Over 90% of all new light aircraft by the year 2006 were equipped with glass cockpits.

Most popular flight decks

  • Small aircraft: Garmin G1000 and G3000, Primus Apex, Avidyne Entegra.
  • Larger aircraft: Garmin G3000 and G5000, Primus Epic, Rockwell Collins Pro Line.


  • Cessna 172: Garmin 1000
  • Vision: Garmin 3000
  • Piper M600: Garmin 3000
  • Piper M500 / M350: Garmin 1000 NXi
  • DA40/42/50/62: Garmin 1000 NXi
  • King Air 260/360 Collins Aerospace Pro Line Fusion Avionics Suite
  • Denali: Garmin G3000
  • Baron: G1000
  • Bonanza G36: G1000
  • SR22: G1000 (early models used Avidyne Entegra)

Glass Cockpit

  • PFD: Primary Flight Display.
  • MFD: Multi-function display.
  • ND: navigation display
  • EIS: Engine Information System, or Engine Indication System
  • EICAS: engine indicating and crew alerting system
  • ECAM: Electronic Centralized Aircraft Monitor is defined as is a system on Airbus aircraft for monitoring and displaying engine and aircraft system information to the pilots. In the event of a malfunction, it will display the fault and may also display the appropriate steps of the remedial action. The Electronic Centralized Aircraft Monitor (ECAM) is the Airbus version of an enhanced Engine Indicating and Crew Alerting System (EICAS) system.
  • EFIS: An Electronic Flight Instrument System is a flight deck instrument display system in which the display technology used is electronic rather than electromechanical.


  • Primary Radar: ground-based, detects objects, to show dots in ATC; measure the bearing and distance of targets using the detected reflections of radio signals.
  • Secondary Radar (Secondary Surveylance Radar or SSR): ground-based, asks the transponder to transmit a return signal. From ground to airborne at 1030 MHz, from airborne to groun at 1090 MHz. Relies on targets equipped with a radar transponder, that reply to each interrogation signal by transmitting encoded data such as an identity code, the aircraft's altitude and further information depending on its chosen mode.
  • Traffic collision avoidance system (TCAS): airborne system, interprets transponder returns of nearby aircraft, to show in displays and warn collisions.


Transponders send info back to ATC. There are three main types of transponders: A, C, and S.

  • Mode A: 4-digit transponder code, no altitude ("On"). Each digit can be 0 to 7, so in total 4096 combinations.
  • Mode C: 4-digit transponder code + altitude ("Alt").
  • Mode S: 4-digit transponder code + altitude + data exchange; use 24-bit (more than 16 million codes, comparing to 4096 codes in classic modes); use data link communication. It also improves the accuracy of your position by making the reply longer, which allows the interrogator to get a better fix on your position.

Special Sqawk code:

  • 1200: VFR default
  • 7500: Highjik
  • 7600: Radio failure
  • 7700: Emergency


Part of NextGen.

  • Automatic: works in background.
  • Dependent: depends on other aircraft being equipped (FAA mandates ADS-B Out in 2020).
  • Surveillance: to track other aircraft.
  • Broadcast: it sends out its position and velocity.

In vs Out

  • Out: aircraft report position, velocity, altitude once per second, the 2020 mandate.
  • In: receive weather and traffic, not part of the 2020 mandate.

ADS-B Out standards:

  • 1090ES (Extended Squitter): 1090 MHz with extended squitter; same as Mode A/C trasnponder; Mode S transponders can be upgraded to ES transponders by adding a WAAS GPS and upgrading software; accepted outside the US; above 18,000 ft; for turboprops and jets
    • In: detect other 1090ES equipped aircraft, or receive traffic from ground stations; no weather.
    • 1090ES is capable of assembling a long message (112 bits)
    • 'Squitter' (unsolicited downlink transmissions) because the transponder sends it without prior interrogation (broadcast), 'extended' because its length is 112 bits instead of 56.
  • 978UAT (Universal Access Transceiver): only allowed in the US and only below 18,000 ft; for general aviation / pistons mostly.
    • In: detect other 978UAT equipped aircraft, or receive traffic from ground stations; can receive ADS-B weather.

ADS-B vs Mode S Transponder:

  • ADS-B is only one message within Mode-S. ADS-B is a higher level service using the lower transmission capabilities of mode S.
  • mode-S interrogations rely on the interrogator figuring out your position based on what direction the reply is coming from.
  • ADS-B, on the other hand, expands the mode-S data block to include your position, which comes from a GPS onboard your aircraft.


