What All the Controls in an Airplane's Cockpit Do

#Travel

Fri, Mar 16th, 2012 12:00 by capnasty NEWS

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.

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