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Airbus Pilots - Do You Like It?  
User currently offlineCHRISBA777ER From UK - England, joined Mar 2001, 5964 posts, RR: 62
Posted (5 years 9 months 1 week 6 days 23 hours ago) and read 12020 times:

Not intended to be flamebait - serious question.

I was on a U2 A319 back in April at AGP. We were sat at the gate waiting for WX at LGW to clear - it was snowing a lot back home and we ended up moving to a remote stand to wait. The crew were great and did their best to keep everyone entertained - we were there for about three and a half hours in the end. Anyway, the flightcrew had the office door open and were inviting people to come up and take a look around, so naturally, I ventured forward. I met the Captain, an ex BA 777 line Captain who moved to short-hauls with U2 as he liked being home every night. The F/O was a nice Dutch lad of about 24 - nice fellas. We chatted about the BA G-YMMM accident and discussed the fuel icing etc and the Captain ventured that it had to be a fuel pump fault or something. We watched an XL 738 pull onto stand ahead of us and I asked if the Skipper liked flying the bus in relation to the 777. To my utter amazement he pointed to the XL 738 and said he'd much rather be flying one of those.

He went on to state that "the French did not build this aeroplane to be hand-flown - it is designed to spend its life on autopilot. I don't like it at all. Its not a proper aeroplane, for me."

Basically the only thing he liked about it was the traytable, but he said "you dont choose your fleet based on traytables and cup-holders. I like the overpowered nature of the aeroplane though. Its sprightly, but I much prefer the Boeing"

He also told me that he prefered the CFMs on the bus compared to the IAE V2500s which are better in the cruise but take quite a lot longer to spool up - the CFMs are much quicker apparently. My impression was that he preferred to handfly the aeroplane a lot, and that he got then chance to do it a lot with the 777s he used to fly, but not at all on the A319. Given the chance he'd take the 737 or a nice 757 any day, he said.

Anyone got any thoughts on this?

I thought everyone who flew the Airbus FBW types really liked them!

[Edited 2008-11-11 05:41:56]


What do you mean you dont have any bourbon? Do you know how far it is to Houston? What kind of airline is this???
73 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlinePhilSquares From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 1, posted (5 years 9 months 1 week 6 days 22 hours ago) and read 11991 times:



Quoting CHRISBA777ER (Thread starter):
He also told me that he prefered the CFMs on the bus compared to the IAE V2500s which are better in the cruise but take quite a lot longer to spool up - the CFMs are much quicker apparently.

It's not spool up, it's the start cycle. On the CFMs you can have both started and be getting the taxi clearance by the time one V2500 has stabilised. It is much longer with the V2500. I have flown both and have had fewer problems with the V2500.

Quoting CHRISBA777ER (Thread starter):
I thought everyone who flew the Airbus FBW types really liked them!

Not true!!!


User currently offlineCHRISBA777ER From UK - England, joined Mar 2001, 5964 posts, RR: 62
Reply 2, posted (5 years 9 months 1 week 6 days 22 hours ago) and read 11978 times:



Quoting PhilSquares (Reply 1):
Quoting CHRISBA777ER (Thread starter):
He also told me that he prefered the CFMs on the bus compared to the IAE V2500s which are better in the cruise but take quite a lot longer to spool up - the CFMs are much quicker apparently.

It's not spool up, it's the start cycle. On the CFMs you can have both started and be getting the taxi clearance by the time one V2500 has stabilised. It is much longer with the V2500. I have flown both and have had fewer problems with the V2500.

You learn something new every day on here - thanks  Smile

Quoting PhilSquares (Reply 1):
Quoting CHRISBA777ER (Thread starter):
I thought everyone who flew the Airbus FBW types really liked them!

Not true!!!

Evidently!

I suppose in ones non-flying enthusiasm for something it never occurs to one that someone might not share your enthusiasm. Just because I like the cabin better doesn't me the guy at the front prefer it!

I suspect the guy in question - who was a top bloke and i really enjoyed chatting to him - misses his nice big 777.

Phil - got to ask - would you miss your nice big 744F if you transferred to A319s?



What do you mean you dont have any bourbon? Do you know how far it is to Houston? What kind of airline is this???
User currently onlineStarlionblue From Greenland, joined Feb 2004, 17015 posts, RR: 67
Reply 3, posted (5 years 9 months 1 week 6 days 20 hours ago) and read 11926 times:

I have spoken to many Airbus pilots. Some love the airplane, some don't. Some like some features and not others.

There probably is a similar amount of pilots who like and dislike Boeing products.

More importantly, those Airbus or Boeing pilots who are not totally gung ho about it still feel safe flying their aircraft.

Quoting CHRISBA777ER (Reply 2):
I suppose in ones non-flying enthusiasm for something it never occurs to one that someone might not share your enthusiasm. Just because I like the cabin better doesn't me the guy at the front prefer it!

