Questions tagged [software]

Questions about the software used in aviation systems.

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

If a pilot uses their ejector seat during flight, what is the autopilot programmed to do? As a developer myself, I'd want to build in a way for the plane to try and save itself if possible (to save ...
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52 votes
3 answers
11k views

How dissimilar are redundant flight control computers?

Facts On Airbus aircraft there are computers to secure the flight envelope, or to move the control surfaces. FADECs totally control the engines. Computers take decisions in place of the pilots, or ...
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50 votes
3 answers
23k views

Why is Python used on aircraft although it may not be certifiable?

I recently had a discussion with people who were active in the aviation industry and told me that one of the main languages/tools they use is Python. On the other hand I have always known that people ...
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31 votes
3 answers
4k views

In what circumstances could a 787 stay powered on continuously for 248 days?

The FAA has issued an airworthiness directive for the 787: SUMMARY: We are adopting a new airworthiness directive (AD) for all The Boeing Company Model 787 airplanes. This AD requires a ...
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27 votes
8 answers
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Where do I start learning about Avionics programming? [closed]

I am a student in his last semester going for a B.S. in Computer Science. I would like to eventually transition into the space exploration industry (NASA, SpaceX, Boeing, Lockheed Martin, etc). I know ...
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26 votes
8 answers
10k views

Why is landing on a carrier not handled by a computer?

Landing on a carrier seems like a difficult and risky task for military pilots, especially at night when the carrier should keep low profile and is practically unlit. It seems exactly like a problem ...
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18 votes
2 answers
4k views

Are modern aircraft provided with analog consoles in case of a software failure?

I am curious about the redundancy they provide in modern era commercial aircraft. Here are the questions: If an aircraft suffers partial or complete software malfunction, do the pilots have the ...
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18 votes
2 answers
14k views

What data is displayed on civilian ATC radar screens?

I am developping an ATC radar for a simulation. I don't think there is any standard for radars to show aircraft data on radar screens. But there should be general data to show on radar screens. For ...
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17 votes
2 answers
1k views

How does Jeppesen create its US charts?

The Jeppesen and FAA IFR plates represent the same information in different ways. The FAA publishes its charts for free, but the underlying data that goes into the charts (e.g., exact coordinates of ...
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15 votes
2 answers
5k views

Which CPUs and programming languages are used in new airliner flight control systems?

Are the new systems of today built with the same CPUs and programming languages and development software as those of 20 or more years ago? By new I mean that these systems are currently being ...
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15 votes
3 answers
1k views

What regulations exist for ATC real time RADAR simulator software?

Does professional ATC RADAR simulator software need to comply to some regulations or requirements in order to be used for real life controller training? Have ICAO, Eurocontrol, EASA or FAA published ...
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14 votes
2 answers
11k views

Is it legal to use an online logbook?

I am a computer programmer and student pilot. I want to make a computer program I can use to store my logs. Can I legally do this? Can I legally store Logbook endorsements with this? Are there any ...
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14 votes
2 answers
2k views

Is there any U.S. / FAA regulation that could apply for aviation software?

I want to build some software applications applied to the aviation industry and would want to know if any U.S. / FAA regulation could apply in the design of them. I know there are some regulations ...
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13 votes
3 answers
852 views

Does a system exist that can bulk process satellite data to find a plane lost over ocean?

The case of the lost Malaysian Airlines plane is tragic for all those involved. In the case of such a plane lost over the ocean, hypothetically (and described very simplistically), it would seem ...
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12 votes
3 answers
4k views

Which companies develop software for airplane systems? [closed]

I am wondering which companies develop software for systems on airplanes? I am a software engineer major and I would love to work with planes in some way. I am not sure if that would be more of an ...
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11 votes
3 answers
10k views

How do redundancies work in aircraft systems?

I've read about many aircraft systems having redundancies. For example, both Boeing's 787, and Airbus's A380 have a triple-redundant FCS. In this case, it makes sense to act upon the majority's ...
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10 votes
2 answers
5k views

Is there an audible warning on commercial aircraft if you try to land gear up?

