Manufacturing Gender in Commercial and Military Cockpit Design

TitleManufacturing Gender in Commercial and Military Cockpit Design
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication1997
AuthorsWeber, R. N.
Secondary TitleScience, Technology & Human Values

Based primarily on original interviews, this article compares the treatment of gender as an ergonomic consideration within military and commercial cockpit design. Both defense and civilian cockpits have traditionally been built to engineering specifications based on male anthropometry and tend to embody a physical bias against women and smaller- statured men. However, the design of defense aircraft has been more highly regulated, and more efforts have been taken to ensure that a larger pool of otherwise eligible female pilots are accommodated by future systems, such as the Joint Primary Aircraft Training System (JPATS). The article demonstrates how and why the interests of women pilots could prevail in the traditionally male preserve of the military.