Why do people argue glass vs steam?

Discussion in 'Flight Following' started by JonH, Nov 10, 2018.

  1. JonH

    JonH Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I'm at the airport today and a CFI is ramming the 'ol "you must fly steam" speech. I get it, that's how I started. It has obvious benefits.

    Why choose one or the other. Wouldn't the best option be glass with some backup steam gauges? What's so bad about that? You get BOTH! I get home and look at the cover of Sporty's and it's "Glass vs Steam" lol.

    Why can't both be the answer? Cost? Are steam gauges too ugly to go into modern aircraft? I really don't get what would be so horrible about having a full glass panel with steam gyro, ai, and alt.

    </rant>
     
  2. SixPapaCharlie

    SixPapaCharlie May the force be with you

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    Most pilots are old.
    Old people hate young people, change and newfangled stuff.

    Some pilots are young though and they are ego driven hotshots that have to know better than other pilots.
    They need other pilots to be wrong and pretend they fly using only a mortar and pestal to illustrate that they are somehow superior.

    Pilots can be kinda dicky.
     
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  3. Greg Bockelman

    Greg Bockelman Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Basically because at this point in time there are many more airplanes with steam gauges than with glass. Plus, in my admittedly unsubstantiated opinion, it is easier to learn steam (cheaper?) and then transition to glass. But, hey, what do I know?
     
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  4. tspear

    tspear En-Route

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    Depends on what you are used too, mostly in life outside of flying. I find the six pack a lot harder to fly accurately, and I have to read the dials and think. With a PFD I can glance at the tapes and know everything.

    I am also in my mid 40s, I think almost any generation younger than me will have it harder on dials. As a society we have been moving away from dials, so the skills to read/interpret them have been dying.

    Tim

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  5. wrbix

    wrbix Pattern Altitude

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    Is a Rolex a steam gauge?

    .....asking for a friend.
     
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  6. MooneyDriver78

    MooneyDriver78 En-Route

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    I bet they had arguments about 1 wing vs 2 back in day.
     
  7. -KLB-

    -KLB- Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Really the question could have been shortened to:

    Why do people argue?

    Once that is figured out, all the different flavors are likely readily explained.
     
  8. Skyrys62

    Skyrys62 En-Route

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    I think everyone should learn on glass .

    Then upgrade to steam.
     
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2018
  9. Stewartb

    Stewartb Final Approach

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    Its just information. The numbers are the same either way.
     
  10. brien23

    brien23 Cleared for Takeoff

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    If your starting from nothing glass is going to be easy over steam for those with steam the glass will take a while to get used to, tape type ind and digits over pointers on round gauge. Trying to teach a new ppl on a G1000 easy, trying to teach a old steam gauge pilot to fly a G1000 hopeless.
     
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2018
  11. billKAFW

    billKAFW Filing Flight Plan

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    Learn steam first, then go glass. Easier that way versus go backwards.
     
  12. CrimsonFlyer

    CrimsonFlyer Pre-Flight

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    If you can afford it, learn glass and fly glass. The situational awareness with glass is much easier, especially when flying IFR. I learned with steam gauges and now fly glass. Would never want to go back.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
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  13. MooneyDriver78

    MooneyDriver78 En-Route

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    Ummm, no. Glass gives you true winds, and a HSI will have magenta diamond to indicate direction to head in order to compensate for cross winds. Glass gives you exact digital readout, no squinting trying to interpolate between numbers. Glass can gives you warnings for certain altitudes.
    Glass (digital) autopilots are superior to analog ones associated with steam gauges.
    Next you going to be telling me these are the same as computers (numbers are the same either way) :
    [​IMG]
     
  14. 35 AoA

    35 AoA Pattern Altitude

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    I tend to agree, and I was similar.....though my "glass" was really just MFD's and a HUD, no fancy nav stuff like a G1000 or anything, so not quite as great or SA enhancing. I do think there are some advantages to having a background with steam, and I'd say the main one is a possibly greater conceptual understanding of instrument nav, how certain corrections make certain things happen, and more than anything else, steam really forces you to build your scan. Buuuuuuuutttttt......nobody flies VOR to VOR anymore, or god forbid (gasp) use NDB's......so maybe that stuff is just irrelevant today.
     
