A new British aid to poor weather flying has been perfected by Smith Aviation of Cheltenham, U.
A new British aid to poor weather flying has been perfected by Smith Aviation of Cheltenham, U.K. This Para Visual Director -- known as the "Flying Barber's Pole" - consists of three poles, striped black and white, at either side, and in front of the pilot. They give directions to the pilot by revolving.
This radically new form of flight director was demonstrated recently by a pilot of Smith Aviation flying in a De Havilland aircraft. In the cockpit installation there were three PVD instruments for the pilot. They were arranged just below eye level so that there was no interference with direct vision.
The unit in front of the pilot is known as the azimuth display and shows bank errors by light patterns streaming to the left or right. The PVDs on either side of him display errors in the pitch of the aircraft by running backwards and forwards.
When the azimuth unit shows movement to the left, it gives a compelling signal to bank in the same direction and vice versa. If the pitch displays stream forward, the pilot adjusts the control column forward until they are brought to rest.
If a fault occurs, or the power supplies are switched off, a shutter automatically masks the display of the PVD. Even if the pilot is looking in another direction he can not fail to notice the light signals from the displays.
In bad weather conditions, the pilot is greatly assisted by the three PVD units. He has only to set a course and the display streams will demand an adjustment of banking or an adjustment of pitch. As the course is corrected, so the streams stop.
Both aircraft designers and operators have recognised the importance of this new development in flight instrumentation. It has been adopted for a number of future jet transports. The system is compact and versatile enough to be installed in many aircraft already in airline service.