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Manual flying and energy awareness

Müller, Simon; Schreiter, Karolin; Luckner, Robert; Manzey, Dietrich

FG Flugmechanik, Flugregelung und Aeroelastizität

FG Arbeits-, Ingenieur- und Organisationspsychologie

In order to enable pilots to better maintain energy awareness and energy management in manual flight, a new concept has been proposed, which transfers the demand control principle of fly-by-wire control laws also to the control of thrust. It includes a total-energy-related augmented thrust controller combined with a modified cockpit instrumentation enriched by specific energy displays. In order to empirically evaluate the human performance consequences of this new approach, an experimental study was conducted in a flight simulator investigating its effects on pilots’ performance, workload, and situation awareness. A total of 24 commercial aircraft pilots performed a landing and approach on a complex flight trajectory with and without the new system elements. The results confirm the expected beneficial effects of the new system on flight precision and lowered effort involved in thrust control as compared with conventional raw data flying. No negative side effects, for example, impaired situation awareness, were found.