What Are the Basic Functions of Aircraft Cockpits?

Posted on October 26, 2021 linda strong avionics

Fundamentally one of the most “hands-on” locations in aircraft, cockpits centralize compulsory flight controls that enable movement of a vehicle—sharing a resemblance to sitting in the driver's seat of a car. A typical sight unanimous within aircraft, the cockpit, or flight deck, is also known as one of the most overwhelming regions for its abundance of flight control switches and various operational equipment. Situated at the front of the vehicle to promote visibility, the cockpit centralizes crucial equipment needed for flight, ensuring a pilot always has an optimal angle to interact with devices while in the air. Diving into the basics of what composes a cockpit, we will summarize key controls used by pilots in such a location and how they aid in safely navigating an aircraft from taxiing to touchdown.

Though the cockpit varies in design depending on the make and model of aircraft, all fundamental equipment remains the same. Establishing manual control of an aircraft where all flight data can be transmitted to a single location, accessibility of essential control mechanisms is critical when designing a cockpit. Depending on the year an aircraft was constructed and the function it was built to serve, flight control surfaces within aircraft can vary in design and complexity, ranging from the employment of basic mechanical gears and switches to advanced electrical flight instruments and displays. Condensing aviation components like the ignition control switch, mode control panel (MCP), primary flight display (PFD), navigation display (ND), flight management system (FMS), Engine Indicating and Crew Alerting System (EICAS)/Electric Centralized Aircraft Monitor (ECAM), and any necessary back-up instruments.

An important consideration when designing and manufacturing a cockpit is that it must increase a pilot’s situational awareness without inundating them with information. Resulting in modern airliners adopting the Design Eye Position (DEP) to consolidate and simplify cockpit commands, it is common to see replicated control panel layouts across the aviation industry. However, for a cockpit to be recognised as a DEP concept, all displays must be affixed in specific locations where they are always visible to the pilot. Housing all the components necessary for controlling an aircraft, it is standard for cockpits to be separated from the rest of the aircraft as a precaution. Securing the cockpit for uninterrupted flight, a pilot is free to conduct flight protocols while easily monitoring system controls for electrical, fuel, and pressurization demands.

Quintessential for overseeing and regulating flight control surfaces on modern aircraft integrated with electronic flight instruments (EFIS), devices like an MFD, PFD, ND, EICAS/ECAM, FMS, and back-up instruments are located along the front, side peripherals, and directly above a pilot. Emphasizing the accessibility of primary flight controls, cockpits naturally house the ignition/engine start, yoke, side stick, center stick, and rudder pedals, among other tools. Although it is imperative that aircraft have backup safety devices, that is not always the case. In the unlikely event that a part were to malfunction, or a mandatory inspection deems a component in need of replacement, rapidly remedy Aircraft on Ground (AOG) delays with Aviation Sourcing Solutions.

When you find yourself in need of parts ASAP, we invite you to browse our inventory for numerous cockpit controls ready to be put to work. Whether your systems require a stabilizer, aileron, auxiliary power unit (APU), yoke, wing, wheel, generator, or more, Aviation Sourcing Solutions is here to streamline and expedite any one of your orders for immediate procurement. Due to our quality control and export compliance, we operate with AS9120B, ISO 9001:2015, and FAA AC 00-56B certification and accreditation, alongside our NO CHINA sourcing pledge. If you would like to request a quote for your comparisons, you can submit an RFQ form as provided on our website. Upon receipt, a dedicated account manager will quickly review and respond with a personalized solution to your needs in just 15 minutes or less, 24/7x365.


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