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Cockpit Commonality Questions.  
User currently offlineCX747 From United States of America, joined May 1999, 4555 posts, RR: 5
Posted (16 years 8 months 1 day 1 hour ago) and read 2252 times:

I would like to know more about the common cockpit that Airbus promotes. How does it differ from Boeings philosophy? And if it is so great why don't more airlines use it?

"History does not long entrust the care of freedom to the weak or timid." D. Eisenhower
17 replies: All unread, jump to last
User currently offlinePilot1113 From United States of America, joined Aug 1999, 2333 posts, RR: 11
Reply 1, posted (16 years 8 months 1 day ago) and read 2106 times:

Airbus promotes the idea that the pilot is the weak link in the airplane (because of the "pilot error" in crashes) and thus has basically designed him out of the cockpit. The Airbus aircraft actually don't need any pilot's at all (well, that's an exaggeration, they need the pilot to program the route, taxi, and push up the throttles).

Boeing promotes the fact that an automated cockpit should be built around the pilot, thus making certain tasks easier and reducing the workload. They also make it difficult for the pilot to circumvent the computer, but not impossible.

The bad part of Airbus' philosophy is that the computer only knows as much as it's been programmed. If the pilot needs to turn that aircraft upside down to save everyone, the computer won't let him.

- Neil Harrison

User currently offlineSingapore 777 From Australia, joined May 1999, 1032 posts, RR: 3
Reply 2, posted (16 years 8 months 19 hours ago) and read 2096 times:

Yep! Agreed there p1113, if the computer wants to land the plane, and the pilot thinks it should miss approach, the throttles would have no effect and the computer will say "I WANT TO LAND!!!"

User currently offlinePilot1113 From United States of America, joined Aug 1999, 2333 posts, RR: 11
Reply 3, posted (16 years 8 months 11 hours ago) and read 2078 times:

There was a Phillippine Airline crash involving an Airbus A320 on March 22, 1998.

The aircraft, "overran runway 4 at Manila on landing after a computer malfunction caused thrust on one engine to remain greater than idle after landing. With the computer sensing thrust still being applied, reversers and speedbrakes were rendered inoperative. The crew shut down the offending engine, but maximum braking and speedbrakes could not prevent the aircraft from overrunning the runway." - http://www.airdisaster.com

Not to mention what happened to the first A320, that the French Government pretty well covered up.

I think automation should ease a pilot's workload not work against him.

- Neil Harrison

User currently offlineMirage From Portugal, joined May 1999, 3125 posts, RR: 13
Reply 4, posted (16 years 8 months 10 hours ago) and read 2079 times:

Yes sure, automation works against the pilot workload and Airbuses are "silly" aircrafts ofcourse, nobody buys it.
The 737 rudder has problems but that's ok, no big deal, great aircraft.

Luis, Faro, Portugal

User currently offlineDeltaAir From United States of America, joined May 1999, 1094 posts, RR: 0
Reply 5, posted (16 years 8 months 10 hours ago) and read 2083 times:

Airbus believes that the computer is smarter then the person therefore the yoke has been replaced with a joystick and other neat little gagets to make sure the computer is in chargea and not the person. The First A-320 had several problems with computer glitches and they were covered up by the French Government to save the project.
Boeing on the other had originally planned the 777 to have a joystick type control but was unable to impliment some of the features on the yoke into it. But, in many ways the 777 is far superiour to any Airbus out there due to the fact the computer only assists in extreme emergencies and when the pilot asks. I have been told that the 777 is the only aircraft that is structrally sound to do a 360 degree roll when necessary, can anyone confirm this?
I don't mean to get into the treditional Airbus vs. Boeing thing but we need to face some facts. Different people think different things. Boeing is privately owned while Airbus has close government associations. It's all polotics and pilot preference. Delta & American would have switched to Airbus planes but Airbus ripped them off and pilots refused to let the computer control every little function.

User currently offlineLufthansa From Christmas Island, joined May 1999, 3290 posts, RR: 9
Reply 6, posted (16 years 8 months 8 hours ago) and read 2082 times:

I haven't posted in a long time, but I read this, and I thought "none of them actually answered the question", rather, they have stated why they do not like the airbus question, and mentioned how wonderful the 777 is. I believe this has nothing to do with the question at all. Rather, I point to the airbus system of flight deck design, as a system based on common components and systems that run throughout an entire fleet.

