Stack Exchange Network

Stack Exchange network consists of 174 Q&A communities including Stack Overflow, the largest, most trusted online community for developers to learn, share their knowledge, and build their careers.

Visit Stack Exchange

An autopilot is a system used to guide an aircraft without assistance from a person.

1
vote
0answers
24 views

Airbus A320 automatic speed mode protection in SRS vertical mode

According to the A320 FCOM, capter 22 auto flight, flight guidance, the "automatic speed mode protection" of the auto flight system of the A320 disengages the flight directors upon reaching current ...
4
votes
3answers
2k views

Can the autopilot (or stall avoidance system?) of the B737 MAX 8 be overridden by sheer force?

A New York Times article from today about the Lion Air Flight 610 crash claims that in order to control the airplane the pilot could have braced his feet on the dashboard and yanked the yoke, or ...
30
votes
3answers
5k views

Why is 0 ft a valid target altitude for an autopilot?

Inspired by this story; The pilot of a Flybe plane that dropped 500 ft (152m) in 18 seconds had selected the wrong autopilot setting shortly after take-off, an inquiry has found... ...The ...
0
votes
1answer
60 views

TCAS II manoeuvres? [duplicate]

What manoeuvres does the TCAS II advise the pilot to make? Is it RA or TA ?
7
votes
2answers
141 views

Can autothrottle be used without autopilot (and vice versa)?

In commercial passenger aircraft: Can autothrust be used with A/P disabled ? And can A/P be used without using autothrust? Citable references very welcome! If the question depends on a specific ...
2
votes
1answer
170 views

Is it possible to totally override the flight computer on the Airbus A320-family (in simple non-technical terms)?

As I know, in the autopilot oriented airplanes like an A321 the plane doesn't let the pilots pitch down when the plane gets an over-speed warning. So what if the pitot-static system isn't working ...
3
votes
2answers
277 views

What are the restrictions preventing more intelligent autopilot systems?

Current autopilot system is integrated with Flight Management System (FMS) for navigation such as LNAV and VNAV; both of them are based on preset parameters given by the pilot prior to departure (IRS ...
7
votes
2answers
584 views

Did these pilots break any regulations by hand-flying an A320 for most of the cruise?

A couple of days ago, I flew with a popular budget airline within Europe. The aircraft was an A320. It was also a brand new one (only in service since June 2018 and produces 15% less noise and fuel ...
0
votes
1answer
282 views

How much hand-flying does a commercial pilot do? [duplicate]

What is the ratio of hand-flying to autopilot for a typical commercial pilot working for a large airline (British Airways, Virgin, EasyJet etc.) and how many hours a year might a typical captain rack ...
6
votes
3answers
303 views

What is the ALT INTV on the 737's autopilot?

So, I was watching a quick tutorial on the FMC on YouTube. The FMC somehow had a 5000 ft restriction, and the guy got clearance to go higher up, and he set his altitude on the AP panel, and he pressed ...
3
votes
1answer
242 views

How do the VNAV and LNAV work on the 737NG?

So, I'm very confused. Im from a Cessna background, no FMC. So, based on my understanding, you could run the autopilot independent of the FMC right? With Speed mode, HDG SEL mode, and V/S mode, am I ...
4
votes
3answers
218 views

Is the 737's autopilot part of the FMS or is it a separate entity?

I was watching a tutorial about the FMS and the autopilot in the 737, and I am consfused. I come from a Cessna background, where there is no FMS, there is only the AP (autopilot). So, is the AP a ...
0
votes
1answer
62 views

Is there a way to calculate the difference in pitch required to reach a certain vertical speed? [closed]

I am programming an autopilot for a 787 flight sim software and I've been having a problem. I'm trying to simulate a PID that controls the pitch of the aircraft In relation to the vertical speed ...
1
vote
1answer
156 views

Can thrust be selected manually in a plane with autothrust? If yes, how?

I'm getting into the autothrust world and I have the question of whether it would be possible to disengage it and select the thrust manually in a plane that already has autothrust. How could it be ...
2
votes
1answer
144 views

Why is an auditory alarm necessary when the autopilot disengages?

The FAA gives one requirement for the autopilot in the following FAR... FAR §25.1329 Flight guidance system. (j) Following disengagement of the autopilot, a warning (visual and auditory) ...
3
votes
3answers
549 views

Can you disengage A320 autopilot with stick pressure?

