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c5load
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Flight Deck Changes In Past 50 YRS

Thu Feb 18, 2010 5:35 pm

I need some help with a paper I have to write for my aviation safety class. I chose a topic of what flight deck changes have improved safety and a few I can think of are GPWS, Autopilot (of course), FMS, Stall Warning Systems, TCAS, and Windshear Avoidance. Are there more that I am missing?
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Gsoshutout55
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RE: Flight Deck Changes In Past 50 YRS

Thu Feb 18, 2010 6:18 pm

you could argue gps vs vor/ndb/radio range/loran has increased and enhanced situational awareness...also synthetic vision/thermal imaging to help land in bad wx in bizjets.
 
CosmicCruiser
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RE: Flight Deck Changes In Past 50 YRS

Thu Feb 18, 2010 6:21 pm

As far as systems go you could add RAAS (Runway Awareness and Advisory System) but on a more basic point consider just the implimentation of the T layout of the instrument panel for a standard and organized instrument scan. I remember flying a twin beech that had the artificial horizon in the middle of the panel (between both pilots) and the others scattered around. Very tiring for IFR flying.
 
ANITIX87
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RE: Flight Deck Changes In Past 50 YRS

Thu Feb 18, 2010 6:29 pm

By stall warning systems, do you include stick shaker? That's been a big one.

Don't forget redundant systems [glass cockpits still have traditional analog displays for the big three (horizon, altimeter, airspeed)].

Also, to a lesser extent if talking purely about safety, there is ILS (and the newer GLS).

Airbus auto-pilot systems have a lot of safety built-in with specific flight envelopes and maneuvering limits.

Also, don't think purely about EQUIPMENT. There have been many changes in cockpit protocol, too. For example:
-paperless cockpits
-communication changes (no more relying specifically on rank or experience) - brought about after Tenerife
-I'm sure there are plenty more.

I'm by no means an expert so don't ask me for clarification, haha. I've exhausted my knowledge on the subject. Those are just a few I've come across on this site. I'm sure some of the more technical guys will chime in soon.

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lowrider
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RE: Flight Deck Changes In Past 50 YRS

Thu Feb 18, 2010 6:54 pm

The decline of Flight Engineers is the first thing that comes to my mind. Volumes can be written on the changes in automation. In communication we have seen the arrival of Satcom and CPDLC. The improvements of GPS over loran oand Omega are also substantantial. RNAV arrivals, departures, and appoaches are common now. Aural warning systems have also advanced tremendously. Comparitors for attitude and heading gyros make a failure or degredation much harder to miss. Glass cockpits have an operating logic all thier own and moving maps have greatly expanded situtional awareness. HUD's, while not yet common, represent a significant advancement and advantage for those that have them.
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mandala499
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RE: Flight Deck Changes In Past 50 YRS

Thu Feb 18, 2010 8:15 pm

Quoting C5LOAD (Thread starter):
Are there more that I am missing?

Well, how about ECAM/EICAS, Colour Weather Radar, ND (Nav Display)... Well you can put all of them under EFIS. Later EFIS also have "Side-Vertical Profile" to assist in vertical navigation.

On the Autopilot we now have "TRK" and "FPA"... and then "the bird" on the PFD, which shows your trajectory instead of just where the nose is pointing.

Advanced Standby Instruments (with some integrated) which can give you navigation assistance rather than just a compass... that Course Deviation Index (and Glideslope Index) helps a lot... you're no longer confined to visual approaches in multiple instrument/electrical failures nowadays.

Autobrakes...

Auto Groundspoiler... you can now just arm it on the speedbrake lever rather than manually deploying them on touchdown.

If you put Autopilot (which in 50 years went from going straight and level, heading and VOR following and altitude holding can now do climbs, descents, speed hold climb/descents, and even your go-around)... then you might aswell shove autothrottle/autothrust there... as the 2 are in most cases, separate systems/sub-systems.

Sidestick instead of yoke... which is "no longer physically connected" to the flight controls... That has now been applied to the rudder pedals too... and brake-by wire.

ACARS, CPDLC, FANS...

HUD and as someone mentioned, SVS.

Not sure if Mode-C transponders were available 50 years ago, but now we have Mode-S, ADS-B, etc... these goes along with the TCAS.

Quick Donning Oxy Masks...

Cursor Pointing Devices/Trackballs on 777, 380 and E-Jets and various Bizjets... with Electronic Checklists, and all sorts that come with it.

Autopilot disconnect warning horns...
Automatic Cabin/Environment Control Systems.
External Cameras being displayed in the cockpit... for ground manouvering purposes...

