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Workings of Aircraft/Electronics of Aircraft

  1. Apr 12, 2010 #1
    I've been wondering for quite some time now how aircraft work. I'm not talking about the aerodynamics of flight, I mean things like, how the aircraft's flaps move when a pilot commands them to using the yoke?

    I've also wondered how the digital displays, such as the ones in the photo, work.(this may be an electrical engineering question) 800px-787-flight-deck.jpg

    800px-STSCPanel.jpg

    A book recommendation would be nice.
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 9, 2015 #2
    The best way would be to use a software named Microsoft Flight Simulator, that will answer all your questions. It is a learning simulator so you learn almost everything about aviation more or less.
    The top picture is of a Boeing 787 and the bottom one is probably a space shuttle. Both works differently by the way, in many aspects.
     
  4. Apr 9, 2015 #3
    @Shafat: I do not have MS flight simulator, but I would be surprised if the simulator would give him the insight into how things work "behind the scenes" but maybe it would be enough to get him started...

    @Stratosphere: If you tell me a specific area of interest (navigation, communication, flight controls, passenger accommodations/interior, pressurization, electrical power system, etc), I could give you search terms to research on wikipedia or other places. You could probably get out there on wikipedia and look for a "see also" sections after you find specific pages... But this may be a good starting point!!! http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Acronyms_and_abbreviations_in_avionics

    Also, consider signing up for the message board airliners.net and ask your same question over there about where to find information...
     
  5. Apr 9, 2015 #4
    The simulator itself won't give every insight. But the more you use, the more you can learn. Their is a simulation company named PMDG who makes real world softwares for pilots who train in "full motion simulator". PMDG even makes softwares for home flight simulators and their planes are if not 100%, 99% realistic. And yes, if you fly PMDG planes in a simulator in the correct way, then the only thing remaining to experience is the feel of real world physics. As PMDG is used for real world pilot training, and me personally being a user, there isn't a better way to learn about Aviation than simulation. You may read books and stuff, but nothing is as entertaining and enthusiastic as simulating what you have learnt. I know because I am a long time user, and a developer.
     
  6. Apr 10, 2015 #5
    Good points, Shafat!

    I am an engineer for an aerospace company (as to what company, your first guess is probably correct), so I am more in-tune with the behind the scenes stuff... I bet it would help me though if I were to get a flight simulator!
     
  7. Apr 10, 2015 #6

    berkeman

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    Staff: Mentor

    @Stratosphere -- try doing a search on "fly by wire". That will give you lots of info on how the flight control electronics (and backup systems) work. :smile:
     
  8. Apr 11, 2015 #7
    Exactly @mp3car, anyone interested in Aviation would love to sim I guarantee :D. Try getting the latest Prepar3D simulator from Lockheed Martin, the academic license, which is only given for training at home, and trust me, you'll love Aviation more than ever before Captain, all the best ^_^.
     
  9. Apr 11, 2015 #8
    @berkeman, that will help understand the technique of Airbus completely, but not much about Boeing ;).
     
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2015
  10. Apr 13, 2015 #9

    donpacino

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    how so?
     
  11. Apr 13, 2015 #10
    @donpacino Boeing does not use the FBW system, except for the 777 and 787. Even in those, if required, you can override the FBW system completely when required. On the contrary, Airbus is highly dependent on FBW. No matter what, you can never override the FBW system. If you have an electrical failure, your engines might be running until the fuel tanks are empty; which is not the case with Boeing.
     
  12. Apr 13, 2015 #11

    donpacino

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    I disagree with that and have worked on products that say otherwise.
     
  13. Apr 13, 2015 #12

    cjl

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    Boeing is FBW just like Airbus. They have slightly different philosophies when it comes to the translation of control motions into control surface deflection, and they have slightly different behaviors during extreme maneuvering (hard vs soft limits), but all modern large aircraft are, at the core, FBW designs.
     
  14. Apr 13, 2015 #13
    @donpacino, are you talking from a pilot / aeronautical engineer's perspective? Please tell me where was my statement wrong? Brother, I don't understand what is there to disagree with me. You are saying you have worked on products which say otherwise. What otherwise? That's how Boeing and Airbus works. If you are an aeronautical engineer, there is simply no reason why you should disagree with me. Anyone with basic Aviation knowledge knows it too. Unless you work on products like video games, I don't understand why you would disagree. I don't work on video games, I work on simulators which are used for pilot training. I am a software developer and I believe I know what I am saying. I am amazed by the fact, "I disagree with that"; you disagree with what? Please clarify from a pilot / engineering perspective, not otherwise.
     
  15. Apr 13, 2015 #14
    @cjl, not at all. All modern planes are not FBW. Am really sorry, just no. From where do you get such information?
     
  16. Apr 13, 2015 #15

    berkeman

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    Are you saying they use all hydraulic controls? And no FBW/FBL?
     
  17. Apr 13, 2015 #16
    Every plane uses electrical control for some parts or the other. If anyone means FBW = using a wire, then even a glider can be called a FBW aircraft. But FBW doesn't mean using wires. Those planes which are FBW, are specifically designed and named FBW planes because the way they behave and respond are not like the classical aircrafts. Every plane uses hydraulic, but that doesn't prove or disprove FBW or else. Those planes which use the whole system with the FBW mechanism, they are called FBW planes. Like 777 and 787. And all Airbus planes from A320. Boeing doesn't use FBW like Airbus does. So anyone who says they both are the same, I would request them to go back, and have a look again, at least at Wikipedia.
     
  18. Apr 13, 2015 #17
    And the statement "Boeing is FBW just like Airbus"... well, not at all, not even at the least degree. Just like Airbus? Seriously? Even a Google search of Boeing and Airbus FBW will prove you they aren't at all the same, in case if you have no professional person to ask.
     
  19. Apr 13, 2015 #18
    The 737 and 747 are not FBW. How can you say "all modern large aircrafts are, at the core, FBW designs", unless you mean FBW = using a wire. FBW doesn't mean that.
     
  20. Apr 13, 2015 #19

    berkeman

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    From wikipedia about the 747:

    Are you making a distinction between fully FBW and partial FBW?
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 7, 2017
  21. Apr 13, 2015 #20
    Why are you talking about the 748-8 variant? In the year of 2015, 747 is almost 99% times meant as 747-400 variant. I was talking about the -400 variant. The -8 variant isn't widely used so when you say "most planes" you always mean the 747-400 in this year 2015. As that is the most widely used aircraft. When you say 737, you mean the 737-600/700. You don't always mean the 737NG. Even if you do, that's not a FBW plane. Planes aren't considered as partial FBW, half FBW, semi FBW, or quarter FBW, or like 77% FBW and so on. Planes are considered as either FBW, or not FBW. Partial and semi doesn't come in this discussion.

    The Boeing planes with FBW system are the 777 and 787.

    And for Airbus it is the A320/30/40/50/80.

    It's as simple as that. Why should we make it complicated :/.
     
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