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How Autopilot Really Works on a Airplane

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  • 3 months ago
In the times of robots and self-driving cars on the road, you can say the future is here, right? But if we have this sort of “autopilot” for cars, then the aviation field has been way ahead of the times for years! Autopilot: how did it come about and how does it work?

When airplanes were first invented, they required the pilot’s undivided attention to fly safely. As the airplane’s range got bigger and they could travel for more hours, it got harder and harder for pilots to keep up. Around 1912, the first autopilot was created by Sperry Corporation – a company that specialized in electronics. From that moment, the history of autopilot just starts!

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Why did someone have to invent the autopilot? 0:22
The first attempts 0:55
Not all passenger planes have autopilots 1:45
What is an autopilot 2:15
Different types of autopilots 4:08
How do control systems work? 5:15
How does the autopilot keep the airplane wings leveled? 7:39
What happens if the autopilots fail? 9:16

#howautopilotworks #planefacts #brightside

Music by Epidemic Sound https://www.epidemicsound.com/

-At first, the captain needed to keep hold of the controls the entire time. As the airplane’s range got bigger and they could travel for more hours, it got harder and harder for pilots to keep up.
-Around 1912, the first autopilot was created by Sperry Corporation.The autopilot allowed the plane to fly level and straight using a compass course without the pilot constantly trying to keep it leveled manually. But as technology progressed and the world of aviation took off, the autopilot systems improved.
-Aircraft that are designed for private transport are to this day still only flown manually. Even some jets might not have autopilots.
-Autopilot is officially known as the Automatic Flight Control System. It plays a major part in an aircraft’s avionics.
-The Single-Axis Autopilot controls the ailerons, and it’s known as the “wing-leveler”. The slightly more advanced system is the Two-Axis Autopilot, which controls both the ailerons and the elevators to keep the plane level on both its horizontal and transverse axis. The Three-Axis Autopilot controls all of the above: the rudder, elevators, and ailerons.
-Once pilots board the plane, they enter all the control mode settings they need about the flight, like maintaining the aircraft’s altitude or direction. Then, the smart high-speed processors sort of cross-reference their calculations to see if the plane is obeying the pilot’s orders.
-Autopilots are just one example of a control system, and like all control systems, they work in very similar ways. They act based on what they measure, and their actions impact the value of what they just measured.
-The gyroscopes on the wings sense that they’re being moved, so they automatically send that data to the autopilot computer. The autopilot then processes that information and understands that the wings are no longer level, so it needs to take action! It then sends the data to the servomechanism units that control the ailerons and tells them that they need to adjust so that the wings will become level again.
-Autopilots are designed as a failsafe – which means even if they do fail, they won’t cause any damage to other parts of the plane. In this case, the pilots will have to override the autopilot by disconnecting it.

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Zoe (GB) is 26 years young, she is a passionate writer and creator of all things, beauty, fashion and lifestyle related. She started writing in February 2009, after indulging in various other beaut...

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