Flight Instruments Essay

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Flight Instruments Flight instruments enable an airplane to be operated with maximum performance and enhanced safety, especially when flying long distances. Manufacturers provide the necessary instruments, but to use them effectively, pilots need to understand how they operate. This page covers the operational aspects of the pitot-static system and associated instruments, the vacuum system and associated instruments, and the magnetic compass. Pitot-static flight instruments There are two major parts of the pitot-static system: the impact pressure chamber and lines, and the static pressure chamber and lines. They provide the source of ambient air pressure for the operation of the altimeter, vertical speed indicator (vertical velocity indicator), and the airspeed indicator. Figure 1: Pitot-static system and instruments. Impact pressure chamber and lines In this system, the impact air pressure (air striking the airplane because of its forward motion) is taken from a pitot tube, which is mounted in locations that provide minimum disturbance or turbulence caused by the motion of the airplane through the air. The static pressure (pressure of the still air) is usually taken from the static line attached to a vent or vents mounted flush with the side of the fuselage. This compensates for any possible variation in static pressure due to erratic changes in airplane attitude. The openings of both the pitot tube and the static vent must be checked during the preflight inspection to assure that they are free from obstructions. Blocked or partially blocked openings should be cleaned by a certificated mechanic. Blowing into these openings is not recommended because this could damage the instruments. As the airplane moves through the air, the impact pressure on the open pitot tube affects the pressure in the pitot chamber. Any change of pressure in the pitot chamber is

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