Advancements in Control/Display Systems for Army Helicopters 821405
A new generation of Army helicopter crew station is being developed today to meet the challenges of missions required by Army Aviation. The scout mission exemplifies the demands that can be placed upon the aircraft and crew. Scout missions require nap-of-the-earth (NOE) flight during day, night, and adverse weather conditions. Such a requirement demands the highest degree of compatibility between aircraft systems and crew. To meet this challenge, the US Army is currently developing an improved scout helicopter called the Army Helicopter Improvement Program (AHIP). Several enhancements and innovations in crew station design are an integral part of the program.
Improvements in the AHIP control/display system reduce head-down cockpit activities allowing more time for head-up flight of the aircraft; especially important during NOE flight. This paper describes human factors engineering enhancements of the AHIP crew station and includes a detailed discussion of the controls and displays system. The discussion also describes the first time utilization of multifunction displays (MFD's) for displaying warning/caution/advisory signals.
During the last decade Army Aviation research has indicated that significant improvements are necessary in crew station design to keep pace with advancements in battlefield technology. These improvements have been incrementally made to aircraft already in the inventory and under contract development. Several older aircraft crew stations are currently being modified and updated to meet today's mission requirements. This paper will address several of the helicopter crew station advancements that have been made and continue to be made to improve the pilot/copilot interface and to reduce crew workload. This paper will describe the full scale development effort on the AHIP Scout Observation Helicopter, which represents the most recent developments in crew station design.