Rate of Climb and Descent Indicator

The Rate of Climb and Descent Indicator (RCDI) is an aircraft cockpit instrument displaying vertical speed. Other terms used are Vertical Speed Indicator (VSI), or, for particularly sensitive RCDIs in gliders, "Variometer".

The principle of operation is normally one of detecting and displaying the rate of change of ambient pressure of the surrounding atmosphere. Pressure units are converted to more conventional ones of speed for display to the pilot. Common units on the scale of an RCDI are feet per minute or metres per second (1 m/s is approximately 200 ft/min)


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