In one of the comments on this question (under the accepted answer), someone remarks that Aircraft can legally fly without a system to alert the crew when they are landing with gear up, etc. Are ...
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10 votes
3 answers
3k views

How much computing power is needed to keep commercial and military planes flying?

I've always wondered, what sort of computing power is needed to keep modern commercial and military planes in the air? There are many systems of a modern commercial plane (e.g an Airbus A350), that ...
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9 votes
3 answers
3k views

Can a IFR flight plan be amended or cancelled whilst in flight?

I'm asking, because ForeFlight states in their demo training video that an IFR filed flight plans can only be amended or cancelled up to 47 minutes prior to it being filed (and up to 2 hours after, ...
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9 votes
1 answer
199 views

Is there a way to register for updates on certain NTSB investigations?

I would like to track the progress of an investigation of a particular accident, NTSB WPR18FA200. Some areas of the FAA website (advisory circulars, for example) allow users to register to receive ...
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9 votes
2 answers
437 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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8 votes
1 answer
6k views

How did the Thrust Reverser Deploy in Lauda Air Flight 004 crash?

How did the electronically controlled thrust reverser in Lauda Air Flight 004 (which crashed) get deployed in mid air without the pilot command. Was there a fault in the electronic controller, a ...
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8 votes
1 answer
263 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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8 votes
2 answers
359 views

What has been done to provide security for remote wireless updating of in-aircraft software components?

Is it true that in the latest generation of Boeing aircraft some software components / Electronic Flight Bag data can be pushed to the flight remotely via a Wireless link? If so, what sort of ...
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6 votes
3 answers
492 views

How is device control software checked for quality?

Many, many reports on the now infamous MCAS suggest a software patch is forthcoming in the next several weeks that will address the confounding single point of failure with the two AOA sensors that ...
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6 votes
1 answer
404 views

Why does my flightplan generator come up with a very non-direct route between these two airports?

I'm currently obtaining my private pilot license and I had a random thought pass through my head so I wanted to see how long it would take to get from my airport (KGBR) to an airport in VA (KCHO). The ...
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6 votes
2 answers
308 views

Why don't DO guidelines have examples?

As per DO-178 C section 6.2 Overview of Software Verification Activity b. When it is not possible to verify specific software requirements by exercising the software on a realistic test environment,...
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6 votes
3 answers
3k views

Why are ARINC labels are transmitted LSB first?

Why are ARINC labels reversed before transmitting them to destination and the LSB (less significant bit) is transmitted first: Actual label = 0x58: 0101 1000 ...
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6 votes
1 answer
221 views

What is the procedure to contact EASA to evaluate the certifiability of a system?

I work in academia, and often we are "accused" of living in an ivory tower with no connections to the real world. To reduce the gap between academia and this "real world" I've heard about, I would ...
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6 votes
0 answers
679 views

Write my own autopilot software [closed]

For a hobbyist looking to write an autopilot program for a mode lUAV/drone, what are the aviation related considerations that would be involved in its design? How could things like the ADC (air data ...
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  • 385
5 votes
2 answers
3k views

What do I do if I wish to move my software from DAL Level A to DAL Level C?

If I wish to downgrade my software's design assurance level (DAL) from Level A to Level C, what do I need to do? What are the benefits and drawbacks of doing this?
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5 votes
1 answer
600 views

What software generated this VFR flight plan?

I recently came across this screenshot of a VFR flight plan. Does anyone know what software was used to generate it?
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5 votes
2 answers
1k views

Structural design software for airplanes [closed]

What are the main structural design software packages that are used by the most of the aircraft manufacturers. There are a number of software packages but which one is widely accepted and used for the ...
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  • 603
5 votes
2 answers
13k views

How to decode ARINC 429 data?

I am looking for some help regarding decoding ARINC 429 data. I have a CSV document that contains sequentially stored ARINC 429 labels. My overall goal is to be able to scan for 4 specific labels and ...
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  • 67
5 votes
1 answer
800 views

How can I use XFLR5 on a shape with no maximum thickness at one point?

