Monday, April 5, 2010

Flight Computers


So I've recently made the switch/conversion from the E6B to the CR flight computer. More specifically I have chosen the smaller CR-2 version of the device. Now the E6B was great for all the functions that I had to use it for. There was nothing wrong with it that made me get the CR flight computer. It was actually in one of my courses (Air Carrier Procedures) that required us to purchase the CR flight computer.
This is for the assignments and the future applications that the CR flight computer has capabilities of.

  • It does every single function that the E6B did plus a few extra more.
  • It's one piece and the one I got is much smaller so it's easier for storage or when I have to use it in flight.
  • It's much easier to do flight planning calculations in terms of track, wind, and heading and all the jazz since you don't have to keep turning the discs so many times which can produce errors along the way.
  • It has greater range for speeds in terms of groundspeed since the E6B can only go up to 260kts.
  • The downside is that since it is a smaller device, the markings are much smaller and tighter therefore there are more estimating involved and can therefore produce minor errors.
  • Also the E6B slide rule is great for drawing track lines on the map which is better than a flimsy plastic ruler, not to mention it has written valuable information that can help a pilot in training (or any pilot for that matter) for quick reference.
  • The E6B also has space to put instructions on how to use it and the CR flight computer does not, but those instructions are just wasteful space once you got used to using the computer.
All in all, the E6B is great for initial training and flight planning but as a pilot moves to a bigger and faster airplane, more functions are required to do calculations and the E6B simply cannot perform some of those tasks, like calculating Mach Number according to altitude and temperature, and so on. The E6B is just limited plus its bigger and cannot fit into my pocket like the CR-2 can.

The CR flight computer is definitely an improvement over the E6B...but as technology is ever so vast and fast moving, the requirement to use a CR flight computer is all the more unlikely with the FMS/FMC's on board new generation aircraft. But if there's ever that event of an electrical failure or you just simply operate at a small charter company with FMS unequipped aircraft, the CR flight computer is the way to go.

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