I will touch upon the painful points of my profession, the specialists of which provide in the Air Force and All-Russian Academy of Education accounting for ergonomic, medical-psychological, physiological factors and pedagogical activity. I will set out the main provisions to substantiate the preservation of the Research Institute of Aerospace Medicine and military ergonomics in its previous status. Today it is represented as a unit included in the 4 Central Research Institute of the Ministry of Defense. Of particular concern are two major issues: the personnel policy in the training of aviation doctors and the availability of medical equipment to conduct basic research, as well as military and scientific support for 5-generation airplanes, taking into account human capabilities.
The T-50 is a powerful breakthrough in technology, while ignoring the ergonomic factor can lead to a decrease in flight performance, flight longevity, and an increase in accident rate. The report on the readiness of aircrews to master new technology, which, obviously, is expected in the Ministry of Defense from the Air Force, without military aviation ergonomics, from my point of view, will not be sufficiently substantiated.
I had a certain relation to the testing of the F-22 Raptor aircraft and I consider it appropriate to make judgments about the ergonomics of super-maneuverable aircraft.
I will begin with the state of a specialized research institution. Distortions in the personnel policy of the Ministry of Defense also touched upon the State Research and Testing Institute of Aviation Medicine and Military Ergonomics. For three years (2010 – 2012) of 246 officers — scientists, engineers, mathematicians, technicians, instrument engineers, programmers — remained 16. They have a small (5 – 10 years) work experience on the profile. They were obliged to be on duty at the checkpoint, and the guards were fired. Also, 20, PhDs of 50, the leaders in 20 specialties and former management of the institute, bid farewell to 20. In fact, more than XNUMX scientific schools were beheaded.
The troops removed at least two thirds of the aviation medicine laboratories, closed all military medical faculties in profile, postgraduate courses and postgraduate courses. It is reported that civilian doctors refuse to carry out admission to flights, to monitor the state of health during flights (“MIC”, No. 49 for 2012 a year).
As a reference I inform you: the pilots are under the guidance of doctors training breathing under excessive pressure, testing on ground ejection simulators, in pressure chambers. Physicians monitor the special equipment, its proper preparation, monitor the implementation of the recommendations of the military flight commission, participate in the debriefing, evaluate the psycho-physiological endurance and quickly normalize flight loads, determine the suitability of personnel for retraining for new aviation equipment, prepare aviators for medical-examination. , read lectures in medicine, carry out special training for flight abilities.
Personnel policy in the field of aviation medicine has reached "to handle." Having proposed to liquidate a specialized hospital in Akhtubinsk, they practically deprived test pilots of special medical treatment and control of medical and flight examination of their state of health.
The price of the error
The lack of professional aviation doctors very quickly affected a decrease in the level of health and the quality of preventive measures, an increase in fatigue and mental exhaustion. Moreover, due to violations in the control of the use of special equipment and the lack of knowledge about the physiology of high-altitude flights, decompression disorders, oxygen starvation, which led to disasters, have appeared on the characteristics of the negative effects on the body.
It is for the purpose of preventive work that highly qualified specialists in the field of ergonomics and physical training are required, military aviation doctors, psychotherapists, psychologists, all those who work out methods of overcoming negative impacts when performing complex types of flight on any types of aircraft.
With a sense of professional responsibility, I can say that the neglect of scientific ergonomics and aviation medicine will immediately lead to a decrease in motivation for the service due to discrediting medical support for flight personnel and their families, the level of professional health. Reducing the ability to restore psycho-physiological reserves and performance - to a decrease in combat effectiveness. Flying longevity will be reduced, accidents will increase. The term of the transition of functional disorders in organic diseases will be much shorter. A sharp decrease in scientific research in the field of preventive and restorative medicine, substantiation of flight load rationing, expansion of the legal authority of medical flight examinations will lead to an increase in the number of erroneous actions and an increase in accident rate due to a decrease in the quality of ergonomic control when designing aviation equipment.
Grounds for research
We are well aware of the experience of building and operating the F-22. Today, 179 units are chained to the runway and only 16 is used by testers and pilots from combat units to increase the tolerance of super-maneuverable overloads, and not to improve piloting skills. One crew member of the F-22 is able to use LTH in full by no more than 40 – 60 percent. There are human losses and precisely because of the limiting regimes (10 – 12 G).
The Institute of Aerospace Medicine in Russia, back in 1985 – 1987, began research on the super-maneuverable characteristics of the 1-42 aircraft. A significant number of unacceptable loads was identified. In my opinion, for eight years the scientific support, on which the life of flight crews directly depended, was practically suspended.
The last two or three years, we finally began to research. But there is no necessary equipment, stands, centrifuges for fundamental research, a system of regulation of the whole organism on super-limit modes. That is why this institute is so necessary, which has almost not been funded for eight years. And he gradually loses the staff of special training, including special volunteer testers. I will cite some results of medical research on F-22, since for some time I participated in the discussion of the NATO medical group No. 27 on the problem of crew efficiency.
The main difficulties are: the apparent overload of tasks per crew member, more than 12 of the outrageous flight factors that make it difficult to effectively perform combat maneuvers to destroy several targets are highlighted. Insufficiently effective defenses against oxygen starvation, ensuring accurate coordinated movements. There are cases of spatial disorientation, dizziness, vomiting, loss of their place in space. Particularly dangerous phenomena are a partial disorder of consciousness, which impedes the perception of reality against the backdrop of a virtual environment. On supermaneuverable overloads 10 – 12 G, there is a discrepancy in the accuracy of the coordinates of real objects and their image on the information fields.
