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What is the correct term for the panel containing standard indicators such as the altimeter and airspeed indicator in a jet aircraft cockpit? Is it called console or instrument panel, or are both terms equivalent?

From reading on the subject, it looks like console refers to an individual set of instruments (one for pilot, another for co-pilot), but I don't know if this is correct.


I'm looking for the term used by a civilian pilot of a private jet.

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"Correct" is going to vary by context. A military speaker? Civilian pilot? A detective inspecting blood stains in a cockpit? The Boeing sales representative? An avionics technician doing maintenance? An aviation engineer? State your context. :) – SevenSidedDie Sep 7 '12 at 20:31

I am a US certificated private pilot, I would call it an "instrument panel" or just "panel". To differentiate pilot and co-pilot controls I would call it the "pilot's cluster" and "co-pilot's cluster", but "panel" could be interchanged with "cluster".

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Do you fly jet aircraft as in the OP's question? – coleopterist Sep 8 '12 at 14:50

On the various pilot blogs I read, "panel" is much more common than "console."

Keep in mind that many planes no longer have discrete instruments such as altimeters, they have multi-function displays that combine several instruments onto one display. (FWIW, the Wikipedia article on Glass Cockpits uses "Instrument panel.")

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