An examination of the MH-60s common cockpit from a design methodology and acquisitions standpoint
Corrao, Peter A.
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Over the last two decades, cockpits have migrated from the traditional analog gauges of moving dials to computer displays representing an assortment of flight data. To keep in stride with this modernization trend, the U.S. Navy determined that the newest rotary-wing fleet aircraft, the MH-60S and MH-60R, would incorporate these advanced cockpit designs. This program was named Common Cockpit. Using structured interviews with current Navy MH-60S pilots, and analysis of system design models; it was determined that the MH-60 glass cockpit has fundamental flaws in cockpit design and usability. One major issue identified is the omission of a fully integrated moving map. The lack of a moving map is a serious issue because many of the MH-60 missions require precise navigation. The Navy pilots interviewed indicated that lack of a moving map makes mission task performance difficult and could threaten safety. It is argued here that a user-centered design methodology would have given ample consideration to including the moving map and would have produced a more effective and usable cockpit design. Recommendations are made to improve design methodology by using Crew-Centered Design methods. Recommendations are made regarding modification of existing Common Cockpit acquisitions procedures needed to produce a better product for the fleet.
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