When someone asked on Quora "What do all the controls in an airplane's cockpit do?", private pilot Tim Morgan took the task to answer it. It's a lengthy but informative read if you'll ever find yourself needing to fly an airliner. There's even a knob that does nothing.
All of them? If you're talking about a commercial airliner, then there's hundreds and hundreds. There are big, fat manuals describing what they all do. But, since you asked, buckle up.
Every airplane is different. Unlike learning to drive a car, you can't just hop from one plane to another. A pilot needs familiarization (and in some cases, a whole new type of license) to fly a different kind of plane. Some are piston-powered; some are jet-powered. Some have electrically-driven controls; some are hydraulically-driven. Some have emergency oxygen; some don't. And so on. All the switches, dials, and knobs in the cockpit control the various aircraft systems, and every aircraft has different systems.
|Air New Zealand Now Offers Beds|
|"It is basically your license on your phone."|
|Visualization of European Air Traffic|
|Photographs of Limited Production Vehicles|
|Which Countries You Visited in the Past May Undermine Your Ability to Enter the United States|
|"Fossil fuel executives want to get a piece of the clean-energy business."|
|Nerf John Wick|
|“The release of methane from hydrate may be apocalyptic.”|
|"This very internationalism that contributed to the apocalyptic disaster that ended the Bronze Age."|
|Top 10 Reasons Men Are Scum|
|“One of the major concerns with asteroid mining is, of course, getting to the asteroids.”|
|“There was not only automation but where the suggestion that humans had any control [...] was absent too.”|
|"Most of what kids currently learn at school will probably be irrelevant by the time they are 40."|
|“You can make spaceships much bigger than anything we’ve seen so far in history.”|
|“That glazed-over look a grandma has at a Vegas slot machine is the same look Facebook chases in its users scrolling the feed.”|
|Loneliness is Not an Old Friend|
|“It's unbelievable how much energy is released.”|