Stars and Stripes stripes.com 23 Dec, 2020 12:15 am

The military designed aircraft with only men in mind. Now it's working to change that.

The military designed aircraft with only men in mind. Now it's working to change that.
Aircraft systems that could make military aviation more accommodating for women and encourage more of them to stay in service are still designed around men. But that’s starting to change.

female population right off the bat” through aircraft design, said Jennifer Whitestone, a biomedical engineer with the Air Force’s Airman Accommodation Laboratory, which is assisting with the review.Most of the nation’s current fighter jets were designed around male pilot body measurements from Army, Navy and Air Force studies completed in the late 1960s or early 1970s.In an August memo, the Air Force said that past aircraft configurations had disqualified as many as 74% of Black women, 72% of Hispanic women and 61% of Asian women.faces a crisis of scale,” wrote Will Roper, the Air Force assistant secretary for acquisitions.

But the Air Force has been able to retrofit the T-1 Jayhawk trainer aircraft with a cushion to help some pilots obtain the height needed to qualify for and safely operate that aircraft.Saily Rodriguez, the director for female fitment for the Air Force’s Agile Combat Support Directorate.

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