Regardless of weather you agree with cross crew flight, the airbus systems represent one very important feature. All the compenents are identical - right across the range. Even if flight crews are not mixed, from a maintanence point of view, everything is symplified extremely, and hudge cost savings are realised. A company only requires one pool of maintanence staff to service the entire product line, verse a different pool with different training. The airbus system allows you to maximise the efficiency of your maintanence from both a staffing and technical point of view - which translates into millions of dollars annually alone even for a small airline.

What this has to do with the 777 I cannot see. But I will say that I believe the 777 is the most airbus like plane produced outside of the consortium. Its systems have previously been entirely exclusive to airbus aircraft. (even the doors are airbus like, in the direction they open etc) From a point of view of common systems though - it is not an advancement at all. If Boeing has 'limmited' the 777s systems to the same technology used onboard the 767/757 and 744, it would start of have a degree of commanality across its fleet, and extend those same systems to the 737 family. Whislt, due to the lack of other common components, the degree would not be the same as that of airbus, it would provide operators with a big incentive. The downsid would have been the 777 simply would not be as good as it is today, and quite possibly have lost a lot of sales.

It will take Boeing a complete new product line in order to match the airbus system, which i believe, at the very least, would take 15 years to achieve. This is basically because Airbus Industrie has used complete new designs, and thus, has been able to incorparate the same technology across the fleet very extensively, not just in the flight deck, but also in most of the compenents the aircraft uses, right up to the doors, and the passenger service units. This, can not be easily acheived with a derivative aircraft, without basically changing so much of the design that you would be better off just starting from scratch and designing a complete new airframe, verse a derivative.

I may also state that I believe the 777 is an excellent machine, however, it is a stand alone. It is not part of a family that are very similar in technology. It is a shining star that stands alone, in its glory. I believe it would be an excellent base for common technology across a new Boeing family, but, it will be a long time comming.

So, that is the what I believe the airbus system offers. 2 advantages, the crewing advantage if you chose it, or, more importantly, a maintanence advantage. Its all about saving money and accounting.

User currently offlineCX747 From United States of America, joined May 1999, 4555 posts, RR: 5
Reply 7, posted (16 years 8 months 8 hours ago) and read 2070 times:

Thanks for answering the question guys. Some of you talked about automation and others wrote pages full of pro-airbus.

"History does not long entrust the care of freedom to the weak or timid." D. Eisenhower
User currently offlineDavid L From United Kingdom, joined May 1999, 9645 posts, RR: 42
Reply 8, posted (16 years 8 months 7 hours ago) and read 2075 times:

As has been discussed here before, a 360* roll is a 1G manoeuvre so there's no structural reason to prevent airliners from performing it.

As for the "technical" reasons I keep seeing here about the dangers and inferiority of the Airbus philosophy, I think I'll continue to stick with the views of the people who continue to buy and operate Airbus and/or Boeing aircraft. Both manufacturers have had their problems but if either were as bad as some people here keep suggesting, would they continue to risk their profits and reputations with them? I think not.

User currently offlineRavi From Singapore, joined Oct 2005, 0 posts, RR: 0
Reply 9, posted (16 years 8 months 4 hours ago) and read 2063 times:

Why is it that when we talk about Airbus CCQ we conveniently forget the A300 and A310? These are two airplanes that are included in the "Airbus Family". I'm not making this up - Airbus apparently sets the standards for 100-380 seat airliners. The A300 and A310 are therefore included in that line up. The 767-300ER continues to sell at a reasonable rate, so this market is hardly dead.

I take argument with any one who wants to claim that the 777 is based on stand alone technology. Again, FBW seems to be the demon here. It is a stand alone because it is the only current Boeing jetliner with FBW flight controls.

The 777 has 16% parts commonality with the 757.
The 777 has 34% parts commonality with the 767.
The 777 has 22% parts commonality with the 747-400.

Most critical (ie. least maintainable) 777 parts are scaled up 757/767 parts, and therefore use the same design and installation philosophy.

A complete new product line, "to match Airbus", is therefore rubbish. What is required by Boeing is a new view of marketing.

The 737NG has 40% parts commonality with the 757; and 25% with the 777.

What's more the 737NG, 767-400ER and 777 can be cross-crew endorsed. The 747-400 and 777 can be cross-crew endorsed, and the 767-400ER is expected to join here.

Finally, Boeing did not originally plan to have joystick flight controls in the 777. It was proposed during the 767-X mock-up and the Group of Eight airlines' pilots rejected the use of the joystick controller unanimously.

User currently offlineMarrty From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 10, posted (16 years 7 months 4 weeks 1 day 14 hours ago) and read 2052 times:

I'd like to hear what the pilots think, particularly those who have made the transition from a Boeing to an Airbus.

