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Towards virtual ergonomics: aviation and aerospace

J Sanjog (Department of Design, Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Guwahati, India.)
Sougata Karmakar (Department of Design, Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Guwahati, India.)
Thaneswer Patel (Department of Agricultural Engineering, North Eastern Regional Institute of Science and Technology, Nirjuli, India.)
Anirban Chowdhury (Department of Design, Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Guwahati, India.)

Aircraft Engineering and Aerospace Technology

ISSN: 0002-2667

Article publication date: 5 May 2015




The purpose of this paper is to highlight state-of-the-art digital human modeling applications in aviation and aerospace industry, generate research interest and promote application of digital human modeling technology among audience of diverse background including researchers, students, trainees, etc. in academia and industry; designers; engineers; and ergonomists associated with aviation and aerospace sectors.


Comprehensive literature search was performed and, subsequently, all publications identified were studied thoroughly at least by abstracts. Available information has been segregated under different headings and depicted systematically for easy understanding by readers.


Virtual human modeling technology has been used in assessing reach and accessibility in aircraft cockpits, creating accurate posture libraries, performing vision analysis for pilots, determining design modifications to accommodate female users, predicting probable pilot behavior in proposed cockpit design, simulating air flow and heat transfer in fighter plane’s cockpit, assessing comfort of airplane passenger seats, maintenance studies, human spaceflight training, verifying component accessibility, investigating impact of space suit parts and harnesses, etc. Traditional approach for ergonomic investigations (involving costly physical mockups and trials with real humans) can be effectively replaced by evaluations facilitated by digital mockups and digital humans.

Research limitations/implications

Being a review paper, the present manuscript is purely academic in nature.


The present paper represents critical review (with up to date references), leading to a comprehensive knowledge body about application of digital human modeling in aviation and aerospace industry. Avenues still to be explored have been identified and future research directions have been given aiming at aviation and aerospace completely human centric.



Sanjog, J., Karmakar, S., Patel, T. and Chowdhury, A. (2015), "Towards virtual ergonomics: aviation and aerospace", Aircraft Engineering and Aerospace Technology, Vol. 87 No. 3, pp. 266-273.



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