I was recently reading that in most military jets, auto-pilot can disengaged without hitting the button, by applying 5lbs of pressure to sticks. Does this work in commercial airliners such as the ...
82
votes
5answers
41k views

If a pilot ejects, what is the autopilot programmed to do?

If a pilot uses his ejector seat during flight, what is the autopilot programmed to do? As a developer myself, I would want to build in a way for the plane to try and save itself if possible (to save ...
2
votes
1answer
217 views

What does the XFR button on the Challenger 300's autopilot panel do?

I'm new to aircraft and currently I'm learning the autopilot system of the Bombardier Challenger 300. I saw the "xfr" button but don't understand what it is for. Can someone explain this to me?
3
votes
2answers
334 views

How do Airbus planes flare in normal operation?

In reading the reports and Sully's comments regarding the flight that was ditched in the famous events of US Airways Flight 1549, I am wondering how the Airbus control system works to flare an ...
2
votes
2answers
230 views

Could a FOSS autopilot system ever pass FAA regulations?

Think something like ardupilot but for manned aircraft.
10
votes
4answers
3k views

Do modern aircraft require rudder input in order to perform a coordinated turn?

With today's state-of-the-art electronic systems in modern aircraft, do aircraft equipped with autopilot systems, still require pilot rudder input to keep a turn coordinated? For the context, I'm ...
4
votes
2answers
489 views

Does the A320 autopilot work in flight with both engines off?

For a series of simulator sessions to determine the speed polar with students we plan to cutoff both engines in our A320 simulator, but we still want to use the autopilot to control speed (in theory, ...
3
votes
3answers
342 views

What is an autopilot washout filter?

In the context of aircraft autopilot design, I do not understand what is washout filter is [Heading Hold - Lateral Dynamics] and what is it used for. May anyone explain to me?
5
votes
2answers
371 views

Why isn't there a single start button for all systems on aircraft?

Why is it that airliners and aircraft do not have a single start button for all systems? On TV etc., I noticed that pilots pressing buttons above and below forward and sideways, mostly above though, ...
3
votes
2answers
149 views

Should reliance on Auto-Flight Systems continue to increase in favor of manual flying skills?

In recent years there has been ongoing debate as to whether or not increased reliance on auto-flight systems (autopilot, auto-thrust, etc.) in favor of manual flying proficiency has had a negative ...
0
votes
1answer
83 views

The AFDS and A/T do not control to a speed which is less than minimum speed for the current flap configuration?

The AFDS and A/T do not control to a speed which is less than minimum speed for the current flap configuration. This speed is approximately 1.3Vs. Minimum speed, FMC speed, or selected speed, ...
3
votes
1answer
156 views

How do you program circular flight plans in GPS?

In a recent Buzzfeed article about aerial surveillance, I have seen a map showing perfectly circular flight patterns. Given how precise the patterns are, I highly doubt that the aircraft were being ...
8
votes
2answers
1k views

What other circumstances may cause the autopilot to trip out?

I recently watched Air Crash Investigation, Air France Flight 447. The autopilot handed back control to the flight deck after the pitot tubes temporarily froze. The autopilot knew it was getting ...
9
votes
4answers
1k views

Do autopilots have an 'activate' switch/button, in addition to 'on' and 'off'?

Say cruising at FL310 and on a 270 heading with autopilot on. If pilot decides to descend to say, FL180 on a 180 heading, is simply changing the altitude and heading numbers on the autopilot control ...
1
vote
1answer
130 views

Is there an FMC not connected to the AP/FD?

Is it possible to have an FMC to compute the performance and navigation without having it linked to an autopilot or flight director? Does/did such setup exist?
5
votes
2answers
207 views

How is engine management being done without auto throttle during a VNAV approach?

I am wondering how the engine power is controlled if Auto-pilot in a coupled approach mode with VNAV capability, and the aircraft is not equipped with Auto-Throttle? Is the pilot continuously ...
9
votes
2answers
671 views

Does engine failure shut off the auto-pilot?

After answering this question it got me wondering whether there can be a situation where a complete flameout of engines could cause a serious loss of control if the auto-pilot were to continue to try ...
9
votes
2answers
1k views

Airbus control architecture - where does the actual autopilot live?

