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A320 Family Cockpit Configuration  
User currently offlineWorldTraveller From Germany, joined Jun 1999, 624 posts, RR: 5
Posted (16 years 1 month 1 day 9 hours ago) and read 4182 times:

Hi to all Technical/Operations experts!

When browsing through some cockpit photos, I noticed that the layouts of the A320 family cockpits differ from airline to airline.

Can you explain me what the device right under the gear up/down handle is?
I guess it is the timekeeping device.

Air Canada, Northwest, United a/c have it for example:

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Photo © Kyle Nordman

Air Canada A319

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Photo © Chris Barrow

Northwest A320

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Photo © JT Kelly

United A320

Other's don't have this:

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Photo © Szymon Zmijewski

JetBlue A320

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Photo © Chris Barrow

US Airways A319

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Photo © George Polfliet

Aer Lingus A321

Why is the device missing on some airlines? Is it an option only?
Or do they just have it at a different place?

Would be nice if you could clear that up for me.

the WorldTraveller

8 replies: All unread, jump to last
User currently offlineBen88 From United States of America, joined Dec 1999, 1093 posts, RR: 2
Reply 1, posted (16 years 1 month 1 day 8 hours ago) and read 4082 times:

That looks like some type of timekeeping device. Maybe a chronometer or something.....just a guess!

User currently offlineFDXmech From United States of America, joined Mar 2000, 3251 posts, RR: 30
Reply 2, posted (16 years 1 month 22 hours ago) and read 4050 times:

It is a chronometer, and it feeds the required computers GMT and elapsed time and date. Every A320 must have one but in a different location. I never worked the A320 so perhaps a little help (VC10 to confirm). But for example on the MD11 the chronometer is in the maintenance panel by the r/h observers seat (old f/e's station). Not easily accessable unless the pilot left his/her seat. The chrono feeds the display electronics unit which sends the time in digital format to the captains and f/o's navigation display (ND). This is where the crew reads the time as well as an elapsed time function and trip timer. It also sends GMT/date information to the flight management computers and other computers which utilize time. The first thing we're told in MD11 school is "ya see this clock, well, its a no go item". And so it is.

You're only as good as your last departure.
User currently offlineRichie From Switzerland, joined Dec 1999, 143 posts, RR: 0
Reply 3, posted (16 years 1 month 10 hours ago) and read 4018 times:

Well, if you care to look carefully, you can see that there seem to be two basic locations for the chronometer (which it is). One is right below the gear handle, the other one right above the gear handle. Also you can see that on the left of the EICAS there are different types of configurations for stand-by instuments.

I suppose that the location of part of the instuments is part of the airline specific items every aircraft manufacturer offers. Also certain items and their location are mandated differently by JAA of the FAA, or any other governmental aviation oversight agency.

I don't know the exact reason, but maybe someone from Airbus will read through this and enlighten us.

User currently offlineVC-10 From United Kingdom, joined Oct 1999, 3727 posts, RR: 32
Reply 4, posted (16 years 1 month 10 hours ago) and read 4013 times:
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FDXmech is correct. The clock supplies:
1. Time (UTC)
2. Elapsed Time
3. Chronometer
4. Date

The clock provides UTS in ARINC 429 format to:

1. Centralised Fault Data Interface Unit
2. Flight Data Interface Unit
3. Flight Management & Guidance Computer.

From these computers the rest of the a/c systems are supplied.

As to its location, this will be specified by the original operator of the a/c.

User currently offlineWorldTraveller From Germany, joined Jun 1999, 624 posts, RR: 5
Reply 5, posted (16 years 1 month 9 hours ago) and read 4007 times:

Thanks a lot for the information!

I really appreciate that.

the WorldTraveller

User currently offlineF-WWAI From Andorra, joined Dec 1999, 131 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (16 years 1 month 1 hour ago) and read 4002 times:

stop guessing, you found the answer:
the A320 family clock has, on latest aircraft- been
a) modified for new type of "GPS clock"
b) placed differently on the panel to make room for -future- installation of the
ATSU (air traffic service unit) display an interface panels (2)
They will become available with future FANS standards.
have fun flying airbus aircraft

User currently offlineTripl7 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 7, posted (16 years 4 weeks 1 day 21 hours ago) and read 3991 times:

Yes, that is a time keeping device. Commonly known as a clock ! The "other" pictures have it too. It is located above the gear lever.

User currently offlineA32 From United States of America, joined Aug 1999, 163 posts, RR: 1
Reply 8, posted (16 years 4 weeks 1 day 13 hours ago) and read 3982 times:

At NWA this is one way of distinguishing the 319 from the 320. The 319 clock is above the gear handle and the gear lights are smaller. The clock on the 320 is placed below the gear handle and has larger gear lights. I too have to agree that the 319 setup has something to do with the future panel setup for fans equipment.

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