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Aviation Glossary :: Glass Cockpit  Aviation Glossary :: Glass Cockpit FAA Written Test Preparation
Aviation Glossary Welcome to the Dauntless Aviation Glossary!

At Dauntless, our editorial staff maintains the web's largest unified glossary of aviation terms. This glossary is built from a combination of official, quasi-official, and proprietary sources (including original material that we develop oursselves). Uniquely, we often provide multiple definitions of a given term so that you can find that which best applies to you. In order to maximize your learning efficiency, this glossary (and similar ones for our international users) is incresingly fully integrated into our aviation learning apps, including our FAA written test prep and FAA practical test prep software and apps. If you like this glossary, you'll love them with their polished learning environments and world's best and clearest content (please do give them a try.).

Glass Cockpit
Glass Cockpit
An aircraft instrument system that uses a few cathode-ray-tube displays to replace a large number of mechanically actuated instruments.
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source: FAA Aviation Maintenance Technician Airframe Handbook (FAA-H-8083-31)

An aircraft instrument system that uses a few color cathode-ray-tube displays to replace a large number of mechanically actuated instruments.
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source: FAA Aviation Maintenance Technician Powerplant Handbook (FAA-H-8083-32)

A glass cockpit is an aircraft cockpit that features electronic (digital) instrument displays, typically large LCD screens, rather than the traditional style of analog dials and gauges. While a traditional cockpit (nicknamed as a "steam cockpit" within aviation circles) relies on numerous mechanical gauges to display information, a glass cockpit uses several displays driven by flight management systems, that can be adjusted to display flight information as needed. This simplifies aircraft operation and navigation and allows pilots to focus only on the most pertinent information. They are also popular with airline companies as they usually eliminate the need for a flight engineer, saving costs. In recent years the technology has become widely available in small aircraft.

As aircraft displays have modernized, the sensors that feed them have modernized as well. Traditional gyroscopic flight instruments have been replaced by electronic Attitude and Heading Reference Systems (AHRS) and Air Data Computers (ADCs), improving reliability and reducing cost and maintenance. GPS receivers are usually integrated into glass cockpits.

Early glass cockpits, found in the McDonnell Douglas MD-80/90, Boeing 737 Classic, 757 and 767-200/-300, ATR_42, ATR_72 and in the Airbus A300-600 and A310, used Electronic Flight Instrument Systems (EFIS) to display attitude and navigational information only, with traditional mechanical gauges retained for airspeed, altitude, vertical speed, and engine performance. Later glass cockpits, found in the Boeing 737NG, 747-400, 767-400, 777, A320 and later Airbuses, Ilyushin Il-96 and Tupolev Tu-204 have completely replaced the mechanical gauges and warning lights in previous generations of aircraft, although they still retain some analog instruments as backups in case the EFIS displays malfunction.

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source: Wikitionary / Wikipedia and Related Sources (Edited)


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Disclaimer: While this glossary in most cases is likely to be highly accurate and useful, sometimes, for any number of editorial, transcription, technical, and other reasons, it might not be. Additionally, as somtimes you may have found yourself brought to this page through an automated term matching system, you may find definitions here that do not match the cotext or application in which you saw the original term. Please use your good judgement when using this resource.


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