What is FPV on Boeing 737? (Flight Path Vector)

The Flight Path Vector (FPV) is a crucial component of the Boeing 737 aircraft’s avionics system. It represents the projected future flight path of the aircraft based on its current flight parameters. The FPV is displayed on the primary flight display (PFD) as a symbol that provides pilots with valuable information about the aircraft’s trajectory and allows for more accurate control during flight. In this article, we will explore the functionalities and significance of the Flight Path Vector on the Boeing 737.

The Importance of the Flight Path Vector

The Flight Path Vector on the Boeing 737 plays a crucial role in several aspects of flight operations. Let’s take a closer look at its importance:

1. Enhances Situational Awareness

One of the key benefits of the Flight Path Vector is its ability to enhance situational awareness for pilots. By displaying the projected flight path on the PFD, pilots can gain a better understanding of the aircraft’s position in relation to the ground and other objects, such as airports or obstacles. This information helps pilots make more informed decisions during critical phases of flight, such as takeoff, landing, or maneuvering in congested airspace.

The Flight Path Vector also provides pilots with a clear visualization of the aircraft’s vertical and lateral acceleration. This allows them to monitor the aircraft’s performance and make adjustments as necessary to maintain a safe flight path. For instance, if the FPV indicates that the aircraft is descending too rapidly, the pilot can take corrective action to reduce the rate of descent and avoid potential hazards.

2. Assists in Precise Flight Control

Pilots rely on the Flight Path Vector to achieve precise flight control on the Boeing 737. The FPV provides a real-time representation of the aircraft’s projected flight path, accounting for various factors such as airspeed, altitude, and heading. This information allows pilots to accurately adjust the control inputs, such as pitch and bank angles, to maintain the desired flight path.

The Flight Path Vector can also assist pilots in executing accurate instrument approaches and landings. By aligning the FPV with the desired glide path, pilots can ensure a smooth descent and touchdown. This is particularly useful in low visibility conditions or when conducting precision approaches, such as ILS (Instrument Landing System) approaches.

3. Aids in Flight Crew Training and Analysis

The Flight Path Vector is a valuable tool for flight crew training and analysis. During flight simulator sessions, pilots can familiarize themselves with the FPV and practice controlling the aircraft to maintain a desired flight path. This helps improve their skills and prepares them for real-world scenarios.

Furthermore, the Flight Path Vector can be analyzed post-flight to review the pilot’s performance and assess any deviations from the intended flight path. This analysis can aid in identifying areas for improvement and enhancing flight crew training programs.


The Flight Path Vector on the Boeing 737 is a valuable tool that enhances situational awareness, assists in precise flight control, and aids in flight crew training and analysis. It provides pilots with essential information about the projected flight path of the aircraft, allowing for more accurate control and decision-making during flight. The FPV plays a crucial role in ensuring safe and efficient operations of the Boeing 737.

For More: What is FMU on Boeing 737? (Fuel Metering Unit)