What is LVL/CH on Airbus A320? (Level Change)

Level Change (LVL/CH) is a vertical flight mode that is commonly used by pilots on the Airbus A320 aircraft. It allows for efficient and controlled changes in altitude during flight. In this mode, the aircraft maintains a constant vertical speed while following the selected flight path. It is an essential function that contributes to the overall performance and safety of the aircraft.

Level Change mode simplifies the process of changing altitude by automating the vertical speed control. It calculates the necessary thrust levels and pitch attitude to achieve the desired rate of climb or descent. This mode can be used during various phases of flight, such as during departure, approach, or enroute.

When activated, Level Change mode ensures a smooth transition to the desired altitude while maintaining the aircraft’s stability. It allows pilots to focus on other critical tasks, such as monitoring the flight instruments, communicating with air traffic control, and managing the overall flight profile.

Let’s dive deeper into the details of Level Change mode on the Airbus A320.

How Does Level Change Work?

Level Change mode on the Airbus A320 uses the aircraft’s autoflight system to control the vertical speed and manage altitude changes. The system takes into account the requested rate of climb or descent and adjusts the thrust and pitch accordingly.

When a pilot engages Level Change mode, they set the desired rate of climb or descent using the Flight Management System (FMS) or the mode control panel. The autopilot then takes over, controlling the aircraft’s pitch and thrust to achieve the selected vertical speed. The pitch angle is adjusted to maintain a stable climb or descent, while the thrust is increased or decreased to generate the necessary lift or drag.

The autoflight system actively manages the aircraft’s flight path by adjusting the pitch and thrust to maintain the desired rate of climb or descent. It optimizes the aircraft’s performance by calculating the most efficient operating parameters.

During Level Change mode, the pilot retains control over certain aspects of the climb or descent. They can adjust the target altitude, select a different vertical speed, or disengage the mode if needed. The autoflight system provides the necessary automation while allowing the pilot to make changes as required.

Benefits of Level Change Mode

Level Change mode offers several advantages for pilots and the Airbus A320 aircraft:

1. Enhanced Control: By using Level Change mode, pilots can seamlessly control the aircraft’s vertical speed during altitude changes. The automated system ensures precise adjustments to maintain stability, freeing up the pilots to focus on other critical tasks.

2. Fuel Efficiency: The autoflight system optimizes the aircraft’s performance during level changes, resulting in improved fuel efficiency. By calculating the most efficient operating parameters, Level Change reduces fuel consumption and operating costs.

3. Safety and Stability: Level Change mode helps maintain the aircraft’s stability during altitude changes by controlling the pitch and thrust. This reduces the risk of sudden fluctuations in speed or attitude, enhancing safety for both the passengers and crew.

4. Time Savings: By automating the vertical speed control, Level Change mode allows for efficient altitude changes. It helps reduce the time spent on climb or descent, enhancing the overall flight efficiency and on-time performance.

Overall, Level Change mode is a valuable tool on the Airbus A320 aircraft that contributes to a smoother and more efficient flight experience.

For More: What is STAT INV on Airbus A320? (Static Inverter)