I admit it: I’m a sucker for a great shot from the flight deck. And this image, captured by Fly for Fun (otherwise known as our very own Kent Wien) is a beaut — I love the saturated colours and compelling lighting, shot as the flight was descending into Boston. Well done, Captain!
Admit it. Every time you walk down the aisle of an airplane, you crane your neck just a little to see into the cockpit. All those levers, knobs, buttons, and dials are fascinating. But what do they do? Personally, I always believed they were more for show than anything else — to justify the cost of plane tickets. After all, if flying seems hard, then airlines can charge more for airline tickets, right? See how well I know my ecomonomics?
Surprisingly, it turns out that all those levers, knobs, buttons, and dials aren’t just for show. In fact, they control stuff — important stuff like SAARU altitude, waypoint monitoring, rain removal, pitch trim control, and more. They also control the fuel jettison system, which sure sounds important.
If you want to learn about those controls, check out Jerome Meriweather’s interactive Boeing 777 Flight Deck Simulation, on which he explains what all those twinkly things on the glareshield, the pedestal, and the overhead actually do. You can even cruise around the flight deck in a 360° panorama; it’s like having an out-of-body experience. Feel the need for speed? Check out the F-16 flight deck, and pretend to be Maverick.