Are there 3 x AOA-sensors on all the Airbus family planes? In the Airbus flight manual there is one AOA-sensor called 'stand-by'. What does that mean?

Are all 3 AOA-sensors heated and can the actuall temperature of these sensors be monitored live by the pilots during flight?


2 Answers 2


I think there are three angle of attack sensors in all Airbus planes using fly-by-wire systems. The first two, which are arranged symmetrically near the nose are the main ones and the third one in the aft.

The angle of attack data is not typically displayed to the pilot. The computer, on the other hand displays only stall warning.

The angle of attack sensors are heated and active at all times. The data from the sensors is received by the computer, compared (voted on) and displayed in the cabin. The computer needs two values to agree for display.In case one fails or no two agree, the stall warning is lost.

The main use of the angle of attack sensors is their use by the computers in calculating the characteristic speeds and for providing stall warning. I don't think the pilots can monitor. let alone control the heating of the AoA sensors.

  • $\begingroup$ Is there an additional analog or whatever AOA-sensor if all 3 sensor should fail at once? $\endgroup$ Aug 23, 2015 at 3:58
  • $\begingroup$ No. It doesn't make sense to put a whole lot of sensors in the aircraft and there are only a few places you can put the where they are effective and not too near to each other. $\endgroup$
    – aeroalias
    Aug 23, 2015 at 4:04
  • $\begingroup$ Does a deployed Ram air turbine deliver any angle-of-attack data by itself or would it deliver enough power to run all the sensors in case of an electrical failure? Very special question, I know. $\endgroup$ Aug 23, 2015 at 5:24
  • $\begingroup$ @ErasmusVertigo It certainly can run the sensors in case of electrical issues $\endgroup$ Aug 23, 2015 at 8:13

'#1 sensor data is displayed on the pilot's display by default, #2 sensor data is displayed on the co-captain's display by default, #3 sensor (stnd by) data is not displayed but is waiting for one of the other two to fail and it will display in the failed ones place.

They are all heated and active at all times and the pilot's can choose which ones to use on any display or flight control interface.

  • $\begingroup$ I guess there is no temperature feedback display if rare condition occurs one or another AOA-sensor freezes? THX. $\endgroup$ Aug 23, 2015 at 5:25
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Do you have any reference where it is displayed? Because according to what I've seen AoA is not displayed anywhere, but that was for CEO, so maybe they changed it in NEO. $\endgroup$
    – Jan Hudec
    Aug 23, 2015 at 16:21
  • $\begingroup$ That is a very generic answer, and also factually wrong, as all three AOA values are compared to each other to detect possible errors. You cannot switch the AOA sources themselves around. You could, however, switch the ADR 3 assignment to CPT or FO side in case of a failure. $\endgroup$
    – Flo
    Mar 27 at 21:47

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