Working of Avionics and Aircraft Instruments

Aviation is all about safety; one of the biggest reasons that air travel is a common and practical means of transportation is that accurate flight instruments allow pilots to fly safely without maintaining visual contact with the ground. Instead of trying to gauge their altitude and heading by constantly referencing the ground, pilots can just gauge their cockpit instruments to find out all the information they need.

There are many instruments in the cockpit of an aircraft that provide the pilot with information about the flight situation, increasing safety. The core of these instruments is what is commonly referred to as the “six-pack”, made up of the three pitot-static instruments: altimeter for altitude, airspeed indicator for speed, and vertical speed indicator for rate of climb or descent, and the three gyroscopic instruments: attitude indicator for relation to horizon, heading indicator for direction in relation to magnetic north, and turn indicator for rotation about the longitudinal axis.

Other instruments include the automatic dependent surveillance-broadcast used to periodically broadcast the aircrafts satellite position, distance measuring equipment used to provide the lateral dimension, and emergency locator transmitter used to broadcast the aircraft’s position when in distress.

All of these instruments can be grouped into three distinct categories: performance, control, and navigation. Where performance instruments like the altimeter and vertical speed indicator indicate what the aircraft’s actual performance is, the control instruments display immediate attitude and power changes and the navigation instruments indicate the aircraft’s relative position. As you can see from the short list of instruments we’ve listed here, there are many different instruments in an aircraft’s cockpit, and many of them are redundant and overlap. But, like we mentioned earlier, that’s what makes flying safe.

And with the switch from traditional analog devices to solid state instruments with significantly lower failure rates, flying continues to become safer. Widespread use of training simulators, which become more advanced in order to keep up with newer aircraft instruments, also increases safety.

Paragon Purchasing, owned and operated by ASAP Semiconductor, should always be your first and only stop for avionic parts and components. With a vast inventory of new and obsolete avionic and aviation parts and components and a friendly and knowledgeable staff ready to help 24/7x365, you can always rely on us for all your mission-critical and AOG requirements. Visit our website,, or call us at +1-714-705-4780, to get started.


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