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Why Do Boeings Have Yokes And Airbus's Joysticks?  
User currently offline9V-SPJ From United States of America, joined Dec 2000, 748 posts, RR: 0
Posted (13 years 4 months 1 week 6 days 6 hours ago) and read 18118 times:

Why do Boeings have yokes and Airbus's joysticks? Are there any pros or cons with either? Replys are appreciated.


11 replies: All unread, jump to last
User currently offlineAirbusA360 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 1, posted (13 years 4 months 1 week 6 days 2 hours ago) and read 18049 times:

I boils down to personal choice of the designers. The older airbursts had yokes, A300, A310 etc. Yokes give you a lot of leverage when you are flying a very heavy cable controled airplane. With hydraulics and die-by-wire you don't need that any more. You could have a mouse instead since the new airbursts are mainly flown on autopilot all the time so really you are pushing bottons on the FMS and not really even using the stick for much of anything anyway.

User currently offlineVC-10 From United Kingdom, joined Oct 1999, 3697 posts, RR: 34
Reply 2, posted (13 years 4 months 1 week 5 days 19 hours ago) and read 18015 times:
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Yokes give you leverage when flying a/c where the Flt Dk controls are connected directly to the control surface, but on a/c with powered controls all the yoke is doing is moving a lever that operates a spool valve on the Power Control Unit. The spool valve directs hyd pressure to of side of the control surface actuating piston or the other. Leverage doesn't come into it.

User currently offlineFlygga From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 3, posted (13 years 4 months 1 week 5 days 18 hours ago) and read 17998 times:

Boeing still have yokes, because "real" pilots fly Boeing's and they prefer yokes. Computer operators fly Airbus, and for them the joystick is fine.

User currently offlineRalgha From United States of America, joined Nov 1999, 1614 posts, RR: 6
Reply 4, posted (13 years 4 months 1 week 5 days 14 hours ago) and read 17976 times:

While it is true that a Piper J3 Cub has a stick, it is a center stick as opposed to the side stick that Airbuses have. Therefore a pilot may use either hand on the stick, while Airbus assumes that a pilot is right handed and they need their right hand to type on the keyboard. Big thumbs up

09 F9 11 02 9D 74 E3 5B D8 41 56 C5 63 56 88 C0
User currently offlineEg777er From United Kingdom, joined Feb 2000, 1836 posts, RR: 14
Reply 5, posted (13 years 4 months 1 week 3 days 10 hours ago) and read 17935 times:

Actually the right/left hand issue is totally a non-issue.

Even when flying in a Boeing aircraft the pilot flying will have one hand on the throttles and one hand on the stick - whether it is a sidestick or yoke.

And Boeing pilots fly their aircraft on automatics for just as long as Airbus pilots - it's standardised in the airline Operating procedures.

User currently offlineWardair Canada From Canada, joined Dec 2000, 28 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (13 years 4 months 1 week 3 days 8 hours ago) and read 17924 times:


"And Boeing pilots fly their aircraft on automatics for just as long as Airbus pilots - it's standardised in the airline Operating procedures."

Yes that is correct, a family friend of mine flies A340s for a major airline and I have asked him that question a few times in the past. His response was that, standard operating procedure on the A340 is to manually fly it until 8000 feet and engage the autopilot. The A340's FBW system is very stable....quite stable that you don't really need to make alot of adjustments on the stick while your hand flying it. The feedback of the stick to the control surfaces are quite minimal, you move the stick slightly and the plane responses right away. Also the Airbus FBW system has a damping system that dampens out turbulence and any atmospheric disturbance that would throw the plane around the sky, thus reducing the need for the pilot to make adjustments to keep the plane aligned properly.

On a recent jumpseat experience on the A320 into YVR from YYZ, the pilot looked very comfy sitting in his seat with his left hand on the stick and right hand on the throttles and to a first timer, it looks like he's not doing anything at all when he really is making adjustments by moving his wrist on the stick.

