Glossary

Altimeter

An altimeter is an instrument used to measure the altitude, direction, and speed of an aircraft. The private jet speed is also measured using an airspeed indicator. The altimeter relies on air pressure differences to measure the altitude and displays it in feet.

How does an altimeter work?

Altimeters onboard most aircrafts are aneroid barometers that have been calibrated to display height instead of pressure. Through the static port located on the outside of the aircraft, an intricate system of levers and gears measures any atmospheric changes. These changes can be translated into accurate measures of altitude.

These altimeters simply measure height by measuring air pressure compared to sea level. However, weather systems can cause air pressure to fluctuate. In order to combat these changes, many aircraft have adopted radio altimeters into their instrumentation.

How accurate are radio altimeters?

Radio altimeters are much more efficient in high-speed and low-flying aircrafts. Private jet speed can affect the reading in a traditional altimeter when changes in the weather are present. When using a radio altimeter, the reading is more accurate no matter how fast an aircraft is flying. This is because a beam of radio waves travel down from the plane to the ground and then return to the aircraft. This process typically takes less than a second, giving it the most accurate real-time result.