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Technologically Advanced Aircraft Instruments

Free Informative Essays

Aircraft Instruments

Aircraft instrumentation system is categorized into sensing and display mechanisms. Information to the plane’s indictors is passed from the aircraft sensors with the help of electric means. The instruments in the aircraft are grouped according to the tasks they perform and are classified into flight instrument, engine, and navigation. The large and complex aircrafts haveother instruments that do not fall under any of the above, for example, miscellaneous indicators and gauges that issue information (Hartley, 2014).In addition, some of the gadgets in the aircrafts are referred to as position or conditional instruments. This is because they report the position or the condition of the aircraft and they are not included in the aforementioned three categories (Hartley, 2014). The following essay discusses some of the modern technologies implemented on the aircrafts,used especially during the commercial flights that are classified into engine, navigation, and flight instruments.


In the modern world, aircraft engineers are working tirelessly to ensure that almost all aircraft instruments are of high efficiency and perform well, especially aircraft engine. Engineers are doing so to minimize the cost of repairs and the costs of fuel. There are certifiable turbines in these more efficient aircraft engines that have been technologically made to reduce fuel burn, noise, and produce less gas emission. Aviation arguably has become one of the most advanced fields when it comes to technology. Undoubtedly, innovation has been surplus in this sector.Anytime the engineers introduce a new aircraft, they have to make sure that it is more improved compared to its predecessor. The fuel efficiency in most cases is doubled. For instance, the modern aircrafts that have been introduced lately have proved the reduction of carbon dioxide emissions by almost 70%. Moreover, compared to the initial jets present in 1950’s, aviationtechnology in recent times has ensured that there is a decrease in emission of greenhouse gases (Hartley, 2014).

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Heat Exchanger Technology

The above is a heat exchange kind of a device in the turbine engine of a recently developed commercial aircraft. The device has been designed to cool supersonic engines, thus, maintaining acceptable temperatures in the aircraft engines at optimum speeds. The product designed by the manufacturers uses fuel from the aircraft to reduce heating of the engine components. The producers of the very high performing turbine enginesneed to regulate the air in the supersonic engines to acceptable temperatures for the aircrafts to operate at most favorable levels. Furthermore, engineers claim that cooling the aircraft engine using the air from the compressor is not appropriate when it comes to high performing aircraft engines since the air from the compressor is hot at supersonic speeds. The simple technology used here is allowing the fuel to cool the compressor air prior to cooling several other components of the hot engines (Ebrary, 2001).


The device is light in weight and very compact. This heat exchanger contains several modules. The already cooled gas goes through the mini channels while the air that has been heated is passed through the outer surface that is finned and in cross-flow. This technology is very ideal for the high performing engines where it can be employed to cool the systems in addition to being light. Additionally, its performance in heat transfer is very high and it is possible to configure its modules to suit the requirements of its packaging (Ebrary, 2001).

Super-jet Variable Cycle Engine Technology

This kind of technology is ideal for powering jets and is being designed by the GE Aviation. The engine combines turbofan engines’ best traits with those of the turbojet, consequently, guarantying supersonic speeds as well as fuel efficiency. The engine also guarantees 25% fuel saving according to the manufacturers. An example of the design is shown below.

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This technology contains low bypass kind of turbofans mostly referred to as turbojets and the high by-pass kind of turbofans. The turbojets are designed for optimum performance. They push the jets, especially fighter jets high above the Mach 2 as well as the SR 71 fighter jet also known as Blackbird. The operation of pressure core of this engine aids the performance. This consists of the compressor, turbine, combustion, and the exhaust nozzle (Ebrary, 2001).

On the other hand, the high bypass kind of turbofans mostly is found on commercial jets. They are regarded as the heavy lifters and are designed for subsonic thrust.In ADVENT (Adaptive Versatile Engine Technology) kind of engines, the core exhaust which is at high pressure and the by-pass streams which are at low pressures are joined by a separate outer flow path capable of being closed and other times being opened in response to the conditions of the flight. For instance, during take-offs, this third stream remains closed, which is done to minimize the ratio of the bypass. This mechanism allows more airflow to go through the core that is under high pressure so as to boost thrust of the airplane. During cruising, opening of the stream is done to enhance the ratio of the bypass as well as reduce consumption of the fuel (Ebrary, 2001).

For fighter jets this technology allows more loiter time. The loiter time of the fighter is increased by 60% since opening of the duct helps less fuel burn and boosts the supersonic range up to 40%. Closing of the ducts allows more air to flowvia the core as well as the compressor which is under high pressure boosting speed leading to world level supersonic performance (Ebrary, 2001).

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These ADVENTs technologies concentrate on strong ceramic kind of matrix composites that are mostlylight weight. The approach allows manufacture of engines that canfunction at high temperatures and are easy to carry. The engineers claim that their intention was to develop engines that are capable of taking care of themselves and allowing the pilots to concentrate more on their mission.When the pilot wants to cruise to a certain place, one issues a command and the design of the engines allows it to reconfigure itself (Ebrary, 2001).

