Questions tagged [cockpit]

A cockpit or flight deck is the area, usually near the front of an aircraft, from which a pilot controls the aircraft.

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94
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14answers
42k views

Why are the cockpit controls of airplanes so complicated?

For a layman like myself, the cockpit of every single modern airplane that I've laid my eyes on seems like a complex, intimidating mess with knobs, buttons, screens and levers literally covering every ...
40
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9answers
43k views

Do planes have keys?

One thing I've always wondered is: do airplanes have keys that you put in the ignition to start? And on the outside doors? Otherwise how are they secured and started? I'm interested to know about a ...
48
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2answers
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What are these wavy lines on fighters' canopy?

As shown in the images below, what are these wavy lines on the canopy of the aircraft? Do these lines have any utility? These are mostly captured in videos of cockpit views of carrier-based aircraft.
12
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1answer
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What are these spinning discs next to the throttle of the Boeing P-8 Poseidon?

The source video can be found here and the GIF is from 0:21 onwards. What are those 2 spinning things next to the throttle ?
27
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4answers
30k views

Why does an airplane captain sit in the left seat?

For almost every airline, the captain sits in the left seat, and the first officer on the right. We know that in most countries right-side traffic and some have left-side. During training, the ...
58
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2answers
5k views

Are the instrument panels in the cockpit spill / waterproof?

There are multiple switches and buttons in the cockpit, with different shapes and layouts. Are they spill proof? What if the pilot spills water or coffee on them, will they still function?
14
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1answer
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Is an approval required to fly from the right seat?

I asked this as a comment in this question, but I thought it was worth asking properly to preserve it for future Aviation.SE generations. Is there any sort of permission required to fly from the ...
9
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2answers
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Where does the term 'steam cockpit' come from?

Why are traditional style cockpits with gauges called 'steam cockpits'? Do the instruments actually run on steam?
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3answers
1k views

Are there any cockpit indications when an engine has separated from the aircraft?

On this answer, there is a comment that asks if there is an alerting alarm of some sort when an engine falls off an airplane. Is there a direct alarm from the engines specifically saying "You lost an ...
22
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1answer
6k views

Can one pilot lock the other out of the cockpit?

One seemingly plausible theory about the MH370 disappearance is that one or other of the pilots locked the other one out of the cockpit and then depressurised the cabin. However, this answer mentions ...
27
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6answers
13k views

What do pilots actually see through the windows?

As I have never flown inside a cockpit, but only played with simulators I find that the dashboard takes most of the field of view(or am I wrong?). So what actually can pilots see given good weather ...
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3answers
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What is the motivation behind designing a control stick that does not move?

According to Wikipedia (and various other online sources), the control stick on the F-16 does not move. The input values are determined by the amount of force acting on the stick, rather than the ...
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1answer
3k views

How can passengers help in the cockpit in an aviational emergency? [closed]

During an emergency solely related to aviation (ie not a medical situation), suppose that some airline passenger believes that he/she can help in the cockpit. Since the cockpit door is locked for ...
27
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9answers
78k views

Why do some fighter jets have two pilots while others have only one?

Why do some fighter jets have two pilots, while some have only one? For example the newer fighter jets such as Dassault Rafale, Eurofighter typhoon etc. are mostly with single-seat, but two-seat ...
4
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1answer
2k views

Why don't airliners have bigger cockpit windows?

A bigger cockpit window would increase the pilot's vision of a runway. So why can't they be bigger? Note that this question covers cabin window size already, but this question is about cockpit ...
66
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14answers
17k views

Has there ever been a plane not controlled from the nose?

Has there ever been an airplane where the pilot, or cockpit were not located near the nose of the airplane?
29
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3answers
8k views

Aircraft pilot's seats: what is the notch for?

If you do a Google or Bing search for "Aircraft Pilot Seat" then choose images, you might notice a large number, perhaps majority of them, have a notch cut out of the front of the seat. What is this ...
23
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6answers
20k views

Can a passenger request to visit the cockpit during a flight?

As a kid, I remember going to the cockpit of a plane with my mom (I believe the airline was AOM French Airlines). Is this still possible now? I understand the answer might differ with different ...
13
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3answers
3k views

Can I get a photo with the pilots?

Could I, as a passenger, get a picture with the pilots in the cockpit before takeoff/after landing? I'm asking specifically about any rules that would deny a passenger into the cockpit. I know this is ...
34
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4answers
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Why are some windows in cockpits made openable?

Why do aircraft allow sliding / opening windows in cockpits? What purpose does it serve, and why the same can't be done for passenger windows as well?
27
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1answer
5k views

What is this pattern on the A350 front window?

The image is extracted from this video (at 3m40s, when taking off) I circled in purple the strange pattern formed by few black straight lines. I'm quite puzzled as I have no idea of what it is or ...
18
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1answer
3k views

What are the details of opening a cockpit door from the outside?

Can one pilot lock the other out of the cockpit? It is mentioned in the answer to the question I linked that a person inside the cockpit can stop a person outside from opening the door by "canceling ...
9
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3answers
5k views

How do pilots avoid radiation?

It is said that they are exposed to 50% more of radiation than on the ground and they are prone to skin cancer, so, is there any way of reducing the amount of radiation for pilots?
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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 ...
15
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1answer
16k views

Why do pilots' seat covers almost uniformly use sheepskin?

