Analog flight instruments

How do pilot recognize where they are flying with only analog flight instruments not with the glass cockpit? (Like B727, A300)

I’m really wondering how they see maps.


Typically, this would be done using an iPad mounted to the outside of the controls. I’ll try to find some images of how they’re mounted.

Also, this belongs in #real-world-aviation, which you need TL2 to post in. Positively contributing to the community will easily get you there!


They are normally using VORs or get vectors by the Center controller

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Even though this isn’t an analog instrument flight deck, pilots still use iPads for other tools, like terrain maps, weather, etc.



You guys do remember the time when there were no iPads around, right? And that we didn’t have iPhones or similar smartphones up until 2007, only 12 years ago.

This is what a computer looked like in the 80s. Good luck trying to view maps on that thing, or even install it in a small cockpit.

Image Source

I found an article that explains how pilots navigated in the early days. It’s very interesting.

Business Insider: How Planes Navigated before GPS

And here’s a video on how to determine your position using VOR only, without GPS. Interesting as well!

YouTube: Determining your Position without a GPS


You just won the best comment award! Thanks for being informative!

@Marc. MaxSez: Blast from the past. The “Air Facts Journal “ (BizJur Link) article brought back long forgotten memories of flying the Pacific Rim back in the day. Star Shots, LORAN, Dead Reckoning. Island Hopping, Miramar,Hawaii, Wake, Guam, Subic, Kadina, Danang…LBFM’s.
Those where the sweet days of youth… thanks for the memory…
Regards, Max


I’ve only flown airplanes with analog instruments. I was taught using VORs and radials to figure out where I am. Also during my training right now, I’ve been doing a lot of Vor tracking on radials and finding my position with 2 different VORs to see where I am from the airport


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