Category Archives: Cockpit Tech

Flying the North Atlantic Tracks

Flying the NATs - The North Atlantic Organized Track System

Each day, over 2000 aircraft travel across the Atlantic ocean bound for North America or Europe on the North Atlantic Organized Track System. Have you ever wondered how pilots navigate and communicate during the journey? Communication over the Atlantic is an interesting combination of modern digital messaging, satellite communication, and early 1900’s low-tech!

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The Mysterious Black Box

blackbox_splashWhenever there is an accident involving an airliner, news reporters immediately begin talking about “the Black Box.”

“Where is the Black Box?”
“Investigators are looking for the Black Box”
“In what condition is the Black Box?”
“What did the investigators find in the Black Box?”

Many reporters have no idea what the Black Box is. And because of the media’s lack of knowledge, much of the public doesn’t know what it is, either. What exactly is the “Black Box” and why is it so important?

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Video candy: Air Tahiti Nui’s 15th anniversary

Air Tahiti Nui taxiing

A340 – Source:Flickr.com/afagen

Air Tahiti Nui is French Polynesia’s flag carrier. To celebrate the airline’s 15th anniversary, a few employees put together this super video to show us how they take care of business with an Airbus A340. The crews used a GoPro 3 Black, Panasonic LX3, and Panasonic LX7 to capture the video. Editing was done with Final Cut Pro X. Filming was done with the cooperation of Air Tahiti Nui.

How do pilots find their way?

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I asked my wife if she had any ideas for an article. She said, “You know, I really don’t know how you find your way from one city to another.”  “Great,” I thought, “an article about how airliners navigate!” Or perhaps it was a sly insult; I can never really tell.

Navigation is a really broad subject. Different aircraft have different types of equipment to help pilots find their way. I’ll stick with a generic airliner setup. And don’t worry… I’ll make this really simple and easy to understand!

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Jeppesen Develops Custom Chart for Santa!

Santa Jeppesen Chart

Chart source: Jeppesen

The Jeppesen company is no stranger to developing custom aeronautical maps and approach charts for airlines. In 2013, however, they had a very special request from Santa. Ole St. Nick needed a new, state-of-the-art approach chart for his workshop at the North Pole. Jeppesen answered the call to make sure the sleigh stays safe when arriving back home Christmas morning.

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Boeing’s Ultimate RC Airplane & The 777X

777cockpit

Boeing 777X Cockpit – Source: Boeing

Two cool Boeing videos for today.

RC buffs are going to drool when they see what Boeing has done to six previously mothballed F16 fighters. The new unmanned F-16 variant, now designated the QF-16, will be used as a realistic target for training exercises. It took some sophisticated engineering to convert the jets into remote control targets; the F-16’s had been in storage for over 15 years. While they are still pretty high-tech, these jets aren’t exactly spring chickens…

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