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The Evolution of Technological Assistance that Pilots Avail of During Flights - Term Paper Example

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 This paper "The Evolution of Technological Assistance that Pilots Avail of During Flights" traces the history and development of various technical assistance that pilots have been availing of over the years while guiding their aircraft over thousands of miles across continents and oceans…
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The Evolution of Technological Assistance that Pilots Avail of During Flights
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Download file to see previous pages Their overriding emphasis on the personal skill of the pilot rather than dependence on sophisticated gadgets (which, though absolutely necessary, were surely not the ultimate deciding factor as regards how smoothly the airplane is flown) possibly made them the first aviation instructors and were most certainly the first aviation psychologists the world has ever seen. (Tsang and Vidulich 2003)
However, the pristine simplicity of the early flights is no longer there with commercial flights routinely lasting many hours and connecting cities separated by thousands of miles over entire oceans. Till 1960s additional information was provided to the pilots through single-purpose instruments but the multiplicity of such meters and dials exerted a serious visual scanning and cognitive integration load on the pilot which increased proportionately as the complexity and size of aircraft increased almost exponentially. Very soon a point was reached when a number of pointers, numeral counters and flags could no longer be increased or their display characteristics improved. The situation was saved by the introduction of cathode ray tube (CRT) displays where different displays appeared on the same CRT at different times thus not only making the cockpit less cluttered but also significantly alleviating the stress of the pilots. CRT was very soon followed by Liquid Crystal Displays (LCD) that provided crisper displays that were comparatively softer on the eyes as compared with CRTs. However much more has changed than just the display technology; the Boeing 777 computer systems incorporate more than 2.6 million lines of software code to support the autopilot, flight management, navigation, and maintenance functions. (Norris and Wagner 1996) Thus the modern pilot has to work more and more in conjunction with not only with other crew members but also with advanced computerized technologies.
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