Even those of us who haven't set foot into the aircraft cockpit has seen these aircraft engine gauges in Hollywood movies. They resemble clock dials in all sorts of shapes and sizes but most round and couple of inches across. Only one tells the time whereas the rest, provide all sorts of other equally vital information mostly related to the engine performance.
In WWII planes especially those built in the 40's, each dial had a wire going back to the engine and connecting to a 'sensor'. Manufactured from alloys these sensors while slow to respond, did a reasonably accurate job. Of course, one has to remember the back then, planes were slow too.
Today, the data flowing between the aircraft engine and the cockpit has to be fast otherwise the plane would have travelled considerable distance before the pilot realises something is wrong. Aircraft engines today run hotter and faster than ever before. Data regarding a dramatic rise in temperature anywhere has to be captured and brought to the pilots attention immediately. For this reason, the sensor technology too has undergone a huge change.
Aircraft sensors today especially those developed by JP Instruments have an ultra-fast response time and have been tested for accuracy. Simultaneously, the Fuel Gauges of yesteryears which were prone to mechanical failures within the gauge, have been replaced with digital gauges that not only display information instantly, but the information itself is displayed in a more understandable and easily readable manner. Further, the screen intensity can be controlled for optimum visibility in daytime as well as night flight.
Aircraft engine gauges of today like the ones developed by JP Instruments can also accept pilot input via either an on-screen keyboard (on a touch screen) or via a small physical keyboard either above or below the gauge. These keyboards are typically used input high and low values for a given type of gauge.
The fuel gauge for example, accepts pilot input of the quantity of fuel filled in. The EGT Gauges will accept minimum and maximum temperatures and trigger an alarm if either temperatures are reached. The pilot therefore need not any longer monitor the aircraft engine gauges throughout the flight. The gauge monitors itself and sounds an alarm if something goes wrong.
The engineers and maintenance crew too are happy because modern aircraft gauges store the captured engine data and it can be downloaded via USB ports (latest gauges). Visit JP Instruments at https://www.jpinstruments.com/ for a complete list of latest gauges for single and twin engined aircraft.
J.P.Instruments was founded in 1986 in Huntington Beach, California, USA. J.P. Instruments is leader in aircraft engine data management systems and has added a whole line of reliable and cost effective aircraft instrumentation to its name.