Excessively overloaded motor fields. At the same time, NATO test pilots believe that super-maneuverable aircraft with their specialized equipment, armament, level of automation, aerodynamic characteristics, lateral thrust control and special equipment for assessing the spatial movements of targets have advantages over the “4” aircraft. However, the comments of pilots on the state of health, ergonomic difficulties, physiological disturbances require more serious additional research.
I consider it necessary that all services relating to the tests of T-50, in full and carefully studied the assessment of test pilots of the five countries of the North Atlantic Alliance. Despite the fact that the F-22 has been adopted for a long time, the scientific materials still contain significant remarks and suggestions that are valuable to us.
I will present them only partially.
1. 12 G Overload - Pilots recognize that the problem of loss of consciousness due to overload has not yet been resolved (four catastrophes). Discomfort, loss of spatial orientation and situational awareness, fatigue, blurred vision, reduced mobility, complaints about bulky equipment, back and neck injuries.
2. The requirement of advanced forecasting thinking for a super-maneuverable aircraft will become more relevant due to the shorter available time. Waiting with increased maneuverability is more difficult.
3. More than 50 hours are needed to evaluate the helmet sight.
4. Increased importance of orientation: the threat of proximity to the earth, the remaining fuel, the velocity vector.
5. The position of the velocity vector on the scale in feet can be a real problem.
6. The speech recognition system is still not reliable enough.
7. The 50 functions provided for an aircraft control stick seem excessive, but not for everyone.
8. Tactile control panels are not reliable enough.
9. With the loss of priority information, awareness of the situation seriously deteriorates.
10. The complexity of data obtained from onboard systems or external means is seriously limited.
11. Systems weapons they become more complex and, even with the use of support tools, their use represents a significant mental burden for the crew.
12. A significant limitation is also created by information flows. They expand the field of perception and at the same time load the crew with a large amount of information.
13. The most significant limitation is the high rate of change of the situation, due to the maneuverability characteristics of the aircraft considered.
14. Expanding the field of flight regimes increases and expands tactical capabilities and makes opposition more and more difficult.
15. Air combat is now underway in the new conditions. They are more complex, they have high spatial and dynamic requirements. The crew spends much more mental effort to observe and predict, piloting and conducting air combat.
16. To achieve and maintain a higher overload rate, the piloting procedure itself requires the mobilization of some of the attentional potential.
17. Another significant part of the attention potential is allocated to countering the psychological consequences of an overload: a) performing anti-overload maneuvers, b) providing the necessary body position.
18. Electronic flight control systems minimize the perception, sensation, and other reference points of the aerodynamic characteristics that the old flight control systems possessed.
These are short excerpts from a flight survey. However, I draw your attention: more than 70 percent of deficiencies is due to the psychology of air combat, piloting on super-maneuverable modes, difficulties with attention, using non-instrumental signals in the interests of situational and spatial orientation. Of course, our testers are literate pilots, but the lack of a scientific ergonomic analysis of the activities and work of the brain will create many difficulties and rework. This is where fundamental science is needed to develop professional reliability methods.
There are evaluations of testing the F-22 by American test pilots. The material is unique. There is something to listen to. That is why it is necessary to unite tightly with the national scientific research institute of aerospace medicine. Especially since we are working. But it is necessary to strengthen basic research to substantiate protective equipment, to train aviation doctors, to purchase medical equipment for the study of reserves of human capabilities. Restore postgraduate courses.
A union of scientific research with the institutes of the Russian Academy of Sciences (RAS), the Russian Academy of Education (RAO), and the Moscow State University is required. It is necessary to determine our independent federal status in the system of the Ministry of Defense as a state institution for assessing the ergonomic quality of aircraft, training and monitoring the health of cadets and developing their flight abilities.
All materials on the composition of the institute, organization, logistics are available. Scientists and employees are motivated to work. There is no other such institute - in terms of experience, in creative communication with the aviation hospital, schools, the Air Force flight test institute, the flight research institute, the Air Force medical service, and specialized design bureaus. There is an experimental base, initial funding is required.
It is highly desirable to urgently return the postgraduate courses in aviation medicine to the GNIITS aerospace medicine and military ergonomics, return postgraduate study (adjuncture) for scientific personnel training in at least seven to ten specialties, and return to the doctoral council in two or three specialties.
Government decision to impose on the duties of the head institute an assessment of the ergonomic quality of aviation equipment, training, protective equipment, means of survival and rescue.
Return to the Lipetsk Aviation Center (4-th center of combat use and retraining of air force flight crews) equipped cockpit of the Su-27 aircraft for conducting a psycho-physiological evaluation of avionics and other instruments associated with the new T-50 control technology.
Fundamental research will require the purchase of special equipment in assessing the reserve capacity of the organism, assessing the premorbid state when exposed to super-complex conditions. A medical centrifuge, a tomograph, a biochemical laboratory, and psychological tools to assess mental states and personality traits are required. Training devices to increase resistance to spatial disorientation. The results of the study will recoup the costs, preserve professional longevity, increase the reliability of the entire system man-plane-medium.
The human factor has increased the braking effect of the development of military equipment, especially aviation. We are talking about the loss of occupational health in super-maneuverability modes (10 – 12 G) and long flights (12 – 14 hours) of front-line aviation. Solving the problem is one thing - with the help of ergonomics, physiology, psychology, biology, to develop methods to increase reserve capabilities, overcome psychophysiological barriers, create conditions to prevent loss of health, and enhance combat effectiveness. The experience is positive, effective in creating aircraft of the “+ 4” generation and new types of helicopters. Military ergonomics and aerospace medicine in combination with scientists of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Russian Academy of Education, psychology institutes are able to solve these problems.