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Questions tagged [flight-instruments]

Flight instruments provide the pilot with information about the flight situation of that aircraft, such as altitude, speed and direction; and are of particular use in conditions of poor visibility, such as in clouds, when such information is not available from visual reference outside the aircraft.

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Why would a C150 tachometer bounce so much that the needle fell off?

On a long flight in a C150E, the tachometer started bouncing a little bit and the severity of the bouncing gradually increased until it was extreme: The tachometer was spinning in loops and making a ...
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2answers
317 views

What dictates the shape of the attitude indicator display on the PFD?

I notice the atitude indicator displayed in the PFD is either squared-shape or truncated-circle-shaped. A good example of the square shape is the B747-400, It looks like a square whose corner are a ...
29
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3answers
7k 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 ...
21
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2answers
19k views

How does an alpha (AoA) vane work?

The alpha vane (also called AoA vane) is an external probe used to measure the angle of attack. I have been trying to understand how exactly it works, but I can't find any clear explanation or ...
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1answer
1k views

How does a pitot plate work?

I understand the basic concept of the pitot tube in that it measures the air pressure coming into the tube in order to compare it to a static pressure measured elsewhere on the aircraft. The B-2 ...
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1answer
57 views

Does the glide slope flag detect percent of modulation (80%)?

Please advise if the glideslope flag validates that the received frequency is being modulated at nominal 80% or 40% for a localizer.
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5answers
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Can VOR indication be reliable if one of its antennas breaks?

What will be the reliability of the VOR indication inside the cockpit if one of the two outside antenna is broken ? Can we trust it to make a VOR approach? What will be the consequences assuming ...
41
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3answers
103k views

What are N1 and N2?

When I'm reading something about jet engines, it's common to see references to N1 and N2. I've never fully understood what N1 and N2 are on engine instruments and how they relate to thrust and the ...
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1answer
84 views

Is the 737-800 circular PFD for AOA or RA?

So, I have seen some people on the Internet showing the 738's PFD circular gauge for RA, but others show that the gauge is used for AOA(angle of attack). Which one is true? Is there a switch to change ...
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4answers
19k views

What is the difference between Turn Coordinator and Artificial Horizon?

I was reading this question about Turn Coordinator and Artificial Horizon, and now I want to understand the differences between those two components. What is the main difference between Turn ...
21
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3answers
10k views

Who decides what measurement units are used for altitude, and why is there no standard?

I know that some countries (Russia and China for instance) use meters to measure altitude while the rest of the world uses feet. Why isn't this standardized around the world? I guess all modern ...
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1answer
93 views

How do aircraft stall warning systems handle (or not) asymmetric-stall situations?

Most, if not all, new airplanes are required to have stall warning systems to (as the name should make clear) provide the pilots with a warning when the airplane is about to stall. Most stall warning ...
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1answer
81 views

What are these engine gauges in the Comet 4 for?

What are these gauges on the Comet 4's engine-gauge panel (between the captain's and first officer's instruments, above the throttle levers), marked "POWER LOSS INDICATOR", for? (Sorry for the blurry ...
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3answers
5k views

How does an A330 detect stall without airspeed?

On Air France 447 the crew had experienced complete failure of the pitot static system, which meant they lost their readings on their airspeed indicators, but according to the Mayday / Air Crash ...
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3answers
209 views

What’s the setting range altimeters can handle?

What’s the setting range altimeters can handle? Is there a standard requiring a certain range for aircraft to be certified? Are there many occasions where a QNH is so high or low that airplanes have ...
7
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1answer
981 views

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 ...
2
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2answers
221 views

Why do Western aircraft manufacturers use FPS system while Russian aircraft manufacturers use MKS system for flight instruments?

Why is there a variation in aircraft flight instruments of aircraft from Western & Russian origin? Foot–pound–second system (FPS) Meter-kilogram-second (MKS)
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1answer
40 views

How does turning Errors in the Air Driven Artificial Horizon work?

Turning through 90°, 180°, 270° & 360°, the error is different. I can understand what is turning error and pitch error individually. But why turning through different degree, the resulting error ...
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2answers
113 views

What is the most effective way for a VFR pilot to scan the instruments during manoeuvres?

May I ask your opinion on what is the best and most effective pattern for a VFR pilot to scan their instruments during manoeuvres?
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2answers
192 views

Why does the turn coordinator ball move to the right during a climb?

In a light aircraft like a C172 or PA-28, during a climb the ball in the turn coordinator moves to the right. Why?
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1answer
1k views

Can a vacuum cleaner create sufficient vacuum to operate the artificial horizon?

Inspired by this question about breaking the glass of instruments, I was wondering if a sufficient level of vacuum can be achieved by using a vacuum cleaner on the inlet, or simply sucking through a ...
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2answers
12k views

How does the weather radar work?

I was reading this question about turbulence and how pilots foresee it, and in one of the answers, @Rhino Driver states: Weather Radar Just like using your eyes, except the radar can see further ...
24
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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 ...
30
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5answers
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How can pilots fly inside a cloud?

I heard that sometime an aircraft fly inside a cloud, and I'm wondering how that works - how clearly can the pilot see while inside the cloud? What if a cloud is "too large"? (Is there a maximum size ...
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3answers
229 views

Do any aircraft have a “self-contained ILS”?

The ILS is an invaluable aid to pilots, especially those operating to/from the many airports where poor weather is common (low-visibility operations would be completely impossible without an ILS); ...
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5answers
9k views

Can the pitch be very different from the angle of attack?

How much the pitch (horizontal orientation) can differ from the angle of attack? I am trying to understand the claim that "angle of attack indicator was unfortunately not available", contributing to ...
3
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1answer
168 views

What happens to manifold pressure reading following a reduction in both throttle and RPM?

