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What Is A "steam" Gauge?  
User currently offlineSpeedracer1407 From United States of America, joined Dec 2004, 333 posts, RR: 0
Posted (7 years 9 months 1 week 2 days 11 hours ago) and read 14162 times:

Ok, actually, I know what a "steam" gauge looks like. But why is it called a steam gauge? Does steam actaully have anything to do with it? Are all old-fashioned analoge gauges "steam" gauges?
thanks for any replies,

O


Dassault Mercure: the plane that has Boeing and Airbus shaking in their boots.
9 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineSB From United Kingdom, joined Aug 2006, 216 posts, RR: 0
Reply 1, posted (7 years 9 months 1 week 2 days 11 hours ago) and read 14164 times:

No aircraft instruments are actually steam powered, it's just a affectionate term for the old-fashioned analoge instruments.
IIRC the nickname has to do with the resemblance of some heavily loaded panels with the consoles on steam locomotives.

S.



"Confirm leave the hold and maintain 320kts?!"
User currently offlineN231YE From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 2, posted (7 years 9 months 1 week 2 days 5 hours ago) and read 14090 times:

Agreed, "steam instruments" is just slang for non-"glass" (computer screens, colorful displays) instruments. It is a carryover from the days of steam locomotives, which had many of these principle-like instruments, actually powered by steam.

User currently offlineSlamClick From United States of America, joined Nov 2003, 10062 posts, RR: 68
Reply 3, posted (7 years 9 months 1 week 2 days 5 hours ago) and read 14089 times:

Backhead of a steam locomotive showing real steam gauges:


And the panel of a DC-4

View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Willem Honders



Surely you can see the similarities...

and the differences:

View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Guy Daems - Brussels Aviation Photography


Airbus A-320

Personally I love the look of these gauges in the order shown but actually having to operate the beast - reverse the order.



Happiness is not seeing another trite Ste. Maarten photo all week long.
User currently offlineN231YE From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 4, posted (7 years 9 months 1 week 2 days 5 hours ago) and read 14083 times:

Quoting SlamClick (Reply 3):

Or this, from a Union Pacific "Big Boy":
http://images.spinics.net/rail/2004-9/p9100003.jpg


User currently offlineSlamClick From United States of America, joined Nov 2003, 10062 posts, RR: 68
Reply 5, posted (7 years 9 months 1 week 2 days 5 hours ago) and read 14077 times:

Quoting N231YE (Reply 4):

Good picture! That is the first good look I've had at those glass sight gauges on either side of the placard. When I was young we had several of those glasses around as paperweights. They came from the narrow gauge Shays that had been scrapped across the street from where I lived.



Happiness is not seeing another trite Ste. Maarten photo all week long.
User currently offlineSpeedracer1407 From United States of America, joined Dec 2004, 333 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (7 years 9 months 1 week 16 hours ago) and read 13839 times:

Ok so now I feel a wee bit stupid for thinking that steam gauges actually had something to with steam. Although I must say that i found it highly perplexing that a 1980's MD-80 might have a very dusty man in the cargo hold shovelling coal into a furnas that powered the gauges.


Dassault Mercure: the plane that has Boeing and Airbus shaking in their boots.
User currently offlineXjramper From United States of America, joined Dec 2003, 2460 posts, RR: 51
Reply 7, posted (7 years 9 months 1 week 13 hours ago) and read 13818 times:

Quoting Speedracer1407 (Reply 6):
Ok so now I feel a wee bit stupid for thinking that steam gauges actually had something to with steam. Although I must say that i found it highly perplexing that a 1980's MD-80 might have a very dusty man in the cargo hold shovelling coal into a furnas that powered the gauges.

Well...actually, when you hear all those noises just before takeoff? Now you know there really is a little guy down there shoveling coal.  Wink

All joking aside, we at the FBO affectionately refer to the 172s that have the dials instead of the glass panels (Garmin G1000s) as the steam gauge planes.  Silly

XJR



Look ma' no hands!
User currently offlineKELPkid From United States of America, joined Nov 2005, 6346 posts, RR: 3
Reply 8, posted (7 years 9 months 1 week 13 hours ago) and read 13816 times:

"Steam Guage"- N. Judgemental term used by those who feel that the latest tech and gadgetry is somehow a replacement for separate, repairable and reliable instrumentation that works, is easily interpretable, and is universal from manufacturer to manufacturer  duck 


Celebrating the birth of KELPkidJR on August 5, 2009 :-)
User currently offlineBuzz From United States of America, joined Nov 1999, 697 posts, RR: 21
Reply 9, posted (7 years 9 months 1 week 9 hours ago) and read 13786 times:

Hi Speedracer1407, Buzz here. And if you get tired of hearing about Steam Gauge cockpits, ask about "Rope Start 737's" (grin).
That's the 200 series with the basic navigation, non FMC.
g'day


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