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My Problems With Fly-by-wire  
User currently offlineHypermike From United States of America, joined Dec 1999, 1001 posts, RR: 5
Posted (15 years 9 months 16 hours ago) and read 2792 times:

I mean this in a light-hearted way, but after looking at some cockpit pictures here on airliners.net, I feel a little more comfortable seeing a yoke in front of a pilot.

Just seeing a joystick in front of the pilot makes it look too much like a video game. =)

13 replies: All unread, jump to last
User currently offlineRalgha From United States of America, joined Nov 1999, 1614 posts, RR: 5
Reply 1, posted (15 years 9 months 15 hours ago) and read 2641 times:

Just because they don't have a joystick it doesn't mean that it's not fly-by-wire. My main problem with sidesticks such as Airbuses use, is that if a left handed pilot is sitting in the left seat, he/she can't write without removing his/her hand from the stick.

09 F9 11 02 9D 74 E3 5B D8 41 56 C5 63 56 88 C0
User currently offlinePhil330 From Australia, joined May 2011, 0 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (15 years 9 months 15 hours ago) and read 2647 times:

That's funny, last time I saw a 777 cockpit I'm sure there was a yoke....

A320/330 pilot.

User currently offlineCgn From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 3, posted (15 years 9 months 15 hours ago) and read 2633 times:

Military jet´s are flown by joystick´s too. So I see no problem about that.

User currently offlineDLMD-11 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 4, posted (15 years 9 months 15 hours ago) and read 2637 times:

One reason that military jets don't have a yoke - and have a joystick - is that so that, if you have to eject, you don't knock your legs off at the knees and once you hit the ground end up walking around 3ft tall - it's nothing whatsoever to do with the flight control system, be it analog or FBW.

The same reason cannot be said for commercial airlines.

It has to be said that in a humerous way, I kinda agree with Hypermike. I would take an L-1011 or MD-11 over any other aircraft given the choice, tho, so I may be a little partial.....


User currently offlineTEDSKI From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 5, posted (15 years 9 months 14 hours ago) and read 2620 times:

The only problem with a fly-by-wire system is if there isn't a manual backup system like the 777 has. The Air Force had problems with the fly-by-wire system in the F-16 fighter. If both systems in the fighter failed the only way to save yourself is to eject.

User currently offlineCgn From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 6, posted (15 years 9 months 13 hours ago) and read 2614 times:

You can be shure there would be a solution to eject safely from a fighter-aircraft even if it had an joke. If there where any advantage against a joystick-control.

Since flown by wire too I wonder why Boeing still puts yoke into cockpits of 777 for example.

User currently offlineBo From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 7, posted (15 years 9 months 12 hours ago) and read 2610 times:

Believe it or not, the famous sidestick was considered for the 777, but rejected by the pilot design team for whatever reason (probably unfamiliarity).

Besides, how many pilots are busy writing their memoirs at 35,000 feet?

User currently offlineDash8tech From United States of America, joined Jul 1999, 732 posts, RR: 5
Reply 8, posted (15 years 9 months 11 hours ago) and read 2607 times:

Fly by wire isn't so bad. Look at the fact that many FBW systems all told have about 9 redundant backups. Whereas hydraulic...2 or three. As far as the pilot taking his hands off of the yoke to write....if (most airliners anyway) all systems are functioning correctly the pilot only rotates and flares anyway...if that these days! They don't even really have to do that, set the flaps, set the FMS, etc. Then hit the TO/Go Around buttons and the flight director does the rest....except retract/extend the gear and flaps.


User currently offlineDelta737 From United States of America, joined Jun 1999, 516 posts, RR: 10
Reply 9, posted (15 years 9 months 9 hours ago) and read 2604 times:

Hmm, generally most pilots leave the autopilot off until about 18,000 feet or so and then will generally hand fly the arrival and/or the approach. At least as far as I've seen on the 737.

I'll pop it on thru about 5,000 if we're departing an airport like EWR when you're superbusy during the SID/departure so the non-flying pilot doesn't have to work the radios and set the heading/course bugs and any Flight Director commands.

Fly by wire doesn't really excite me all that much. The only advantages to the fly by wire system are enjoyed by the engineers that designed it and may (maybe not) the mechanics that work on them.

And to answer another question, I'm not too sure of how many pilots are writing notes while they hand fly an aircraft.

Doug Taylor
Delta 737 Pilot

User currently offlineBoeing727 From United States of America, joined May 1999, 964 posts, RR: 0
Reply 10, posted (15 years 8 months 4 weeks 1 day 19 hours ago) and read 2583 times:

Good point Hypermike. I much rather fly in an airplane that is flown by the cable and pulley system, rather than electric pulses. I strongly believe that every airliner has to have a red button and turn all this computer garbage off. They are helpful in many instances, yes I agree on that, but when the occasion arises a pilot needs to be able to get back to the basics and the reason he/she is in the seat in the first place and that is to "FLY" the aircraft; and not pretent to be a computer programmer supervising a bunch of screens with hundreds of people behind him. I understand that technology will always push this industry further into automation, but there has to be a manual override.

That is my opinion on this topic.


User currently offlinePhil330 From Australia, joined May 2011, 0 posts, RR: 0
Reply 11, posted (15 years 8 months 4 weeks 1 day 18 hours ago) and read 2583 times:

Firstly it is rarely the case that whilst hand-flying the aeroplane any pilot will need to write anything, as "Delta737" rightly suggested.

I moved from the 757/767 to the A320/330 around 2 years ago now. At first I was very dubious about the aircraft, and the sidestick, and was unpleased at being changed onto the airbus fleet. After I began training, however, I realised that it is very easy to get used to and has many advantages.

People on this topic appear to be suggesting that fly-by-wire aircraft like the A320 and 777 do not have an autopilot disconnect button?! There is a "manual over-ride" on every aircraft as far as I know, fly-by-wire types are no exception. The only thing that is different is the way the hydraulic control surfaces are moved (via electrical systems rather than metal cables, which is a huge weight saving and has been proven to be safer and less likely to fail).

Another misconception is that if the computers on fly-by-wire aircraft fail all control is lost and the aircraft plummets to the ground. In fact all aircraft have backup control systems, and on the A320 and 777 hydraulic links are still in place allowing the aircraft to be flown in the one in a billion chance of a complete computer failure.

Fly-by-wire is the future of aircraft technology, it is like the difference between a typewriter and a word processor. Boeing entered the fly-by-wire market itself with the 777, and until a successor is found to this method of control the manufacturer will never depart from it, and no new Boeing will ever be made again without FBW controls.

A320/330 pilot

(p.s. moving back to the 757/767 this March for family reasons for those who are interested!)

User currently offlineDelta737 From United States of America, joined Jun 1999, 516 posts, RR: 10
Reply 12, posted (15 years 8 months 4 weeks 1 day 17 hours ago) and read 2577 times:

I forgot to mention too is that the 737 isn't a fly by wire aircraft, but even then, we'll pop on the autopilot and it'll occassionally make us think "what he heck is it doing?"

Or even sometimes you'll couple it up for an approach and it'll make a weird move and you'll simply disengage it and hand fly the approach.

Just keep in mind that the aircraft flies on Newton and Bernoulli, not Microsoft and Intel!  

Doug Taylor
Delta 737 FO

User currently offlineCgn From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 13, posted (15 years 8 months 4 weeks 1 day 15 hours ago) and read 2575 times:

Just imagine what Newton and Bernoulli would have used Microsoft and Intel for.

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