Glass Cockpit Technology

Technically Advanced Aircraft (TAA)
Safety and Training
AOPA Air Safety Foundation

Technically Advanced Aircraft (TAA) are entering the general aviation (GA) fleet in large numbers. The categories are newly designed aircraft, newly manufactured classic design aircraft equipped with new avionics, and retrofitted existing aircraft of varying ages. Training requirements center on differences in new-design TAA handling characteristics and the addition of capable but complex avionics packages. Light GA pilots are now undergoing the transition that the airlines and corporate pilots did in prior decades.

The Glass Specialist
From abstraction to distraction - training our minds for advanced cockpits
By Julie K. Boatman
AOPA Pilot, July 2006

The current "glass cockpit" systems for production aircraft - those electronic flight information systems including primary flight displays (PFDs), GPS/VHF navigators, and multifunction displays (MFDs) manufactured by Garmin International, Avidyne, and Chelton Flight Systems - take some of their function-filing logic from each camp. Depending on your phase of flight, some functions are top level - a button push and you're there - and some can be found within a menu structure. Understanding this fact may help you transition to a glass-cockpit system more readily.

Safety Pilot: Bold steps
By Bruce Landsberg
AOPA Pilot, July 2006

In designing aircraft and avionics, key interface considerations are simplicity and consistency. The pilot's primary job is to know where the aircraft is in four-dimensional space and where it needs to go next. Beyond that, we're getting into niceties. Change in flight is constant and inevitable, so inputs must be made quickly and the system must be fault tolerant. The multifunction display and moving map are huge improvements to situational awareness, and we can't say enough good things about them. They provide the electronic "map in the head" that all instructors attempt to build into their students.

President's Position: ADS-B
By Phil Boyer
AOPA Pilot, January 2006

A mandate for equipage is on the horizon - and the potential benefits are tangible - with a technology called ADS-B (automatic dependent surveillance-broadcast). You've read that phrase in many of my past columns, since AOPA has been at the forefront of this technology for a full decade (see " ADS-B: The Future Is Now," November 2005 Pilot). ADS-B has been tested and refined in Alaska, in the "Capstone Program."

President's Perspective: The future is now
Two technologies to improve safety
By Phil Boyer
AOPA Flight Training, December 2005

AOPA continually advocates for general aviation modernization, and we actively participate in the many committees and task forces that plot the future course of aviation. By helping to direct the FAA's modernization efforts, we can be assured that the end result will be much more useful to GA pilots. I'm particularly proud of the leading role that AOPA has played in two significant developments made possible by GPS technology. These technologies will provide precision approaches to every airport, and free graphical weather and traffic depiction via datalink.

Tiger Aircraft AG-5B Tiger: Smooth as Glass
The Tiger gets the G1000
By Julie K. Boatman
AOPA Pilot, November 2005

"Implementing the G1000 system is the largest and most extensive single change we have made since the AG-5B was introduced," says John Rock, chief engineer for Tiger Aircraft. Rock was an engineer for American General Aircraft Co. (AGAC), and he's referring to that company's debut of the AG-5B, an update to the AA-5 originally built by American Aviation, Grumman American, and Gulfstream American.

ADS-B: The Future Is Now
ADS-B provides timely on-board weather and traffic information
By Charles H. Stites
AOPA Pilot, November 2005

To me, the MX20 is a wonder box, capable of a variety of well-presented moving-map and terrain displays. But, even with those pixels accurately mimicking the Earth passing below, when comparing that view to the real world outside, I realize that I am getting only half the picture. Something important is missing. The sky.

Prime Meridian
Big wide screens - and more - grace New Piper's Meridians
By Thomas A. Horne
AOPA Pilot, November 2005

The New Piper Aircraft's PA-46T Meridian has just received a major-league panel upgrade. From now on, Avidyne's FlightMax Entegra system will be standard equipment in all new Meridians. It's also standard in New Piper's new Warriors, Archers, Arrows, Saratogas, and 6X and 6XT models. It's also set to become the standard avionics suite in new Malibu Mirages - the flagship of New Piper's piston singles.

Insights: Future training
You'll have FITS
By Ralph L. Butcher
AOPA Flight Training, July 2005

These aircraft - whether piston-powered or light jets - have high-quality autopilots and so-called glass cockpits in which a primary flight display (PFD) replaces conventional flight instruments. A multifunction display (MFD) serves as a moving map with optional displays for air traffic, weather, terrain, and aircraft systems and checklists.

Safety Pilot: Staying in the loop
By Bruce Landsberg
AOPA Pilot, February 2005

AOPA Air Safety Foundation Executive Director Bruce Landsberg is adapting to TAA. The hot ticket these days is technologically advanced aircraft, or TAA, as the FAA has dubbed airplanes with at least a GPS navigator, multifunction display, and an autopilot. As the marketplace sizzles, the pilot community is adapting and evolving as quickly as possible. The AOPA Air Safety Foundation was commissioned by an individual donor to take a look at the phenomenon of TAA and comment on the safety, training, and attributes of these machines.

