Cody P
  • Member for 5 years, 9 months
  • Last seen this week
Was this Gulfstream way below the glideslope?
3 votes

There's a few very important details to keep in mind here, although I've never flown this approach and I don't have an approach chart. Keeping these details in line it may be closer than desirable but ...

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What geographic reference system do airport towers use?
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4 votes

I've only done passing research on the matter before, so if anyone knows more please chime in. As far as I know the FAA uses NSRS (National Space Reference System), and the NSRS currently uses NOAA ...

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How to calculate DDM in a ILS dual frequency system?
1 votes

I don't think you're supposed to just average the two together somehow by themselves. The two signals are designed to be used in different zones and in practice have very different signal strengths at ...

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What is more environmentally friendly? An A320 or a car?
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11 votes

Overall, the two very different methods of transportation have surprisingly similar amounts of emissions, so close it's tempting to oversimplify things to a statement like "planes are 20% more ...

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What is the time derivative of the angle of attack?
2 votes

First we can use the definitions of w, u, alpha, and beta to define $$ \frac{w}{u} = \tan\alpha $$ $$ u = Vcos(\alpha)cos(\beta) $$ Now lets look closer at the first equation you provided using ...

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Finding Angle of Attack/Angle of Sideslip using East/North/Up Coordinates
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4 votes

What you've proposed is a reference frame translation of the aircraft velocity, so instead of the velocity referenced to East, North, and Up (ENU), it's referenced to the direction the aircraft is ...

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Can a Boeing 777 be hacked?
3 votes

"Hack" has a variety of definitions, from reading private data off a non-critical system, to disrupting or confusing an avionics mode, to taking control of the plane and locking out pilots. This ...

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Why does the autopilot disengage even when it does not receive pilot input?
4 votes

The general philosophy is that autopilot is a tool, not an extra pilot, and as such, it disengages when anything goes seriously wrong. Inertial sensor failure? Engine loss? Unusual attitude? Hand ...

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Can I use the autoland mode if the airport is unknown to the FMC database?
1 votes

Right now the only technology to perform a full autoland relies on ILS (and in increasingly rare cases MLS), and then only when the airport and plane allow CAT III operations. Since ILS relies only ...

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Why are on-board computers allowed to change controls without notifying the pilots?
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50 votes

There is a general design principle, that some, but not all, of the behavior of the flight guidance system or autopilot should be visible to the pilot. Usually automatic engagement or disengagement ...

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How is device control software checked for quality?
2 votes

Is there any procedure for QA'ing an airline manufacturer's code? DO-178C requires developing a rigourous and complex quality assurance process. This is handled largely through both internal auditors ...

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What are the restrictions preventing more intelligent autopilot systems?
4 votes

I'm not an expert, especially on the regulatory framework, but I can make a limited answer. In some ways aircraft already are making incremental steps towards more automation and fail-proofing: ...

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Is there (some form of) penetration testing in aviation?
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4 votes

There isn't true penetration testing for the scenarios you're describing in aviation, from my understanding. Penetration testing and cyber security is about how leniency and bugs in the system allow ...

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What is an autopilot washout filter?
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3 votes

A washout filter is a building block of a control system. As such, it's hard to say exactly where it'd be used, but I'll make some guesses about where it could go. In general it's used for removing ...

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Can TCAS give an RA for one aircraft and a TA for another?
4 votes

It's hard to give a definitive answer without more information. My go-to for TCAS details is the FAA's Intro to TCAS II. In general, an RA will try to coordinate with the other aircraft, but such ...

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Why are the cockpit controls of airplanes so complicated?
6 votes

In short, aviation, especially at the commercial level, is a little more complex than a car or other vehicle, and even those other vehicle interfaces are complex if you're unfamiliar with them. A ...

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Would a slower speed and lower altitude reduce fatal incidents?
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65 votes

I'd like to answer this question by debunking the premise of the question: that most plane crashes happen when planes fall out of the sky, and that it's like rock climbing where the higher you are, ...

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Is flying during the day safer than flying at night?
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27 votes

First, I should reiterate that commercial flights at any time of day are extremely safe. Saying flights at night are more dangerous is like saying going to buy groceries at night is more dangerous. ...

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Is this opinion on personal computer flight simulators too strict or is it actually true?
10 votes

First, the ins and outs of avionics are hard. This might be a trivial difference for an amateur trying out an old Cessna 172, but at the other end of the spectrum, if you're a real pilot trying to ...

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What is this black symbol on a VFR chart?
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3 votes

It appears to be the old Hi-Way drive in theater, given its placement near the highway and direction. It may no longer be such a good landmark as it closed in 2011, though the distinctive clearing is ...

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

Note: I focused more on changes in aviation hardware and software than what's currently used since the question linked about programming languages is still current for "new" aircraft. I do not wish ...

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

There are three basic areas of coding for aviation engineers. Software code that runs on flight computers and other avionics equipment, software that formally verifies and creates that code, and ...

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How does an auto-pilot control altitude changes?
4 votes

Short answer: it depends on which mode your flight guidance system is in. It can be either number 2 or 3, although sometimes even something else entirely. Whether you're using a target altitude or ...

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How loud is a private corporate jet?
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3 votes

It's certainly reasonable to think a business jet cabin is quiet. Several business jet makers pride themselves on having models with quiet cabins. It varies a lot depending on the business jet, and ...

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Would a wireless fly by wire system be practical?
5 votes

There are several pros and cons to the system, and several great links to existing research have been provided by others here. Manufacturers like Gulfstream and Boeing have prototyped some examples of ...

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What are the issues with building modular aircraft?
2 votes

One reason that aircraft aren't modular is that many aspects of aircraft design are done looking at the whole airplane, not just at its parts. Some examples are: There are various aerodynamic ...

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Do safety-critical avionics systems run Linux?
33 votes

The short answer is that no safety-critical avionics systems that I'm aware of use Linux, and the highest criticality systems often don't use a commercial operating system at all. However, Linux is ...

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Why do we still use pilots to fly airplanes?
6 votes

Current manufacturer initiatives As to the current state of fully autonomous passenger jets technology (in 2017), there is some interest by manufacturers in the technology, particularly by Boeing, ...

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Is 3 crew cockpit safer than 2 crew?
10 votes

Your question seems to imply that having an extra hand on deck would help prevent an accident, which is not always true. Firstly, let's make a historical note that you're far from the first one to ...

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Who pays airline pilots?
10 votes

Professional airline pilots are paid by the airline for their flight hours, similarly to other transportation workers. Time spent in preparation for flight or even preflighting the plane itself is ...

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