Indeed.



"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots."
User currently offlineSQ325 From Germany, joined Jul 2001, 1451 posts, RR: 7
Reply 4, posted (5 years 9 months 1 week 6 days 17 hours ago) and read 11831 times:

First of all I have to say that i never flew a B737NG.
My experience so far about 3100hrs RJ85 (pretty much the same cockpit like the 737-3/4/5, 30 hrs in the B732 Sim and a one time experience in a B744 Sim + 900 A320 hours the type I am currently flying.
I personally like the Airbus very much.

Cons:
I agree that the Airbus is designed to take as much load as possible from the pilot.
I also think that some of the Airbus procedures are nonsense, Autothrust always on e.g. Also during gusty winds it is kind of difficult to fly manual because the computers always try to keep the wings level, by being slow with that the pilot tends to over correct. The Pilot gives an input to react on a gust relates bank change and a second later the computer does the same.

Pros:
The cockpit is great, extremly "user friendly" you have massive space.
Autotrim is a great thing,(I think on the B777 you only need to trim away speedchanges and the rest is done by the autotrim on the bus you never trim)
The autoflight system is great if you know it and use it efficient.
I had huge prejudices against the side stick and the FBW system. I have to admit I WAS WRONG. It is great, you give a input release the stick and the aircraft maintains its attitude.


Overall it is not perfect, especially the system complexity is a problem. Sometimes you just can' t figure out where a specific problem comes from. Resets are mostly prohibited.
I got used to the little bad things the Airbus has and I now really enjoy to fly the Airbus.

As the spellcheck does not work I apologize for possible misspellings!


User currently offlineDavid L From United Kingdom, joined May 1999, 9524 posts, RR: 42
Reply 5, posted (5 years 9 months 1 week 6 days 16 hours ago) and read 11781 times:



Quoting CHRISBA777ER (Thread starter):
He went on to state that "the French did not build this aeroplane to be hand-flown - it is designed to spend its life on autopilot.

Oh dear. I suspect many of the Airbus pros are going to disagree with that.  Smile

I always got the impression that the FBW Airbuses are designed to be easier to hand-fly. Perhaps he means it isn't enough of a challenge, like automatic gearboxes, anti-lock brakes and traction control on a car, for example.


User currently offlineMr AirNZ From New Zealand, joined Feb 2002, 855 posts, RR: 1
Reply 6, posted (5 years 9 months 1 week 6 days 16 hours ago) and read 11776 times:

I have a friend who flies the A320 for Air New Zealand. Would try to go back to the 737-300 in a heartbeat if it didn't involve a pay cut but as other's have said, each to their own.

User currently offlineWing From Turkey, joined Oct 2000, 1560 posts, RR: 24
Reply 7, posted (5 years 9 months 1 week 6 days 15 hours ago) and read 11757 times:

I flew the 737 and flying the 320 family.I enjoyed them both but if you ask me I would never want to change from Airbus types anymore.


Widen your world
User currently offlinePGNCS From United States of America, joined Apr 2007, 2821 posts, RR: 45
Reply 8, posted (5 years 9 months 1 week 6 days 15 hours ago) and read 11730 times:



Quoting CHRISBA777ER (Thread starter):
We watched an XL 738 pull onto stand ahead of us and I asked if the Skipper liked flying the bus in relation to the 777. To my utter amazement he pointed to the XL 738 and said he'd much rather be flying one of those.

He went on to state that "the French did not build this aeroplane to be hand-flown - it is designed to spend its life on autopilot. I don't like it at all. Its not a proper aeroplane, for me."

Basically the only thing he liked about it was the traytable, but he said "you dont choose your fleet based on traytables and cup-holders. I like the overpowered nature of the aeroplane though. Its sprightly, but I much prefer the Boeing"

I've flown both types and I would disagree with him on all counts.

Quoting PhilSquares (Reply 1):
Quoting CHRISBA777ER (Thread starter):
I thought everyone who flew the Airbus FBW types really liked them!

Not true!!!

But the majority do.

Quoting CHRISBA777ER (Reply 2):
I suppose in ones non-flying enthusiasm for something it never occurs to one that someone might not share your enthusiasm. Just because I like the cabin better doesn't me the guy at the front prefer it!

And just because you dislike the cabin, doesn't mean that the pilot likes the aircraft either. I flew the 737 for two years and always smiled at the door when I said goodbye: I'd guess that zero of my passengers could tell I loathed the machine.

Quoting SQ325 (Reply 4):
I personally like the Airbus very much.

Agreed.

Quoting SQ325 (Reply 4):
I also think that some of the Airbus procedures are nonsense, Autothrust always on e.g.

Not all carriers use Airbus procedures; I agree that carriers which require A/T (etc.) go overboard. The airplane is VERY nice to hand fly with the automation turned off.

