1987-10-01

Fly-by-Wire Sidestick Controller Evaluation 871761

A simulation study was conducted to investigate operational issues associated with advanced flight deck configurations of transport aircraft employing sidestick controllers and fly-by-wire control modes. The advanced concepts flight simulator in the Man-Vehicle Systems Research Facility at NASA Ames Research Center was used for this evaluation. Sixty-two pilots from Douglas Aircraft, NASA, and commercial airlines participated in the study. The primary objective was to evaluate the requirement for coupling the pilot's and copilot's sidestick controllers. Other issues addressed were the sidestick controller characteristics, the control mode handling qualities, and the requirement for coupling the autopilot to the sidestick. Three tests were conducted: (1) a handling qualities evaluation of the sidestick characteristics and the control modes, (2) an evaluation of alternative configurations for sidestick coupling, and (3) an evaluation of alternative configurations for autopilot coupling. This paper describes the experimental approach, the facility, the control mode configurations, and the alternative sidestick configurations. Handling quality ratings and performance measures were used to evaluate the results of the study. Recommendations are made for the design of advanced flight deck configurations.

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