Thank you for your interest in the evacuation experiment. Please note that we are now at capacity and no longer accepting registrations for this event.


Are you keen to see improvements in airplane safety?

If so, you can help by contributing to an exciting new research study being run by Cranfield University and the University of Greenwich.

Date: various timeslots available on 15th-20th August 2023

Type: research project / participation in stationary commercial airplane evacuation experiment

Location: Cranfield campus, Cranfield University, Bedfordshire

About the research

This research, part of a larger aviation project, aims to improve evacuation from airplanes. The exiting behaviour of adults (18-65 years old) will be observed through experiments designed by the University of Greenwich and managed by Cranfield University. The choices made by passengers and the role of cabin design aspects will be explored.

How you can help us

You are invited to come to Cranfield University in Bedfordshire and, along with other participants, board our demonstration airplane. In this experiment, the scenario will be evacuation. So, you will be told to leave your seat and safely make your way to an exit. In this case, that will involve moving to an exit door and tapping it. There will be video cameras positioned around the cabin filming this exiting behaviour. Participants will then disembark the airplane via a platform and return to the adjacent building to complete a questionnaire. The questionnaire will ask you to identify your seat location, the exit you chose, the reason for your choice, your perception of cabin aspects, and finally some general information about yourself.

It is important to note:

  • The airplane will be stationary at all times.
  • Emergency evacuation slides will not be used for exiting the airplane – you will exit the airplane via dedicated platforms.
  • Overwing exits will not be used for this type of evacuation.
  • Smoke will not be used in the cabin to simulate emergency.
  • Audio will be used in the cabin to simulate the start of engines, taxiing and take-off.
  • Your behaviour in the cabin will be recorded by overhead cameras.
  • This is non-competitive evacuation (meaning there is no reward for exiting first).

Is this the right study for me?


Date: Between 15th-20th August 2023 (inclusive)

Timeslots: AM or PM

Place: Cranfield Campus, Cranfield University, Bedfordshire

Time required

Average time spent at Cranfield University will be around 2.5 hours, with only a portion of that on board the airplane; factor in additional time for getting to/from the University.

Token of appreciation

You will be offered a £10 Amazon gift voucher for taking part. There will be no reimbursement of any expenses incurred.

Health status

For the safety and wellbeing of all those taking part, participants must be in good health (i.e. you must not have: illness; mobility issues that mean you are unable to use stairs unaided; sensory issues that mean you are unable to see or hear instructions unaided – although visual issues of a type that can be corrected or improved with spectacles/contact lenses, such as astigmatism and colour blindness, are acceptable, as are hearing issues improved by hearing aids; severe cognitive issues, such as dementia, that mean you are unable to comprehend instructions unaided; a BMI of 40 or higher).

Fear of flying

The airplane will not leave the ground or move; however, like an ordinary airplane, its cabin is an enclosed space so, if that causes anxiety, this may not be suitable for you.

Data protection

Some personal data will be collected, but steps will be taken to de-identify it (e.g. if video footage is used to illustrate academic presentations or journal articles, faces will first be blurred; additionally, a short unique code will be attached to your questionnaire data rather than your name or contact details).

Can I change my mind?

Yes. Participation is entirely voluntary. You can withdraw at any time prior to or during the experiment by emailing us or by verbally informing one of the research team on the day. There will also be a “cooling off” period of a week after your participation where you may withdraw if you wish by emailing us and providing your short unique code so your data can be located and deleted. You do not need to give a reason.

What will happen to the data?

A small amount of personal data will be collected via our participation questionnaire (see link above) prior to the experiment. This will help with determining suitability to participate, organising participants evenly across experimental conditions, and scheduling timeslots. The required information will include your name, contact details, availability, age, gender. When your participation in the experiment is confirmed, data from the participation questionnaire will be entered into a secure, password-protected database, only accessible to Cranfield University staff directly involved in this research. It will be kept for this and possible related future research. Then, relevant parts such as age and gender will be pseudonymised (i.e. names and contact details removed) and shared with the University of Greenwich.

Data collected on the day of the experiment will be saved as digital copies and stored on secure cloud drives belonging to the respective universities and accessed by the appropriate researchers. Cranfield University will store registration data and the University of Greenwich will store questionnaire and video data for analysis. Any originals (e.g. paper copies) will then be securely destroyed. Data will be analysed statistically to determine what influenced exiting behaviour and results will be published. Data will also help advance development of the computer simulation software, airEXODUS. Simulation will be used in the larger project to explore the safety and efficiency of other, innovative airplane designs. Due to its ongoing multiple uses, data will be stored for a six-year period, at which point its retention will be reviewed and ended if no further legitimate uses have been identified.

If you have any questions about processing of your data, please contact us

How to register

To register, please complete our online participation questionnaire (it will take approximately 5 minutes to complete).

Once you have submitted your completed questionnaire, a member of Cranfield University staff will contact you with further information about your possible participation in the experiment.

More questions?

If you have any questions or require further information, please send an email to our dedicated inbox and a member of staff will reply to your email shortly.

Thank you for reading and for your interest in contributing to this exciting research!