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What is the purpose of a Multi Control Display Unit?
  • A
    It calculates the required primary flight control surface deflections.
  • B
    It provides the primary human/machine interface for autoflight mode management.
  • C
    It provides the primary human/machine interface for data entry and system architecture.
  • D
    It provides the primary human/machine interface for data entry and navigation management.

The CDU (control and display unit, Boeing term) or MCDU (Multi-Purpose Control and Display Unit, Airbus term) is the human-machine interface of the FMS. It is basically a box with a numeric pad, a screen, a couple of selector keys, and annunciator lights. Each page on the screen has a specific title and you can scroll among the different pages of a given key by scrolling vertically or laterally.

The MCDU is usually confused with the FMC because this is what you can see in the cockpit, so you tend to think that this is the Flight Management Computer. However, the FMC is the ‘real computer’ and is situated in the avionics bay, usually underneath the cockpit.

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