I want to run an analysis with XFLR5 on a shape that is not really airfoil shape since it has no maximum thickness at one point only, it is basically like the shape below: But when I run an analysis,...
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5 votes
1 answer
460 views

How are the system development and integration procedure separated for Integrated Modular Avionics?

I'm reading this paper about IMA (Integrated Modular Avionics) and I don't get the splitting of the development and integration procedure. In page 4 it says: Airbus has to modify the conventional ...
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5 votes
0 answers
444 views

What are the popular algorithms or softwares used in identifying or track flights by ATC? [closed]

Just curious to know about the algorithms /software used by ATC for tracking flights in real time.Can it be classified under ERP ?If no under which category does that fall ?
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4 votes
1 answer
281 views

What CAD software is most commonly used for aircraft design?

What is most commonly used CAD software for aircraft design? AutoCAD, CATIA..?
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4 votes
3 answers
357 views

What's holding equipment manufacturers from going into multicore, RTOS-based equipment?

What's holding equipment manufacturers from going into multicore, RTOS- based equipment? Recently, Rockwell Collins certified its display systems based on RTOS: Lynx Software Technologies, LynxOS-...
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3 votes
1 answer
1k views

What are these symbols in Garmin Pilot?

When I start editing a flight plan in Garmin Pilot, if I have a distance that is farther (like 1,000 nm or farther) I get these two symbols in the map on the Flight Plan pane: One is a tower and the ...
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3 votes
1 answer
861 views

Where can I find the standards for airborne systems software design? Is there a central repository for this information?

In reading about software and equipment design for aircraft I'm finding a lot of references to various standards like "DO-178B, Software Considerations in Airborne Systems and Equipment Certification",...
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3 votes
2 answers
1k views

Is there an offline airplane route software similar to the in-flight entertaiment map?

Regarding the software that displays on a video the map with flight information for passengers, I would like to know: 1) The software from various airline companies seems to be more or less of a ...
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3 votes
1 answer
451 views

Can the real time operating system used in aviation equipment be certified by itself?

Can the real time operating system used in aviation equipment be certified by itself, or must it be a part of some software certification effort? I'm asking for getting a certificate of 178C. I don't ...
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3 votes
1 answer
1k views

Where do websites like expertflyer.com get their information? [closed]

I've been looking at internet resources like expertflyer.com and KVSTool which query information like live seat maps, upgrade availability and fare bucket information. To my knowledge, this seemed ...
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3 votes
1 answer
412 views

Where can I find an ATM simulation software to investigate traffic flow capacities?

Does anyone know what software is suitable to investigate air traffic flow capacities in various FIR's / routes. I need to see the effect of temporary reserved ares due to military activities, weather,...
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  • 316
3 votes
1 answer
227 views

How frequently are avionics on large commercial aircraft updated?

How frequently are avionics on large commercial aircraft updated? And how are the systems updated?
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3 votes
1 answer
204 views

Is aviation software translated into the users' native language desirable over English?

I want to build some software containing information about aircraft, like a logbook. Nothing related with avionics. I know that default language in the aviation industry is English, but in the case ...
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3 votes
1 answer
169 views

What is the format specification for Avidyne R9 flight data?

The Avidyne R9 records flight data five times per second and can export it for later analysis. I'm interested in parsing this data and exporting it to Google Earth / X-Plane for visualization. ...
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2 votes
4 answers
427 views

What are some possible uses of a Data Scientist in an Aerospace Engineering team? [closed]

Apparently, data science can be applied to the Aero industry, but how is a question that I still can't find an answer, and which proves to be incredibly elusive online. I don't mean the Business ...
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2 votes
4 answers
1k views

Are there any EU/EASA regulations surrounding aviation software?

A great question's been asked: Is there any U.S. / FAA regulation that could apply for aviation software? This is interesting to me as a programmer and aviation enthusiast, but being based in the UK, ...
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