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Avionic systems

Electronics instruments, known as avionics, are a major part of any aircraft. Avionics is also known as a flight control system since it controls various aspects of the aircraft.

Avionic systems comprise of communications, navigation, the display and management of multiple systems, and various systems fitted to aircraft to perform different individual functions. An aircraft’s avionic system is usually located in the cockpit of the aircraft. In the majority of aircraft, DC electrical systems of 14 or 28 V is used to power the avionic system.

Overview of systems included in avionics

There are various systems included in every aircraft’s avionics.

Communication system

The communication system connects the flight deck to the passengers through an on‑board public-address systems. The VHF (very high frequency) aviation communication system works on the air band of 118.000 MHz to 136.975 MHz. VHF is also used for line-of-sight communication, including aircraft-to-air traffic control (ATC) and aircraft-to-aircraft. On trans-oceanic flights aircraft communication can also take place using high frequency (HF) or satellite communication.

Navigation system

Navigation in avionics utilises satellite navigation system, grounded navigation system, INS (inertial navigation system) and combined navigation system. Global Positioning Systems (GPS) and Wide Area Augmentation Systems (WAAS) form part of the satellite navigation system. Grounded avionic systems include VHF omni-directional range (VOR) or long-range navigation (LORAN). The navigation systems calculate the position of aircraft automatically and display it to the flight crew on moving map displays.

Fuel system

Fuel control on an aircraft is essential. Avionic systems use fuel quantity indication system (FQIS) to monitor the amount of fuel aboard. FQIS comprises various sensors, including capacity tubes, temperature sensors, densitometers, and level sensors to determine the mass of fuel remaining onboard. The fuel control and monitoring system (FCMS) details the remaining fuel onboard in a similar manner, but also manages fuel transfers around different tanks through various pumps and valves.

Flight recorder

The flight recorder system, or black box (despite being orange in colour), records the flight data information and audio from the cockpit. This particular avionic system is key in analysing the possible causes of an aircraft accident and it is key to recover the black box after an incident.

Aircraft flight control systems

The so-called auto-pilot system can automatically control flight, and within avionics is called an aircraft flight control system. This particular avionic system reduces pilot error and workload during take-off and landing.

Other systems

In addition to the above-mentioned avionics systems, there are weathering systems, lightning detectors, radars, traffic alert and collision avoidance systems (TCAS), glass cockpit, and sonar, among many others.

All systems go

There is an avionics system for everything an aircraft does. Theses avionics systems are key to minimise human errors and make the flight safer. Should you need any advice, repairs, or upgrades to your avionic systems, contact Century Avionics today.

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