Cockpit 2035

Fifteen senior Air Force Academy cadets won the first-ever Boeing-sponsored “Crew System 2035” competition, beating out their colleagues from the Naval Academy and West Point for the best futuristic cockpit design. Thirteen of the 15 cadets are getting ready to move on to pilot training and may one day find themselves inside a similar cockpit. The cadets spent a year studying technologies that may be mature enough for cockpit incorporation in 25 years and built a full-scale mock-up of their design. They determined that, by 2035, fighter aircraft may be so advanced that a pilot can control a fleet of unmanned air and ground vehicles from the cockpit, transform the canopy into a laser beam shield, or fire a weapon through voice commands. “This project is an example of what partnering [with industry] can do,” said Brig. Gen. Dana Born, the academy’s dean of faculty. She said academy officials are pleased with the results and even more happy about the learning that went on during the competition. (See Boeing release with video.)