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Autopilot plane
Autopilot plane

The autopilot on the plane


The origin of the aircraft industry has changed a lot of things in the construction of aircraft and their management. More 20-30 years ago, such a device, like an autopilot, was virtually unknown to anyone. Over the years the situation has changed radically. Most of the flight control of the huge airliner is carried autopilots. We can say that the pilot is actively involved only in taxiing and takeoff, and then passes control to the system. You also need the intervention of the pilot vessel when landing. Microcomputer aircraft greatly simplifies the tasks of management and control.

Pilots of modern models of "Airbus" often joke that for management of new models of passenger airliners there is enough of a dog and one person. The dog is needed to bite the pilot, so that he does not drag on the levers and control buttons, but the person is needed in order to feed the dog. Of course, this is a joke, which appeared due to modern control systems, such as fly-by-wire, in other words, it's radio-controlled control of the device. It allows for the transmission of signals from the pilot himself to the liner's mechanisms in the form of electrical signals. This means that, instead of using the old hydraulics, the pilots control, sending signals through the computer to individual machine mechanisms.

What is the autopilot in the broadest sense of the term? This hardware and software system that has the ability to drive the vehicle on a given route. With each passing year becomes more and more innovation in many sectors of the transport structure. Yet leading position takes air transport.

Autopilot aircraft designed to stabilize the flight parameters of the vessel and conducting at the specified rate. This pilot comply with the established speed and altitude. Before you transfer the aircraft on autopilot, you must create a clear mission without slipping or cut machine. After stabilizing the aircraft on all planes can be made including the automatic control system, but it is necessary to carry out regular monitoring of indicators. It should be noted that both military aircraft have such systems.

More complex in its design and reliable autopilots began to be installed on domestic aircraft from the end of 70-ies.

Brief history of the autopilot

The first autopilot in the world was created back in 1912 year. The invention belongs to the American company Sperry Corporation, which was able to establish a system of holding the plane on a given trajectory, thus stabilizing the bank. This has been achieved by linking altimeter and compass from the rudders and height. Communication was set up by the use of the unit and hydraulic drive.

autopilot scheme

The diagram shows how a typical autopilot.

Pre-calculated parameters are entered into the flight computers of the aircraft (1).

After takeoff the autopilot takes effect.

Two displays (2) show the position of the aircraft, its intended route and altitude.

Changing the position of the small flaps (3) on the outer surface of the aircraft notifies the computer of the slightest change in the orientation of the plane.

To determine the position using the global navigation system (GOS) (4).

The receiver located on the upper housing (5).

Computers monitor the route and automatically makes the necessary changes through the servo (6),

who run the wheel (7),

elevators (8),

ailerons (9),

Flaps (10)

and setting the engine throttle (11)

If necessary, the pilot can at any time turn off the autopilot and go to manual control (12)

Starting with 30-20 ies century, autopilot started to equip some passenger airliners. A new milestone in the development of automatic control systems made the Second World War, which demanded such technologies for long-range bombers. The first fully automatic flight across the Atlantic, including the landing and taking off, the plane carried C-54, which belonged to the United States. This happened in 1947 year.

The modern stage of the development of automated control systems for aircraft reached a qualitatively new level. To date, the liners are equipped with VBSU or ACS systems. The automatic control system "SAU" carries out a qualitative stabilization of the vessel on the route and in space. A set of aggregates of the system allows you to control the device at all stages of the flight. The latest developments allow you to fly in the so-called helm mode, this allows you to maximally ease the work of the pilot, minimize its intervention. Such systems independently stabilize the aircraft from demolition, slip or bumpiness, they can even pass to critical flight modes, while very often ignoring the actions of pilots.

The autopilot of the aircraft is the unit on a given route, using the combined information of its own navigation devices and ground sensors, which analyze flight. The system carries out control of all units of the flying ship. Also working trajectory of that conduct approach with high accuracy without any action pilots.

Control devices in their standard form (levers, pedals) are not used. High degree of automation has brought management to supply electrical impulses to all parts of the aircraft without the use of hydraulic control system. Electromechanical control devices allow to recreate the conditions of the more familiar pilot. The cockpits are increasingly set the side controls of the type "saydstik."

The problems of automatic control airplanes

Of course, the primary and most important problem in the creation of autopilots is the preservation of flight safety. In most old automatic control systems, the pilot has the ability at any time to make an emergency shutdown of the autopilot and switch to manual control. If the autopilot is violated or broken, it is absolutely necessary to disconnect the system in the usual way or mechanically. In the apparatus of Tu-134 it is possible to carry out the "shooting off" of the autopilot with an installed pyropatron. When developing an autopilot, the options for disabling it are carefully thought out in the event of a breakdown without harm to the flight.

Autopilot plane 3434

To enhance the security automation control operates in multi-channel mode. At the same time can work just four piloting system with the same parameters and capabilities. The system also conducts continuous analysis and monitoring of the incoming data signals. The flight is carried out based on the so-called method kvorumirovaniya, which consists of decision according to the majority of systems.

In case of failure the autopilot is able to choose from a further control mode. It can be switched to a different control channel or control pilot transmission. To test the systems necessary to carry out the so-called Pre-run systems. This test consists of a start step by step program that provides a simulation of flight signals.

Yet no one check does not achieve 100% th guarantee of safety and performance in flight. Due to unusual situations in the air may have additional problems with the automatic control. Some autopilots are various programs that allow you to spend the most safe flight of the respective aircraft.

Yet flying on one autopilot without a human factor is very dangerous and almost impossible. You can draw one logical conclusion that the smarter the aircraft and the more complex the design, the less chance of flying without human intervention. The more new automated systems are used, the greater the chances of their refusal to fly. Calculate all the options for failure is almost impossible. That's why the pilot's skills will remain in demand all the time, as each pilot goes a very long way to managing passenger liners. Accordingly, skills and rapid decision-making remain more important than the actions of computer programs.

The most modern fly-by-wire automatic control systems allowed to significantly reduce the overall weight of the aircraft structure. At the same time, the reliability of on-board systems has increased many-fold. The equipment reacts without delay, and is also able to correct mistakes caused by the human factor in the management. This indicates that the system will not allow the pilot to start the car in a situation dangerous for her and passengers on board. Modern aircraft such as Airbus ceased to be equipped with standard levers and control pedals, instead, joysticks are installed. All this allows the pilots not to think about which team and how to transfer the individual unit. No need to think through the angle of the aileron or flap deflection, just tilt the control joystick - and the computer will do everything itself.

Yet, despite all the rosy picture, the fault occurred autopilots many shipwreck that led to casualties. The history of aircraft accidents due to the fault of automatic control systems, unfortunately, is very rich in facts unreliability of such systems.


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