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 modern models "Airbus" is often joke that the new models for the management of passenger airliners enough dog and a man. Dogs need to bite the pilot so that he did not pull the levers and buttons control, and people need to feed the dog. Of course, this is a joke, which appeared due to modern management systems, such as fly-by-wire, in other words, it is Wireless remote control unit. It allows for the transmission of signals from the pilot to the mechanisms of the liner in the form of electrical signals. This means that instead of using the old hydraulic pilots manage sending signals through the computer to the individual mechanisms of the machine.
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.
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),
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 current stage of development of automated control systems for aircraft has reached a qualitatively new level. Today, ships are equipped with systems VBSU or ACS. The automatic control system "ACS" provides high-quality stabilization of the vessel on the route and space. The set of units of the device allows you to manage all phases of flight. The most recent developments allow the so-called flight to shturvalnom mode, it allows to maximally facilitate the work of the pilot, to minimize its intervention. Such systems stabilize their own plane from demolition, sliding or turbulence, can move even on critical flight regimes, while often ignoring the actions of the 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 creating autopilots is to maintain flight safety. Most older automatic control system the pilot has the ability at any time to make an emergency shutdown of the autopilot and go to manual control. If you violate or break off the autopilot system is essential in the usual way or mechanically. The device Tu-134 possible to carry out "shooting" autopilot set squib. In developing the autopilot carefully thought over his options off in case of breakage without harm to the flight.
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.
All the same flight on the same autopilot without the human factor is very dangerous and almost impossible. You can make a logical conclusion that the "smarter" aircraft and its design is more complicated, the smaller the chance of a flight without any human intervention. The more new automated systems are used, the greatly increased chances of their failure in flight. Calculate all the options refusal is virtually impossible. That is why the skills remain in demand all the time, because every pilot goes a long way to managing a passenger liner. Accordingly, skills and quick decisions are more important than the actions of computer programs.
The most advanced automatic control system such as fly-by-wire significantly reduced the total weight of the aircraft structure. At the same time the reliability of on-board systems has increased significantly. Equipment respond without delay, and the ability to correct errors caused by the human factor in management. This means that the system will not allow the pilot to start the car in a dangerous for her and the passengers on board the situation. Modern aircraft such as Airbus no longer equipped with standard control levers and pedals, but instead installed joysticks. All of this allows pilots to not think about the specific command and how to transfer the individual units. No need to think of the angle of deflection of the ailerons or flaps, it is enough to tilt the joystick control - and the computer will do everything himself.
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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