speedracer1407
Posts: 330
Joined: Fri Dec 24, 2004 4:19 pm

What Is A "steam" Gauge?

Thu Oct 26, 2006 5:10 pm

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.
 
SB
Posts: 152
Joined: Sun Aug 06, 2006 2:29 pm

RE: What Is A "steam" Gauge?

Thu Oct 26, 2006 5:17 pm

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?!"
 
N231YE
Posts: 2620
Joined: Tue Jul 25, 2006 9:24 am

RE: What Is A "steam" Gauge?

Thu Oct 26, 2006 11:10 pm

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.
 
SlamClick
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Joined: Sun Nov 23, 2003 7:09 am

RE: What Is A "steam" Gauge?

Thu Oct 26, 2006 11:19 pm

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:

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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.
 
N231YE
Posts: 2620
Joined: Tue Jul 25, 2006 9:24 am

RE: What Is A "steam" Gauge?

Thu Oct 26, 2006 11:25 pm

Quoting SlamClick (Reply 3):

Or this, from a Union Pacific "Big Boy":
http://images.spinics.net/rail/2004-9/p9100003.jpg
 
SlamClick
Posts: 9576
Joined: Sun Nov 23, 2003 7:09 am

RE: What Is A "steam" Gauge?

Thu Oct 26, 2006 11:30 pm

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.
 
speedracer1407
Posts: 330
Joined: Fri Dec 24, 2004 4:19 pm

RE: What Is A "steam" Gauge?

Sat Oct 28, 2006 12:06 pm

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.
 
xjramper
Posts: 2318
Joined: Wed Dec 10, 2003 1:10 am

RE: What Is A "steam" Gauge?

Sat Oct 28, 2006 2:56 pm

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!
 
KELPkid
Posts: 5247
Joined: Wed Nov 02, 2005 5:33 am

RE: What Is A "steam" Gauge?

Sat Oct 28, 2006 3:18 pm

"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 :-)
 
Buzz
Posts: 694
Joined: Sun Nov 21, 1999 11:44 pm

RE: What Is A "steam" Gauge?

Sat Oct 28, 2006 7:17 pm

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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