And last but not least... Intercom (so you can talk to the girls at the back!   

Mandala499
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Fabo
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RE: Flight Deck Changes In Past 50 YRS

Thu Feb 18, 2010 10:14 pm

Quoting ANITIX87 (Reply 3):
Don't forget redundant systems [glass cockpits still have traditional analog displays for the big three (horizon, altimeter, airspeed)].

Not all of them.... Citation Sovereign, for example, has no analog gauges apart from some pressurization related ones.
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Web500sjc
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RE: Flight Deck Changes In Past 50 YRS

Thu Feb 18, 2010 10:46 pm

Quoting mandala499 (Reply 5):
If you put Autopilot (which in 50 years went from going straight and level, heading and VOR following and altitude holding can now do climbs, descents, speed hold climb/descents, and even your go-around)... then you might aswell shove autothrottle/autothrust there... as the 2 are in most cases, separate systems/sub-systems.

why stop there, they have autoland now, The only thing a pilot has to do now is get an airplane to the runway, and back to the gate.

P.S. I cant wait for auto-taxi
 
mandala499
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RE: Flight Deck Changes In Past 50 YRS

Fri Feb 19, 2010 7:31 am

Quoting web500sjc (Reply 7):
why stop there, they have autoland now, The only thing a pilot has to do now is get an airplane to the runway, and back to the gate.

Well, for the moment, we only have autoland when there's ILS... but I guess it's a matter of time before someone comes up with the idea of using HDGSEL/TRKSEL and FPA combo for nonILS autolands... or RNP Autolands... Now flying up front would be totally boring then...

Mandala499
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Starlionblue
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RE: Flight Deck Changes In Past 50 YRS

Fri Feb 19, 2010 8:51 am

Quoting ANITIX87 (Reply 3):
Don't forget redundant systems [glass cockpits still have traditional analog displays for the big three (horizon, altimeter, airspeed)].

Are these not glass nowadays?

Quoting web500sjc (Reply 7):
The only thing a pilot has to do now is get an airplane to the runway, and back to the gate.

Hang on. There's still no auto-takeoff.
"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots." - John Ringo
 
rwessel
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RE: Flight Deck Changes In Past 50 YRS

Fri Feb 19, 2010 10:15 am

Quoting Starlionblue (Reply 9):
Hang on. There's still no auto-takeoff.

The F-18 does automatic takeoffs from carriers. The Global Hawk can autonomously taxi, take off, fly a mission, and land. I doubt there's any real technological barrier to providing the function for airliners (Cat IIIc should be most of what you need), except that nobody's really interested. If the visibility is that bad, it's probably a better idea to stay home.
 
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Starlionblue
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RE: Flight Deck Changes In Past 50 YRS

Fri Feb 19, 2010 11:18 am

Yes yes. But I meant for airliners. I am aware there is no technological limitation. It would simply be a waste of money.
"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots." - John Ringo
 
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Jetlagged
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RE: Flight Deck Changes In Past 50 YRS

Fri Feb 19, 2010 11:19 am

No one has mentioned CRM (Crew Resource Management) yet. That's a very significant flightdeck change improving safety.

GPWS has already been mentioned, but this has since been greatly improved with EGPWS.
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mandala499
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RE: Flight Deck Changes In Past 50 YRS

Fri Feb 19, 2010 12:24 pm

Quoting Starlionblue (Reply 9):
Are these not glass nowadays?

That's why I prefer the term EFIS instead   

Quoting jetlagged (Reply 12):
No one has mentioned CRM (Crew Resource Management) yet. That's a very significant flightdeck change improving safety.

Add the "stick priority button" on the Bus, makes preventing "one of the guys wanting to commit suicide and killing everyone" much more civilized and fun!   

Mandala499
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Starlionblue
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RE: Flight Deck Changes In Past 50 YRS

Fri Feb 19, 2010 12:57 pm

Quoting mandala499 (Reply 13):
Add the "stick priority button" on the Bus, makes preventing "one of the guys wanting to commit suicide and killing everyone" much more civilized and fun

Yeah bringing the golf clubs onto the flight deck probably breaks some confounded rule nowadays. 
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Fly2HMO
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RE: Flight Deck Changes In Past 50 YRS

Fri Feb 19, 2010 6:43 pm

Quoting C5LOAD (Thread starter):
Are there more that I am missing?

IMO one of the most significant is ADS-B. In less than 20 years everything will be based on the ADS-B system once the NEXTGEN ATC system becomes fully operational.
 
