Gulfstream Aerospace x SCADPro Collaboration
Our team of 11 students researched, ideated, prototyped, and presented Gulfstream with an innovative solution to improve the flying experience for pilots and create a more visually impressive pedestal to appeal to Gulfstream's high-end clientele.
Completed for Gulfstream Aerospace | 2021
Defining the Problem
Gulfstream's Symmetry Flight Deck is the pinnacle of functionality and aesthetics within the aviation industry, but even the best has room for improvement. After receiving feedback from pilots and clients about improving storage, comfort, functionality, and branding within the flight deck, Gulfstream enlisted the help of SCADPro to update their existing center pedestal.
As an industrial design lead and resource manager for this project, my role included organizing the design team, allocating spending, and recording the project budget.
Pilots are the key to creating a positive flying experience, so making sure that all their needs were addressed while elevating the visual aesthetic of the pedestal was a top priority for our team.
Maintain the relative location and functionality of the existing controls.
Create a design that is easily recognizable as Gulfstream.
Appeal to Gulfstream's high-end clientele.
To kickstart the project, the team conducted ten in-depth pilot interviews and facilitated a survey distributed to 36 current Gulfstream pilots.
Of Valuable Insights
We asked pilots to describe Gulfstream in three words to understand what Gulfstream means to them:
"Inspiring." "Elite." "Exciting." "Cutting edge." "Premier." "Exclusive." "Prestigious." "Classy." "Powerful." "Attention to detail." "Supreme." "Sophisticated." "Leader." "Reliable." "Safe" "Simply the best."
After analyzing our interview data, we created a full-scale mockup of the pedestal with the current dimensions to place ourselves in the cockpit and gain a better understanding of the needs of the pilots we spoke to.
With interview data and original pedestal specs to reference, the industrial design team went through multiple rounds of sketch ideation with feedback from Gulfstream along the way.
Following our sketch ideation, we used clay to experiment with ergonomics and brainstorm unique updates for key controls.
Once the team narrowed in on a sketch direction, we got to work visualizing it three-dimensionally by creating a full scall mockup to test our ideas.
Full Pedestal Design
In our final design, we were able to reduce the overall size of the pedestal by half while increasing storage space for the pilots and improving the functionality of the controls.
Small storage area for phones or glasses
Primary cup holders
Secondary cup holders
Storage area for larger items such as tablets
Cursor Control Device
We brought familiar forms into the flight deck with an updated CCD reminiscent of a gaming controller.
Throttle & Flap Control
With our unique sloped design, we were able to concentrate all the most frequently used controls on the top surface of the pedestal for quick access.
Throttle with integrated speed brake
Flap control slider
Flight control reset
Yaw & Pitch Trim
For the aft-facing surfaces of the pedestal, we focused on improving branding and creating a visually impressive design when viewed by clients and passengers in the cabin.
Color, Materials & Finish
An interchangeable, aft-facing trim piece allows clients to match their custom finishings from the cabin to the flight deck without interfering with pilot visibility.
Creating an Immersive Experience
For our final presentation to Gulfstream, we invited them to explore our redesigned pedestal by creating a full-scale physical prototype with an accompanying VR experience.