STI Paper No. 784

The Real-Flight Approach to Assess Flight Simulator Force Cueing Fidelity

For a full slate of reasons that includes economics and aging fleets, the role of simulation in tactical pilot training continues to expand. For decades researchers have been defining ways to assess simulator fidelity that have produced important results and useful metrics. Yet, true measures of positive transfer of training from simulator to flight remain elusive. To address this need, the Real-Flight process is introduced as a means to provide a full spectrum of quantitative and qualitative measures that can provide a means to assess the transfer of training question. This flight-centered approach uses a suite of task performance, pilot-vehicle system, psychophysiological, and pilot opinion measures that offers an assessment pathway.

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The Real-Flight method is:

  • Not intended as a “black box” approach where data goes “in” and an assessment comes “out"
  • Instead, it provides the tools by which the trainer can make the required evaluation
  • In the program described herein, five test pilot participants flew a set of evaluation tasks approved by Air Force subject matter experts and then repeated the flight test sortie in a fixed base simulator using two types of force cueing inceptors
  • This paper presents the results for a pitch axis tracking task

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