Questions tagged [avionics]

Avionics is applied electronics to aviation. Radars, radios, instruments, dashboards, they all belong to this category.

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11
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4answers
2k views

Can a software “hard freeze” or serious hardware problem completely disable the whole cockpit?

I think that the glass cockpit of a modern plane has some sort of a central power supply or at least some central controlling software. What happens if this central power suddenly disappears, or the ...
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4answers
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What is 'level' to a G1000?

I used to fly a Cessna 550 with 'steam gage' mechanical gyros. The Attitude Indicator always had its flight director solidly on the horizon in level flight -- to the extent a mechanical instrument ...
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Is VOR identification automated in modern avionics?

Is the VOR identification via audible Morse code automated in modern autopilots / avionics? Or does a pilot in an A380 still sits in there, listens and compares the .-. .. -.. to her charts?
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1answer
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How do airliners facilitate in flight calls for mobile phones?

How does an airline facilitate in-flight calls for mobile phones? I would guess that over open water in flight calls are relayed by an on board link to a communications satellite. Such a system ...
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2answers
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How can I tell if a G430 or G1000 has WAAS or not?

Both the GNS430 and G1000 are/were available with and without WAAS, and I believe it's even possible to upgrade a GNS430 to add WAAS support. When I get into an unfamiliar rental aircraft, is there a ...
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2answers
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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: ...
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4answers
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What CPU does the F-16 use?

I've read that the "F-16", without it being specified what version, uses the 1750A CPU, it is on the list here, although without a citation: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MIL-STD-1750A However, ...
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3answers
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What happens with the avionics if in midair there is loss of power or fuel flow interrupted? [duplicate]

What happens if in midair there is loss of power, how will the avionics perform in such a situation (cockpit display, flight plan)?
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1answer
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In case of failure in the Electronic Flight Instrument System, how would they be transferred between each other?

In EFIS, in case of failure in the PFD, where would be PFD shown? In case of failure in the ND, where it would be shown? In case the PFD & ND both fail, where would they be shown?
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720 views

How to ignore faulty instrument readings in glass cockpits?

When an instrument fails in the cockpit, it is better cover it with something, either a dollar bill or a gauge cover (if you happen to have one of those), so we won't accidentally process the ...
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684 views

Are there regulations or adverse effects regarding Bluetooth in the cockpit?

Are there any FAA regulations concerning wireless Bluetooth headsets in the cockpit of any aircraft? Moreover, I'm interested in finding out if the Bluetooth protocol (IEEE 802.15.1) will adversely ...
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1answer
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How are electronic systems locked and connected in the electronic bay?

On aircraft the electronics bay contains multiple systems, e.g. for the A320: A320, photo by B-2230, source: JetPhotos How is the electronic equipment locked (it seems there are two mobile screws) ...
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1answer
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How does the VOR receiver pick up the signal and how are the needles controlled?

Knowing the basic principle of a VOR and how it works, I am interested to know how the receiver works. What exactly makes the needle deflect? And how does this deflecting mechanism know how much to ...
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1answer
359 views

Do aviation intercoms have a standardized compatibility with radio stacks?

I have been seeking an intercom unit for a Cessna 172N that has four seats but only two headset jacks, and I would like my rear passengers to be able to communicate without yelling. Aviation ...
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1answer
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How does the ADF null positions find where the NDB is?

I understand how it operates for the most part, although I don't understand how the null positioning works. This image below doesn't include the sense antenna that limits it to one null position, ...
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2answers
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What is the difference between Line-Replaceable Unit (LRU) and Integrated Modular Avionics (IMA)?

I'm studying the Integrated Modular Avionics (IMA) and the Line-Replaceable Unit (LRU), but I don't get the difference.
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What data does ACARS send back to base? Can it be used to track a plane?

An aircraft's Aircraft Communications Addressing and Reporting System uses line of sight HF via ground stations or satellites to communicate with its base station. This system allows for three types ...
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2answers
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How do virtual circuit breakers work?

