Air Force Research Lab’s Human Effectiveness Directorate plans to measure 3,000 current aircrew members for the first large-scale anthropometric survey it has conducted on USAF fliers in about 40 years. Now, though, the researchers will be employing techniques that include 3-dimensional whole-body scanners instead of just tape measures. The effort goes toward a five-year study to develop a next generation full-body life-support system to accommodate a flying force that now includes women and more diverse ethnic groups with different body shapes and sizes. In general, too, studies show that Americans are taller and heavier than in the 1960s. (Report by John Schutte.)
The Air Force overall reduced its size by 120 aircraft in fiscal year 2021, but kept about the same number of fighter, bomber and attack aircraft, according to data supplied by the service. The F-35 fleet saw the biggest increase while the B-1B bomber fleet saw the largest decline.