The Commander Countdown Has Begun
AOPA's 2005 sweepstakes restores a classy single
By Steven W. Ells
AOPA Pilot, February 2005

A new instrument panel: AOPA will start the restoration by picking up where it left off with the 2001 Sweepstakes Bonanza and going forward with another glass panel. This time the instrument panel will frame the dual glass panels that make up the Chelton Flight Systems FlightLogic Synthetic Vision EFIS (electronic flight information system). This revolutionary application of 3-D synthetic vision, highway-in-the-sky technology, and integrated flight information/displays should get AOPA members excited. The FlightLogic EFIS features heads-up display (HUD) symbology laid over real-time forward-looking 3-D terrain displays.

Mooney Gets Glass
A high-performance single boasts a high-performance panel
By Thomas A. Horne
AOPA Pilot, February 2005

Mooneys, always known for their speed, fuel efficiency, and strength, just took a big leap forward in the avionics department. The company recently announced the certification of Garmin's G1000 integrated avionics system in its Ovation2 and Bravo airplanes. These new models carry the GX suffix, and are priced some $20,000 higher than Mooney's Ovation2 DX and Bravo DX models, which have panels featuring Garmin GNS 530 and 430 GPS/nav/coms.

What's Up With WAAS?
Flying the new WAAS approaches
By Julie K. Boatman
AOPA Pilot, December 2004

"Well, that was easy." While the nuts and bolts of WAAS (Wide Area Augmentation System) remain complex, the execution is simple. The highly corrected GPS signal provided by WAAS gives any capable GPS navigator accurate enough position information to concoct a glideslopelike course and guide you down it.

Taking the 40-year leap
Piloting an all-glass cockpit means embracing a new way of flying
By Joel Stoller
AOPA Flight Training, November 2004

It's been a little over a year now since I entered the world of twenty-first-century aviation technology, learning for the very first time the advanced cockpit technology that is supposed to make flying more efficient and easier. That is not to say that that this rite of passage was easy. Furthermore, the truth is that at first I didn't like the twenty-first century and its complex, computerized aviation technology at all. It took three months of regular flying with today's aviation version of the fictitious HAL 9000 computer from Arthur C. Clarke's 2001: A Space Odyssey before I was able to complete a flight without asking aloud, " Now what is it doing?"

GA Under Glass
Glass cockpits trickle down to the rest of us
By Alton K. Marsh
AOPA Pilot, October 2004

Glass cockpits have now reached all the way down to the general aviation trainer, and sooner than we expected. Four years ago an article in AOPA Pilot predicted primary and multifunction displays would be common by 2005, but we didn't really believe it would happen this year. Now even flight schools are buying glass-cockpit trainers - not for the entire fleet but in small quantities to give students an advantage during airline job interviews.

Waypoints: The glass is full
By Thomas B. Haines
AOPA Pilot, September 2004

Three years ago, who would have thought that by 2004 every mainstream general aviation airframe manufacturer would be shipping nearly every airplane with a glass panel? No evolution here. Revolution is the word.

The Next-Generation Instrument Rating
An all-glass cockpit is an alternative center for learning
By Jeff Berlin
AOPA Pilot, August 2004

While the airways between Grand Forks and Duluth are well-worn, the fact that I was flying there for an instrument checkride in a Cirrus SR22 equipped with Avidyne's FlightMax Entegra avionics suite was new. Indeed it would be the first such checkride the FAA examiner, Paul Snyder, had given. And I was ready. Yesterday, though, when I took my final stage check - a mock oral and flight test - I didn't think I would be.

President's Position: Glass cockpits
By Phil Boyer
AOPA Pilot, January 2004

The New Year brings with it many challenges and opportunities for those of us who love to fly. Neither Wilbur nor Orville had any thought about how the Flyer's panel, or lack thereof, was equipped. But today, 100 years later, more and more of our new general aviation aircraft will be equipped with "all-glass" panels.

Chelton's Flight Logic Synthetic Vision
Flying through boxes to stay on course
By Julie K. Boatman
AOPA Pilot, May 2003

Chelton was awarded part of the FAA Phase II Capstone avionics upgrade, slated for use in southeast Alaska, in 2002 to develop an electronic flight information system (EFIS) that would deliver this critical terrain data along with a full complement of highway in the sky (HITS) and other flight information to the pilot of general aviation aircraft (see " Future Flight: Air Traffic Control's Evolution," October 2000 Pilot).

Future Flight: GA in 2005 and Beyond
Part 12 of 12
A message from the future
By Alton K. Marsh
AOPA Pilot, December 2000

But the real revolution wasn't in the airframe - it was in the avionics. I should have seen it coming. All the pieces of the modern puzzle were there in early 2000 when this "Future Flight" series began; the only thing misreported was the timing. In January 2000 I predicted technologies that seemed years if not decades off, but by April aviation manufacturers were already delivering most of the products predicted.

High-Tech Approaches
By Greg Laslo
AOPA Flight Training, February 1998

I remember my first flight in a Level D simulator. It was a business jet, and I was lost among the electronic flat-panel displays, auto-throttles, and flight management systems. Totally "where-the-heck's-the-airspeed-indicator" lost. Apparently I wasn't the first person to stare confusedly at the glass cockpit like it was a wall of televisions at an electronics store. "That's why you fly the simulator first," said the instructor pilot. "You learn how things work before you get into the real thing. It's safer, less expensive, and it builds your confidence. That's the advantage of technology."