Flight and Navigation Design Instruments

Annually, more than three billion passengers globally depend on the skills of a pilot who is controlling the plane. The modern-advanced technology that has rendered the cockpit of the plane to a high-tech kind of masterpiece of improved computerization, minimizes the work of the pilot and allows him to concentrate more on the basic controls. Moreover, new technology helps the pilot to concentrate less on monitoring the dials, clocks or the indicators. In addition, the modern technology does the computing for the pilot. There is only one screen in the advanced design of the flight instruments that compiles different dialsas well as different clocks, analyses and presents what is necessary to the pilot. Hence, it reduces the work of the pilot and makes flying much simpler and comfortable compared to the old technology (Norris, & Wagner, 2009).

Innovative 787 Flight Deck

This state-of-art technology in the 787 Dream-liner allows pilots to work efficiently with minimal accidents. The design balances cost, safety, and innovation.

One of the main aims of the design was to allow the plane to use the runway without any help of the ground navigation instruments. The technology allows the Dream-liner to undertake the Required Navigation Performance (RNP) procedure on its own. Additional advanced features of the jet is the data-link as well as communication capabilities which are an improved version of the integrated air navigation design of the previous 777. The integrated surveillance design of this aircraft includes the weather radar that is reliable, a transponder, and a Traffic Collision Avoidance System (TCAS). This redundancy boosts dispatch safety as well as reliability. However, it still presents a platform where innovation and growth of the system can be done to support upcoming initiatives of the air traffic such as the Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (Norris, & Wagner, 2009).

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There has been a reduction in number of parts of 787 compared to the other planes. There are only three tuning or modifying control panels on the aisle stand in the flight deck as opposed to several control panels on previous aircrafts. This design consolidates the crew communication interface functionality as well as surveillance system of the aircraft. The Control Display Unit (CDU), which is an electronic version and is used for flight planning, replaces the enormous hardware in the previous planes. The dramatic simplification done on the flight desk is the introduction of a more electric kind of architecture. The remote power allocation and distribution enables application of the circuit breakers that are electronic. Therefore, this design eliminates numerous circuit breaks that were physical on the previous flight decks (Norris, & Wagner, 2009).

Electronic Flight Bags (EFBs)

The 787 has a dual EFB and the touch-screen EFBs of the 787 eliminate paperwork operations by the pilots. Other avionics in this airplane include the printer, the flight control or management computer, and the communication gadgets all of which are connected with the EFBs. The EFB allows significant reduction in paperwork since it issues a reliable software suite. The suite has info such as manuals and maps. It also contains onboard maintenance systems as well as a performance tool. The document browser that can be easily updated through wireless connection or with the help of the maintenance computer in the flight deck is also contained in the suite. Moreover, the suit aids the computations of the take-off performance to be done in real time and presented to the computers that are managing the flights (Norris, & Wagner, 2009).

Advanced Head-Up Displays (HUDs)

The 787 has a dual HUD. This advanced technology presents the relevant info to the pilots allowing them to concentrate more on the outside. It is sort of an image mounted infront of the eyes of the pilot. This technology enhances safety during flights. Moreover, safety is assured even during harsh weather condition, for instance, in times of very poor visibility the device performs perfectly and assists the pilot in navigation. This display device also helps during low visibility during airplane take-offs.It integrates with the plane’s navigation radio as well as the systems managing the flights to provide centerline guidance of the take-off runway in times of low visibility (Norris, & Wagner, 2009). An example of a HUD looks like the figure below.

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The Boeing 787 discussed earlier still faces stiff competition from the A350 which is also regarded as one of the most technologically advanced passenger aircrafts. The A350 is large compared to Boeing 787 with a sitting-capacity of 315 passengers and 8,300 nm maximum-range. Similar to the 787, A350 also has turbofans engines but it has a more conservative designin comparison with the Boeing. The A350 has minimal systems powered electrically. The advanced designed has enabled the use of only two hydraulics as compared to the ones in Boeing and the dual electrical design has enabled control redundancy during critical flights.The fatigue and the strength advantage of the carbon fiber enabled the designers of the plane to think about a better aspect-ratio airplane wing useful for lower drags (Germain, 2000).

Furthermore, the A350 possesses arguably the highest sophisticated airfoil not seen on any other aircrafts to date. The wing of the plane has approximately 31.9 deg. chord sweep and a scimitar shaped kind of winglets that are approximately 14 feet. The design also includes spoilers on the plane that droop simultaneously with the flap extension to partially or fully seal the space between the wing and flaps to minimize the drags. Moreover, the design of the Airbus ensures that if something on the plane does not require pilot’s attention,it is not heard or even seen. When the pilot pulls a knob, data is presented to him on the cyan. Conversely, pushing the knob allows the computer to have the authority of controlling the airplane. The cyan in the Airbus indicates a pilot action where green shows an action is active, normal, and completed. There are navigation and the flight displays in front of every pilot in the airbus (Germain, 2000).

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These features of the airbus are more technologically advanced.The displays master few equipment as well as interactive configuration-variation lists. This assists the crew member in determining whether the plane can depart safely and complete the task ahead given the deferrable discrepancies. Besides, this is also determined by other variables like the runway length, the weather condition, and planes’ conditions also included in this Airbus’ displays (Germain, 2000).


In conclusion, modern technologies in particular engine, navigation, and flight instrumentsdiscussed above undoubtedly have been improved recently.They play a substantial role in the development of aviation industry today. Moreover, the new devices and techniques are presented to make the aircrafts more sophisticated and easier to use as well as to ensure safety of the passengers on board.

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