Essay on Cockpit Design

Published: 2021/11/08
Number of words: 647

The cockpit is located at the front of the aircraft from where the pilot controls the aircraft. At the beginning of the aviation era, flying the aircraft was a relatively physical activity as it was based solely on the pilot’s vision and intuition. At that time design of the aircraft was very basic, and it was equipped with a single stick and a rudder. The use of basic instrumentation in the aircraft provides information such as engine and aircraft performance. On the other hand, the advent of aviation technology has emphasized the ergonomics and human factors in the design of modern cockpits. The modern cockpit’s efficient layout design and controls increase pilot situation awareness by providing only required information (Vignesh, 2012).

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The crew of the commercial aircraft spend most of the time in the cockpit during the flight; therefore, the layout of the aircraft should be functional and comfortable to avoid stress and fatigue to the pilots. Therefore, while designing the cockpit, it is necessary to consider anthropometry. Anthropometry is a science of measuring individual humans (Aghazadeh, 1994). In cockpit design, there is a need to consider three measurements, static measurement of the pilot when the pilot is not moving, dynamic measurement when the pilot is moving, and contour measurement, which is a measurement of the pilot’s body wearing the uniform. It is also required to design eye position so that the pilot can view all the main instruments within the cockpit and have a good view of the external world, such as a runway with minimum head movement (FAA, 1993). It is also necessary to consider the dimensions of the fuselage as the cockpit is situated in the fuselage; however, consideration should be made to design a spacious cockpit (Enol, 2012).

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On the other hand, the display needed to be large, easily readable, easy to operate, and well lit. The most crucial display should be displayed frequently and at a more prominent position than the less essential one. The digital display should be incorporated instead of the analog display to reduce interpretation time; however, in some cases, such as fuel gauge, a combination of analog and digital display should be preferred (Pallet, 1992). Along with the positioning and the type of display, the correct type of illumination and color is required to the display from both internal and external. It is required to select a correct color scheme to the display depending upon the operations, and anything which is needed pilot’s attention, for example, red light is for emergency and alert, amber is for caution, green is for regular operation likewise (Nagabhushana & Sudha, 2010). Also, it is required to select the right shape and colors for control levers and switches to decrease uncertainty and unintended operations. It is a must for the pilot to wear a safety harness all the time for safety from turbulence and uncertain incidence such as sudden decompression or rapid descends (Jarrett, 2005).

The journey of cockpit design from basic needs to overcrowded modernized cockpit is quite interesting. It is required to select the correct type of layout, display and control instrumentation, safety equipment for the efficient working of the crew. The current parameters of designing a cockpit will change depending upon continuously developing technology and the crew’s need.

Work cited

Aghazadeh, F. (1994). Advances in industrial ergonomics and safety VI (pp. 687-693). London, United Kingdom: Taylor & Francis.

Enol, M. (2012). Evaluation of Cockpit Design. Saarbrücken, Germany: AP Lambert Academic Publishing.

FAA. (1993). Pilot Compartment view design considerations. Advisory Circular FAA, ANM-110(25.773-1), 1-6.

Jarrett, D. (2005). Cockpit engineering. Farnham, United Kingdom: Ashgate Publishing Ltd.

Nagabhushana, S., & Sudha, L. (2010). Aircraft instrumentation and systems. New Delhi: I.K. International Pub. House.

Pallett, E. (1992). Aircraft Instruments and Integrated Systems. Essex, England: Longman Scientific & Technical.

Vignesh, S. (2012). Eight-seater short-range business jet aircraft (pp. 1-3). Chennai: Anna University.

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