KC-135 Cockpit Modernization Study and Crew Reduction Feasibility Demonstration
Final rept. 15 Aug 1992-31 Aug 1993
AERONAUTICAL SYSTEMS CENTER WRIGHT-PATTERSON AFB OH
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Future KC-135 missions will require significant increases in aircraft flexibility to respond to the Air Force vision of Global Reach, Global Power. Such flexibility typically translates into advanced avionics systems and system capabilities however, a large percentage of the avionics systems currently installed on the KC-135 are late 1950s and 1960s technology which has degraded the efficiency, reliability, maintainability and safety of the KC-135 mission. Strategic Air Command SAC, now Air Mobility Command AMC issued a statement of need SON, 1987 addressing the need to modernize the KC-135 cockpit avionics to attend to these problems. This report documents the evaluation phase of this program and for the first time directly compares the two-man and three-man cockpit configurations. The validation of the reduced crew consisted of a comparison of crew performance across three distinct missions - Minot, Castle and Desert. Results supported the two-person No Nav cockpit, given certain modifications. Based on these results, the CSEF recommended follow-on flight test of the KC-135. Recommendations are based upon using the final design, identical in system capabilities, as developed at the Crew Station Evaluation Facility. The key to the success of this program lies in the utilization of the modifications discussed in this report and the proper implementation of those modifications in future KC-135 cockpits.
- Transport Aircraft
- Flight Control and Instrumentation