I'd like to ask for confirmation about the A320 (and, generally, Airbus family) control architecture. The book Aircraft Systems provides the following overview of A3XX computing architectures: ...
7
votes
1answer
325 views

Are there any autopilots that are capable of landing a damaged aircraft better than any human?

How close are we to commercial aircraft with autopilots that can, as safely as theoretically possible, land an aircraft with damaged, missing, or otherwise inoperative control surfaces; or altered ...
-3
votes
1answer
476 views

What kind of OS or programming language does the aviation use? [duplicate]

Windows XP because its the most stable system ever ? C++ because its the most verstatile thing ever ? Also I am not limiting this question to avionics but to Garmin GPS/Glass cockpit B737 Flight ...
2
votes
0answers
151 views

Can I use the autoland mode if the airport is unknown to the FMC database?

Can I use the autoland if I have to land on an airport which is not known to my FMC database? Is it possible to insert the coordinates to get the autoland mode?
1
vote
1answer
289 views

How do holding patterns work?

How does a pilot follow a holding pattern? Do pilots have to manually change heading and altitude (through the autopilot) each time they are making a turn? Or is it something the Flight Management ...
10
votes
1answer
205 views

Does EASA require airliners to be fitted with autopilots?

For EASA OPS requirements, must an airline transport airplane be fitted with an autopilot system?
6
votes
2answers
481 views

Is Auto Pilot capable of performing TCAS resolution advisory?

I just watched a near mid-air collision video clip on Youtube. When AP is on and TCAS gives resolution advisory ("climb climb" or "descend descend"), does AP automatically perform the advisory if the ...
13
votes
1answer
2k views

How does envelope protection work in Airbus vs. Boeing aircraft?

I keep reading this thing that "On Airbus the computer overrules the pilot, not on Boeing". Smells like urban myth or at least gross oversimplification. How does envelope protection work differently ...
2
votes
1answer
704 views

How does an auto-pilot control altitude changes?

When changing the set altitude with an autopilot with speed control engaged how exactly does the control system work... I can envision one of three (four) methods. Control throttle and adjust ...
3
votes
2answers
1k views

How exactly does a pilot engage the autopilot?

I have a number of questions about auto-pilots but rather than deluge you with a long prose here let me break them down into separate questions over the next little while. From playing around with ...
1
vote
0answers
113 views

Why aren't auto-pilot systems used on helicopters to make them trivially easy to fly? [duplicate]

As far as my understanding of helicopters goes, it is generally much harder to learn to pilot a helicopter when compared to a plane. This is because a helicopter is naturally unstable and would crash ...
3
votes
2answers
358 views

How autonomous are commercial passenger airliners?

Average layman here. Assuming the latest generation of planes/avionics rolling out of the factory today, how autonomous are commercial passenger jets? Obviously, autopilot has been around for decades, ...
3
votes
1answer
310 views

Is Autopilot engaged when an engine failure above V1 occurs on modern airliners?

If you lose one engine during takeoff in a multi-engine aircraft, you're trained to follow a standard emergency procedure: Pitch for Vy, use bank and rudder for zero side slip, mixture full rich, ...
4
votes
2answers
285 views

What's the idea behind leaving control of slats and flaps to pilots in autopilot?

When you watch airliners' flight videos on Youtube, you see pilots still control the slats, flaps and landing gear during the climb and landing phases even after autopilot is engaged. Why doesn't ...
4
votes
2answers
1k views

What is the relationship between “automatic flight control system AFCS”, “autopilot”, “flight director” and “flight management system FMS”?

I'm studying aircraft maintenance. I looked in my books and searched the web but couldn't make a big picture of the concept of autopilot. Specifically what is its relation to modern systems like FMS....
6
votes
2answers
3k views

What is the 3 click sound when the autopilot is disconnected on Airbus aircraft?

On Airbus aircraft what is the 3 click tone that sounds once autopilot is disconnected? I have tried researching on the internet but could not find anything
3
votes
1answer
445 views

Does Autopilot make planes safer?

Statistically, are planes with advanced autopilot functionality less likely to be involved in fatal crashes? Answer only with actual statistics, not your personal opinion.
11
votes
4answers
5k views

Do small civilian aircraft have autopilots?

If not, why? Doesn't it make flying safer? It seems to me that automating a small plane should be easier than automating a car (excluding dealing with Air Traffic Control). Is it too expensive?