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Why not a sidestick on the Typhoon ?

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Why not a sidestick on the Typhoon ?

Old 1st Mar 2015, 21:35
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Why not a sidestick on the Typhoon ?

It seems the trend in fighters these days has been to go with sidesticks, dispensing with the centre 'Joystick'


I would think there would be advantages as it takes up less space and offers a better view of the instrument panel.


Curious as to why the Typhoon has retained the center stick arrangement ?
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Old 1st Mar 2015, 21:45
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There was a very long and involved programme for Eurofighter (as it then was) cockpit design. Pilots actually got to influence the design! Regarding the stick, there were a number of issues, one of which was arm pain under sustained high g. Mounting the stick lower and to the side would only have made this problem worse. The centre stick arrangement doesn't obscure anything significantly and there would have needed to to be a really good reason to redesign. Remember as well, when the basic design was laid down and where it came from.
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Old 1st Mar 2015, 21:45
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I may be wrong but I always thought that if you were wounded in combat a centre stick mean you can fly it with either arm, a side stick makes that virtually impossible.
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Old 1st Mar 2015, 21:47
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Then we need centre throttles too.
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Old 1st Mar 2015, 21:50
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You can get it stable without touching the throttle so as to eject.
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Old 1st Mar 2015, 21:51
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Nope, a side stick and a reclined seat is the way ahead - reduced 'G measles' in the arm and less need for a pressurised jerkin. But hey, the F16 was only designed in the 70s...

Good one, by the way, Courtney!

LJ
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Old 1st Mar 2015, 21:52
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one of which was arm pain under sustained high g
I'm not an aviator in any sense but CMs partial explanation seems to be counter intuitive.
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Old 1st Mar 2015, 23:43
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Please feel free to address me in the first person anytime you like, Harley.

Without taking up a lot of space on the right side of the cockpit, the side stick would be mounted down by the pilot's right thigh. The early problem with the Eurofighter stick was that it placed the pilot's right arm too low. Typhoon doesn't have the seating arrangement that Leon mentioned so the side stick option wasn't a player in this case. Maybe, had it been in the design from the beginning.
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Old 2nd Mar 2015, 04:47
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In the Airbus family the sidestick allows one a nice little table from which to eat one's dinner.
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Old 2nd Mar 2015, 08:57
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And somewhere to pop the camera.
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Old 2nd Mar 2015, 08:58
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http://trace.tennessee.edu/cgi/viewc...t=utk_gradthes
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Old 2nd Mar 2015, 09:19
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Courtney is correct, that is how it happened.
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Old 2nd Mar 2015, 09:52
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Courtney, (first person!) I'm struggling with your "arm pain under g" explanation. I've seen that given as part of the reason for the F 16 sidestick. "Had it been in from the beginning" seems nearer the mark. The simple reason is probably that aircraft design is very conservative and everything else BAe had built had a stick in the middle.
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Old 2nd Mar 2015, 10:59
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What (I think) he's saying is that the F16 has a reclined seating position and the sidestick arrangement works. Trials indicated that it didn't in the Typhoon (EAP/EF etc).
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Old 2nd Mar 2015, 11:16
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That's it, BN.
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Old 2nd Mar 2015, 11:21
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In my time in the programme, the aircrew who had tried both configurations had indicated a preference for a centre stick. I believe that there were concerns that the F-16 arm rest at the time may have been causing pain and potentially stress fractures because the rest was too short and it was later modified. I only heard about the F-16 dit by words of mouth, so cannot verify it.
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Old 2nd Mar 2015, 11:47
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You're right, Eng. They have also had a lot of neck problems with the reclined seat.

In a way, the Eurofighter design was conservative in some areas, but at the time (and later) the side stick issue wasn't thought to have significant advantages. Either arrangement is fine for straight and level, but in hard manoeuvres the side stick can be awkward if the pilot needs to twist round in the cockpit. It also means releasing the stick to operate equipment on the right console and right instrument panel instead of being able to switch hands - even with HOTAS and DVI, there are still switches around.

Unless the cockpit is big the amount of stick movement is limited, even reduced purely to stick force sensors, which in turn brings other design changes.

To go back to the OP, I don't think Typhoon loses out with a centre stick and it was the popular vote in cockpit assessment.
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Old 2nd Mar 2015, 13:16
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This may sound naive, I'm not a pilot. Wouldn't it be easier/ more ergonomic to incorporate weapons arming/ firing systems etc on a centre stick rather than a sidestick?
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Old 2nd Mar 2015, 14:10
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The reclined seat has not been tried by anyone else since the F-16. That may tell you something, or it may not.
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Old 2nd Mar 2015, 14:19
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The reclined seat has not been tried by anyone else since the F-16. That may tell you something, or it may not.
It tells me that no other fighter has been designed with a cockpit as small as the F-16s. My understanding is that the reclining seat was more about fitting it into the limited cockpit space than with increased g-tolerances for the pilot (something of a marketing gimmick).

Maybe the Iranians might choose to adopt it for their new 'stealth' fighter...

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