Design of an Ultra-Compact and Lightweight Wheelchair to Carry onto Passenger Planes

Heath, Michael (2021) Design of an Ultra-Compact and Lightweight Wheelchair to Carry onto Passenger Planes. [USQ Project]

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HEATH Michael dissertation_redacted.pdf

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Currently, wheelchair users are required to part from their wheelchairs when boarding commercial aircraft. This causes many mobility issues when boarding and disembarking the aircraft, as well as mobility issues while on-board. Manual wheelchairs are not allowed inside the aircraft cabin as they do not fit within the designated stowage areas, thus causing obstructions on-board the aircraft, particularly in the case of an emergency.

The need for a wheelchair that qualifies as carry-on baggage is clear, in order to remedy the mobility issues that users face when boarding and disembarking, while preventing on-board obstructions. A thorough review was completed of all the relevant aviation regulations and standards, as well as the current wheelchair market in order to ascertain what is currently available. Using this information, design goals were defined and a conceptual wheelchair design was produced.

The resulting wheelchair meets all predefined criteria including the size and mass restrictions required of carry-on baggage. The folded wheelchair is 505 x 390 x 230 mm when folded, with a mass of just 5.0 kg. When appropriately configued, it is able to be used on-board an aircraft with a minimum aisle width of just 391 mm.

Future work will involve prototyping the proposed design in order to complete the physical testing set out by the relevant AS/NZS standards. Once the wheelchair is confirmed to meet the applicable standards, it will be ready for final testing and evaluation to ensure comfort, safety, and reliability for the user. Intellectual property rights may be sought before the wheelchair is ready for production.

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Item Type: USQ Project
Item Status: Live Archive
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Historic - Faculty of Health, Engineering and Sciences - School of Mechanical and Electrical Engineering (1 Jul 2013 - 31 Dec 2021)
Supervisors: Goh, Steven
Qualification: Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) (Mechanical)
Date Deposited: 03 Jan 2023 01:55
Last Modified: 25 Jun 2023 23:25
Uncontrolled Keywords: wheelchair, aircraft, lightweight, mobility, concept, prototype

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