Quoting SQ325 (Reply 4):
The cockpit is great, extremly "user friendly" you have massive space.

In every way superior to any Boeing, especially the ghastly, cramped 737 on this front.

Quoting SQ325 (Reply 4):
I had huge prejudices against the side stick and the FBW system. I have to admit I WAS WRONG. It is great, you give a input release the stick and the aircraft maintains its attitude.

I second that. I had an extremely pro-yoke mindset, and was very unenthusiastic about the side stick. Then I had my first sim in the 320, and would never voluntarily fly with a yoke again.

Quoting SQ325 (Reply 4):
The autoflight system is great if you know it and use it efficient.

It isn't as simple to master as the Boeing, but once learned is excellent.

Quoting David L (Reply 5):
I always got the impression that the FBW Airbuses are designed to be easier to hand-fly.

I think that's a pretty fair statement. The people who claim it isn't designed to be hand flown are simply wrong. It is a pleasure to hand fly, and, in fact, the first full flight simulator period in the initial 320 course I attended spent the entire time hand flying the aircraft. At some carriers, though, procedures are written to maximize automation when flying the Airbus, a philosophy I fundamentally disagree with.

Quoting Mr AirNZ (Reply 6):
I have a friend who flies the A320 for Air New Zealand. Would try to go back to the 737-300 in a heartbeat if it didn't involve a pay cut but as other's have said, each to their own

Well to each his own: I would never set foot on another 737 if given the choice.

Quoting Wing (Reply 7):
I flew the 737 and flying the 320 family.I enjoyed them both but if you ask me I would never want to change from Airbus types anymore.

I agree with you, Wing. Well except for the part about enjoying them both!  Wink


User currently offlineJetlagged From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2005, 2546 posts, RR: 24
Reply 9, posted (5 years 9 months 1 week 6 days 15 hours ago) and read 11712 times:



Quoting CHRISBA777ER (Thread starter):
He went on to state that "the French did not build this aeroplane to be hand-flown - it is designed to spend its life on autopilot. I don't like it at all. Its not a proper aeroplane, for me."

The people who don't like Airbus always blame the French, don't they?

If the Airbus was only intended for automatic flight they wouldn't have bothered with the many protections in the EFCS, would they? The Airbus is very easy to hand fly, it's company procedures which determine how much hand flying a pilot can do. Depending on the airline the autopilot will be on for just much of the time on a Boeing as on an Airbus.

It's just the grumblings of a disatisfied pilot. Luckily for him he's still flying with easyJet and not looking for a job after XL closed.  Wink



The glass isn't half empty, or half full, it's twice as big as it needs to be.
User currently offlinePihero From France, joined Jan 2005, 4402 posts, RR: 76
Reply 10, posted (5 years 9 months 1 week 6 days 14 hours ago) and read 11690 times:

Aftrer Wing and PGNCS, I would say that going back to a 737 would be a seback. Not on my life !
The initial comment by the Pilot Chris referred to in his initial post is ludicrous :

Quoting CHRISBA777ER (Thread starter):
My impression was that he preferred to handfly the aeroplane a lot, and that he got then chance to do it a lot with the 777s he used to fly

That guy had been on the BA long haul with his 777, I doubt very much that he had done more than three landings in any given month. Compared to an average of some 40 to sixty on medium haul. If he can't get some hand flying, I submit that he's doing something wrong.

Quoting CHRISBA777ER (Thread starter):
the French did not build this aeroplane to be hand-flown - it is designed to spend its life on autopilot. I don't like it at all. Its not a proper aeroplane, for me."

The French, quiite a number of Germans and a few Brits, among all the nationalities involved, I might add..
Look at it this way : A/P on, it's a dream ; A/P and A/THR off, you have the most accurate flying any aircraft can give you ( I still fly under-50-minute sectors manually, I mean completely manually). It is still a dream.

Quoting CHRISBA777ER (Reply 2):
Phil - got to ask - would you miss your nice big 744F if you transferred to A319s?

You should have asked me : I transferred from the 744 to the 'Bus and think that it was the best move I made in my career...and now getting a 330 rating, there is no doubt in my mind : I prefer working on AI products. They've won my vote, hands down. ( I do miss the aurora over Northern Canada, though...among other things).



Contrail designer
User currently offlineTdscanuck From Canada, joined Jan 2006, 12709 posts, RR: 80
Reply 11, posted (5 years 9 months 1 week 6 days 12 hours ago) and read 11620 times:



Quoting CHRISBA777ER (Thread starter):
I thought everyone who flew the Airbus FBW types really liked them!

People who first learned on Boeing then went to Airbus sometimes complain. I don't think I've ever heard an Airbus pilot complain about its normal flying characteristics (some gripe about the error handling a little bit). I've never heard a pilot who trained Airbus and then switched to Boeing be happy about it though.