Fabo
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RE: Flight Deck Changes In Past 50 YRS

Fri Feb 19, 2010 7:38 pm

Quoting Starlionblue (Reply 9):
Hang on. There's still no auto-takeoff.

I thnk I read Fokker could do that, 70s and 100s. Provided correct inputs, of course.

Quoting mandala499 (Reply 8):
but I guess it's a matter of time before someone comes up with the idea of using HDGSEL/TRKSEL and FPA combo for nonILS autolands... or RNP Autolands...

I believe that would not be too much a problem... problem would be, how to guarantee ILS precision?
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Jetlagged
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RE: Flight Deck Changes In Past 50 YRS

Fri Feb 19, 2010 8:45 pm

Quoting Fabo (Reply 16):
I thnk I read Fokker could do that, 70s and 100s. Provided correct inputs, of course.

The autopilot had a takeoff mode but this was not certified. It could be used in the sim though! I don't know if it included centreline control, but it certainly could controlled rotation and initial climb. This was fundamentally the same autopilot as installed in the 757 and 767 so that mode may have been hidden in those types as well.
The glass isn't half empty, or half full, it's twice as big as it needs to be.
 
mandala499
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RE: Flight Deck Changes In Past 50 YRS

Fri Feb 19, 2010 9:02 pm

Quoting Starlionblue (Reply 14):
Yeah bringing the golf clubs onto the flight deck probably breaks some confounded rule nowadays.

Well, why use the golf club in a confined space when you have the.... CRASH AXE????   

Quoting Fabo (Reply 16):
I believe that would not be too much a problem... problem would be, how to guarantee ILS precision?

I did say for non-ILS approaches... still eyes doing the work, but you can use the TRK/FPA selectors instead of HDG and V/S... when that comes... I guess we'll see more "lazyness" from some...

Mandala499
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Web500sjc
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RE: Flight Deck Changes In Past 50 YRS

Fri Feb 19, 2010 9:16 pm

Geeks are taking over the world, in 50 years pilots and atc will be the same, It will be like an iPhone atc app. Good bye pilots!
 
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Starlionblue
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RE: Flight Deck Changes In Past 50 YRS

Sat Feb 20, 2010 12:04 am

Quoting mandala499 (Reply 18):
Well, why use the golf club in a confined space when you have the.... CRASH AXE????

Too much mess. Golf clubs being blunter, especially the woods, they would give less blood splatter.

Quoting web500sjc (Reply 19):
Geeks are taking over the world, in 50 years pilots and atc will be the same, It will be like an iPhone atc app. Good bye pilots!

I think that's what they said 50 years ago too.
"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots." - John Ringo
 
abnormal
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RE: Flight Deck Changes In Past 50 YRS

Sat Feb 20, 2010 4:20 pm

C5LOAD
You would probably be better off focussing not so much on the specific components or systems, they're endless, but more on the evolotion on the computers and how they have enabled the integration of more and more information has facilitated automation, decresing workload, but at the same time removes the non essential data that distracts from the the situation at hand. EG TCAS, EGPWS, FMS, etc
 
Fabo
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RE: Flight Deck Changes In Past 50 YRS

Sat Feb 20, 2010 5:19 pm

Quoting mandala499 (Reply 18):
I did say for non-ILS approaches... still eyes doing the work, but you can use the TRK/FPA selectors instead of HDG and V/S... when that comes... I guess we'll see more "lazyness" from some...

Yeah, I should have said ILS-like precision. Bad wording on my part.

Quoting jetlagged (Reply 17):
The autopilot had a takeoff mode but this was not certified. It could be used in the sim though! I don't know if it included centreline control, but it certainly could controlled rotation and initial climb. This was fundamentally the same autopilot as installed in the 757 and 767 so that mode may have been hidden in those types as well.

Yep. I meant could as in is able to, not is allowed to. I guess it would have centerline guidance, as it has rollout on landing(unlike 737 for ex.)

Quoting abnormal (Reply 21):
but at the same time removes the non essential data that distracts from the the situation at hand.

The dark&quiet (or how is it called) concept is a good example of this. Unless anything is out of normal, everything should be black&up (at least on overhead) as I understand.
The light at the end of tunnel turned out to be a lighted sing saying NO EXIT
 
mandala499
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RE: Flight Deck Changes In Past 50 YRS

Sat Feb 20, 2010 6:36 pm

Quoting Fabo (Reply 22):
Yeah, I should have said ILS-like precision. Bad wording on my part.

