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Twelve air transport-rated pilots participated as subjects in a motion-base simulation experiment to evaluate the use of eXternal Vision Systems (XVS) as enabling technologies for future supersonic aircraft without forward facing windows. Three head-up flight display concepts were evaluated - a monochromatic, collimated Head-up Display (HUD) and a color, non-collimated XVS display with a field-of-view (FOV) equal to and also, one significantly larger than the collimated HUD. Approach, landing, departure, and surface operations were conducted. Additionally, the apparent angle-of-attack (AOA) was varied (high/low) to investigate the vertical field-of-view display requirements and peripheral, side window visibility was experimentally varied. The data showed that lateral approach tracking performance and lateral landing position were excellent regardless of AOA, display FOV, display collimation or whether peripheral cues were present. However, the data showed glide slope approach tracking appears to be affected by display size (i.e., FOV) and collimation. The monochrome, collimated HUD and color, uncollimated XVS with Full FOV display had (statistically equivalent) glide path performance improvements over the XVS with HUD FOV display. Approach path performance results indicated that collimation may not be a requirement for an XVS display if the XVS display is large enough and employs color. Subjective assessments of mental workload and situation awareness also indicated that an uncollimated XVS display may be feasible. Motion cueing appears to have improved localizer tracking and touchdown sink rate across all displays.
Date of Conference: 14-18 Oct. 2012