COCKPIT ANTHROPOMETRIC ACCOMMODATION ANDTHE JPATSPROGRAM
Gregory. F. ZehnerFitts Human Engineering DivisionCrew Systems DirectorateArmstrong LaboratoryWright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio 45433-7022
Currently, USAF pilot candidates must bebetween 64 and 77 inches in Stature, and between 34and 40 inches in Sitting Height. These criteriaprevent roughly 6% of male military population fromentering flight training. Approximately 55% of female military are excluded. Complicating this issueis the traditional practice of designing aircraft toaccommodate "5th through 95th percentile" malepilots. The intention of this practice is to reduce thecost and size of the cockpit (and, therefore, theaircraft). Individuals beyond the 5th and 95thpercentile limits frequently are forced to "stretch" alittle or "scrunch down" a little to be accommodated.For pilots representing these extreme body sizes,disaccommodation is most often the result of theirSitting Height, Sitting Eye Height, the length of thearms, and/or the length of the legs. If 5th percentilemale values for all of these critical bodymeasurements are used as design limits for an aircraftcockpit (as was done in nearly all existing USAFaircraft), 18% of military males and 81% of militaryfemales will fall outside the design limits on at leastone of these parameters.Due to the unique design philosophy adopted forthe Joint Primary Aircraft Training System (JPATS)program, the USAF may consider relaxing entrancerequirements in order to make flight training moreaccessible to women. However, to do so will placesome of these individuals at risk for mishap in aircraftother than the JPATS due to their inability to reachhand controls and rudder pedals, inadequate externalvision, and possibly control stick interference withtheir legs.This paper will discuss the JPATSanthropometry program, how the multivariate “cases”were derived, and the cockpit evaluation methodwhich was used to measure accommodation limits.
The Joint Primary Aircraft Training System(JPATS) will be the USAF's replacement for the T-37and the USN's replacement for the T-34. RaytheonAircraft Company (Beechcraft) was awarded thecontract for the Beech Mk II turboprop in February1996. One of the things that made this procurementunique was that, for the first time, anthropometricaccommodation was as important a selection criteriaas flying qualities -and more important than cost.At the outset, all contending aircraft wereintended to be off-the-shelf designs. This strategy isoften used to speed the procurement process and tosave money. Initially, the main goal of theanthropometry evaluation was to assure that thisprimary trainer would not be a body size bottle neck.AllUSAF pilots will have to fly this aircraft, and theAir Force did not want its design to limit the bodysizes of the pilot population.However, as the program progressed, high levelinterest in anthropometric accommodation increased.Eventually, the off-the-shelf philosophy, insofar asconcerned the crewstations, almost completelydisappeared. Nearly all of the proposed cockpits hadbeen radically altered to accommodate a much widerrange of body sizes than has ever been attempted in amilitary aircraft. In fact, the small pilots for whichthe aircraft was ultimately designed are far too smallto be allowed into USAF flight training by currentstandards.A great deal of effort was expended to determineand to influence what the body size designrequirements for this aircraft should be. Thefollowing sections describe the how and why of theJPATS anthropometry program.