Changing Technology - Helicopter Attitude Instrument Flying

Advances in technology have brought about changes in the instrumentation found in all types of aircraft, including helicopters. Electronic displays commonly referred to as “glass cockpits” are becoming more common. Primary flight displays (PFDs) and multi-function displays (MFDs) are changing not only what information is available to a pilot but also how that information is displayed.

Illustrations of technological advancements in instrumentation are described as follows. In Figure 1, a typical PFD depicts an aircraft flying straight-and-level at 3,000 feet and 100 knots. Figure 2 illustrates a nose-low pitch attitude in a right turn. MFDs can be configured to provide navigation information, such as the moving map in Figure 3 or information pertaining to aircraft systems as in Figure 4.

Changing Technology - Helicopter Attitude Instrument Flying
Figure 1. PFD indications during straight-and-level flight

Changing Technology - Helicopter Attitude Instrument Flying
Figure 2. PFD indications during a nose-low pitch attitude in a right turn

Changing Technology - Helicopter Attitude Instrument Flying
Figure 3. MFD display of a moving map

Changing Technology - Helicopter Attitude Instrument Flying
Figure 4. MFD display of aircraft systems


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