Re: Airliner Windows

Date:         06 Sep 97 02:55:08 
From: (Mary Shafer)
Organization: NASA Dryden Flight Research Center, Edwards CA
References:   1 2 3 4
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On 29 Aug 97 08:10:43 , domk1031@cetus.zrz.TU-Berlin.DE (Burkhard Domke) said:

B> On 28 Aug 97 22:33:34 , Bob Mann <> wrote:
>As far as the elevation of the window belt-line goes, it's based on
>structural considerations and sited around 50th percentile passenger
>ergonomics -- well below 6' "average" heights.

B> Slightly off topic, but why don't the manufacturers consider
B> 95-percentile ergonomics instead of sizing everything around a
B> 50-percentile man, inherently annoying every other passenger?

Because then the 50-percentile woman couldn't reach the floor with her
feet when she sat.  As a result, blood flow in the lower legs would be
messed up, increasing the chances of a clot forming.  Should the clot
break loose and move to the lungs, death could ensue fairly quickly.
Better you tall guys should sit with your knees around your ears than
that an average-sized person should die from a pulmonary embolism.

Considering that in the US the average (mean) height of women is 63.6
in. and of men is about 68 in. the lower limits are pretty important.
You may not think of a high seat as being life threatening, but for a
long flight it could well be.  Sixteen hours in cabin class on the way
to Australia could be enough for someone with weak veins.

Of course, the _real_ reason that aircraft aren't sized around big
people is that the airline has fewer seats and makes less money doing
so.  Since all airlines use about the same seat density, big people
have to either upgrade from cabin class, drive, or stay home.  There
aren't enough of them to have any significant impact on the airlines'

I might mention that this is discussed regularly in the groups for
people of greater than average weight, who find a 17-in. wide seat
vastly inadequate.  (Who here hasn't cringed when they see a very
heavy person heading for that empty center seat?)

B> Burkhard Domke
B> 6 ft. 6 in.

At least they'll let you in the aircraft.  The US military would never
let you in the cockpit, considering the cockpit sizes of the T-34,
T-37, T-38, and T-45 (? the Goshawk).

Mary Shafer               NASA Dryden Flight Research Center, Edwards, CA
SR-71 Flying Qualities Lead Engineer     Of course I don't speak for NASA                               DoD #362 KotFR
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