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Private flying and technology

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Private flying and technology

Old 12th Apr 2019, 19:09
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Private flying and technology

Suppose a reasonably technically minded private pilot from the 1930s familiar with say a DH Moth could be shown a typical 2019 flying club PA28 or Cessna 172, one with traditional instruments instead of glass cockpit. What, other than GPS, would make them go 'What on earth is this?'.
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Old 12th Apr 2019, 19:49
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The transponder probably.

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Old 12th Apr 2019, 20:06
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He'd probably say: "How come you are still flying aircraft that are sixty years old?"

Who today would willingly accept having to learn to drive in a car from the mid 1950s or 1960s?
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Old 12th Apr 2019, 20:33
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The complexity of airspace, and the associated importance of R/T.
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Old 12th Apr 2019, 21:28
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There's no individual item that stands out as really strange, but the cumulative effect of lots of unfamiliar things would make the average 1930s pilot probably feel a bit overwhelmed.

Navaids such as VOR, DME and ILS would be new - not too difficult to get to grips with, but still unfamiliar, if not black magic!

The electrical system, with interior & exterior lighting, electric fuel pump, pitot heat & starter motor etc. would be new to most 1930s private pilots, as would VHF radio.

They would have to get used to paved runways, crosswind landings and tricycle landing gear - and they might be surprised by retractable gear and wobbly props. They would probably be delighted to have flaps and wheel brakes, though.

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Old 13th Apr 2019, 00:36
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The thing that would blow them away is the sheer comfort of the modern airplane. Comfy seats, seat belts that fit, a heater, and most of all how easy and convenient it is to start compared to the POS Dripsy Major. 2 shots of primer, turn the key and away you go.
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Old 13th Apr 2019, 01:33
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The complexity of airspace, and the associated importance of R/T.
Oh I dunno... One of my planes does not have a radio, and I rarely use the radio in my other planes! The airspace only gets complex when I go near Toronto - so I don't do that much!

An old time pilot, after he fought his way through traffic to the airport, paid to park, found his yellow jacket, got through security, and paid several dollars per liter for gasoline, might be thinking back to the good old days with fondness! THE Cessna 152 I paid $22 per hour for in 1978, is still available for rent for student pilots - for $145 per hour now!

I know the technology is out there, and was reminded when I flew A G1000 Cessna 206 a few days ago, but aside from a GPS/Comm I installed in 1989, my Cessna is about the same as it was when it left the factory in 1975, which was pretty close to the way it was offered in the mid '60's. I think I'm stuck in an aviation time warp, when I tell people that I own a "newer" Cessna 150, and it's 44 years old! And, I like it in the time warp! I read more and more about self flying airliners on autopilot, who cunningly prevent their pilots from actually flying them, and cars that steer themselves down the highway, until they don't - and the time warp backward is looking pretty good!
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Old 13th Apr 2019, 04:38
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I think the 1930s pilot would say "How come you are still using the same type of engine that I learned to fly with?"
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Old 13th Apr 2019, 09:42
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As well as: "and still they get the weather wrong".
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Old 13th Apr 2019, 10:41
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Don't forget that these maligned 1930's Moths managed to fly across the world and open up areas where no aircraft had ever been seen before. As flying machines go, they were not at all bad.

What they did have in their favour was that a lot of the world map was red in those days. Notams warning of dangers in Lithuania or wherever would have them completely flummoxed, I am sure.
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Old 13th Apr 2019, 15:05
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Tricycle undercarriage would raise eyebrows I imagine.
And when he saw the cost per hour he'd say good to see they'd managed to make them a bit more affordable, mistaking it for a purchase price.
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Old 13th Apr 2019, 15:10
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His first reaction woud probably be that the tailwheel is in the wrong position.

And he would give up when he sees all the paperwork we have these days.

Heater? In the cockpit? You must be kidding.

That was after he was told he did not need those insulated leather boots and wool jacket any more.

And, you know what? We have brakes. And you don't need a prop swinger to get going.
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Old 13th Apr 2019, 17:26
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She might think that the Super Cub had a nice clean engine, and that the heater wasn't a lot of use. The transponder and radio could be explained in about two minutes, and why not cut all the grass on the airfield instead of just a slim rectangle?
I bet she'd like the noise cancelling headset, though.
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Old 13th Apr 2019, 21:38
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I learned to fly in 1964, at Thruxton. Jackeroo with no electrics, Gosforth(?) tube communication with the instructor, no brakes, swing start, and only lap seatbelts.. The airfield had no ATC, not even lights and the airfield grass had no runways. Probably little change since 1930.
I think the biggest change would be the lack of personal decision making.
Taxi with lookout. Take-off with lookout. Join overhead with lookout and look at signal square. Join circuit with lookout, land with lookout, taxi with lookout and park with marshaller's instructions if applicable.
Also the availability of information, then you had to phone a met number.
We did have to practice cross-wind landings.
But I was not taught the process to contact D&D if lost.
(Look for cop on cycle. Drop note saying "Lost". Follow as he cycles to nearest phonebox, and gets operator to put him through to D&D. Fly in direction he points.)
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Old 14th Apr 2019, 09:37
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Suburb of Newcastle.

Gosport. Town in Hampshire, to the West of Portsmouth. Place where the Gosport Tube was developed, to enable instructors to talk to pupils.
Click on this link for more info:
Historic Gosport

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Old 15th Apr 2019, 11:00
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Non aviation people say to me ..."You still fly airplanes at 70 yrs old ?...You're crazy !...then I add on that not only do I fly at 70, the airplane I enjoy flying most is 74 yrs old ...that really freaks them out ...
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Old 16th Apr 2019, 06:18
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I flew in a Tiger Moth the other day, my experience was “so everything is basically the same”.

I think they’d go “bit fast isn’t it” and “this is nice, I can see in front of me”, the transponder and nav stuff would all seem a bit pointless to them.

The thing they’d notice most is loss of freedom in the air. Imagine being able to turn up at a school fete o give rides.
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