This was one of the questions in my online ground school quiz (PPL), detail as follows: To set climb power, you reduce the throttle (manifold pressure) and then the props (RPM lever). After setting ...
6
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1answer
198 views

Why are airspeed gauges labeled above Vne?

Examples: Cessna 150L Vne = 141 knots (162 MPH), gauge labeled to 170 knots. It looks like there's room to extend the scale to 180. Cessna 152 Vne = 149 KIAS, gauge labeled to 170. Cessna 172R Vne = ...
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2answers
1k views

What are these lights above the panel in a Blue Angels cockpit?

I found the following picture on the Blue Angels Facebook page: What is the purpose of the lights over the pilot's panel? (The two on the top are green)
6
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2answers
983 views

How to navigate an aircraft without GPS? [duplicate]

In case of loss of GPS: how can an aircraft not only be navigated but navigated so precisely that it can pinpoint its destination airport ? (case in point: Finland and Norway are telling airline ...
6
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3answers
3k views

What does a helicopter “gas prod” gauge measure?

The beginning scenes of the movie "San Andreas" partly take place in a rescue helicopter. One of the panel gauges read "GAS PROD" above it. I googled it but didn't find much. Can someone explain what ...
2
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1answer
234 views

Lindbergh's panel— Ryan NYP— what is this instrument and how was it useful?

Lindbergh's panel-- Ryan NYP-- what is this instrument and how was it used? See this link-- it should allow you to zoom in by mousing around https://www.amazon.com/Instrument-Successfully-Atlantic-...
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3answers
4k views

What was the first flight instrument ever used in an airplane?

It's not magnetic compass, turn coordinator, stopwatch, wind meter, VVI, and airspeed indicator. I want to know what is the first flight instrument.
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3answers
3k views

What's the UX in modern airliner avionics for diversion choices, and does it integrate to autopilot?

This question mentions a flight that had to divert, in that case to Iqaluit (YFB). I was wondering: in modern large airliners, what is the user interface like when diverting? How is the case of "what ...
9
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2answers
332 views

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 ...
10
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3answers
697 views

During “partial panel” flying, in what ways is a turn rate indicator more useful than a turn coordinator?

This question deals with flying by reference to old-fashioned "steam gauges", not a modern "glass cockpit". I recall hearing some pilots very experienced (ATP) pilots advocate for the older-style "...
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1answer
151 views

How was a looping possible with an Alaska Airlines plane? [duplicate]

Someone has stolen an empty airplane from Seattle Airport and crashed it down after performing some loopings. I am wondering how this was possible. (Source)
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3answers
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Why don't pilots always use autoland?

In aeroplanes that are equipped for autoland and landing at an airport with a working and adequate instrument landing system for the conditions, why would a pilot choose not to use autoland? If I had ...
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3answers
2k views

Are NDBs and VORs dying as a navigational method?

I am new to aviation, so bear with me on this question: I have read in multiple places that the VOR/NDB navigational aids are dying out to GPS. Is this true? Are more modern aircraft being built with ...
10
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2answers
37k views

What are the differences between an OBS, a CDI, a Heading indicator, and an HSI?

What are the differences between an OBS, a CDI, a Heading indicator, and an HSI? As far as I can tell they all use VORs. Why would 4 different version of the same instrument be invented? Is the HSI ...
0
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3answers
100 views

Are there (ideas for) GNSS based attitude indicators?

With upcoming GNSS systems that have better accuracy than GPS, could there be an GNSS based attitude indicator? Does maybe one already exist? I could imagine having 4 sensors (front, aft, left ...
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0answers
84 views

What is the difference between an Instrument and Equipment?

In an aircraft, what things is an instrument and what things is an equipment? For example the ILS, is the Antennas located in the runway considered to be an instrument or an equipment? Or is there ...
4
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0answers
463 views

How do I determine which radial intercept angle to use?

I'm studying for the (EASA) Instrument Rating exam and I found several questions about radial intercept angles in sample exams but nothing in the books I've studied and my flight instructor doesn't ...
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4answers
551 views

Which fonts were used in old (1930s) aircraft cockpit displays and instruments?

This is probably more of a graphic design question than aviation but maybe a few hangar rats around here know the answer. What type fonts were used on the old instruments in aircraft from the 1930s ...
5
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1answer
194 views

How does the radio altimeter reading change with the bank angle?

How does the radio altimeter reading change with the bank angle? Following example: Let's say, we're flying at 1000' AGL and a bank angle of 0° above a endless flat surface. The radio altimeter shows ...
7
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1answer
375 views

What is this instrument that has “PACK” written on it and a temperature scale?

All I know right now is that it’s made in 1973. Another instrument I have is from a b727 and is dated 1982. This one I have no clue. Serial number- H 2590. The brand is Amphenol. That’s all the info I ...
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2answers
146 views

What causes the inside glass of flight instruments to get hazy?

Sometimes on analog flight instruments (aka steam gauges) there is a haze or fogginess on the INSIDE of the glass that is NOT condensation. You can often find it on older aircraft with older ...
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2answers
177 views

How to maintain your pitch when looking for other traffic in the pattern?

I am a student pilot and I fly in a desert region where turbulence often changes the pitch and airspeed of my aircraft. I am having an issue maintaining pitch while scanning for other aircraft in the ...
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2answers
431 views

What instruments were “standard” in WWI aircraft?

What instruments made up a typical panel of a WWI airplane? Did any country regulate the required cockpit instruments prior to the United States "Air Commerce Act" of 1926?
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2answers
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How does a horizontal situation indicator (HSI) work?

I am trying to understand the Horizontal Situation Indicator. To my understanding there is a slaving transmitter, usually in a wing (the left wing in the Piper Archer and Seminole), which sends ...