Ergonomics and future helicopter inceptors

Research output: ThesisMaster's Thesis


This report describes an attempt to provide a cohesive and useful description of the human factors considerations associated with the design of helicopter inceptors in general, and discrete action secondary switches in particular. The study aimed to examine, within this context, the feasibility of the design concept of a chord keyboard type device, as a means of secondary flight control and data entry, incorporated in a future control stick. A review of the relevant experimental literature and military standards provided the background for the study. The implications of advanced inceptors and current designs was investigated by means of a questionnaire assessment of aircrew opinion, establishing a baseline of subjective data on switch characteristics and related issues. Finally, a performance-based evaluation of a typical chord keyboard, employing simulated pilot data entry tasks, was performed. The results indicated that the operational environment (i.e. ground vs. airborne) significantly affects performance (p<0.05). A series of guidelines and recommendations for future research was produced.
Original languageEnglish
QualificationMaster of Science
Awarding Institution
  • University of Birmingham
Publication statusPublished - Sept 1984
Externally publishedYes


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