A group of folks from Nissan recently traveled to sunny Pensacola, Florida to gain design and engineering inspiration from some rather different sources. As the product planners and designers looked up to the sky, a gathering of ultra blue F-18 fighter jets rocketed ahead. The meeting involved the United States Navy Blue Angels Flight Demonstration Squadron as well as the team’s ground crew so that Nissan could pick the brains of some of the fastest and most skilled multi-taskers the world has ever seen.
“We’re always looking for inspiration beyond the auto industry in the design and development of our performance vehicles, and the Blue Angels have set the standard for high-speed excellence throughout their 66-year history,” said Jared Haslam, Senior Manager, Product Planning for Nissan Americas. Pilots have to accomplish far too many tasks in a given minute and with that in mind, the cockpit layout of a F-18 must be designed to work with them. The story is similar in regards to high performance driving and the vehicles involved. Nissan picked the brains of the pilots to find out how they interact with the jet’s gauges and instruments in a given situation. From there, designers can better engineer the cockpit of four-wheeled rocket ships such as the GTR.
“It was beneficial not only to study the designs of the ‘Angels’ F-18s up close but to get an understanding of how pilots and service personnel interact with their jets,” said Haslam.
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