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ANTHROPOMETRIC ACCOMMODATION IN USAF TRAINING AIRCRAFT: A COMPARISON OF OPERATIONAL REQUIREMENTS

Beth M. Rogers-Adams
Logicon Technical Services, Inc.
Dayton, Ohio

Capt. Jenny Andrews
Air Education and Training Command
Randolph AFB, Texas

Gregory F. Zehner
Air Force Research Laboratory
Human Interface Directorate
WPAFB, Ohio

ABSTRACT:  "Pilot trainees much smaller and slightly larger than ever before will be accommodated in the Department of Defense's newest trainer, but will they be able to fly the advanced trainers, such as the T-38 and the T-1, that they will encounter later in their training?

To determine an aircraft's body size pass/fail criteria, we first establish its "operational requirements," the tasks a pilot must be able to carry out to safely and effectively fly the aircraft.

This paper describes the process of defining operational requirements. It will also compare the operational requirements of all USAF trainers and examine the difference in trainer requirements."

INTRODUCTION: "The Air Force Research Laboratory is determining body size accommodation pass/fail criteria for United States Air Force (USAF) inventory aircraft. The first phase of this project focuses on trainers, particularly on the new training aircraft that will be used as the primary trainer for both the USAF and the Navy. The new trainer will accommodate at least 95% of the potential pilot population. This trainer was designed to accommodate sizes from 58" in stature and 31" sitting height, up to 77" in stature and a 40" sitting height (Zehner, 1996). This high level of accommodation contrasts sharply with other aircraft in the USAF inventory, which accommodates a more limited body size range. 

When finishing Undergraduate Pilot Training (UPT), pilots have two choices: continue training in the T-38 Fighter/Bomber track or the T-1 Tanker/Transport track. 

Pilot trainees will be accommodated in the new trainer, but will they be able to fly the advanced trainers, such as eh T-38 and the T-1? Can the USAF expand (if even slightly) the body size standard for the T-38 and the T-1?

To determine an aircraft's body size pass/fail criteria, we first establish its "operational requirements," the tasks a pilot must be able to carry out to safely fly the aircraft. As the basis for  the pass/fail criteria, the operational requirements must be as thorough and correct as possible. Old military standards (such as the [Mil Std]1333) listed numerous controls that had to be accessible by pilots under emergency or restrained conditions. These requirements are too restrictive and were developed before most of the aircraft were ever flown. We developed a more accurate procedure for defining operational requirements based on pilots' experiences with the specific aircraft. Our methods for operational requirements include:
            a) Review of a particular aircraft's technical order[, the "dash one" ] . . ..
            b) Simulator flights.
            c) Actual aircraft sorties. [Study flights]
            d) Pilot interviews.
            e) Pilot questionnaires.

The next step involves static anthropometric measurements of subjects in [sic] the aircraft. The combination of these two steps indicates the body size necessary for a pilot to be able to perform the operational requirements, and therefore be accommodated in the aircraft (Kennedy & Zehner, 1995)."

DETERMINING OPERATIONAL REQUIREMENTS: ". . . The general list of requirements for each aircraft includes: vision requirements (what a pilot needs to see to fly and land this aircraft.); reach requirements (what controls are necessary to reach in the aircraft in a worse case "emergency" scenario); clearance for legs with the yoke/stick envelope."

CONCLUSIONS: ". . . Each training aircraft has a uniquely defined mission, as do the operational aircraft in the USAF inventory. It is important that each aircraft be studied in all phases of this research project. The operational requirements for each aircraft are unique and equally important."


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