User currently offlineIce Cream Man From United Kingdom, joined May 1999, 127 posts, RR: 0
Reply 11, posted (16 years 7 months 4 weeks 1 day 7 hours ago) and read 2050 times:

Ravi, what exactly do you mean when you say "the 737NG, 767-400ER and 777 can be cross-crew endorsed. The 747-400 and 777 can be cross-crew endorsed, and the 767-400ER is expected to join here" ?

Are you saying that one crew can fly the 737NG, 767-400ER and 777 at the same time, or is what you mean that the 737 and 737NG, the 767-400ER and 767/757 can have one crew ? If it is the former than it's the first time I hear that and it would very much surprise me. Very much so.

As for Lufthansa's comments, call him pro Airbus if you like but he does make some good points.

And the finally (and I should not even rise to the occaision, but I can't help myself) the utter [expletive] comments of the Pilot1113 and Singapore 777. Common guys, give us all a break. If you don't like Airbus, fair enough, that's you opinion, but don't give us these cheap lines about the supposed shortcomings of the Airbus. It is not at all impossible for the pilot to circumvent the computers in the Airbus (unless you mean the FBW computers, in which case it's the whole point that you can't circumvent the computers). As for the comments of Singapore 777, and I quote "if the computer wants to land the plane, and the pilot thinks it should miss approach, the throttles would have no effect and the computer will say "I WANT TO LAND!!!". Where do you come up with this stuff ? You fly the plane, do you ? You have extensive knowledge of the plane and it's automatics ? Please, give us all a break. This is called confirmation bias (in CRM terms), or just plain ignorance in layman terms, either one of which is not really a desirable quality, especially if you want to become a pilot (not sure if you do). I know this comment probably comes from the infamous Air France crash, but again, a bit more indepth knowledge of the automatics is needed to understand what happened there, and why the pilot screwed up (and, yes, he did).

User currently offlineRavi From Singapore, joined Oct 2005, 0 posts, RR: 0
Reply 12, posted (16 years 7 months 4 weeks 1 day 4 hours ago) and read 2053 times:

There's no secret that Boeing invented mixed-fleet flying (as it is now known) with the 707, 727 and 737. Mixed-Fleet Flying (MFF), however, is very much a great idea from Airbus to qualify pilots on single aisle and twin aisle airplanes. However, it is an add-on to an idea that has existed for thirty years, not a new idea at all.

My choice of words: "cross-crew endorsed" is a poor choice on my behalf, as there might be some confusion with Cross Crew Qualification (CCQ). CCQ applies ONLY to the A330/340 combination - a two and four engined type rating under the newest of type ratings that is CCQ. A similar example is the COMMON type rating of the 757/767. The difference between COMMON type rating and CCQ is just the amount of engines. It takes 2-4 hours to CCQ a pilot from A330 to A340 or vice-versa. A pilot flying the A330 MUST undergo 2-4 hours training before flying an A340 and cannot simply jump from A330 to A340 to A330 at will once initial training has been accomplished.

This is unlike the 757/767, where a pilot that has been granted a COMMON type rating can switch airplanes at will, so long as he keeps up with minimum flying rules.

Now, about Boeing aircraft - the 737NG, 767-400ER and 777. A pilot can be endorsed on all three aircraft - similar to the A320 and A330/340 MFF combination - by that thing that we all know - training. For a pilot to be endorsed on both the A320 and A330 it takes about 11 days training. For a pilot to be endorsed on both the 737NG (777 layout) and 777 takes about 14 days training. The Boeing endorsed pilot is then able to spend about 6 days training gaining a 767-400ER endorsement.

The arrangement is similar for the 747-400 and 777, about 6 days training.

So you can see, quite clearly, that MFF is not only applicable to Airbus aircraft. The new cockpits to be installed in the 757 and earlier 767 models from 2002 onwards will further increase the flexibility of the Boeing mixed-fleet flying options. What you don't have from me is an argument that for the A320 Family and A330/340 Family combination MFF is more effective than for the 737NG Family and 777 Family. However, it is all relative: the 777 Family is SAME type rated, the A330/340 Family is not.

It doesn't surprise me that you find this surprising, Airbus is very, very good at marketing certain cost considerations of their airplanes. MFF and airframe width are probably the most common. However, anyone who does their homework can plainly see that the advantage touted by Airbus is mostly hot-air (though extremely effective hot-air!). Boeing too has mixed-fleet flying, and arguably a more effective one. The A300/310 don't fit into Airbus' MFF considerations. By 2002 the 757/767 will fit into Boeing's and Seattle line-up will all have the same cockpit philosophy.

