Wednesday, January 14, 2009


The attitude indicator, with its miniature airplane and horizon bar, displays a picture of the attitude of the airplane. The relationship of the miniature airplane to the horizon bar is the same as the relationship of the real airplane to the actual horizon. The instrument gives an instantaneous indication of even the smallest changes in attitude.

The gyro in the attitude indicator is mounted on a horizontal plane and depends upon rigidity in space for its operation. The horizon bar represents the true horizon.

This bar is fixed to the gyro and remains in a horizontal plane as the airplane is pitched or banked about its lateral or longitudinal axis, indicating the attitude of the airplane relative to the true horizon.

An adjustment knob is provided with which the pilot may move the miniature airplane up or down to aligns the miniature airplane with the horizon bar to suit the pilot's line of vision. Normally, the miniature airplane is adjusted so that the wings overlap the horizon bar when the airplane is in straight-and-level cruising flight.

The pitch and bank limits depend upon the make and model of the instrument. Limits in the banking plane are usually from 100° to 110°, and the pitch limits are usually from 60° to 70°. If either limit is exceeded, the instrument will tumble or spill and will give incorrect indications until re-stabilized. A number of modern attitude indicators will not tumble.

Every pilot should be able to interpret the banking scale. Most banking scale indicators on the top of the instrument move in the same direction from that in which the airplane be actually banked. Some other models move in the opposite direction from that in which the airplane is actually banked. This may confuse the pilot if the indicator is used to determine the direction of bank. This scale should be used only to control the degree of desired bank. The relationship of the miniature airplane to the horizon bar should be used for an indication of the direction of bank.

The attitude indicator is reliable and the most realistic flight instrument on the instrument panel. Its indications are very close approximations of the actual attitude of the airplane.

No comments:

Post a Comment