I'm looking for an aircraft meeting the following criteria:

  • Manned (no drones, etc.)
  • Has or had a production run (no prototypes, design-only, etc.)
  • Capable of carrying multiple passengers who are not crew-members (no single-seaters or 2-seaters where both people are required to be part of the crew)
  • Modern avionics, either designed that way or significantly retrofitted if older base model
  • Has the fewest configurable knobs/switches/buttons/etc. in the cockpit that are related to the main flight systems like the engines, APU, electrical system, hydraulic system, control surfaces, brakes, etc. Note that computerized touchscreen displays that expose complex configuration of these systems should be counted against the aircraft's complexity, unless the computer automates the configuration of the system by default. Ignore cosmetic things like knobs to let you change the brightness of the lighting; and don't count the FMS, or displays or indicators that give the pilots information about the flight status, either.

Answers don't have to point out THE absolute best craft fitting these criteria currently available; if you have broad experience with systems complexity in a lot of modern aircraft, and you can think of one off the top of your head that is especially clean and simple compared to the rest (either due to automation or just fewer systems to deal with), point it out in an answer.

Bonus if you can explain what is automated or taken care of for the pilot without them having to worry about it under normal conditions, but if you're going to explain this, only focus on automation that is unusual or new or unique to the aircraft, not things that are automated on most/all current aircraft.

Here's the question stated in another way: To take an aircraft from cold and dark, into the air and land it again in normal, uneventful conditions, which aircraft meeting the criteria above can accomplish this with a minimum of input from the pilot?

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    $\begingroup$ Piper Cub $\endgroup$ – Dan Pichelman Dec 24 '15 at 19:39
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    $\begingroup$ A hot air balloon. This seems to me like a very subjective, opinion-based question that will almost certainly lead to discussion. That doesn't mean it's a bad or uninteresting question, but it does mean that it may not be a good fit on this site. $\endgroup$ – Pondlife Dec 24 '15 at 19:49
  • $\begingroup$ Maybe if you said why you're asking it might help. Are you actually looking to buy an aircraft, creating a sim, writing a story? $\endgroup$ – TomMcW Dec 24 '15 at 22:40
  • $\begingroup$ You don't mention if fictional a/c count: apparently the Tie Fighters in the new SW movie seem to take very little time from cold&dark to flight. I'm sure a lot of stuff is automated in there $\endgroup$ – Radu094 Dec 25 '15 at 8:49
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    $\begingroup$ Simple and automated are generally oxymorons when it comes to aircraft systems. Simplest aircraft will not have the modern avionics you ask for. $\endgroup$ – J Walters Dec 25 '15 at 13:08

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