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  15. Eric Stoltz

    Eric Stoltz Line Up and Wait

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    I like 3D. My old job I only flew in 2D. My new job is all 3D. Much better to have 3D than the flat, boring, 2D.

    They're gunna have to pay me more to go back to flying 2D, that's for sure. Which they will because, the contract.
     
  16. Juliet Hotel

    Juliet Hotel En-Route

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    I really don't think it matters. Lots of pilots have flown steam for years and then gone to glass and somehow worked it out. There is no reason doing it the other way around should be any different.
     
  17. Stewartb

    Stewartb Final Approach

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    Whatever you say. I own one of each. Pretty simple for me to go from one to the other.
     
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  18. murphey

    murphey Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    3 wings!
     
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  19. murphey

    murphey Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    Money.

    To go all glass in my cherokee would cost about the current value of the cherokee. For me, it's an economic argument, not a technical one.
     
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  20. vman

    vman Pre-takeoff checklist

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    https://www.aopa.org/news-and-media/all-news/2018/march/pilot/on-instruments-ndbs-gone

    https://www.aopa.org/travel/international-travel/transatlantic
     
  21. redtail

    redtail En-Route

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    Valid points.

    I learned and got my PPL on steam, twenty years ago (no glass in '98, at least not in trainers). No autopilot in the Cessnas I trained in either.

    I've only been flying glass since 2012, however, I found the transition was relatively simple. I'm sure most of it is due to my flightsim hobby. Flying almost every PC sim (civilian and combat) since the mid '80s, I got pretty comfortable with digital readouts, tapes, HUDs, MFDs, etc. In fact, I flew the limited version of the G1000 in FSX, long before learning the real thing. Glass is incredible! The ease of obtaining critical flight info, really enhances your situational awareness.
     
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2018
  22. MooneyDriver78

    MooneyDriver78 En-Route

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    I’d bet it’s the opposite as well. If you tried to downgrade your G1000 to be all steam it would be expensive ( do they even make mechanical HSIs anymore? ).
    My complaint is the expensive install costs, with all the legacy serial interfaces 232, 429, CAN...and the 50 pin dshell connections...yuk! Stupid Garmin doesn’t support their own ethernet interface?
     
  23. steviedeviant

    steviedeviant Pre-takeoff checklist

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    My two cents...from a “newer” pilot in 2015.

    I didn’t know anything about being a pilot in 2015 when I got the chance to fly in a demo flight. I immediately loved it and worked to get my license at 38 tears old. I was totally horrified at the fact that nothing was digital, everthing seemed so outdated and wtf was this e6b “computer” that looked like something from the dark ages. I thought it was absolutely crazy to have to learn to fly by a paper map and flight plan doing it manually, learning about earths magnetic field impacts on my planning and something about west is best and east is least. All of this because i needed to know how in case the end if the world happened and all the gps sats went out and i needed to land (which in the case of an apocalypse i wouldn’t).

    So i am sure that some of you like the old school steam gagues and that is fine, but for me, i want the entire digital system, if it goes out, i have two ipads with me that will work just fine. As for the e6b, should be thrown in the garbage along with every paper map there is. I should never have to plan a trip the “old” way, and could care less about earths magnetic field impact on my planning. I like the new ways..i get information faster, it is safer, and less chance for error

    Again, my dumb two cents...i fault no one on the old systems. That was my experience from someone who learned on the old system and got away from it as soon as i could.

    S D
     
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  24. chemgeek

    chemgeek Pattern Altitude

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    Why argue? Learn to fly what is in front of you.

    Eventually, I'd like to replace my vacuum gauges with G5s or similar, but until then I'm OK with what I have. When the vac gauges next fail, it will likely be cost effective to replace them.
     
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  25. SkyDog58

    SkyDog58 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Good question.

    I wonder how many pilots who insist on glass cockpits have a big ol’ round pilot watch and eschew digital watches.
     
  26. SkyDog58

    SkyDog58 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    The worst thing about steam gauges is trying to maintain the steam generator and carrying the extra weight of all the water.
     
  27. redtail

    redtail En-Route

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    I haven't touched my metal e6b since ground school (well maybe a few times after). It was fun learning to use it, but it was a lot of work.

