Protection's in the air
We've been working on this for a long time. The first prototype (never placed into operation), a cylindrical form theoretically capable of springing out of the helmet dating back to 1995 was the first Dainese idea of what is now known as D-Air. The first working prototype without cables or connections to the motorcycle was devised in 2000 with the help of Israeli partners; the idea was good, but weights and costs were deemed too high. Plus, there was no way it could inflate while sliding over the ground.
The second phase in the development of D-Air availed of qualified partners at the highest level that included the University of Padova with Professor Cossalter, preside of the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering and one of the world’s leading experts on two-wheeled vehicle dynamics, and the German 2D Company specialized in data collection/processing and development software. The Fiat Safety Center put Dainese in contact with the most evolved companies involved in air-bags for automobiles, also because the problems to he solved in the development of D-Air are particular and many. On one hand, there are laws and regulations to be respected, such as those governing the transport of explosive materials, for example, and the purely technical problems linked to the development of a new product, on the other.
One of the many technical problems is defining the slide in an innovative system in which the rider is not attached to the bike. Although impact force can be easily recorded, there are no equally significant values for deceleration. The combined rider/vehicle dynamics must be studied, the parameters must be identified, and the entire protection system must be centered on the rider.
In its current stage of development, the D-Air Road model inflates above all in case of impact and therefore requires sensors also on the bike itself. The D-Air Competition model, which is entirely packed into the aerodynamic hump on the suit's back, is instead much easier to install because nothing remains on the motorcycle. For Dainese, D-Air is the symbol of the company's inter-disciplinary approach.