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What is OHU on Boeing 737? (Overhead Unit)

The Boeing 737 aircraft is one of the most widely used commercial airplanes in the world, known for its reliability and efficiency. As with any aircraft, the Boeing 737 is equipped with various systems and components that work together to ensure the safe and comfortable operation of the aircraft. One important component on the Boeing 737 is the Overhead Unit (OHU), which plays a crucial role in the functionality of the aircraft.

The Overhead Unit (OHU) on the Boeing 737 is a panel located above the heads of the pilots and contains a wide array of switches, knobs, and indicators. It serves as the main interface between the pilots and the aircraft systems, allowing them to control and monitor various functions. The OHU is divided into different sections, each dedicated to specific systems and subsystems of the aircraft, such as the electrical system, fuel system, and hydraulic system.

Importance of the Overhead Unit

The Overhead Unit is a critical component of the Boeing 737 as it provides pilots with the necessary controls and indications to operate the aircraft safely. Through the OHU, pilots can control and monitor various systems, including the aircraft’s electrical power, lighting, fuel management, and hydraulic systems. It allows for precise management of these systems, ensuring the aircraft operates within its optimal parameters.

Furthermore, the OHU facilitates communication between the pilots and the airplane systems, providing them with real-time information and warnings. This information is essential for the pilots to make informed decisions during all phases of flight, from takeoff to landing and everything in between. The OHU also includes switches for emergency procedures, allowing pilots to quickly respond to critical situations.

Components of the Overhead Unit

The Overhead Unit on the Boeing 737 consists of several components, each serving a specific function within the aircraft’s systems. Here are some of the main components found in the OHU:

1. Electrical System

The electrical system section of the OHU provides controls and indicators for managing the aircraft’s electrical power. It allows the pilots to control the distribution of electrical power, activate standby power sources, and monitor the status of various electrical systems, such as generators, inverters, and batteries. The OHU also includes controls for cabin lighting, emergency lighting, and exterior lighting.

2. Fuel System

The fuel system section of the OHU enables pilots to manage the fuel supply and consumption of the aircraft. It includes controls for fuel pumps, valves, and crossfeed systems. The OHU also provides indicators and switches for fuel quantity, allowing the pilots to monitor the amount of fuel onboard and ensure a balanced distribution. This is crucial for maintaining the aircraft’s center of gravity within acceptable limits during flight.

3. Hydraulic System

The hydraulic system section of the OHU allows pilots to control and monitor the aircraft’s hydraulic system. The hydraulic system is responsible for powering various flight control surfaces, landing gear, and other critical components. The OHU provides controls for hydraulic pumps, valves, and accumulators, enabling pilots to maintain adequate hydraulic pressure and respond to any hydraulic system abnormalities.

These are just a few examples of the components found in the Overhead Unit of the Boeing 737. Each component is carefully designed and positioned to provide pilots with easy access and convenient control over the aircraft’s systems.


The Overhead Unit (OHU) on the Boeing 737 is a critical component that allows pilots to control and monitor various systems and subsystems of the aircraft. It serves as the main interface between the pilots and the airplane, providing them with the necessary controls, indications, and warnings. The OHU enables precise management of the aircraft’s electrical, fuel, and hydraulic systems, ensuring safe and efficient operations.

As technology continues to advance, the OHU on modern Boeing 737 aircraft has become more sophisticated and user-friendly. It incorporates advanced automation and integrated systems, further enhancing the pilots’ ability to operate the aircraft smoothly and efficiently.

Understanding the Overhead Unit and its components is essential for pilots and aviation enthusiasts alike. It showcases the complexity and precision involved in the design and operation of modern commercial aircraft. The OHU on the Boeing 737 represents the culmination of years of research, development, and engineering, resulting in a reliable and advanced aircraft that has become an industry standard.

For More: What is COC* on Boeing 737? (Customer Originated Change)

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