Design and Flight Test of One-Man Operability in the F/A-18 821426
The F/A-18 has the capability to perform a greater variety of fighter/attack missions than any other single-place aircraft ever produced.
This paper will not address any new discussion of the “one vs. two” crewmember situation, but only present the human factors engineering history that produced the current man-machine interface in the F/A-18. The extensive software capability of the airplane has made changes found desirable during flight test reasonably easy to incorporate into production aircraft. These changes encompass everything from aircraft handling qualities and display formats (heads-down and heads-up) to radar and weapons system operation.
Previous aircraft have depended, in varying degrees, on the unique capabilities of the pilot to compensate for inherent crew station/weapon system deficiencies. The Hornet, from its inception, has been designed to help the pilot expand upon his capabilities - to give him more and better help toward the ultimate objective of his weapon system.