Autoland

automatic landingautomatic landing systemautolandingauto-flareauto-landingautomatic blind landingautomatic landingsautopilot coupled low instrumentBlind Landing Experimental Unitblind landing system
In aviation, autoland describes a system that fully automates the landing procedure of an aircraft's flight, with the flight crew supervising the process.wikipedia
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Blind Landing Experimental Unit

In his 1959 paper, John Charnley, then Superintendent of the UK Royal Aircraft Establishment's (RAE) Blind Landing Experimental Unit (BLEU), concluded a discussion of statistical results by saying that "It is fair to claim, therefore, that not only will the automatic system land the aircraft when the weather prevents the human pilot, it also performs the operation much more precisely".
The Blind Landing Experimental Unit, abbreviated BLEU, was a unit of the British government tasked with creating an early autolanding system for military and civilian aircraft from the late 1940s until the mid-1960s.

Radar altimeter

radio altimeterradar altimetryelectronic altimeter
Autoland requires the use of a radar altimeter to determine the aircraft's height above the ground very precisely so as to initiate the landing flare at the correct height (usually about 50 ft).
Radar altimeters are frequently used by commercial aircraft for approach and landing, especially in low-visibility conditions (see instrument flight rules) and automatic landings, allowing the autopilot to know when to begin the flare maneuver.

Autopilot

automatic pilotauto-pilotauto pilot
The localizer signal of the ILS may be used for lateral control even after touchdown until the pilot disengages the autopilot.
An autopilot-controlled landing on a runway and controlling the aircraft on rollout (i.e. keeping it on the centre of the runway) is known as a CAT IIIb landing or Autoland, available on many major airports' runways today, especially at airports subject to adverse weather phenomena such as fog.

Sud Aviation Caravelle

CaravelleSud Aviation SE-210 Caravelle IIISud Aviation SE-210 Caravelle
The first aircraft to be certified to CAT III standards, on 28 December 1968, was the Sud Aviation Caravelle, followed by the Hawker-Siddeley HS.121 Trident in May 1972 (CAT IIIA) and to CAT IIIB during 1975.
From September 1963 onwards, an autolanding capability (via two separate systems, of which one was self-contained while the other was integrated with the airliner's autopilot), was made available for the Caravelle by Sud Aviation.

British European Airways

BEAB.E.A.civil aviation
Post 1945, the British government had established two state-owned airline corporations – British European Airways (BEA) and British Overseas Airways Corporation (BOAC), which were subsequently to be merged into today's British Airways.
On 1 April 1964, it became the first to operate the DH121 Trident; on 10 June 1965, a BEA Trident 1C performed the world's first automatic landing during a scheduled commercial air service.

Instrument landing system

ILSglideslopeglide slope
Autoland may be used for any suitably approved instrument landing system (ILS) or microwave landing system (MLS) approach, and is sometimes used to maintain currency of the aircraft and crew, as well as for its main purpose of assisting an aircraft landing in low visibility and/or bad weather.
Therefore, an automatic landing system is mandatory to perform Category III operations.

BAC One-Eleven

BAC 1-11BAC One-Eleven 500BAC One-Eleven 400
Some BAC 1-11 aircraft used by BEA also had a similar system.
Their additional equipment included a more sophisticated autoflight system, which allowed CAT II autolandings and included an autothrottle.

Hawker Siddeley Trident

TridentHawker Siddeley Trident 2Ede Havilland Trident
The first aircraft to be certified to CAT III standards, on 28 December 1968, was the Sud Aviation Caravelle, followed by the Hawker-Siddeley HS.121 Trident in May 1972 (CAT IIIA) and to CAT IIIB during 1975. Autoland was first developed in BLEU and RAF aircraft such as the English Electric Canberra, Vickers Varsity and Avro Vulcan, and later for BEA's Trident fleet, which entered service in the early 1960s.
This comprised a completely automatic blind landing system developed by Hawker Siddeley and Smiths Aircraft Instruments.

Avro Vulcan

VulcanVulcan bomberVulcan bombers
Autoland was first developed in BLEU and RAF aircraft such as the English Electric Canberra, Vickers Varsity and Avro Vulcan, and later for BEA's Trident fleet, which entered service in the early 1960s.
Aircraft were also operated at various times under the direction of the Ministry of Supply/Aviation for trials and evaluation by Avro, Bristol Siddeley Engines, Rolls-Royce and the Blind Landing Experimental Unit (BLEU).