In AW189, B787 and few other aircraft/helicopter, the physical breaker has been replaced by virtual breaker, which can be controlled by the MFD (Multi-Function Display). I tried to google the answer, ...
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2answers
432 views

What makes inertial guidance unsuitable for auto-land?

Above shows the performance of a Lockheed Martin civilian landing system developed in the mid-90s. It works by using the weather radar in SAR mode to update the INS, and the final 100 ft are flown by ...
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2answers
651 views

Why can't flight management systems receive instructions directly from the controller?

If an aircraft's flight management system has auto pilot and auto thrust coupling, and it can make changes to the aircraft speed and direction along the entire route without pilot intervention, then ...
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1answer
466 views

What is an Enhanced Vision System?

I was reading something at work that said the company has installed an Enhanced Vision System on the aircraft. FedEx Express added Enhanced Vision Systems to 250 aircraft, which will greatly ...
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4answers
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Are 'human factor' specialists consulted during the UX design of cockpit controls and avionics?

I have always been struck by the complexity of cockpit controls. Aviation specialists are always on the hunt for ways to reduce cognitive overload on pilots to reduce human error. That being said, ...
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What are the fonts used in MCDU screens?

All MCDUs (and other screens) I've seen share a very similar, if not identical, set of fonts - a monospaced, sans-serif, very clean and easily readable font, often in two vertical sizes at the same ...
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Is it possible to load (and not activate) the approach procedure on a Garmin 1000 or 430?

I noticed sometimes when I fly with a G1000, or Garmin 430 and am doing multiple practice approaches I can't always load my next approach. It forces allows me to activate the approach, which would ...
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406 views

Does every device/software, developed for use in the cockpit, need to be certified?

Every avionic, developed for use in the cockpit has to complete a long and expensive certification process. Is this only applying for avionics, installed fixed into the aircraft or also for apps like ...
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Why does the Canadair Regional Jet still use CRT screens?

All the CRJ aircraft from the 100 up through the new 1000 use the antiquated CRT technology for the main primary and secondary displays as well as the ED1 and ED2 displays. Aren't flat screens a more ...
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1answer
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How does the HUD Display System work?

I have seen a couple videos of fighter jets and commercial planes with HUD systems and was wondering how do the heads up displays work?
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1answer
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What is this display on the 737 Classic?

Source: YouTube I noticed that display (yellow circle) between the two CDUs. What is it for? It is not a default installation on the 737-3/4/500. It looks like a Navigation Display/MFD, but why have ...
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1answer
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How do aviation GPS navigation systems report GPS accuracy?

While looking over a tutorial on how to operate the Garmin GNS430, I couldn't find any info on how the device would report a degraded or low accuracy signal. What are the accuracy requirements for ...
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What's an estimate for the cost of the cockpit technology on a 747 or 777?

Can anyone share what the percentage cost or dollar costs of cockpit instruments and related software is within a 747 or 777? PS- I'm a physician working in medical safety. Physicians can no longer ...
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1answer
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Why does this GPS approach say “RADAR REQUIRED”?

As I was looking at the approach charts for KCXY while answering this question, I realized that the GPS "overlay-style" approach to RW8 also requires RADAR. Since the HAR VOR isn't even shown on ...
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1answer
226 views

How does a PFD handle unphysically abrupt changes in the parameters it's displaying?

This question is about human factors requirements in the design of software components displaying instruments in a primary flight display. (It's not about how to implement the software.) Let's take ...
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1answer
830 views

What causes a “BATT DISCHARGE” CAS message on the Phenom 100E?

