1 Mod 1.1
CSCI 109, Introduction to Computers and Applications
Professor: Dr. Helen Aubin
September 18, 2008
I believe that one major innovation for aviation in computer history is the invention of the “Glass Cockpit” on the Aircraft. If you are spending less time tuning in VORs and playing with a chart and all that stuff then that is more time to be situationally aware of what is going on around you. Also the glass cockpit 172s that I have been flying have the TIS feature which I think is great and makes your chances of a mid air go way down. I know these can also be in traditional cockpits too though. However, the electronic computer era really began in the 1950s with the development of autopilots based on analog computation. A significant transition involving computers was the automation of the role of the flight engineer, thereby enabling reduction of the crew of commercial air transports from three to two persons. Before the introduction of digital computers into aircraft cockpits, mechanical instruments provided information to pilots and flight engineers, mostly in the form of familiar dials. Mechanical instruments were expensive to produce, unreliable, and required extensive maintenance by skilled technicians. While mechanical instruments provided information to pilots, elaborate electromechanical and hydraulic systems effected control of the aircraft. The presence of a computer between the pilot and the aircraft control surfaces allows many innovations. For example, movements of the pilot's controls and the forces needed to effect these movements can be uniform and not tied to flight conditions, thereby easing the pilot's workload. In fact, any mapping between pilot input and control surface commands is possible. Autopilots provide services that help pilots with routine and often long-duration activities. These services include maintaining altitude while cruising, changing altitude, maintaining speed, and...