Cockpit Interaction for the Eclipse 500 Very Light Jet


The Eclipse 500, the first very light jet approved by the FAA, offers a unique combination of advanced instrumentation, a small size and an economical price tag. The design team was tasked with developing a rational, pilot-friendly instrument panel that also blends with the overall design vision for the jet. After extensive research, the team achieved a layout for the instrument panel that is more intuitive, less cluttered, less fatiguing and more motion efficient. In addition, the panel evokes the cool austerity of high-tech jet aircraft with a jet-fighter gray background, metal trim that highlights the technology, and white-lining control groups. More than 2,500 jets have been sold since the plane was first introduced in 2000.

“The Eclipse cockpit provides precisely the assurance passengers pray for when they put their lives in the hands of a pilot: that the chance of an accident or “pilot error”' has been engineered away. Passengers should appreciate that these designers included variables and role playing simulations into the design process, recognizing that even highly trained pilots are people and susceptible to error.”

Michael Schrage, Research Associate, MIT Media Lab

Contact: Whitney Mortimer

Credit:IDEO and Eclipse Aviation

Client: Eclipse Aviation Corporation