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June 27, 2016

USAF develops new mobile, reconfigurable cockpit

The US Air Force's (USAF) 772nd Test Squadron at Edwards Air Force Base have created a mobile, reconfigurable cockpit.

By Srivari Aishwarya

cockpit

The US Air Force’s (USAF) 772nd Test Squadron at Edwards Air Force Base have created a mobile, reconfigurable cockpit.

The new portable manned interactive cockpit (PMIC) is being built by a team at the squadron’s Integrated Facility for Avionics Systems Test.

One of the team members Orion Westfall said: "We’re all software developers and we wanted a cockpit that we could use for development that wasn’t being used by the combined test force.

"We wanted an F-35 (Lightning II) cockpit, something small we can do development on."

Westfall added: "We have big full dome simulators, but those rooms are used all the time and we cannot get in there and do any work while a mission is going."

In order to reduce dependence on the actual advanced simulators at the IFAST to do software development, the team decided to develop a makeshift cockpit that fits their desired needs.

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The PMIC comes with a built-in seat that vibrates to simulate a real cockpit, and a built-in stick and throttle.

The stick can be swapped out depending on the type of plane, according to a statement posted on the USAF website.

"The new PMIC is it can be converted into even a tank or a car if that need ever arose."

The sim computers of the cockpit are installed in travel boxes for easier transport.

772nd Test Squadron team member Gary Johnson said: "One thing about the new PMIC is it can be converted into even a tank or a car if that need ever arose.

"It has the gaming seat, which has the capability of having a centre console that can support a steering wheel along with a centre stick depending on the aircraft."

Work on the new system is expected to be completed and ready to use in July this year.


Image: TThe USAF team in the portable manned interactive cockpit. Photo: courtesy of US Air Force photo / Kenji Thuloweit.

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