What is the name for yaw pitch and roll all together ?

I've heard CMD used to refer to all of that information but don't know what it stands for.

Is CMD correct? if so what does it stand for? is there some other word?

  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Related: What is the exact meaning of "attitude", does it include translational movement? $\endgroup$
    – Sanchises
    Feb 3, 2018 at 8:25
  • 3
    $\begingroup$ The questions seem clear to me: Is there a word for referring to the data set (yaw, pitch, roll)? Could that name be "CMD"? It could have been closed as duplicate, not unclear. The second question is probably a mix with autopilot mode CMD. $\endgroup$
    – mins
    Feb 3, 2018 at 11:15
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ ....bad airmanship? $\endgroup$ Feb 3, 2018 at 19:32
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @CarloFelicione I was going to suggest "a spin" ;) but that most likely isn't what is being asked about. $\endgroup$ Feb 5, 2018 at 15:38
  • $\begingroup$ @mins I believe so. I added an answer to explain CMD. $\endgroup$
    – tizmataz77
    Jan 17, 2021 at 18:01

4 Answers 4


Roll, pitch and yaw are referred to in one word as the attitude.


Pitch, roll and yaw are rotation angles relative to the earth gravitational field. In order to fully describe the state of an unrestrained rigid body in space, there are six Degrees of Freedom required. This site states it as follows:

4.1.2 Degrees of Freedom of a Rigid Body in Space

An unrestrained rigid body in space has six degrees of freedom: three translating motions along the x, y and z axes and three rotary motions around the x, y and z axes respectively.

enter image description here

The three linear co-ordinates determine the position of a reference point, usually the Centre of Gravity. The three rotary co-ordinates determine the orientation of the body, relative to the chosen axes.

So pitch, roll and yaw are the three rotational degrees of freedom of a rigid unrestrained body in space, determining the attitude of the body.


Others have already answered your question (the answer is attitude), but I would just like to talk about "CMD" This is an autopilot mode, it has nothing to do with attitude (well I guess it kind of does, read on!). There are two modes: CMD and CWS. CMD stands for "Command" and CWS stands for "Control Wheel Steering". I will use the Boeing 737 in this example:
enter image description here

This is part of the MCP (Mode Control Panel), which is the panel that controls the autopilot. These are the buttons you use to engage the autopilot. Here is the full MCP: enter image description here

As you can see there are 4 buttons, two showing CMD and two with CWS (there are two of each because there are two autopilots, in case one fails, each set controls a different one). CMD mode will follow whatever you tell to autopilot to do. For example, if you set the heading to 100° and 10,000 feet, it will follow those instructions. In CWS mode, it acts kind of like the FlyByWire system of an Airbus. You use the yoke to control the plane, and the autopilot will adjust to maintain that attitude after you let go of the yoke.

More about these two modes: http://www.flaps2approach.com/journal/2015/11/6/control-wheel-steering-cws-explained.html

I hope this helps


In aerobatics, it is called a Lomcovak

What is the name for yaw, pitch and roll together?

Depending upon which of the maneuvers of the Lomcovak family the pilot chooses to perform ...

The aircraft will rotate on all three axes and perform three end-over-end negative "g" tumbles, each tumble being at about 45° to the plane of the last. (Main Lomcovak).

This amounts to changing pitch, yaw, and roll simultaneously. The illustration of the three planes offered by Koyovis should help visualize what is being done.

Warning: this isn't a trivial maneuver to attempt

This maneuver can be rough on various structures in the aircraft, and for a pilot not well practiced in aerobatics can be very disorienting. Don't try this unless you know what you are doing, and are in a suitably built aircraft.


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