The word “cockpit” is a term used to describe a confined space where the pilot sits to operate a plane. It was first used in World War I to describe pilot seats. Its name later became synonymous with the control center of a racing car. In fact, many people still call the cockpit a “cockpit” today. However, the history of the word itself is long and fascinating.
A modern airliner’s cockpit is virtually devoid of traditional controls. The instrument panel is almost completely replaced with electronic displays that are re-configurable. Some hard-wired switches are still present for safety reasons, but most traditional controls are now multi-functional re-configurable “soft keys” integrated onto the control stick or the throttle. In addition to being a pilot’s cockpit, most aircraft have a system for automatic flight control and an integrated warning system.
Besides the controls of an airplane, the flight deck is also considered to be the cockpit. The cockpit is the area where the pilot sits while flying and controls the airplane. Its interior is similar to that of a truck cab or a ship’s bridge. A cockpit has a lot of details for a pilot to know. The pilots can easily activate or deactivate the various controls in the cockpit during a simulation session.
While the pilot’s seat in an airplane’s cockpit is usually occupied by one person, there is a door in the passenger’s area. This door is called an emergency touchpad. If the pilot cannot be reached, the cabin crew can enter the cockpit to control the aircraft. The cockpit door has a locking system to ensure safety during emergencies. The cabin crew can only enter a cockpit after a thirty-second delay.
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