Well, for non-precision instrument approaches, VORLOC with FPA would do it... for visual approaches, TRK with FPA should do it... but, standard convention applies as in heads out... plus add the autoflare...

But, to me, when that's allowed, flying would just be too boring... high accuracy versions RNP (3D) with autoland would just be too damn boring...

Mandala499
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ThirtyEcho
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RE: Flight Deck Changes In Past 50 YRS

Mon Feb 22, 2010 2:45 am

Transponder, transponder, transponder. Fifty years ago only the military had them. Radar identification was based on an aircraft doing a directed turn at the controller's instruction and you were a primary target all the way. No transponder, no Mode C, logically enough. The controller was totally dependent on the pilot's altitude report and there was no cross check of this info. Many a pilot fudged in a lower altitude to get ahead of other traffic for landing.

If you were instructed to maintain 4000, you reported 4000 even if you were at 3900.

The greatest addition to the cockpit over the last 50 years was weather radar. Very few airliners had it, it was notoriously hard to interpret and it wasn't until the Collins bright tube that you could even read the screen in most daylight conditions. The units were low powered, subject to attenuation and did not give you levels of severity unless you were experienced at reading the contouring feature.

By and large, DME did not exist, either. You found wayponts by cross referencing radials from an adjacent VOR.
 
AutothrustBlue
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RE: Flight Deck Changes In Past 50 YRS

Mon Feb 22, 2010 4:24 am

Granted both are very new, brake-to-vacate (BTV), and runway overrun warning/protection are some recently introduced changes.

http://www.aviationweek.com/aw/blogs...0fcf2c-8c79-4cd6-af3f-bd9ea9600fb1

Regards
 
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Faro
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RE: Flight Deck Changes In Past 50 YRS

Mon Feb 22, 2010 11:07 am

Quoting mandala499 (Reply 5):

And don't forget CRM, it's the one innovation that applies across the breadth of technical novelties to improve safety.

Faro
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tdscanuck
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RE: Flight Deck Changes In Past 50 YRS

Tue Feb 23, 2010 1:13 am

Quoting Fabo (Reply 22):
The dark&quiet (or how is it called) concept is a good example of this.

We usually just call it "dark cockpit."

Quoting Fabo (Reply 22):
Unless anything is out of normal, everything should be black&up (at least on overhead) as I understand.

Not black necessarily (lots of stuff illuminates white in the normal position), but basically no colour. Black & white good...yellow bad...red really bad.

Tom.
 
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HAWK21M
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RE: Flight Deck Changes In Past 50 YRS

Tue Feb 23, 2010 4:16 pm

Quoting web500sjc (Reply 19):
Geeks are taking over the world, in 50 years pilots and atc will be the same, It will be like an iPhone atc app. Good bye pilots!

How many pax would you find who would fly on an Automatic Pilotless aircraft............Pilots will never be not needed.
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Starlionblue
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RE: Flight Deck Changes In Past 50 YRS

Tue Feb 23, 2010 11:30 pm

Quoting HAWK21M (Reply 28):
How many pax would you find who would fly on an Automatic Pilotless aircraft.

Not many.

Quoting HAWK21M (Reply 28):
Pilots will never be not needed.

Never say never. However I don't think pilotless airliners will come along any time soon.
"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots." - John Ringo
 
tdscanuck
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RE: Flight Deck Changes In Past 50 YRS

Wed Feb 24, 2010 1:06 am

Quoting HAWK21M (Reply 28):
How many pax would you find who would fly on an Automatic Pilotless aircraft

At least one...

But, like Starlionblue, I don't think we'll see it for a really really really long time (if ever) just because of the public perception problem.

Tom.
 
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Starlionblue
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RE: Flight Deck Changes In Past 50 YRS

Wed Feb 24, 2010 4:12 am

And cost. Designing a pilotless airliner would cost A LOT. Pilots are cheaper.
"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots." - John Ringo
 
Pihero
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RE: Flight Deck Changes In Past 50 YRS

Wed Feb 24, 2010 2:28 pm

Quoting C5LOAD (Thread starter):
I chose a topic of what flight deck changes have improved safety and a few I can think of are GPWS, Autopilot (of course), FMS, Stall Warning Systems, TCAS, and Windshear Avoidance. Are there more that I am missing?

!/- The most importatnt changes come from the progress of flight instrument presentation (i.e. already some ergonomics), as CosmicCruiser has said. The following set of pics off A.net archives gives a pretty good idea of what we mean.

