Avionics News May 2019 - 40

industry

Second-chance

OPTIONS
Redundant systems in a pinch improve survival odds
S T O R Y

A

B Y

ircraft engineers went to some lengths
to populate their machines with systems
balanced to provide a measure of redundancy
in the event of failure or emergency of one or another.
From the main-ship battery in the electrical system,
to the variety of power sources powering important
gyroscopic instruments and the very variety of gyros
themselves as cross-references to each other, the oldschool standard panel and systems - including the
venerable flight-instrument six-pack - served pilots well
for decades.
Oh, sure, some pilots chose to back up their suction
systems, generating capabilities - or both. But the mix
largely remained the same for decades.
And then progress happened.
The progress might best be described as a revolution in
cockpits - specifically, airline cockpits in the mid-1980s,
40

avionics news

*

may

2019

D A V E

H I G D O N

when the first glass panels showed up in Boeing 757
single-aisle and 767 twin-aisle airliners. The common type
rating was a nod to the common flight deck and controls
layout of the two airliners, pioneers in electronic flight
instrument systems, or EFIS.
Glass spread quickly among airliners, then businessturbine aircraft, before builders of experimental aircraft
gained access to glass systems from new vendors.
By the early years of the 21st century, the electronic
flight deck assumed the dominance it today enjoys in
general aviation - from jets and turboprops down through
the ranks to piston singles and even light-sport aircraft.
For buyers of new factory-built aircraft, the delivered
panels covered the redundancy issue on their type
certificates.
But upgrading to glass introduced a new complication
for pilots and aircraft owners seeking to upgrade to



Avionics News May 2019

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Avionics News May 2019

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Avionics News May 2019 - Intro
Avionics News May 2019 - No label
Avionics News May 2019 - Cover2
Avionics News May 2019 - 1
Avionics News May 2019 - 2
Avionics News May 2019 - 3
Avionics News May 2019 - 4
Avionics News May 2019 - 5
Avionics News May 2019 - 6
Avionics News May 2019 - 7
Avionics News May 2019 - 8
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Avionics News May 2019 - 72
Avionics News May 2019 - Cover3
Avionics News May 2019 - Cover4
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