From The Ergoweb® Learning Center

Boeing Takes Ergonomics to the Skies

In March, Boeing Commercial Airplanes unveiled its Technology Demonstrator airplane. The aircraft, a 737-900, has been outfitted with a suite of new and emerging flight deck technologies to assess their value for enhancing safety, capacity and operational efficiency across the Boeing fleet of airplanes. Some of these technologies are designed to bring better ergonomics to the cockpit.

In the coming weeks, the company will demonstrate the technologies’ capabilities to airlines, government regulatory agencies and the media.

“The objective of these demonstration flights is to show Boeing’s leadership in bringing aircraft to market with leading-edge technologies that enhance safety and efficiency,” said Hank Queen, vice president of engineering and product integrity for commercial airplanes.

Head-Up displays and computer game like screens that project vivid colors and possible hazards are just a few of the pilot friendly technologies. One of the biggest claims of making piloting easier comes from the system titled “Integrated Approach Navigation”. This system minimizes pilot workload and training by allowing common approach procedures. It also has reduced 18 complex approaches down to one. Other technologies have been designed to better deal with airport traffic, take-off and landing, and noise.

While such new technologies could be beneficial for air traffic controllers and residents near airports, Boeing says the package could have the biggest benefits for pilots, who can more easily spot potential trouble by using the simple graphic displays in easy-to-see places around the cockpit.

One test pilot commented, “We think it’s decreasing workload and enhancing safety”.