I have had some simulator time in an A320 simulator and I can say that it takes 5 minutes to get used to the left stick and you make slight movements of the wrist to turn the plane, pitch up and down. I found the Airbus cockpit alot more comfortable because you don't have the yoke in the way!  Smile/happy/getting dizzy



User currently offlineFP_v2 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 7, posted (13 years 4 months 1 week 3 days 7 hours ago) and read 17916 times:

In short, the side stick is better.

User currently offlineFDXmech From United States of America, joined Mar 2000, 3251 posts, RR: 35
Reply 8, posted (13 years 4 months 1 week 3 days 4 hours ago) and read 17911 times:

Though the side stick has its advantages, so does the yoke (Boeing FBW). The fact that their is feedback that backdrives the yoke gives the pilots an idea of what the autopilot is doing (as well as autothrottle) as opposed to the only the indications shown on the PFD. I just wonder why Airbus didn't go with conventional throttles that move in corralation to the autothrottle commands, this in my opinion is a needless omission that takes the pilot out of the loop. Yet basically, all the pilots with few exceptions who fly the Airbus (A320 and up) have strong praise for it and thats what counts in the end.

You're only as good as your last departure.
User currently offlineBA From United States of America, joined May 2000, 11153 posts, RR: 59
Reply 9, posted (13 years 4 months 1 week 2 days 9 hours ago) and read 17875 times:

Oh and Airbus isn't a real plane? Tell me what is it? I fly on them all the time, and I find them to be just like Boeing.

"Generosity is giving more than you can, and pride is taking less than you need." - Khalil Gibran
User currently offlinePrebennorholm From Denmark, joined Mar 2000, 6374 posts, RR: 54
Reply 10, posted (13 years 4 months 1 week 2 days 8 hours ago) and read 17884 times:

Boeing makes five different major designs, 737 through 777. Four of them - 737 through 767 - are for historic reasons non-FBW planes and therefore best suited for a yoke.
Airbus makes (almost) only FBW planes.
Commonality is the reason. Boeing will never make a plane in which a "bus driver" automatically will feel more comfu than a seasoned Boeing driver will. Of course not.

Just imagine if the airliner was not invented 70 years ago, but today. And a designer proposed to put a yoke in the front office. What a laughter would break out by his colleagues on the design team!

But it is really a non-issue. No airliner is or can be really manually controlled today. Even a 40 years old 727 is seriously crippled if for instance the automatic yaw dampers are inoperative.

Design of a new non-FBW airliner will never happen again. No really new airliner has been designed without FBW during the last 20 years. How the input to the computers is done is insignificant. If it really was important, then Boeing as well as Airbus would make both sidestick and yoke optional on all their new FBW planes.

How the computers control the plane is much more important than what input device is used. And in that respect Boeing 777 and Airbus FBW systems differ rather much in philosophy. There are many new things to learn about for a pilot who shifts over.

Someone proposed a mouse for control input. It would be less practical simply because a mouse has no spring loaded neutral point. You cannot feel its position, only see it on the screen. But otherwise it could give the same control input as a 777 yoke or an Airbus sidestick.

Best regards, Preben Norholm

Always keep your number of landings equal to your number of take-offs, Preben Norholm
User currently offlineWilcharl From United States of America, joined Jun 2000, 1165 posts, RR: 3
Reply 11, posted (13 years 4 months 1 week 2 days 6 hours ago) and read 17864 times:

Yes airbus assumed pilots were right handed but they also were correct in making it easy on right handed people (the first officer) airbus knew taht the true aviatior of their planes was the young first officer, as a well seasoned captain wouldnt dare touch a new fangled piece of machinerery like that.. so they made it nice and confortable for the right handed 1st officer who had his left hand on the throttle and his right on the yoke... and if you believe this i have some prop wash in the back of my jeep that works wonders on cleaning stains around the house.

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