Timothy Mills

DARPA Future Fighter Cockpit

Cockpit Screenshot

The Future Fighter Cockpit interface grew out of our work on the Naval Command and Control Interface, and was part of a larger project within the growing HCI field of Augmented Cognition (a field devoted to improving the way humans and computers work together as a single unit). The major goal of this project was the creation of a novel flight interface for possible use in the new F35 Joint Strike Fighter that gave pilots a more complete understanding of the world around them during instrument-only flight.

Flight Representation Model

Flight Representation Model - Straight and Level Flight Representation Model - Banking Right Flight Representation Model - Nose Up

Working closely with the Interactive Director, we realized that we could build a flight representation model that showed the exact stick action needed to return to straight and level flight.

This video shows how the fight model would respond during normal flight, starting from straight and level and moving through different orientations of the craft.

Before and After

Cockpit Interface - Before Cockpit Interface - After

One of the largest goals of the project was to reduce the number individual of gauges that need to be mentally aggregated in order to understand the plane‘s current orientation.

Wireframe (straight & level)

Cockpit Interface Wireframe

With the new design pilots can very quickly understand the orientation of their plane and with a quick glance to either side of the screen know their current speed and altitude.

Wireframes (shape exploration & emergency evasion tactics)

Flight Model Shape Exploration Cockpit Interface Wireframe

We explored multiple shapes for the flight model representation, from the abstract tinker toy to a more literal representation. We also worked with our flight sim partners to develop an emergency evasion mode to help pilots better evade surface-to-air missiles.

Testing the concept

User Testing Report Title Page Photo of user participating in testing

During testing, Navy pilots were asked to fly a series of missions on both the novel concept and the more traditional simulator. The pilots tested showed little trouble adjusting to the concept.