Boeing 757

Boeing 757-200757757-200
(This led to the absurd situation for British Airways that as the launch customer for the Boeing 757 to replace the Trident, the brand-new "advanced" aircraft had inferior all weather operations capability compared to the fleet being broken up for scrap.
An enhanced flight management system, improved over versions used on early 747s, automates navigation and other functions, while an automatic landing system facilitates CAT IIIb instrument landings in 490 ft low visibility conditions.

Fog

advection fogfreezing fogground fog
These occur particularly when anticyclones are in place over central Europe in November/December/January when temperatures are low, and radiation fog easily forms in relatively stable air.
Even though modern auto-landing computers can put an aircraft down without the aid of a pilot, personnel manning an airport control tower must be able to see if aircraft are sitting on the runway awaiting takeoff.

Aviation

air transportairflying
In aviation, autoland describes a system that fully automates the landing procedure of an aircraft's flight, with the flight crew supervising the process.

Automation

automatedindustrial automationautomatic control
In aviation, autoland describes a system that fully automates the landing procedure of an aircraft's flight, with the flight crew supervising the process.

Landing

landtouchdownlandings
In aviation, autoland describes a system that fully automates the landing procedure of an aircraft's flight, with the flight crew supervising the process.

Aircraft

heavier-than-airflying machineheavier-than-air flight
In aviation, autoland describes a system that fully automates the landing procedure of an aircraft's flight, with the flight crew supervising the process.

Runway visual range

Runway visibilityRVRinstrumented runway visual range
They are usually used when visibility is less than 600 meters runway visual range and/or in adverse weather conditions, although limitations do apply for most aircraft—for example, for a Boeing 747-400 the limitations are a maximum headwind of 25 kts, a maximum tailwind of 10 kts, a maximum crosswind component of 25 kts, and a maximum crosswind with one engine inoperative of five knots.

Boeing 747-400

747-400Boeing 747-400FBoeing 747-400BDSF
They are usually used when visibility is less than 600 meters runway visual range and/or in adverse weather conditions, although limitations do apply for most aircraft—for example, for a Boeing 747-400 the limitations are a maximum headwind of 25 kts, a maximum tailwind of 10 kts, a maximum crosswind component of 25 kts, and a maximum crosswind with one engine inoperative of five knots.

Headwind and tailwind

headwindtailwindtailwinds
They are usually used when visibility is less than 600 meters runway visual range and/or in adverse weather conditions, although limitations do apply for most aircraft—for example, for a Boeing 747-400 the limitations are a maximum headwind of 25 kts, a maximum tailwind of 10 kts, a maximum crosswind component of 25 kts, and a maximum crosswind with one engine inoperative of five knots.

Crosswind

crosswindscross windwind blew from the side
They are usually used when visibility is less than 600 meters runway visual range and/or in adverse weather conditions, although limitations do apply for most aircraft—for example, for a Boeing 747-400 the limitations are a maximum headwind of 25 kts, a maximum tailwind of 10 kts, a maximum crosswind component of 25 kts, and a maximum crosswind with one engine inoperative of five knots.

Autobrake

auto brakeautobrake system
They may also include automatic braking to a full stop once the aircraft is on the ground, in conjunction with the autobrake system, and sometimes auto deployment of spoilers and thrust reversers.

Spoiler (aeronautics)

spoilersspoilerground spoiler
They may also include automatic braking to a full stop once the aircraft is on the ground, in conjunction with the autobrake system, and sometimes auto deployment of spoilers and thrust reversers.

Thrust reversal

thrust reverserreverse thrustthrust reversers
They may also include automatic braking to a full stop once the aircraft is on the ground, in conjunction with the autobrake system, and sometimes auto deployment of spoilers and thrust reversers.

Microwave landing system

MLSInterscan
Autoland may be used for any suitably approved instrument landing system (ILS) or microwave landing system (MLS) approach, and is sometimes used to maintain currency of the aircraft and crew, as well as for its main purpose of assisting an aircraft landing in low visibility and/or bad weather.

Altitude

high altitudealtitudeshigh-altitude
Autoland requires the use of a radar altimeter to determine the aircraft's height above the ground very precisely so as to initiate the landing flare at the correct height (usually about 50 ft).