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Thursday, November 1, 2007

Rotorcraft Report: Can a Pilot’s Workload be Lightened?

MILITARY

The U.K. Defence Ministry has commissioned a study of how the workload on helicopter pilots may be reduced.

CORDA, a consulting firm wholly owned by BAE Systems, is working in partnership with AgustaWestland and Qinetiq. The study is one of eight covered by a three-year Maritime Surface Effects research program.

As new technology is made available to front-line aircrews, the ability to operate equipment effectively and efficiently is an important issue, especially in areas of piloting and weapon system operations where distractions can have consequences.

The study begins early next year and could run through 2009, but a definite date has not been established, according to BAE.

A generic helicopter cockpit simulator, built by AgustaWestland, will fitted with various systems and used to assess the effect each has on a crew’s work level. Modern-day tactical, mission, and weapons systems will be studied to evaluate the impact they each have on crew workload. The study will focus primarily on the maritime helicopter crews and be carried out in a variety of locations in the United Kingdom, including Bristol, Farnborough, and Yeovil.

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