Altimeter Buying Guide

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Fundamental Flight Device

Flying an aircraft is a critical operation. By using altimeters, pilots can measure the altitude or your height above sea level to ensure flight safety and fly airplanes more efficiently especially on bad weather conditions.


For example, Mount Everest has approximately 5.5 miles altitude and flying at 6.2 miles won’t give the pilot much room to maneuver. Then, there’s also air resistance using less aircraft fuel that pilots should overcome. And the other planes they should also avoid. Surely, there are plenty of reasons for measuring altitude accurately and flying high.


In order to measure your height above sea level accurately, you should figure out the measurement of the air pressure and altitude out from this. The second way is to use a radio beam down from the aircraft and time how long it would take to reflect back up again.


There are certain types of altimeters that work by measuring the pressure and compared to sea-level. They are generally known as pressure-based altimeters. Pressure altimeters were developed by a German engineer in 1920s that pioneer the instrument flight.


Radio Altimeter is another kind of altimeters commonly used where pilots time the beam and calculate the altitude in kilometers. Radio altimeters work similar way to radars in ships and vehicles by firing the beam of radio waves and wait for the reflection of light to return.
An Array of Choices and Designs


If you’re in the market to find the right navigational gear to use, you should know that there are different designs, makes and prices of altimeters in the market. In order to get the right equipment for your navigational arsenal, you should make sure you are getting the right kind of altimeter that fits to a specific use.


Altimeters are not only used by pilots. Pressure altimeters in the form of hand-held or wrist mounted altimeters are commonly used by mountain climbers and hikers. These pressure altimeters are essential equipment that plays critical roles as navigational tools along with your magnetic compass, map and GPS receiver.


Barometric altimeter is also widely used for outdoor pursuits along with your topographic map. Barometric altimeters are more accurate and reliable compared to a GPS receiver and they can greatly help to verify your location. Hikers often use barometric altimeters to get a more accurate measurement of altitude however they should re-calibrate their these navigational gears periodically when they reach a known altitude since the barometric pressure is constantly changing with the weather.


Importance of Altitude Awareness

If you’re going out for a skydiving experience, an altimeter is a very important equipment to have after a parachute. Altitude awareness and altimeters will determine the most appropriate response to maintain safety when skydiving. For skydivers, there’s a wide variety of designs that made specifically for skydiving sport such as chest mounted, wrist and hand mechanical visual altimeters.


There are also digital visual designs that operate electronically and can be mounted. Audible altimeters, on the other hand, are inserted into the person’s helmet that emits a warning sound at specific, predefined altitude. However, one should remember that audible altimeters do not replace a visual altimeter. Instead, audible altimeters should be used to complement their visual altitude measuring device to maintain altitude awareness.


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