What is a Flight Director, and how does it differ from Autopilot?
The flight director is part of the autopilot system. It displays a guide on the artificial horizon, which shows the attitude of the airplane, but does nothing to control the plane. The pilot can manually fly the plane directly where the flight director indicates, and the plane will follow the parameters set for the autopilot.
If the autopilot is engaged, autopilot flies the plane to follow the flight director. The flight director serves as a visual indication of where the autopilot wants the plane to go.
The procedure to engage them is to first turn on the flight director, which will show where the autopilot wants the plane to be, and then to engage the autopilot, which will then automatically fly the plane.
This is what the autopilot controls can look like.
Here is the Boeing flight director, visible as the crossed magenta lines in the center of the screen.
It lets the pilot know what the autopilot would do if it were flying instead, by displaying an indicator, usually a miniature pink plane or line, on the artificial horizon.
The difference between the autopilot and flight director is that the autopilot flies the plane, the flight director gives the pilot an idea of what the autopilot would like to do if it was in charge.
It's the traditional flight instruments, integrated to work in a complementary way. For example the steering bars moving across the face of the compass so as to give the pilot visual ques for turning onto a desired heading and/or altitude.
The flight director gives a visual display of the overall aircraft attitude in space. The flight director display reacts to inputs coming from, for example, heading dials, electronic flight plans, and actual aircraft movement. The flight director does not physically control the aircraft.
The autopilot physically controls the aircraft in response to essentially the same inputs. The flight director essentially does not care if a human or the autopilot is actually in control. The autopilot adds intelligence which allows for various levels of pilot non-intervention up to the point of virtually hands-off control from takeoff to landing.
Together, the flight director and autopilot permit the pilot to let his skills atrophy while inducing a sense of inferiority on the part of the pilot in command; thus permitting well controlled crashes.
I've noticed that on some airlines (I may have seen it on SAS) the cabin crew had a small touchscreen at the front of the plane which they were using to select recorded audio messages etc, in both their language, and English. Searching the internet, I found out it's called a Flight Attendant Panel — here are some photos I found: So I gather they can control the lighting, and movies; but what else can these panels do? I also found a FAP trainer, which says: This virtual training environment generates a realistic FAP representation including OBRM, CAM and PRAM What
This recent comment reports that: the IMU on new (plane) would localize the aircraft to within 3 feet after a cross-country flight, without any GPS input other than the starting location. I somewhat doubt about this statement, at least for an IMU based solely on inertial measurement: over the duration of a flight, I fear much more error accumulates. So what's the precision of a modern Inertial Measurement Unit over say the duration of a flight, and from what sources is that obtained? If some source (in particular, GPS) becomes unavailable, how does it degrade that accuracy?
I constantly see regulations which refer to "flag" and "supplemental" operations. For example: 14 CFR 121 — OPERATING REQUIREMENTS: DOMESTIC, FLAG, AND SUPPLEMENTAL OPERATIONS Subpart Q—FLIGHT TIME LIMITATIONS AND REST REQUIREMENTS: DOMESTIC OPERATIONS Subpart R—FLIGHT TIME LIMITATIONS: FLAG OPERATIONS Subpart S—FLIGHT TIME LIMITATIONS: SUPPLEMENTAL OPERATIONS What exactly are they and how are they different from "normal" Part 121 operations? I can't seem to find them defined in Part 121 or 1.1 (definitions).
If someone does a contract flight, or a mechanic does contract maintenance for an aircraft owner and they refuse to pay after the fact, what options do they have to "encourage" the owner to pay? One of the big problems is that this tends to happen informally: Owner: "Hey, can you do this flight for me?" Pilot: "Sure, I charge $xxx." " Owner: "Okay, great. See you on Monday morning at 9:00." Pilot: "Sounds good, see you then." So they show up, do the flight, send an invoice, and wait. And wait.. And wait.... After a few weeks or 30 days, they send the invoice again. Give
There are various services that use world-wide Boeing Winds for forecast wind data which can be used to calculate an approximate flight time between two locations. They usually have best case, worst case, and average case for each location, altitude, and date in the future. I have searched and searched Google to no avail. Where can this wind data be found, and how can it be used in a commercial product? For those of you who don't know what the Boeing winds are, I found this description of their software product on am informal message board (not related to Boeing): PC WindTemp
Suppose you're the co-pilot on a flight and during pre-flight, talking to the captain, you smell alcohol. Although you didn't see him drinking and the smell isn't strong, what does regulation stipulate you should do?
Hi – Here’s the scenario: The flight starts night VFR, with broken ceiling at destination (class C airspace) and expected to improve according to the pre-flight abbreviated briefing. I'm IFR... on the ground/view of rwy)? c). other? BTW: I did read How do you request a "pop up" IFR clearance? . In my scenario I have the time to call FSS, there is no emergency, I'm on flight following... to file one way or another. Approach is busy, but not overwhelmed. What is the best way to handle this situation on the radio? I have the ATIS, picked an approach and have a squawk code (advisories
Sorry for the slightly strange question, but Ryanair (Europe's Largest Low Cost Carrier) decided that seat back pockets took too much effort and got rid of them, and it appears the sick bags in the process. So the question comes up... What happens when Ryanair flights encounter turbulence? I can hardly imagine the Flight Attendants handing out bags ad-hoc when it's sufficiently shaky to cause motion sickness among the passengers.
I just finished reading an interesting post where the author suggests that the missing Malaysian Airlines flight 370 could have 'hidden' under the cover of Singapore Airlines flight 68 to fly...) sounds plausible. I also read another book where a bomber (flying under the identity of a commercial jet) masked a business jet to get it into an area without detection. Naturally, both examples are taken... there might be some radio interference or static from such as large aircraft behind them? Are there every any issues when refueling aircraft do this sort of thing? What is the resolution of radar? Would one
that it must be engaged, or even operative. Simply "equipped", and also that this is to approve an aircraft for RVSM. From what I can find, there is no operational requirement for the autopilot to actually be working or engaged. Assuming that my MEL allows me to defer the autopilot and still fly, can I fly in RVSM airspace? Some people however say that if you are in RVSM airspace...FAR Part 91, Appendix G, Section 2 says: (c) Altitude-keeping equipment: All aircraft. To approve an aircraft group or a nongroup aircraft, the Administrator must find that the aircraft meets