It currently takes 28 days to type rate a pilot onto the A320 from a smaller, conventionally flight controlled aircraft. It takes 11 days for a 737NG. From there the A320 pilot can go to the A330 and the A340. The 737NG pilot can go to the 757/767 or 777, or back to earlier models of the 737 if required.

You tell me which is more "flexible". Airlines which fly (or want to fly) the A320 and A330/340 exclusively stand to gain the most - such as Swissair and US Airways. There is considerable benefit for airlines wishing to incorporate 200-240 seat aircraft into their fleet to operate Boeing aircraft - such as Delta and American.

The benefits of MFF are exaggerated by Airbus based on the wishes of airlines, in general, to operate an aircraft in between the A321 and the A330-200. Also, fleet size generally overcomes differences in pilot training. Airlines operating both Airbus sidestick and Boeing types are testament to this - British Airways and United, for example.

User currently offlineIce Cream Man From United Kingdom, joined May 1999, 127 posts, RR: 0
Reply 13, posted (16 years 7 months 4 weeks 9 hours ago) and read 2035 times:

All very interesting stuff, Ravi. Which airlines actually have pilots flying both th 737NG and the 777 at the same time ?

User currently offlineGoA340 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 14, posted (16 years 7 months 4 weeks 8 hours ago) and read 2036 times:

in this forum, even if there is a question very sligthly related to Airbus and Boeing, the discussion ends with an endless fight to make one manufacturer superior to the other. The reality is that if both manufacturers are getting significant orders from airlines all around the world (like US Airways Airbus order and Aif France's coming probable B777X order) which is a clear indication that both products are in equilibrium in terms of specifications...If this year Airbus collected 70% of new orders, this certainly does not mean an end for Boeing, neither a superiority for Airbus. Fortunatly airlines are more objective than you guys, and make their decisions based on common sense not empty propaganda. Air France for example will soon announce an order for both the A330-200 and the B777, because the buy makes perfect sense for their route structure and needs.

User currently offlineMirage From Portugal, joined May 1999, 3125 posts, RR: 13
Reply 15, posted (16 years 7 months 4 weeks 8 hours ago) and read 2038 times:

I agree with you but the problem is that there are Anti-Airbus people here who can't accept Airbus sucess and just want to point out the "supposed" bad points of Airbuses.
You don't see any Anti-Boeing people begining this discussions.

In fact I wasn't expecting to see aviation enthusiasts whose point of interest is always to make the Airbus product inferior to Boeing.

I feel sad reading this xenophobic feelings about non US products  

Luis, Faro, Portugal

User currently offlineCX747 From United States of America, joined May 1999, 4555 posts, RR: 5
Reply 16, posted (16 years 7 months 4 weeks 5 hours ago) and read 2032 times:

The responses to this question have been more than helpful. The one thing I would like to point out is that while some individuals do post Pro-Boeing material without backing it up, individuals like Ravi, Wingman and myself do back it up. I wish I had the time to explain the Pro-Boeing Anti-Airbus stance but I am sick so I'll leave it till another day. Please continue to post valuable information.

P.S. Some Airbus supporters constantly attack Boeing posts with "Oh he always posts for Boeing" well I haven't seen any Pro-American comments lately from you.

"History does not long entrust the care of freedom to the weak or timid." D. Eisenhower
User currently offlineLeo-ERJ From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 17, posted (16 years 7 months 4 weeks 1 hour ago) and read 2032 times:

This goes to all as well...

There is no point in you defending a manufacturing company until you are part of the team. You may agree with their philosophies but the reality is that they don't care even a bit about you. They see you as part of their overall profit and a as a chunk of potential market for their products. I know that because I worked for some aviation companies and I am doing coop to an avionics company right now, and that's the word behind the scenes from the top heads and administration of the companies. For me, I don't care about all that marketing 'politics', I only concentrate on design aspects of a system or an airframe. Whatever is the product I see it individually. It doesn't matter where the product comes from or who built it unless you're part of it. If you're not, you must appreciate it individually, because of its merits and not its backgrounds. That's how I feel moving from different rival companies over some initial years. You can be somewhat biased to a certain company, but it won't have any effect for them or the market, unless you are over there acting. So let's leave this bitterness about one or the other aside because it's pure bull****. Unless you give me a highly technical and/or scientific explanation about a certain product/airframe that is bad or unreliable, I will simply disregard any hopeless attempts to be the wizard on the topic. So let's not put a company down, because I tell you, in the long run it has no effect on them, in other words, nothing you say here willchange them over there.

Cheers to all...good night.

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