Glossary


Every so often while browsing our website you may come across terms that are unfamiliar to you. For this reason we have included a Glossary on the Airplanes.com website. This short list of words and their definitions is designed to give our users a brief understanding of the various flight-related terms. If you find a term on the website that you do not understand or even if you find one on another website and you would like to know the meaning of it, please let us know and we will do our best to research it accurately and add it to the glossary. It is our hope that this glossary will continue to expand until it becomes one of the most comprehensive on the internet.

Glass Cockpit

A cockpit in which the instrument display is electronic and controlled by computers. Pilots can switch between individual displays to receive information of their choice. Glass cockpits are often integrated with GPS receivers. The Primary Flight Display combines the six primary instruments for easy viewing. The Navigation Display combines the ADF, VOR, and a moving map display. Additional displays offer even more information. A typical glass cockpit display can show approach charts, terrain, current position, estimated time of arrival, speed, engine performance, weather, traffic, airspace restrictions, and much more.

Several aviation manufacturers, including Cirrus, Cessna, and New Piper, now optionally install glass cockpits in many of their general aviation and business aircraft. In many commercial aircraft, the glass cockpit has eliminated the need for a flight engineer. The main argument in favor of glass cockpits is that they improve the pilot’s situational awareness which increases overall safety and efficiency of cockpit resources. Another advantage to glass cockpits is the amount of room they save by replacing numerous analogue instruments.

Several companies around the country offer transitional training in glass cockpits for those pilots only familiar with analogue cockpits. Due to the complexity of glass cockpits, training usually lasts several hours and includes ground as well as flight instruction. Today’s flight simulators have incorporated glass cockpits into many of their simulated aircraft. Some believe that glass cockpits are the way of the future. For now, the costs associated with glass cockpits are prohibitive for many first-time plane buyers.

What is a Float Plane?

A float plane is a type of seaplane. It has slender pontoons (a cylindrical chamber used to float) mounted below the body of the float plane. Only the pontoons of the float plane will contact the water whilst the main body of the plane will remain above the water. Float planes, like other planes, have difficulty in bad weather conditions. The design of the float plane will determine on how turbid the water upon which it lands can be. Float planes are most often used in remote areas to transport small freight and people.