If you aim for average you’ll serve no one well

In the late 1940s the US Air Force faced a problem: a worrying number of planes were crashing. The situation deteriorated until, in February 1950, 17 planes plummeted to the ground in a single day. The investigators concluded that poor cockpit design was exacerbating pilot error. The cockpits, built to suit the average pilot in 1926, were not fit for purpose. In the intervening 25 years pilots had outgrown them. Once the problem was identified the top brass moved with impressive speed. They recruited 4,063 pilots from Wright Air Force Base, Ohio and measured them on 140 different metrics in order to estimate the size of the average pilot in 1950. ….[READ]