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Pilot seating positions

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posted on Jul, 3 2004 @ 01:03 PM
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I've been wondering if a pilot was positioned like a Formula 1 driver would it help him/her sustain higher g's?Also,if a stealth plane were designed with that seating position,wouldn't it dramatically cut it's radar-cross section?If you compare a X-45 UCAV and a F-117 stealth bomber from their front face views a planes thickness affect's it's radar cross-section big time.The X-45 UCAV because it's unmanned is just about 3ft thick.What do you guys think?




posted on Jul, 3 2004 @ 01:09 PM
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It'd be virtually impossible for a pilot to fly a plane if he were laying down it. Maybe not so much impossible to fly, but impractical in a fire fight. A pilot needs to be able to look up, left, right and down, and at times in his rear for an enemy pilot.

If he were positioned like a Formula 1 driver, he would only be able to see forward, and slightly to his left/right.



posted on Jul, 3 2004 @ 01:11 PM
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Originally posted by rwsdakota


If he were positioned like a Formula 1 driver, he would only be able to see forward, and slightly to his left/right.


Correct me if I'm wrong, but can't you place viewing screens on his control panel (which would inherently be above him) with 360 degrees views?

[edit on 3-7-2004 by iceofspades]



posted on Jul, 3 2004 @ 01:13 PM
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I kinda figured it would be for dogfighting though i think it might be viable in a stealth bomber or manned stealth reconaissance plane.



posted on Jul, 3 2004 @ 01:15 PM
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I think field of vision in avionics is quite important and that field also needs a specific degree of downward vision.

Formula 1 pilots are almost sitting with their bum on the ground, they need not see anything more then whats in front of them since in front of them they also can see the ground they need to focus on.

Pilots need to be able to see to a degree whats below them, offcource, this can be overcome by camera's, but then you might rely on technology just a litle to much.

In a fighting point of view, this downward angle is extremely important.

As you said, the new unmanned surveilance aircraft are thin, because of the removal of the pilot, but fighting capable planes need this downward field of vision to be competent in fights.

When your in a dogfight, the rear pilot will try to fly a litle below or above the other planes flightpath to overcome turbulence created by the other plane.
Being able to fly a lil above the other planes path is also a safeguard to protect from tricks like fueldumps and flare ejection in a dogfight. When you fly behind and below the plane, things like that can be fatal.



posted on Jul, 3 2004 @ 01:17 PM
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It sounds like a good idea Iceofspades but a pilots eyes are much better in the middle of a dogfight.



posted on Jul, 3 2004 @ 01:20 PM
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Originally posted by PARALYZ
It sounds like a good idea Iceofspades but a pilots eyes are much better in the middle of a dogfight.


Not to mention camera's can be jammed or obscured by flares and such, the only way to screw up the pilots vision is by killing him or making him pull to much G's. On the other hand, theres so much things you can do to muck up the vision of a camera. Especialy when people can design countermeasures to those camera's knowing exactly what camera's are used.

As I said, relying on camera's for a pilots vision is maybe a lil to much dependance on technology when it comes to a dogfight.



posted on Jul, 3 2004 @ 01:29 PM
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Do ya think the new pilot helmets which allow a pilot to aim a missle at an enemy plane by turning his/her head in the direction of that plane help or is that depending a bit much on technology too?Good points by the way TheMatrix,thanks.



posted on Jul, 3 2004 @ 01:40 PM
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Originally posted by PARALYZ
Do ya think the new pilot helmets which allow a pilot to aim a missle at an enemy plane by turning his/her head in the direction of that plane help or is that depending a bit much on technology too?Good points by the way TheMatrix,thanks.


Well, when the aiming system jams, the pilot can still do a test shot, see where his bullets go and position himself in a way that the bullets can still hit target. Those systems don't impair the vision of the pilot, except in some cases an aiming reticule in the helmets HUD. But they are normaly in a vision filter that can be removed.

Another big reason for downward visibility is landing an aircraft.

As you might know, an aircraft lands with its rear wheels touching down and then when it slow down, the nose comes down. Having the nose to low will be a crash, having it to high can cause other effects like stall.


Then about that other part of your question, if the pilot was positioned like an F1 pilot, would he be better protected to high G's.
I don't know the answer to that, but I can imagine it to be no.

