The primary purpose of this paper is to investigate the possibility of using a Full Flight Simulator (FFS) as an experimental setup for passengers’ comfort analysis. Results based on subjective measurements are thus presented to assess comfort levels experienced during a simulated flight. A preliminary investigation has been conducted on a sample of 125 candidates to gain insight into the elements influencing the comfort level perceived based on the participants’ actual flight experience; this suggested that the seat configuration is of great importance. Then, the experiment carried out by means of the FFS have been conducted on a reduced sample of 20 candidates for economic and organizational reasons. The behaviour of the 65% of the candidates has been analysed in a seating configuration comparable to the seat of a business-class aircraft. While the experience of the remaining 35% has been studied in an economy-type seat arrangement. Although the main variable under consideration was the seat, several environmental parameters were also considered during the experimental tests to evaluate their effects on perceived comfort level. During each simulated flight, passengers have been subjected to different levels of light intensity, noise, temperature and vibration associated with the different flight phases. Subjective data were collected using a questionnaire concerning every parameter and submitted to the passengers for each flight phase. The aim of varying the environmental parameters inside the cabin was to look for a relation between the subjective comfort level and each comfort parameter. In addition to perceived comfort based on the questionnaire, statistical analysis with parametric and non parametric tests revealed significant effects of environmental variables.
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