All About Aircraft Instrument System
Throughout the history of aviation, aircraft design and components have changed greatly. The pilot cockpit and flight instruments have evolved from a system of mechanical gauges to an advanced set of screens and displays, leading to the term “glass cockpit”. Electronic Flight Instrument Systems, or EFIS, are an electronic flight display technology that has replaced steam gauges with LCD screens. In this blog, we will discuss the various aircraft instrumentation components that make up the EFIS, such as the Primary Flight Display, Multifunction Display, and the Engine Indicating and Crew Alerting System.
The Primary Flight Display (PFD), is useful for pilots as a means of displaying a historical log of all electromechanical device information. The PFD conveys the tracking of altitude, heading, airspeed, attitude, rate of climb, and more. Some modern PFD systems even display the engagement of autopilot or auto-throttle. The flight director is highly beneficial to pilots as it can provide guidance for approaching, climb, maintaining path, and more. With the consolidation of pertinent information onto one screen, the pilot’s situational awareness is greatly increased, allowing them to focus on other things while the PFD alerts the pilot for items needing attention with audio or visual cues.
The Multifunction Display (MFD), contains information such as weather and navigation. Sometimes, an MFD may provide the aircraft’s fuel and electrical system information, but that is usually covered by the Engine Indicating and Crew Alerting System (EICAS). The EICAS can give the pilots ample and detailed warnings about the aircraft’s situation as compared to traditional round gauges, and allow for the setting of multiple levels of warnings and alarms.
With electronic LCD displays, the management of an aircraft’s information becomes much more flexible and easy, aiding the pilot in maintaining an optimal and safe flight. With all information being on a single screen, sometimes being customizable, the pilot can quickly find any needed information while maintaining their focus on other hazards and the flight.
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