  • very low cost.
  • very high accuracy performance and control on large airspace.
  • simple ground station design.
  • ADS-B uses a unique code assigned to the airframe for it's life; squawk code is temporary.
  • With ADS-B, pilots can see what controllers see: displays showing other aircraft in the sky.
  • Cockpit displays also pinpoint hazardous weather and terrain, and give pilots important flight information, such as temporary flight restrictions.

Flight Information Service-Broadcast (FIS-B) is part of the ADS-B system, which broadcasts datalink weather to properly-equipped aircraft. This allows for the display of METARs, TAFs, PIREPs, radar imagery and more on installed and portable displays.

Link: https://www.faa.gov/air_traffic/technology/adsb


Automatic Dependent Surveillance - Contract (ADS-C). ADS-C is similar to ADS-B, but is used primarily for making position reports.

Auto pilot


  • Single-axis: lateral modes only (HDG), controlling aileron.
  • Two Axis: both lateral and vertical modes, controlling elevator and/or trim.
  • Autothrottle: controlling throttle.


  • FLC (Flight Level Change) vs VS (Vertical Speed) mode: FLC mode maintains airspeed during a climb or descent, while VS mode maintains a specific vertical speed.
  • The NAV and APR modes are really similar, but the APR mode does additionally follow also the glideslope signal from an ILS, and the ILS has a fixed radial (so it ignores the OBS knob setting of the CDI!).
  • Using the REV mode allows you to fly away from an VOR or ILS localizer signal (note that glideslope is ignored)

with altitude preselect. (HDG+ALT) controlling aileron / elevator / trim

  • vertical speed (VS): climb/descent at the specified vertical speed
  • altitude hold (ALT): hold the current altitude

Why piston / turboprop do not have auto throttle (incl. ATR and Dash-8)? Each jet engine only has one lever; each piston engine has three (a mixture lever, a propeller lever and a throttle lever). Jet engine's throttle is pretty straight forward - move forward, more power. The computer automatically manages fuel flow to prevent surge, flameout and N1 overshoot.


Some may be integrated in an audio panel.

Usually have isolation and squelch controls.

Engine Monitor

J.P. Instruments EDM-930: The JPI EDM-930 Complete Engine Data Management System, is a Primary System to Replace Analog Engine Gauges with an LCD Display.



Garmin is playing a big role in general aviation. Aviation is not the largest however is the most profitable.

Flight Decks (high-end to low-end)

  • Garmin G3000 (variations: G2000/G5000): for light turbine aircraft
  • Garmin G1000: for small aircraft. Most common. No touchscreen.
  • Garmin G500 / G600: touchscreen.
  • Garmin G3X

Navigation and Radios

GPS Nav Comm Transponder MFD
GTX 325/335/345 Y
GTR 225 Y
GPS 175 Y Y
GNC 255 Y Y
GNC 355 Y Y Y
GNX 375 Y Y
  • GTX: (TX for transponder)
    • GTX 325: Mode C Transponder
    • GTX 335: ADS-B "Out" Transponder
    • GTX 345: ADS-B "In"/"Out" Transponder
  • GNC (NC for Nav/Comm)
  • GPS / Transponder: GNX 375.
  • GDL (DL for DataLink)
  • GTN / GNS: GTN 750 > GTN 650 > GNS 430/530
    • GNS: discontinued, replaced by GTN Xi


GFC (FC for flight control): GFC 500 / 600 / 700.

Flight Intruments

GI 275: "REPLACE ANALOG GAUGES WITH ELECTRONIC DISPLAYS", Vacuum pump can be replaced by avionics; can also be used as standby.


Honeywell avionics for commercial airliners (e.g. B777)

  • Honeywell Primus: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Honeywell_Primus
    • Cessna Citation
    • ERJ 145
    • Learjet 45
    • Pilatus PC-12 NG
    • Gulfstream
  • Honeywell Anthem: future version. The first in the industry built with an always-on, cloud-connected experience that improves flight efficiency, operations, safety and comfort.
  • BendixKing (https://www.bendixking.com) is a division of Honeywell Aerospace, for general aviation.


A subsidiary of Raytheon Technologies.

  • Pro Line






PS Engineering