In the Phenom100 POH the descriptions for the "BATT DISCHARGE" CAS message is "During a normal system operation, at least one battery is discharging." I'm a bit confused as to what exactly does ...
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What measures can the aerospace industry take to deal with changes in the electronic industry that are incompatible with its own conservatism? [closed]

The development of computer flight systems is characterised by lengthy certification processes, exceptionally rigorous testing regimes and a default position of extreme caution. A change in any ...
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1answer
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Which airplanes are exempt from Europe's 2015 CPDLC (Link 2000+) requirement?

In February 2015, all flights above FL285 in EU airspace are required to have CPDLC/Link 2000+. However, I have been told by an avionics provider that some aircraft types are exempt from the ...
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1answer
585 views

What is the climb/descent rate that triggers the TCAS up/down arrow?

If Aircraft One is maintaining a low rate of climb/ descent, is there a minimum descent or climb rate threshold below which the up/down arrow will not show up on the TCAS of the Aircraft Two? I have ...
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1answer
847 views

Is a VHF NAV receiver inherently capable of processing a LOC signal?

These last few weeks I have been flying a couple of different aircraft that had inoperative glideslope capabilities, but I was able to fly LOC approaches without trouble. In my career as a pilot and ...
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If you were to fly an ILS in a knife edge would you receve GS and LOC be flipped?

because LOC and GS work the same way, if you were to fly one at 90 degrees bank would your information be displayed on the wrong indicators?
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2answers
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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) ...
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285 views

What safety requirements are there when designing an electronic device to go inside the cabin of an airliner?

I am considering designing and building an automatic air-sampling unit that can be placed in the cabin of an airliner and left unattended for an extended period of time. The device will use an ...
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1answer
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Is there a type of instrument/display that guides pilots along a certain path?

What do you call an instrument that can help a pilot fly along a predetermined flight path (e.g. path thru GPS coordinates), showing them when they stray a little so they can correct? Not a control ...
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2answers
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Could a terrorist hack the ILS?

I'm reading all these reasons why consumer electronics can't be on during takeoffs and landings and one specific reference that is made over and over again is the sensitivity of the ILS equipment. I ...
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2answers
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Do 121.5 MHz ELTs have to be replaced with 406 MHz models?

There has been a lot discussion about replacing 121.5 MHz emergency locator transmitters (ELTs) with 406 MHz ELTs, since 121.5 MHz ELTs are no longer monitored by satellite. Are private planes ...
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What features are cursor controlled on the A380 Navigation Display?

I read that on the A380 and A350, certain features on the Navigation Display can be controlled via the Keyboard and Cursor Control Unit (KCCU). However, I did not find a full list of these features. I ...
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3answers
868 views

Is it possible to ping ACARS repeatedly and track an aircraft?

This is a followup to What data does ACARS send back to base? Can it be used to track a plane? I had asked this as a part of the earlier question, but it seems to be a large enough issue to be ...
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2answers
869 views

What is the tablet/application being used in this 737?

In this video (marker 2:32), you can see that the captain has a tablet mounted to his left with some sort of application open in it. It looks like an iPad (though I could be wrong), but what I'm ...
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1answer
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What connector standard is used for aviation headsets?

The typical aviation headset features two cords with connectors that at first glance are identical. One is a standard 1/4" (0.25 inch) stereo audio jack. What kind of connector is the slightly ...
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1answer
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What are the rules regarding (HUD) Head-up displays, especially glasses type?

What are the relevant regulations regarding use of HUD displays in non-military aviation? The specific application in mind would involve providing information to pilots of turboprop survey aircraft ...
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1answer
271 views

If a SID chart says “GPS… required”, can the plane use a different GNSS?

This US/FAA standard instrument departure says "Note: GPS or DME/DME/IRU required." If the aircraft could tune into a different GNSS like GLONASS, could the pilot still legally fly the departure ...
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1answer
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What would the “wings level” button most likely do if activated in the event of a flat spin?

If an aircraft equipped with a wings level button (such as the TBM 930) entered a flat spin, would pressing it accomplish anything productive? I am aware that the purpose of the button is to return ...

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