## Instrument Flying Handbook Flight Instruments Dynamic Pressure Type Instrument

Instrument Flying
Handbook

Preface

 Figure 3-12. A true airspeed indicator allows the pilot to correct IAS for nonstandard temperature and pressure. Mach Number As an aircraft approaches the speed of sound, the air flowing over certain areas of its surface speeds up until it reaches the speed of sound, and shock waves form. The IAS at which these conditions occur changes with temperature. Therefore, in this case, airspeed is not entirely adequate to warn the pilot of the impending problems. Mach number is more useful. Mach number is the ratio of the TAS of the aircraft to the speed of sound in the same atmospheric conditions. An aircraft flying at the speed of sound is flying at Mach 1.0. Some older mechanical Machmeters not driven from an air data computer use an altitude aneroid inside the instrument that converts pitot-static pressure into Mach number. These systems assume that the temperature at any altitude is standard; therefore, the indicated Mach number is inaccurate whenever the temperature deviates from standard. These systems are called indicated Machmeters. Modern electronic Machmeters use information from an air data computer system to correct for temperature errors, These systems display true Mach number. Figure 3-13. A Machmeter shows the ratio of the speed of sound to the IAS the aircraft is flying. Most high-speed aircraft are limited to a maximum Mach number at which they can fly. This is shown on a Machmeter as a decimal fraction. [Figure 3-13] For example, if the Machmeter indicates .83 and the aircraft is flying at 30,000 feet where the speed of sound under standard conditions is 589.5 knots, the airspeed is 489.3 knots. The speed of sound varies with the air temperature. If the aircraft were flying at Mach .83 at 10,000 feet where the air is much warmer, its airspeed would he 530 knots. Maximum Allowable Airspeed Some aircraft that fly at high subsonic speeds are equipped with maximum allowable ASIs like the one in Figure 3-14. This instrument looks much like a standard air-speed indicator, calibrated in knots, but has an additional pointer colored red, checkered, or striped. The maximum airspeed pointer is actuated by an aneroid, or altimeter mechanism, that moves it to a lower value as air density decreases. By keeping the airspeed pointer at a lower value than the maximum pointer, the pilot avoids the onset of transonic shock waves. Figure 3-14. A maximum allowable airspeed indicator has a movable painter that indicates the never-exceed speed, which changes with altitude to avoid the onset of transonic shock waves. Airspeed Color Codes The dial of an ASI is color coded to alert the pilot, at a glance, of the significance of the speed at which the aircraft is flying. These colors and their associated airspeeds are shown in Figure 3-15. Magnetism The Earth is a huge magnet, spinning in space, surrounded by a magnetic field made up of invisible lines of flux. These lines leave the surface at the magnetic north pole and reenter at the magnetic South Pole. Lines of magnetic flux have two important characteristics: any magnet that is free to rotate will align with them, and an electrical current is induced into any conductor that cuts across them. Most direction indicators installed in aircraft make use of one of these two characteristics.

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