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Aviation Human Factors Engineering JAMES LIBUSZOWSKI 12/1/2014.

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Presentation on theme: "Aviation Human Factors Engineering JAMES LIBUSZOWSKI 12/1/2014."— Presentation transcript:

1 Aviation Human Factors Engineering JAMES LIBUSZOWSKI 12/1/2014

2 Overview  What is Human Factors Engineering?  Why does HFE matter?  Basic examples of HFE

3 What is Human Factors Engineering?  Multidisciplinary field including elements of  Psychology  Engineering  Biomechanics  Industrial Design  Physiology  Sociology

4 What is Human Factors Engineering?  The study of designing equipment and devices that fit the human body and its cognitive abilities  How to make humans and machines work together  Also referred to as “ergonomics”

5 Why does HFE matter?  HFE shapes the entire world we live in  From our cars to cell phones to furniture to TV remote controls  Most important to us is how HFE is used in aviation  Must start by looking at the early days of HFE…

6 Why does HFE matter?  Before the World Wars, most research into aviation psychology was focused on the pilot  Didn’t really incorporate how the pilot and plane worked  The World Wars shifted research focus into how to make a good plane in order to win the war  Studies began to show that functional planes with trained pilots still crashed  Why?

7 Why does HFE matter?  A good warplane didn’t necessarily “make sense” to the pilot  Researchers realized that the pilot and plane had to be able to work together as one unit  Certain items in the cockpit could easily be confused for others due to where they were placed or how they were labeled

8 Why does HFE matter?  Engineers then learned that they needed to create a sensible plane  Placement of controls and knobs and switches mattered now  This wasn’t the first time this idea was discovered  Hippocrates laid out plans for how doctor workstations should be laid out including placement of tools for ease of use  5 th century B.C.E

9 Basic Examples of HFE  Alphonse Chapanis – U.S. Army  Created an idea known as “shape coding”  Premise was that pilots could identify a control just by touching it and feeling what shape it was  Proposed that landing gear levers have a “wheel” and that flap levers have a triangular “flap” attached to the control  Shape coding and color coding are still used today

10 Basic Examples of HFE

11  Piper Arrow Throttle Quadrant  Throttle – Basic black knob  Propeller – Blue (sky), Ridges (blades)  Mixture – Red, multiple ridges (fire)

12 Basic Examples of HFE  Many examples of HFE seem like common sense  They are actually the result of countless researchers and scientists working with pilots and mechanics  HFE can extend past mechanical aspects of a plane and move into avionics displays including the G1000

13 Basic Examples of HFE


15 Future of HFE  Human Factors Engineering will not be going away  It will continue to shape the future of every airplane cockpit  The good news…?  That means LOTS of jobs in this field  Every airplane manufacturer needs Human Factors specialists  Even government agencies hire Human Factors specialists to assist with any projects or investigations

16 Jobs in HFE  Many aviation universities offer Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Aviation Human Factors  Remember that Human Factors doesn’t just apply to aviation  Can apply to any field requiring humans to interact with machines

17 See you next class…

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