Curriculum Vitae ~ Michael Farrow

 

MEng Aerospace Engineering Graduate

Real Engineering Examples

 

Internal Hatch Access Step

One of the pieces of internal kit required for the Vector vehicle was a removable step in the footwell, which enabled easy access to one of the two roof hatches. Due to the presence of other equipment, the step was unable to touch the floor in the footwell, but had to be sufficiently strong to carry a fully kitted 95 percentile soldier, over rough terrain.

 

Aside from needing to be completely mounted on the side of the footwell, and be removable, the step also had to fold up to the smallest possible space, to minimise its stowed volume.

 

Using my knowledge of structures and bending, coupled with some basic FEA, I was able to produce a relatively neat and tidy solution to the problem.

 

Rear view of detached step

The step was a two piece design, using one section as a mounting plate, permanently fixed to the side of the footwell. This piece was a folded sheet steel fabrication mounted to four existing bolts, and had to be sufficiently strong not to deform in bending as load was applied to the step.

Rear view of detached step

The second section of the step was a three piece aluminium fabrication, using two hinged flanges to facilitate removal, and folding for stowage.

Rear view of detached step

A slam latch was fitted to each side, to allow the locking closed of the hinged flanges.

Rear view of detached step

When fitting the step, the upper tabs would be lowered into cuts in the mounting plate. These locate it in position horizontally, and form the main part of the fixing mechanism.

Rear view of detached step

The hinged step support flanges are then slammed into place, using the same slam latches used to stow the step.

Rear view of detached step

The assembled step can then be used to access the roof hatches. To release the step, the slam latches are actuated, and the side support flanges opened out again, allowing the step to lift off vertically.

Rear view of detached step

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