    I bought a digital e6b from Sporty's back then, which was much faster for me. Right after a got my PPL, I bought myself a portable GPS with moving map, a Magellan EC-10X (or 20X, I forget).

    I'm actually glad I didn't have access to all of the modern tools at that time, because it gave me a greater understanding and interpretation of the basics, as well as a greater appreciation for the advanced avionics once I did start using it. I'm also glad I learned at a busy Class-D airport, Teterboro (TEB) and the challenge it gave me of navigating and communicating in the busy NY Class-B airspace!
    I was 32, my CFI was 22!

    Mr_ Spock.jpg
    Logical:)
     
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2018
  28. Dana

    Dana Pattern Altitude

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    Some of us still prefer two wings... :cool:
     
  29. mscard88

    mscard88 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    I tend to agree. All I flew was GA steam, then got hired at a regional flying a Brasilia, which had EFIS displays. With training it wasn’t a big deal. You learn the equipment or get left behind. I like glass because of all the info, especially tapes for airspeed and altitude, right in front of you on one instrument. Now I’m back flying old steam planes again, although the fleet includes GPS, which is nice.

     
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2018
  30. FastEddieB

    FastEddieB Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Interesting. I find accuracy somewhat easier with steam gauges. Why? Because with their analog display my eye can catch movement, and rate of movement off a desired speed/altitude/heading much more readily than changing numbers or moving tapes. I find this especially true with my peripheral vision.

    As far as a trend to moving away from dials, it depends on the application. I recall some of the first electronic displays in cars showed rpm digitally. Maybe some still do, but the majority now seem to emulate a dial. To me, at least, a needle sweeping towards a redline, let’s say, is much easier to interpret than rapidly changing numbers.

    As an aside, in my Cirrus I would have loved an option to have had an analog display of airspeed and altitude on the left and right of the PFD respectively. Maybe it’s old dogs and new tricks, but when hand flying I would often use my backup altimeter to maintain altitude, for the reasons stated above. And in my Sky Arrow virtually all my fling is reference the prominent steam gauge airspeed and altimeter, with no reference to the tapes on the small Dynon in front of me.
     
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  31. Velocity173

    Velocity173 Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    Like politics, people like to take sides. I fly both for work and don’t care either way. If one affected its performance in some way, I’d take sides but they don’t. The steam aircraft I flew yesterday does the same lousy 133 kts as our glass version. :D
     
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  32. Rushie

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    That right there horrifies me.

    Nothing against you personally.
     
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  33. tspear

    tspear En-Route

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    Curious as to why. I mean how many different definitions of heading and North do we need?

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  34. Ravioli

    Ravioli Ejection Handle Pulled PoA Supporter

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    A) Two definitions. Seems to be working :)
     
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  35. SkyDog58

    SkyDog58 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Come on. All you need is the magenta line. You certainly are the old fashioned sort aren't you?

    ;)
     
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  36. James331

    James331 Ejection Handle Pulled

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    It’s easier to go from a basic steam plane to glass for IFR, also not having a moving map GPS is a good call for building situational awareness.

    But once you know what you’re doing, it’s really all the same IMO, more or less all the same info just in different places

    IMO the biggest benefit of glass is it’s often solid state and doesn’t require vac
     
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  37. Tarheelpilot

    Tarheelpilot Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    Both have advantages. Regardless of which one you fly the scan eventually becomes a natural action and information is easily obtained at a glance. I prefer flying the system attached to the best paycheck when it comes to work and the most affordable one when it comes to personal aircraft. They both get the job done.
     
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  38. Clip4

    Clip4 Final Approach

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    If I am teaching someone to fly, I like steam gauges. The electronic version of the inclinometer is inferior. Besides, what does on say? Step on the pexels?
     
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  39. Velocity173

    Velocity173 Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    My last instrument approach in the Army was an NDB to mins. Saw glimpses of the runway through the chin bubble. Still alive and well today.

    http://155.178.201.160/d-tpp/1811/05170N33R.PDF
     
  40. Stewartb

    Stewartb Final Approach

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    BA35703E-19A1-41D4-87B0-D760DC3FD185.jpeg
    The only non-glass instrument in my Cub is a skid ball. The glass version and old school version are in agreement 100% of the time. The only reason I have the old school one is in case my screen fails. All I need to get down is a skid ball.
     
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