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In the early 18th century the term was in nautical use. The term cockpit denoted an area in the aft lower deck of a man-of-war where the wounded were taken, later coming to mean the pit or well in a sailing ship from which it was steered. It became a term meaning the place housing the controls of other vehicles including aeroplanes. _______________________________________________________________________ The term 'cockpit' was used in the nautical sense (1706) for the midshipmen's compartment below decks, inferring all midshipmen were in intense competition for (even temporary) promotion to acting lieutenancy. This space was also used as a surgery for the injured, since all midshipmen would far rather be injured (again) than be carried below in any action; transferred to airplanes (1914) and to cars (1930s).

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Q: Why cockpit of an airplane is called cockpit?
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