Evaluating Stick Stiffness and Position Guidance for Feedback on Flight Envelope Protection

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Modern aircraft use a variety of fly-by-wire control devices and combine these with a flight envelope protection system to limit pilot control inputs when approaching the aircraft limits. The current research project aims to increase pilot awareness of such a protection system through the use of force feedback on the control device, i.e., haptics. A previous design used asymmetric vibrations to cue the pilot on the flight envelope. The evaluation showed no improvement in metrics at the first emergency encounter, yet did show a potential training benefit. Therefore, a new haptic feedback concept was designed with the specific aim to guide the pilot when approaching a limit and provide support from the first time use. This paper evaluates these haptic feedback designs with 36 active PPL/LAPL pilots who flew a challenging vertical profile and encountered a windshear in a fixed-base simulator. The pilots were divided in three groups who received either cueing, guidance, or no haptic feedback. It was hypothesized that: (i) cueing haptic feedback provides a faster learning rate compared to no-haptics, and (ii) guidance haptic feedback results in best performance from the first run yet worse metrics when no feedback is provided. Comparing the results of the cueing and no-haptic feedback groups confirmed the first hypothesis. Results also showed that the guidance haptic feedback resulted in improved metrics at the first run, and the worsening of metrics when no longer provided.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the AIAA Scitech 2021 Forum: 11–15 & 19–21 January 2021Virtual/online event.
PublisherAmerican Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics Inc. (AIAA)
Number of pages36
ISBN (Electronic)978-1-62410-609-5
Publication statusPublished - 2021
EventAIAA Scitech 2021 Forum - Virtual/online event due to COVID-19 , Virtual, Online
Duration: 11 Jan 202121 Jan 2021


ConferenceAIAA Scitech 2021 Forum
CityVirtual, Online

Bibliographical note

Virtual/online event due to COVID-19


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