Chapter Five. Profiling Machines

  1. Peter Adey

Published Online: 4 JUN 2010

DOI: 10.1002/9781444324631.ch5

Aerial Life: Spaces, Mobilities, Affects

Aerial Life: Spaces, Mobilities, Affects

How to Cite

Adey, P. (2010) Profiling Machines, in Aerial Life: Spaces, Mobilities, Affects, Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford, UK. doi: 10.1002/9781444324631.ch5

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 4 JUN 2010
  2. Published Print: 14 MAY 2010

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9781405182621

Online ISBN: 9781444324631



  • profiling machines;
  • human operator as ‘intermittent correction servo’;
  • Norbert Wiener's famous work - on person-operator ‘feedback’ and birth of cybernetics;
  • aeromobile populations and how they are addressed through ‘profiles’- capacities in targeting them;
  • Craik's mechanistic models, abundant in first imaginings of the aerial body;
  • Fokker's aircraft designs - harmonizing the pilot, eye and gunsight;
  • human machines, energy and fatigue;
  • ‘Mechanical Brains, Working in Metal Boxes, Computing Devices and Bombs with Inhuman Accuracy’;
  • Total Arm Reach (TAR), evaluated in pilots and co-pilots - whether they can reach switches and flight control;
  • IDEO, a self-titled ‘human-centered’ design practice - with expertise in organizational change


This chapter contains sections titled:

  • Introduction

  • Imagining the Pilot/Passenger

  • Sorting

  • Modifying

  • Conclusion