F1 pilots still sit straight, but with their legs to the front, so they can make the car as flat as posible, and since the F1 pilot doesn't need a downward vision, its ok.

A Jet pilot sits like you and I sit on a chair.
Now, the other kind of pilots we know are astronauts, and they go trough the heavyest G's anyone can imagine. Vision for them isn't that important, except when landing, wich happens only 1ce every, erm, half year or so? How do they sit? Like on a chair.

My guess would be Nasa and normal aircraft builders have very good reasons to position them like that.

[edit on 3-7-2004 by thematrix]



posted on Jul, 3 2004 @ 01:43 PM
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Good point dude thanks.



posted on Jul, 3 2004 @ 01:54 PM
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Originally posted by PARALYZ
Good point dude thanks.


No problem. I'm gona look into it though if there is a writen or verbal explination from Medical or Military people to why exactly an aircraft pilot is seated like that. I'm sure there is some medical research done on it.

What I also could think of about Fighter jets is the ejection capability.

If the pilots legs were, like an F1 pilot, in front of him, under the control panel, he would need to pull them in when ejecting(loosing time in the procces) or a large part of the cabin would need to be ejected before the ejection seat could be used. And the least thing you want when ejecting is half your cabin flying around your ears.

If hes positioned sitting like in a chair, he can just eject the cabin glass and then himself, or as in some cases(usualy glass ejection failure), break trough that glass itself.



posted on Jul, 3 2004 @ 02:07 PM
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I also thought about ejection.Doesnt the F-111 Aardvark's pilot and co-pilot cockpit completely eject as one complete intact compartment?



posted on Jul, 3 2004 @ 02:11 PM
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Originally posted by PARALYZ
I also thought about ejection.Doesnt the F-111 Aardvark's pilot and co-pilot cockpit completely eject as one complete intact compartment?



Yup, the entire pod on that plane gets ejected.



posted on Jul, 3 2004 @ 02:21 PM
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Whew...Glad i got that last one right....hehe.



posted on Jul, 3 2004 @ 02:38 PM
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Do the F-22 pilots have that system on their helmets that they can aim a missile by looking at it or just turning their head to it?
Also if you were sitting like a F1 driver would it affect the way you eject form your ejection seat.



posted on Jul, 3 2004 @ 02:56 PM
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Originally posted by WestPoint23
Do the F-22 pilots have that system on their helmets that they can aim a missile by looking at it or just turning their head to it?
Also if you were sitting like a F1 driver would it affect the way you eject form your ejection seat.


I think helmet aim is something done mainly with Vulcan and other type machine guns mounted on Helicopters and jets(dunno about Jets though, the A-10 maybe, haven't seen a jet yet with this kind of movable machine gun), haven't heard of it being used on missiles before. Don't think there is a use for it on missiles either, since missiles usualy lock onto a target and steer themself towards it. The smart ones at least
Missiles as far as I know have always been computer lockon and fire, with the missile doing the fine steering for itself.

Except maybe small dumb missiles in a missile pod. I have no idea if they are aimed trough movement of the pod, or by movement of the entire Jet/Heli, but from what I've seen in video's with Apache heli's shooting them, they are fired by aligning the heli with the target.



posted on Jul, 3 2004 @ 03:03 PM
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I hope for all the money spent on the Raptor program it is included.The only time i've seen it used was by a F-18 Hornet pilot in test pilot school.It was on Discovery Wings Channel.As for ejection,the only way i can picture the F1 pilot position ejecting is if the entire cockpit is constructed as a one-piece enclosed pod.



posted on Jul, 3 2004 @ 03:43 PM
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I think the future manned aircrafts could have the cockpit enclosed in the hull. And not because of stealth - this solution also reduces drag and for example F-22 could gain 0.2-0.3 Mach and 100 miles of range. Also the nose of F-22 is wide enough for two pilots sitting side by side. The drag would be no longer and issue because the cockpit is enclosed. The data could be displayed by some kind of holographic projector.



posted on Jul, 3 2004 @ 03:45 PM
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Originally posted by WestPoint23
Do the F-22 pilots have that system on their helmets that they can aim a missile by looking at it or just turning their head to it?
Also if you were sitting like a F1 driver would it affect the way you eject form your ejection seat.


Of course. F-22, F-18, Mig-29 ... Many planes have it.



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