From Academic Kids

Missing image
Cockpit of a light aircraft, showing instrumentation dials and dual control yokes.
Missing image
VC-10 (1960's) Commercial Airliner Cockpit. Modern airliners utilise more digital, and less analogue instrumentation. Note the pure functionality of this cockpit environment compared to the more pleasantly aesthetic appearance of the light aircraft opposite.

Today the word cockpit is mostly used to refer to the pilot's compartment in an aircraft. This use of the word first appeared in 1914. The cockpit is generally found towards the nose or front of the fuselage, the compartment contains read outs from instrumentation and controls which the pilot uses to fly the aircraft. In most aircraft the most important characteristic of the cockpit is that it affords the pilot a clear and unobstructed view above, below and around the aircraft.

In most commercial aircraft, a door separates the cockpit from the passenger compartment(s). After the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, measures have been taken by all major carriers to fortify the cockpit against unauthorized access by would be hijackers.

Other uses

A cockpit was originally a pit used for cockfighting, where owners would pit fighting roosters against each other for the purpose of gambling. In 1759, the English artist William Hogarth produced a satirical print called The Cockpit showing the enthusiasm of the gamblers during a cockfight. The word 'cockpit' came to be used for any area that was the scene of grisly fighting. Belgium is sometimes known as the "Cockpit of Europe".

The word cockpit also came to be used for any small enclosed area. On Royal Navy warships in the 17th and 18th century, the area where junior officers were stationed became known as the cockpit. This lead to the word being used to refer to the area towards the stern of a small decked vessel that houses the rudder controls.

From about 1935 cockpit also came to be used used informally to refer to the driver's seat of a car, especially a high performance one.

See also

de:Cockpit ms:Kokpit nl:Cockpit ja:操縦席 pl:Kokpit (lotnictwo)


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