Evaluation of an Army Aviator's Ability to Conduct Ingress and Egress of the RAH-66 Comanche Crew Station While Wearing the Air Warrior Ensemble

Report No. ARL-TR-3404
Authors: Joshua S. Kennedy, David B. Durbin, Jim A. Faughn, Richard W. Kozycki, and Kyle J. Nebel
Date/Pages: December 2004; 85 pages
Abstract: The RAH-66 Comanche represented the U.S. Army ?s next generation state-of-the-art armed reconnaissance helicopter. Likewise, the Air Warrior aviation life support ensemble worn by Army aviators represents a significant improvement in personal clothing and equipment. However, at the intersection of the Comanche's crew stations and the bulkiness of the Air Warrior ensemble lies a potential problem: pilots have difficulty entering and leaving the crew station, especially in an emergency. This study evaluated an Army aviator?s ability to conduct ingress and egress of the Comanche while wearing the Air Warrior ensemble. Several operationally relevant combinations of aircrew anthropometry, Air Warrior ensembles, and ingress-egress routes were evaluated for the front and rear crew stations. Jack human-figure modeling and motion capture technology were also used in the evaluation. Mean emergency egress times were found to be well within published military specifications. However, results show that larger males will likely have a significantly more difficult time leaving the aircraft than smaller persons, especially when clothed in the bulkiest Air Warrior configuration. Several operational and design recommendations are made. In February 2004, the Department of the Army cancelled the RAH-66 Comanche program. However, the information contained in this report can be used for ingress and egress testing of new or modified aviation systems.
Distribution: Approved for public release
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Last Update / Reviewed: December 1, 2004