World-renowned Australian fashion designer Martin Grant will step into the Qantas flight simulators this week as part of his research on shaping a new uniform for 2,500 Qantas pilots.
"I've never been in a flight simulator before" Grant tells Australian Business Traveller, adding that it's a key to understanding the practical environment which will shape the new-look uniform.
Unlike cabin crew who spend must of their time standing and walking, leaning over to passengers and reaching up to overhead bins, pilots remain seated and have what Grant describes as "a much more specific and limited range of movements (compared to) the range of activities with ground staff, baggage handlers and flight crew."
Grant is also keenly aware that there are certain parameters of tradition in the design of a pilot's uniform which can't be changed, resulting in far less room for the flair which created his widely-praised Qantas uniform.
"There are some very specific markings and military references which are an aviation norm, which we won't play with" Grant says, putting to rest any notion of fuchsia epaulettes.
"I'm researching what can and can't be changed, and this is what makes the job so fascinating for me, because it's about problem-solving and working within certain confines."
Once the new pilot uniforms make their way from catwalk to cockpit in 2016, might Grant turn his focus to first class and business class pyjamas? "They're not on the horizon, but who knows..!"
AusBT photo gallery: Qantas pilot uniforms through the years
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