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 ...
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 ...
66
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14answers
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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?
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?
50
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2answers
9k views

Why are cockpit instruments white on black dials?

Which is easier to read: white on a black dial or black on a white dial? It would seem most aviation instruments are white on black.
48
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2answers
23k views

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.
45
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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 ...
45
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1answer
7k views

What does this plus (cross) sign on this electrical panel mean?

I'm looking at a picture of the electrical panel of a Phenom 100 and on it I see a + sign, does anyone have any ideas as to what it's supposed to mean?
42
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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 ...
40
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9answers
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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 ...
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 ...
34
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4answers
13k views

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?
33
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3answers
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Do jet fighters have air conditioning systems?

In most jet fighters, the cockpit is a glass dome and the pilots are exposed directly to the sun. In addition, they are wearing flight suits and full face helmets (most of the time). I can only ...
31
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2answers
10k 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 ...
31
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3answers
8k views

Why was a flight delayed because of a bird in the cockpit?

This Washington Post article is about a Delta Airlines flight that took off after an initial delay, before turning back again shortly after, because of a bird that managed to stowaway in the cockpit. ...
30
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3answers
8k views

What is this object in the cockpit of an ultralight?

This is a tool (probably) in on an ultralight airplane. Initially I guessed that it is a tilting meter (to level between right and left), but seems it is not as it just a vertical tube filled up with ...
30
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3answers
6k views

Has there ever been an aircraft with three sets of flight controls?

On every aircraft I know, there is either one set of flight controls if it is single-pilot operated, or two sets of flight controls allowing either the pilot or copilot full control. Has there ever ...
30
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1answer
4k views

Why do cockpit windows often appear to have a rainbow ‘tint’?

Why do cockpit windows often appear to have a rainbow ‘tint’? It’s similar to what you would see when looking at a shallow puddle of water with oil on top. Here is an example of a B777 cockpit window ...
29
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2answers
5k views

What are the “spur” devices on this U2 pilot's boots?

From this video on YouTube: What are those devices and what is their purpose?
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
27
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4answers
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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 ...
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 ...
27
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1answer
4k views

Was the Airbus A300/A310 ever supplied with a yoke and not a sidestick?

In the Air Crash Investigation episode "Kid In The Cockpit," which details the crash of Aeroflot Flight 593, the video shows the plane had a yoke not a sidestick I was under the impression all Airbus ...
27
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1answer
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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 ...
26
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1answer
3k views

What is this yellow section around the cockpit window?

Saw this while boarding the flight the other day, travelling between HYD (Hyderabad, India) to CCU (Calcutta, India) on Indigo Airlines. Aircraft was an Airbus A320. There was a yellow patch around ...
25
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1answer
6k views

What are the “lumps” in the A380 flight-deck?

In this photograph of the Airbus A830 flight-deck there are two large "lumps" sticking up and out from the centre console, next to the engine thrust levers and flight-computer keypads: I think they'...
25
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1answer
3k views

Identification of this control panel for a four-engine plane

While cataloguing a printer's copper plates I came across a control panel image, and I have attached it here in the hope someone can identify what plane it's from. The Lorenz blind-landing instrument ...
24
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4answers
8k views

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 ...
24
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5answers
6k views

Why can't airline pilots listen to music while flying? [duplicate]

In an interview I read, a 747 captain (Mark Vanhoenacker, an American British Airways pilot) says he doesn't understand why he cannot listen to music inflight, when for example surgeons – who ...
24
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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 ...
23
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3answers
7k views

Why does the Boeing 787 have fewer cockpit windows?

Why does the Boeing 787 have fewer cockpit windows? The 787 has only 4 cockpit windows, whereas other airplanes have 6. Here is a comparison between the 787 and 777: ^ 787 V.S. 777 v
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?
22
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1answer
6k views

Why does the Dassault Falcon 7X's cockpit have ashtrays?

While looking at the first implementation of Fly-By-Wire systems, I see that the 7X was the first business jet with fly-by-wire controls. Looking at the Wikipedia page for the aircraft, I saw this ...
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 ...
21
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3answers
5k views

What is the purpose of the black paint below the cockpit windows?

Today I saw the following picture of the B747-400 SuperTanker, which shows a black painted region below the cockpit windows. I have also seen vintage pictures of other aircraft that also had this ...
21
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1answer
533 views

What plane is this instrument panel from?

I came across this instrument panel being sold as a potential craft project. I instantly knew what I wanted to do with it. I am going to give it, filled with old pics to my father-in-law who used to ...
20
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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 ...
20
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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 ...
20
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1answer
2k views

How do the cockpit controls of a tiltrotor aircraft work?

I'm having trouble trying to imagine the primary flight controls in the cockpit of a tiltrotor aircraft - how would one design it? In an airplane, turning the wheel to the left would always deflect ...
19
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1answer
4k views

Is there any particular reason for the cockpit of the 747 being on the upper deck?

The cockpit of the 747 is on the upper deck, but the cockpit of the A380 is situated on the lower deck. Is there any reason (be it engineering or anything else) for the location of the cockpit?
19
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1answer
5k views

Are there any legal requirements concerning airline pilots and their watches?

Are there any legal requirements concerning airline pilots and their watches? Do they have to be of any particular kind and are pilots required to wear one at all?
19
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3answers
4k views

Are there regulations for the field of view from cockpits?

Are there any design or ergonomic regulations with regard to the pilot's vertical and horizontal vision angles from the cockpit? For example, pilot should see space 30 deg. above and 20 deg. below ...
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 ...
18
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2answers
3k views

What is this cutout in the Spitfire cockpit glass?

This is a still from the film Dunkirk. I realise this is not a historical document, but I have also found a similar feature in photos of real Spitfires. What is the purpose of this?
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 ...
17
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3answers
4k views

Does the captain always control thrust on takeoff?

I just read an article about a day in the life of a pilot and it states "The Captain always controls the thrust in the unlikely event that the take-off needs to be aborted for safety reasons." Is this ...
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 ...