MERC designed modifications to the Special Operations Forces Flight Engineer’s Seat in the MH-53 helicopter.

The main purposes of the modifications were, by improving the ergonomics of the seating system, to improve safety, increase attention span, maximize situational awareness, and reduce human errors over the course of extended mission profiles.

Our professional ergonomists performed a task analysis of the flight engineer’s work. Then, using human simulation software, they imported 3-D CAD models of the cockpit and analyzed the comfort, work envelope, and ergonomic stressors throughout the expected mission profile to generate design parameters for a new seating system.

As new design options were generated by the mechanical engineering group at MERC, the ergonomists evaluated them for ergonomic improvement using the simulation, while the Finite Element Analysis group at MERC evaluated them for crash safety and reliability.

Mock-up prototyping of the final system thoroughly validated the simulation results and the design process as a whole.

MERC’s depth of expertise across a wide range of skill sets was the key factor in addressing a complex problem that supports the Air Force mission, while protecting and supporting the war fighter.

For more information email us at