Looking for Improvements

Firstmark Aerospace Corporation works with the aviation, aerospace, and defense industries providing an array of electronic, electromagnetic, and mechanical components. Among the many products they design and manufacture are seat restraint systems.

Firstmark came to Porticos with a desire to develop a new, proprietary 5-point harness for pilots. Their goals for the product included ergonomic considerations and industrial design to ensure ease of use and a rapid-release system. Critically, the new product would be required to adhere to extreme functional load requirements.

Safety is Job #1

The primary purpose of the 5-point harness is to be a safety device in case of potentially catastrophic failure. Preparing for the demands of such an event requires that the harness maintain structural integrity under loads in excess of 20g, or up to 5,000 lbs. Since this was the most critical and challenging aspect of the product design, the Porticos team went through multiple iterations of design, analysis, and improvements in order to successfully meet the standard.

Rotary buckle internalsIn addition to the structural integrity, Firstmark had a number of requirements regarding the way the harness would function and release. Both clockwise and counter-clockwise harness rotations needed to be able to release 4 of the 5 straps at once, with one strap remaining connected to the buckle. The Firstmark team also wanted a second, limited quick-release option that would disengage the upper shoulder straps only, leaving the lower-body belts in place.

Finally, Firstmark wanted the revised product to be modular in its construction. They envisioned the ability to use interchangeable connectors and different external buckle covers, allowing the creation of different versions of the 5-point harness for different industries and target markets. The Porticos team undertook rigorous material selection and utilized post-forming and molding treatments to provide design alternatives while passing structure and functionality testing.

A High-Flying Product

Porticos completed the design of internal and external mechanisms for the 5-point harness, meeting the functional, structural, and aesthetic challenges set forth. The final product, available in multiple variations, is able to satisfy all target markets while utilizing common components to help control costs. Porticos is proud to have partnered with Firstmark Aerospace on the development of this critical safety system.

Similar Projects

Check out some of our other concept design, mechanical design, and testing and verification projects: the Trifold Monitor, the Portray System, Camera Mount, and the Trascend Smart-Core Paper Dispenser.

View the Firstmark Rotary Buckle profile in the Porticos Portfolio.

XL200P Exploded View

About Porticos


Porticos, Inc. is a Product Engineering and New Product Development firm located in Research Triangle Park, NC.

Established in 2003, Porticos produces innovative and effective solutions for their clients and the markets they serve. Porticos provides broad expertise in development, planning, and production. 

Contact us for more information or support bringing your idea to market.