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Photo © Ian Haskell
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Photo © Rui Alves - Madeira Spotters

Not much difference between these two ? The British T hasn't completely taken over...

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Photo © Vivian A Watts
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Photo © Richard Austen

Two of the last of the prop era. The zero reader arrives

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Photo © Pkaviation
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Photo © Markus Buttinger

Jetliner kings, both...very difficult to improve on the Tristar, IMO...That'll lead to CRTs

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Photo © Nestor Duran
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Photo © Timo Breidenstein

The last shyness on going full glass (767) and the full Monty (345)

2/- The progress in instrument data presentation : The three pointer altimeter disappears with the first jets, for instance, the compass disappears and is replaced with a full rose...

3/- The robotic aids arrive ! : First is the (Sperry) Zero-reader, which soon becomes the Flight Director, which in turn provides another progress in auto- flight devices...
Then the calculators land in the flight decks , the INS and the FMS...

4/- The Electronic Instrument Revolution : Better, more accurate, easier to interpret instruments, also allowing the inclusions of several sources into an easier-interpreted interface : The ND receives data from the ADC, the FMC, the INSs, the radar...

5/- Flight Protections :
a/- the environment : TCAS, (E)GPWS, Modern radars, W/S warnings

b/- the flight envelope protections : high AoAs, high speed, overbanks... prots

6/- A friendlier environment : due to the progress of radio-com, the hard work done by different entities (ICAO...) in order to streamline and standardize air ops (world-wide standards)...The SRA cum Transponder...ADS... Nowaday's pilot is far better informed than his predecessors ever were : ACARS/CPDLC/SATCOM etc...

7/- The future... chi lo sa ?

[Edited 2010-02-24 06:48:24]
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Starlionblue
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RE: Flight Deck Changes In Past 50 YRS

Wed Feb 24, 2010 11:42 pm

Quoting Pihero (Reply 32):
First is the (Sperry) Zero-reader, which soon becomes the Flight Director, which in turn provides another progress in auto- flight devices...

Could you talk a bit more about this Zero-reader device please? Sounds interesting.

Quoting Pihero (Reply 32):
The future... chi lo sa ?

Chi lo sà indeed. However I think we can safely say that there will be an increase in the use augmented reality devices like HUDs. We'll see terrain and traffic projected onto HUDs, cockpit windows or even spectacles at night so that the pilots can see in the dark. This sort of technology is already in use by the military. Data sources can be a combination of low-light cameras, radar and infrared.

If we could remove the cockpit windows completely, this would lead to an improvement in nose aerodynamics. Windows would be replaced by screens and probably a pair of backup periscopes. The cost of this change probably precludes it for the next few decades. However for a supersonic airliner it would make a lot of sense, unless you want to go with a very heavy droop nose.
"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots." - John Ringo
 
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Faro
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RE: Flight Deck Changes In Past 50 YRS

Thu Feb 25, 2010 9:50 am

Quoting Pihero (Reply 32):
7/- The future... chi lo sa ?

Has NASA or anyone else toyed with the idea of having one pilot only in a purely supervisory role, overseeing a fully automated flight deck? Or if the transition is ever made it will be from 2 pilots to zero?

Faro
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Pihero
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RE: Flight Deck Changes In Past 50 YRS

Thu Feb 25, 2010 11:09 am

Quoting Starlionblue (Reply 33):
Could you talk a bit more about this Zero-reader device please?

I could really bore you to tears, actually, but because I quite like you, I'll give you this Flight mag article (Aug 1949 !!!!) explaining everything.
Tjhe Flight Global archives are a mine, but one needs to be persistent : click on the top arrows in order to get the other pages of the article.
so here it is
The zero reader

the picture of the device is seen on page two...most people miss it for the old ILS dial.
The Flight Director is thus a Sperry Zero reader combined with an artificial horizon.

As an illustration, this pic of a KLM Seven seas is the best I found in the archives :

View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Sjaak den Boer

Quoting Starlionblue (Reply 33):
However I think we can safely say that there will be an increase in the use augmented reality devices like HUDs. We'll see terrain and traffic projected onto HUDs,

That is also my opinion, and cockpits would have turned a complete 360 to come back to the old days : enhanced reality.
I see the current HUD's as being just a stage in the completely integrated enhanced vision-through-glareshield instrumentation. And having driven a such-equipped car, can say I like it a lot.
Where we differ is that , alas !, three times Alas !!!, I do not believe in the return of a Concorde successor : Economics and ecologists won't allow it.

Regards.

[Edited 2010-02-25 03:21:15]
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