Proceedings PaperTaking A New Look At Cockpit Vertical Situation Displays
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Future high speed aircraft such as the X-30A, National Aerospace Plane and the 21th Century combat and hypersonic commercial transports will not have a windshield as on current aircraft butt will have the pilot and other flight operating personnel submerged in the fuselage. As a result, in most or all of the flight regimes, the pilot will be guided by vertical and horizontal situation displays on the cockpit instrument panel. Current cockpit instrumentation coupled with computerized flight control systems permit the pilot to perform limited maneuvers such as approach and landing, air intercepts, climbs and cruise. What if the computerized control system fails or is inadequate to perform the complex maneuvers, then the pilot must depend on these situation displays to perform his maneuvers manually. Current electronic primary flight displays are not much larger than conventional instruments and are not precise enough for complex maneuvers. Essentially the subtended angle at the pilot's eye is too small and the resolution of the display too coarse. Previous research on pilot control/display performance in aircraft and in simulators with minimal time delay are examined to attempt to define adequate subtended angle and resolution requirements. Recommendations for cockpit designers based on this research are made and if the existing data is inadequate, additional research is identified. In addition, some hardware technologies are examined which can provide the defined subtended angle of view and resolution.