Re: Control electronics
Thanks for the information from an actual pilot’s mouth! You’re right, a glider pilot is exactly who we need in this conversation. One thing I would like to bring up: I believe the GPS cutoff is for a *combination* of great altitude and high speed; slow-moving objects over 18,000' can still use the signal, I believe. Is this accurate?
As far as the autopilot goes, I suppose we need system specs before we can decide if a pitot is optional. Keep in mind, we can build the static and ram-air ports into the actual fuselage design, so they could have quite different port locations: ram-air on the nose and static on the belly, for example, or multiple static ports. It may not add much weight at all — even if the information is “purely academic” and not used for flight control. A log in the black box could be quite interesting to analyze along with accelerometer and GPS data.
Finally, I can’t help but see how pitot-tube data can’t help the autopilot. Suppose the airplane flies through a front; as the wind direction switches, the inertial sensors would detect a sudden plunge in altitude but with the same horizontal motion (which would be hard to diagnose), but a pitot tube would measure the drastic airflow changes (which would make decisions easier).