While browsing this answer I noticed the sheepskin cover and recalled that I couldn't remember a cockpit that didn't have them. It's not entirely surprising that they're used, but I am surprised that ...
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2answers
2k views

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 ...
4
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1answer
11k views

Why does the canopy of the F-22 Raptor have a golden tinge? [duplicate]

Why is gold used in the canopy of the F-22 Raptor?
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10answers
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Why are traditional knobs not replaced by touchscreens in cockpits?

Looking at this picture of an A380 cockpit I see that there are still a lot of traditional switches (meaning manual click on and off or knobs). Being technology so advanced in these days, why is it ...
31
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2answers
9k views

What is the purpose of the “Mirror-Thing” over the Mig-29 Cockpit?

I noticed that some Mig-29 Fighter Jets have a little mirror-like-thing over the cockpit. I can't imagine a possible usage from it (If it's really a mirror). Here's a picture from Wikipedia: As ...
71
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4answers
29k views

Why are Russian cockpit panels painted in turquoise?

Almost all cockpit panels of Russian aircraft types are painted in turquoise, whereas elsewhere the cockpit panels usually exhibit a dark grey color. As this "rule" seems to be quite prevalent, I am ...
36
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4answers
44k views

Why was Concorde's cockpit so complex?

Source Why was this cockpit much more complex than any other modern day aircraft or a fighter jet? It looks to have many more buttons and controls, and very small (interesting) screens. Also, its ...
27
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5answers
8k views

Can a few random interaction with cockpit controls result in a crash?

Lets say a monkey / snake interacts with 3 random controls inside the cockpit within less than 3 seconds until the PIC / SIC can take control of the aircraft again. Could such interactions result in a ...
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2answers
3k views

Does sex occur in aircraft cockpits, and is this safe?

I've always heard euphemisms about pilots having sex with flight attendants or passengers while flying, but I'm wondering, does this ever happen on commercial flights or in general aviation? Have ...
24
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4answers
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Why don't we have yokes that look like steering wheels?

This question came across my mind when I was thinking about cockpit design vs car design: why don't we have yokes that look like steering wheels? The first advantage I can think of is more gestures ...
23
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1answer
6k views

Why are most cockpits gray?

Russian cockpits were often painted turquoise to reduce pilot fatigue. So my question is why most non-Russian cockpits are painted gray, or in the 777's case, tan?
17
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3answers
9k views

Why are Airbus captain control sticks placed on the left when most people are right-handed?

Why is it that control sticks for the captains on Airbus are placed on the left? Wouldn't it be uncomfortable considering that most of the people, and by consequence pilots, are right handed? To my ...
27
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1answer
7k views

How could a Focke-Wulf 190 pilot see anything at all from his cockpit?

As one can see from the images below, the seat seems to be placed so low on the cabin, I cannot figure out how the pilot could see anything. Can anyone explain how a Focke-Wulf 190 pilot would be ...
9
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3answers
5k views

What is this component in an Airbus cockpit?

I have noticed that on a lot (all?) Airbus cockpits, there are these "things" (for lack of a better term) under the panel. I have highlighted them in this picture of an A340 cockpit: What are they?
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3answers
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Which light aircraft are known to have a quiet cockpit?

Are some light aircraft known as being significantly quieter in the cockpit than others ? How quiet might the quietest light aircraft be from the inside ? At least ten years ago I was reading an ...
2
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1answer
16k views

Sidestick vs. Yoke [duplicate]

Looking at pictures from cockpits of various aircrafts, we can see two types of control-inputs. The sidestick: And the yoke: What are the advantages / disadvantages of both? When is a yoke over a ...
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2answers
1k views

What happens when a pilot is incapacitated? [duplicate]

Is there a contingency for such a situation, where one of the pilots leaves the cockpit, the other pilot is incapacitated (for example losing consciousness) while the first pilot is still outside the ...
0
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1answer
343 views

Why aren't cockpits airtight?

There are accidents where the pilots couldn't see the instruments and literally flew the aircraft blindly due to the excessive smoke in the cockpit, ranging from UPS Flight 6 to other accidents. ...
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4answers
8k views

Are two people required in cockpit at all times on large commercial aircraft?

It would seem reasonable on large commercial airlines to require that there be two people in the cockpit at all times. For example when the pilot goes to the toilet a member of the cabin crew must ...
17
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3answers
2k views

Why does the co-pilot sometimes keep a hand on the throttle as well as the pilot?

In this YouTube video of a takeoff and landing in a Dash-8, you can see the pilot, while landing, keeps his right hand on the throttle levers. The co-pilot keeps his left hand at the base of the ...
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2answers
1k views

Do modern airliners have a flaps warning indication?

Years ago I was on a flight from San Francisco to Los Angeles, a 737 if I remember rightly, and was sitting just behind the wings and could not help noticing the flaps were partly extended for the ...
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3answers
2k views

Is there a convention for type of switch used and where?

In most cockpits, you'll find the full gamut of switch types in use. Toggle, rocker, push-button and more. Each has their own "feel" and might be used for different situations. Is there any ...
8
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1answer
1k views

If the pilot cabin loses pressure, can the pressure difference lock the cockpit door?

I think, if there is only a 0.1 bar pressure difference with a single square meter door, around the weight of a ton would be needed to open it - if it is sealed hermetically and opens outward. Is it ...
3
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3answers
425 views

What is the standard procedure in case of inconsistent sensor readings?

After reading the answers I now know there are three independent sensors. I will leave the question as-is, to not take the answers out of context: I do remember reading that airliners have two ...