Flight Simulator Runway Visual Textural Cues for Landing
Interim rept. Nov 1976-Aug 1979
AIR FORCE HUMAN RESOURCES LAB BROOKS AFB TX
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The effects of seven different runway types were investigated on pilot performance during landings in a T-37 flight simulator. Data were also gathered on 6 of the same 12 pilots during actual T-37 aircraft landings at the Air Force Flight Test Center, at Edward AFB. The seven simulated runways consisted of one night runway and six day runways with varying amounts of textural information cues on the runway touchdown zone area. The night runway was also tested with and without touchdown zone landing lights TD-Zone lights, and the day runways were tested with and without the runway overruns. The simulated aircraft average vertical velocity at touchdown decreased systematically from 201 ftmin for the night runway without the TD-Zone lights to 136 ftmin for the day runway with 4-foot texture patterns. The day runways alone, without the overrun, varied from 195 ftmin for the Bare Bones runway to 136 ftmin for the 4-foot texture pattern. Although these average vertical velocities were still much higher than those recorded in the actual aircraft 32 ftmin, the texture patterns did influence the pilot flare and touchdown in a systematic manner. Additional visual cues might have reduced the vertical velocities even more, but the limited edge capacity of the Computer Image Generation CIG scene did not permit the study of other visual cues while investigating texture patterns. The presence of the TD-Zone lights in the night scene also reduced the average vertical velocity at touchdown 190 ftmin, but this difference was not statistically significant.
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