Wednesday, July 4, 2012

A bad case of jetnag? Fighter pilots to get cockpit instructions from female voice 'because it relaxes them more' (but they've already nicknamed her Nagging Nora)

From Daily Mail:  A bad case of jetnag? Fighter pilots to get cockpit instructions from female voice 'because it relaxes them more' (but they've already nicknamed her Nagging Nora)

It's long been said that some situations need a woman. 
 
And it seems even tough fighter pilots need the female touch at times.  


A study has shown they are more likely to listen and take notice to a female voice when under pressure.

So plane manufacturers BAE have decided to use a woman - with a Joanna Lumley-sounding voice - to issue recorded warnings to pilots in their state-of-the-art Typhoon jets

But the voice has already been nicknamed Nagging Nora because the longer she is ignored, the sterner and louder her commands become.


Andrea Kay, from BAE, said: ‘We have conducted studies to find out what pilots who are flying under both stressful physical and mental conditions are more receptive to.’

It turns out that, particularly in combat situations, pilots were able to pick out the female voice amid the flurry of radio chatter in stressful situations.

‘If you don’t listen, she gets harsher and louder in both tone and volume,’ she said.

The male voice has been relegated to giving straightforward information like altitude and location.
‘There is as much psychology in the cockpit as there are clever systems. A voice warning and recognition system is one way of helping the pilots,’ Ms Kay said.

‘The female voice gets the most important messages across in the most effective way.’

Sue Milne is the woman whose voice will give commands in the cockpit.

Ms Milne, who works for the European Aeronautic Defence and Space Company (EADS), did not have to audition but was chosen because she speaks clearly and can be understood by foreigners who speak English as a second language.

The female warning system has taken years to develop and in the test stages a Lancashire voice was used.

Ms Kay added: ‘It’s about making sure it’s intuitive and we are delivering the best information to them in the most effective way. It’s about making the aircraft the best that it can be’.
 


 

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