Aviation Week & Space Technology

Podcast: The Cockpit of the Future

Discuss this Video 6

on Aug 18, 2017

I think the near future Avionics displays will be more interactive.

on Aug 18, 2017

Keeping the comments terse...
* Pilot demographics are changing, with third world pilots coming from traditions with little mechanical experience and US pilots who may have attitudes towards learning complex systems different from historical pilots;
* Too many cockpits have fundamental usability shortcomings. Usability is a discipline different from human factors, like chemical engineering is to chemistry, and those usability shortcomings have multiple kinds of costs;
* If you look at airline operations in toto as a system, there is a huge amount of knowledge in which pilots must maintain proficiency. System simplification is an unacknowledged design requirement, far more important than cockpit presentation technologies;
* Similarly, system designers, including airports, procedures, ATC, and aircraft do not have a concept of "learnability" among their design goals. Every special case and exception should be considered a design shortcoming, not a learning module.

The challenge for the future will be more about figuring out the right things to do than re-examining what are the right ways to do the present task set. Until that focus changes, technology will circle the needed improvements without converging on them.

on Sep 20, 2017

Thanks for the new (?) way to view systems. Can you give an example of bullet point three?

on Aug 29, 2017

I think it would be more accurate to say the flight deck of the near future will be single crewed and after 2035 will be zero crewed.

on Sep 6, 2017

Non-sense. Re-certifiing current aircraft to single pilot ops financially prohibative and building/certifiing a clean sheet design would take at least 25 years. Then a country needs to sign on the dottet line to grant an airplane a certificate of airworthiness. Take the F-35 as an example where they are struggling to get all the software integrated with the hardware and this aircraft is manned. Airlines/ leasing companies would go bankrupt when the residual values of their aircraft go to scrap metal prices when pilotless aircaft come on the market. That's the problem Airbus and Boeing have with the A320 family and 737 family. They can only do incremental upgrades and leverage a higher price for a more efficent variant while offering a lower price for a current one and not have production gaps and anger their customers by making an airpane obsolete 5 years after purchase. Obsiously someone who thinks there will be a single pilot airliner has never flown in and out of JFK, LHR, CDG, etc. I wish for an extra set of eyes, let alone loose a set. Common standards on how aircraft communicate with eachother and ground stations have to be developped. Boeing and Airbus in a single room trying to solve a problem together...best of luck and we haven't included Russia and China yet. Now pilots are the common standard try putting that in to 1 and 0's.

on Sep 6, 2017

Marc,
No-one is suggesting a retrofit of existing aircraft. This would be negate the advantages of a single crewed flight deck. Airbus and Boeing are already in the development stages, take a look at the 'accross' project for flight decks and look closely at the ultimate objectives. Your comments mirror the debate about flight engineers in the mid 80's and now look at the situation. I would argue its technically more involved developing a driverless car than a pilotless aircraft and now we are starting to see driverless cars! The single greatest challenge will be convincing the general public, not the technology involved as its already available.

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