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Cockpit Automation Philosophy

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Conference paper

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The civil aviation environment has rapidly evolved in the past decades. In the 70s, 500 billion passengers per kilometer were transported in the 80s, that figure doubled, and in the 90s it doubled again reaching 2000 billion passengers per kilometer. The cargo demand, in parallel, increased at an average rate of 10 per year. This has enlarged the air traffic rate and created severely congested skies. At the same time, many new airlines have been born, a lack of pilots has forced operators to employ young cadets, and old aircraft have had to co-exist with new technology aircraft. These factors have created new risks in commercial aviation. On the other hand, flight safety criteria have become more stringent and the efficiency of the flight in all its aspects e.g., fuel costs, maintenance and crew costs, minimum delays, etc. has become a primary concern. All these contradictory objectives cannot be met on older generation aircraft. Automated systems have helped aircraft manufacturers upgrade the cockpit and provide the crew with the means to fulfill hisher role while keeping up with these new constraints. This paper addresses the following topics why automated systems are necessary the human beings strengths and weaknesses and how automation can complement them the principles of automation automation as applied to operations and steering the Autopilot and Autothrust systems fly-by-wire computers and control laws automation for fast computations related to navigation, flight planning, and performance, etc. the primary flight display system, the navigation display, and the centralized aircraft monitoring system for engine and warning displays how to adapt humans to automation pilot training for automated systems factors contributing to pilot errors the necessity for active monitoring from the pilot Autopilot, Autothrust, and Flight Director mode misuse Flight Management System FMS workarounds and data entry errors.

Subject Categories:

  • Civilian Aircraft
  • Flight Control and Instrumentation
  • Human Factors Engineering and Man Machine Systems

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