FMS is a specialised computer system that automates a wide variety of in-flight tasks, reducing the workload on the flight crew to the point that modern civilian aircraft no longer carry flight engineers or navigators.
- A fundamental component of a modern airliner’s avionics, primary function is in-flight management of the flight plan.
- Controlled through a Control Display Unit (CDU) which incorporates a small screen and keyboard or touchscreen.
- Sends the flight plan for display to the Electronic Flight Instrument System (EFIS), Navigation Display (ND), or Multifunction Display (MFD).
Most modern commercial and business aircraft are equipped with an Electronic Flight Instrument System, which replaces conventional systems and flight deck displays.
FMS comprises four main components:
- The Flight Management Computer (FMC)
- The Automatic Flight Control or Automatic Flight Guidance System (AFCS or AFGS)
- The Aircraft Navigation System
- An Electronic Flight Instrument System (EFIS) or equivalent electromechanical instrumentation
- The FMC is a computer system that uses a large data base to allow routes to be pre-programmed and fed into the system by means of a data loader. The system is constantly updated with aircraft position by reference to available navigation aids. The most appropriate aids are automatically selected during information update.