During flight, a pilot has to pay attention to a variety of different factors, as they must monitor many important aspects of flight at once. As such, the cockpit of any aircraft is equipped with a myriad of instruments to make the many tasks that comprise safe flight possible in a single chamber from the pilot’s seat. With various control panels
, gauges, and monitors, there are many instruments a pilot must learn how to operate, and many are further organized into control panels for compact operations. One such panel is the mode control panel, that of which contains the instruments needed to adjust the airplane’s flight mode. For your better knowledge, this blog will explore the specific functions of this panel, bringing you one step closer to a comprehensive understanding of a pilot’s responsibilities.
The “mode” of a flight involves a few factors for flight adjustment, including speed, altitude, and autopilot options. The controls for such factors are all situated on the same panel for convenience. For example, the pilot may use this panel to slow down the aircraft as it prepares to land. At the same time, they may use this panel to increase the speed of the aircraft during takeoff. In the air, the control panel can also be used to place the aircraft in autopilot mode at cruising altitude. Depending on the aircraft, the mode control panel is used to perform these and other such functions.
In place of a mode control panel, some airplanes use a flight control unit
, that of which serves the same purpose of providing the pilot with a control panel for making adjustments to the mode of flight. The only difference is that flight control units are exclusive to Airbus airplanes
, as this is their term for a mode control panel. While Boeing initially coined the term “mode control panel,” many other aerospace manufacturing companies adopted the term, with the exception of Airbus.
Regardless of the aircraft or manufacturer, most mode control panels include the same essential instruments. Typically, they are narrow panels located directly in front of the pilot’s seat in the cockpit. Generally, pilots can use the mode control panel for vertical navigation, lateral navigation, and enabling or disabling autopilot. They can also use it for autothrottle. Autothrottle allows pilots to set a power level for the airplane’s engines
. Once set, the engines will maintain this power level automatically. Unlike other instruments, the controls on the mode control panel do not need to be constantly monitored. Instead, the pilot sets the mode and the aircraft then maintains that mode automatically.
All instruments and controls in your aircraft’s cockpit should be highly reliable given the important tasks they must carry out. As such, make sure to only procure the aerospace and aviation parts you require from a trusted distributor like Aerospace Purchasing. Owned and operated by ASAP Semiconductor, we make quality the cornerstone of all we do. We offer around-the-clock services and access to an inventory that is unparalleled in size and caliber, comprising over 2 billion new, used, obsolete, and hard-to-find part types. Begin the procurement process today by exploring our database for any item(s) you require and submitting a completed Request for Quote (RFQ) form as found on our website. Within 15 minutes or less, a member of our team of experts will contact you with a custom quote for your comparisons. To learn more, contact us at any time; we are available 24/7x365!