an optional lightweight buckle, AmSafe says, while overall weight has been reduced by 30 percent and service life of the unit increases by 40 percent.

The changes mainly suit the needs of airlines, which have been installing the 16-g compliant seatbelt airbags in certain hard-to-certify seats. But the benefits of a 10-year service life and more comfortable seatbelt will trickle down to general aviation, where the aftermarket price remains the same at $1,500 per seat plus the cost of installation.

AmSafe's seatbelt airbag is a self-contained, modular restraint designed to protect occupants from serious head-impact injury and to improve a pilot or passenger's chances of exiting an aircraft after a survivable accident. Integrated into the lap belt portion of the seatbelt, the seatbelt airbag deploys up and away from the occupant, making it a safe restraint for passengers of all ages, including children, according to the manufacturer. Supplemental type certificates for the seatbelt airbag installations are available for hundreds of aircraft types.