Illustration of an aircraft cockpit

Future Flight Deck

Funder

Innovate UK

Total value of project

£11 million

Value to Coventry University

£420,000

Project team

Professor Don Harris, Dr John Huddlestone, Dr James Blundell, Dr Steve Scott, Dale Richards

Collaborators

GE Aviation Systems (Lead), BAE Systems, University of Southampton

Duration of project

01/10/2013 - 31/12/2016

Innovate UK logo


Project overview

The design of next generation flight decks are primarily being driven by requirements to support aircraft operation in SESAR or NextGen airspace. In addition the flight deck design must support associated concepts such as 4-D flight planning and zero visibility landing which extend the operational envelop and offer significant fuel savings.

The advanced capabilities of the proposed flight deck technologies will also improve the availability of the aircraft by providing the pilot with a fuller picture of the aircraft situation, supporting the decision making process and optimising the availability of the aircraft across a range of operational scenarios thereby improving the passenger experience.

The future flight deck technology project will develop a new flight deck architecture and technologies including displays, data networks, graphics and general processing on which to implement the architecture.

The project challenge for the partners is to reduce the time to market, cost, size, weight and power while improving the capability and functionality of a new flexible, open architecture flight deck capable of being operated by a reduced number of flight deck crew. The aim of the project is to develop a sustainable UK capability in the design and delivery of next generation aircraft flight decks.

Project objectives

To develop new pilot-centred interface technologies to improve situation awareness, decision making and improve the availability of aircraft in adverse weather.

A further major objective is to develop novel system architectures which will allow for the safe and expedient operation of commercial aircraft with a reduced number of crew.

  • The design of the next generation of flight decks be driven by the requirements to support aircraft operation in a Single European Airspace/NextGen airspace.

    The flight deck design must support concepts such as 4-D (four-dimensional) flight planning and zero visibility landing which will extend the operational envelop and offer significant fuel savings. These advanced capabilities will improve the availability of aircraft by providing the pilot with a fuller picture of the situation and supporting their decision making processes.

    The future flight deck technology project will develop a new flight deck architecture and the related technologies including displays, data networks, graphics and general processing to implement these functions. The project will serve to develop a sustainable UK capability in the design and delivery of the next generation aircraft flight decks.

    The flight deck user interfaces will comprise new:

    • Head Down Displays
    • Head Up Displays
    • Head Mounted Displays
    • Touchscreens, and
    • Integrated pilot interfaces

    Throughout the project the consideration of human factors aspects of the new technology solutions will inform design decisions, enabling more radical approaches to flight operations to be evaluated. It is the Human Factors requirements that will drive the design of the new flight deck, not the technology. One of the major aims of the project will also be to develop novel system architectures based upon the principles of distributed cognition which will allow for the safe and expedient operation of commercial aircraft with a reduced number of flight deck crew.

  • Stanton, N.A., Harris, D. & Starr, A. (2019). From CWA to SNA: Modelling Future Flight Decks.  In N.A. Stanton, P.M. Salmon and G.H Walker (eds) Systems Thinking in Practice: Applications of the Event Analysis of Systemic Teamwork Method (Chapter 13). CRC Press: Boca Raton, FL. ISBN 9781138097872.

    Harris, D. (2017). The Future Flight Deck.  In, D. Harris (ed) Engineering Psychology and Cognitive Ergonomics: LNCS 10275 (pp. 222 – 230). Switzerland: Springer International Publishing AG. 

    Huddlestone, J.A., Harris, D., Richards, D., Scott, S. & Sears, R, (2015). Dual Pilot and Single Pilot Operations – Hierarchical Task Decomposition Analysis of Doing More with Less.  In, D. HARRIS (ed) Engineering Psychology and Cognitive Ergonomics: LNCS 9174.  Switzerland: Springer International Publishing AG. 

    Harris, D. (2013).  Distributed Cognition in Flight Operations. In, D. Harris (Ed) Engineering Psychology and Cognitive Ergonomics: Understanding Human Cognition (Part I). Berlin: Springer-Verlag.

    Stanton, N.A., Harris, D. & Starr, A. (2014).  Modelling and Analysis of Single Pilot Operations in Commercial Aviation.  Proceedings of HCI Aero 2014. 30 July – 1 August, 2014, Santa Clara, CA, USA.

    Harris, D., Stanton, N.A. & Starr, A. (2015). Spot the Difference: Operational Event Sequence Diagrams as a Formal Method for Work Allocation in the Development of Single Pilot Operations for Commercial Aircraft. Ergonomics, 58, (11), 1773–1791.

    Stanton, N.A., Harris, D., & Starr, A. (2016). The Future Flight Deck: Modelling dual, single and distributed crewing options. Applied Ergonomics, 53, 331-342.

    Huddlestone, J.A. & Harris, D. (2017). Preface: Doing more with fewer people: Human Factors contributions on the road to efficiency and productivity. Cognition, Technology and Work, 19(2-3), 207-209.

    Huddlestone, J.A., Sears, R. & Harris, D. (2017). The Use of Operational Event Sequence Diagrams and Work Domain Analysis techniques for the Specification of the Crewing Configuration of a Single Pilot Commercial Aircraft. Cognition, Technology and Work, 19(2-3), 289-302.

    Huddlestone, J.A. & Stanton, N.A. (2016) New graphical and text-based notations for representing task decomposition hierarchies: towards improving the usability of an Ergonomics method, Theoretical Issues in Ergonomics Science, 17:5-6, 588-606.

    Richards, D., Scott, S., Furness, J., Lamb, P., Jordan, D. & Moore, D., 2016, Functional Symbology - Evaluation of task-specific Head-Up Display information for use on a commercial flight deck.  AIAA Modeling and Simulation Technologies Conference. Aerospace Research Central, AIAA 2016-3374.

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