Design of Tools: F15 Jet

Roel M. Hogervorst

2020/09/29

I found this video on Arstechnica about what the buttons do in a fighterjet. You get a tour by retired Air Force pilot Colonel Andrea Themely (do you maintain your rank when you are retired?).

It is a beautiful illustration that the tools should be designed for the task. So even though there are a bazillion buttons in the jet, they logically grouped together for their function.

And don’t forget that pilots get a shit-ton of training before they are even allowed to touch such a plane. So simplicity is good, but complexity is okay when you allow training and logical placement for the operator.

As arstechnica says:

The amount of controls to address might appear overwhelming, but there’s a secret to aircraft cockpits—you tend to only care about a few things at any given moment, so once you’re familiar with the instruments, you focus on what you need and ignore the rest. It’s the exact same thing people do when driving a car or operating any complex piece of machinery.

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