The cockpit of an aircraft contains flight instruments on an instrument panel, and the controls that enable the pilot to fly the aircraft.

Cockpit Canopy

An aircraft canopy is the transparent enclosure over the cockpit of some types of aircraft. An aircraft canopy provides a controlled and sometimes pressurized environment for the aircraft’s occupants, and allows for a greater field of view over a traditional flight deck.

Instrument Panel

The instruments in the cockpit of an aircraft that provide the pilot with information about the flight situation of that aircraft, such as altitude, airspeed and direction. They improve safety by allowing the pilot to fly the aircraft in level flight, and make turns, without a reference outside the aircraft such as the horizon.


The pilot’s seat positioning can play a key role in the safe flying of an aircraft. The seats’ ergonomics is important in order to keep the pilot comfortable particularly during long-haul flights.


It normally contains the throttle and other engine controls, input keyboards for the navigational system, etc.

Flight Deck

The flight deck comprises the main displays and controls for flying the aircraft, as well as their location in the cockpit environment. A typical airliner will have the main displays in the instrumentation panel, in front of the pilots, and the controls around and above him.

Side Panel

They are used for placing the sidestick, communication instruments, documentation, etc, depending on the type of airplane.

Control Column

governs the aircraft’s roll and pitch by moving the ailerons (or activating wing warping on some very early aircraft designs) when turned or deflected left and right, and moves the elevators when moved backwards or forwards.

Overhead Panel

It contains miscellaneous controls and features not directly involved in flying. E.g. air conditioning, anti-ice controls, cabin pressurization controls, oxygen controls, etc.

Rudder Pedals

On an aircraft the rudder is used primarily to counter adverse yaw and p-factor and is not the primary control used to turn the airplane.

Other Compartments

E.g. accessories and maintenance panel.