Quoting SQ325 (Reply 4):
Autotrim is a great thing,(I think on the B777 you only need to trim away speedchanges and the rest is done by the autotrim on the bus you never trim)

As far as I know, all current Boeings have autotrim. You *can* trim away a speed change but the airplane should do it by itself anyway. The 737NG and 777 certainly have it.

Quoting David L (Reply 5):
I always got the impression that the FBW Airbuses are designed to be easier to hand-fly.

I think it depends on what you mean by "hand fly". If you mean "I want to control the control surfaces" you're basically out of luck. If you mean "I want to control the airplane attitude" then it's great.

Quoting David L (Reply 5):
Perhaps he means it isn't enough of a challenge, like automatic gearboxes, anti-lock brakes and traction control on a car, for example.

That's sort of my impression...you're not going to get as much of a "feel" from the Airbus because of the way the control laws work, but it's doing to do *exactly* what you tell it to do.

Tom.


User currently offlineSlamClick From United States of America, joined Nov 2003, 10062 posts, RR: 68
Reply 12, posted (5 years 9 months 1 week 6 days 10 hours ago) and read 11607 times:

I've had a pretty fair sampling of the airliners of my times and I love the Airbus.

Boeing builds great products and I can't fly them without reflecting on the B-17 and its legend, but in the real world of going to work every day I just find the Airbus to be such a pleasant environment to work in, I'd hate to give it up.

The only thing that would lure me away from the A-320 is to get back onto the A-330 which I hold to be the finest thing I ever flew - and I flew some great ones:

DC-3
Super Cub
Huey

...for examples.

The Airbus is a treat to hand-fly, especially with the autothrust engaged. I can hand-fly an ILS with one engine or two, and only make two or three control inputs all the way down final. If you look at the little square in the center of the "airplane" symbol on the PFD, it shows exactly one pixel of black at each corner when the flight director crosshairs are centered. You can narrow your scan down to those four pixels and fly the whole airplane by no more reference than that. I fought it a bit at first - "stirred the paint" as my instructor called the unnecessary sweeps of sidestick but a few minutes into the second simulator session realized what it took. It is like flying a spacecraft with reaction thrusters - you just give it a shot of sidestick, let go and watch it respond. When it is going where you want, you just stop making control inputs. I love it!

Flight deck is big and roomy and comfortable. There is a light to tell you when the forward biffy is occupado and you can even watch an ECAM page to tell you when the toilet is flushed. Everyone knows about the tray table but I'll tell you, I can't recall a more enjoyable meal than I've had at that table, gazing out at a constantly changing view.

I even like it as a non-rev. More comfortable than any Boeing up to the 767. The jumpseat is one of the better ones out there. It even makes good coffee.

Sorry good people of Renton and Everett, those are my impressions. If I ever feel an urge to bomb Bremen or Wilhelmshaven I can assure you Boeing will be my one stop shopping, but for taking peeps to Disneyville, I do like the Airbus.



Happiness is not seeing another trite Ste. Maarten photo all week long.
User currently offlineTdscanuck From Canada, joined Jan 2006, 12709 posts, RR: 80
Reply 13, posted (5 years 9 months 1 week 6 days 9 hours ago) and read 11562 times:



Quoting SlamClick (Reply 12):
The Airbus is a treat to hand-fly, especially with the autothrust engaged. I can hand-fly an ILS with one engine or two, and only make two or three control inputs all the way down final.

Although I understand completely what you mean, I think a lot of people would consider that the opposite of hand-flying...the computer is doing a lot of work to artificially stabilize the airplane in a condition like that.

Quoting SlamClick (Reply 12):
The jumpseat is one of the better ones out there. It even makes good coffee.

That is the greatest jumpseat *ever* Big grin

Quoting SlamClick (Reply 12):
Sorry good people of Renton and Everett, those are my impressions.

Nothing to be sorry about...I don't think Boeing has ever claimed their have the most pleasant or user-friendly flight deck.

Quoting SlamClick (Reply 12):
If I ever feel an urge to bomb Bremen or Wilhelmshaven I can assure you Boeing will be my one stop shopping, but for taking peeps to Disneyville, I do like the Airbus.

I think the Airbus v. Boeing thing is a lot more from the engineers than the pilots. Engineers get downright militant about what the "right" answer in the trade study was (even though, almost by definition, if there was a clearly right answer you didn't need the trade study). Pilots, by and large, seem to be a more practical lot.

Tom.


User currently offlineSlamClick From United States of America, joined Nov 2003, 10062 posts, RR: 68
Reply 14, posted (5 years 9 months 1 week 6 days 8 hours ago) and read 11531 times:



Quoting Tdscanuck (Reply 13):
Although I understand completely what you mean, I think a lot of people would consider that the opposite of hand-flying...the computer is doing a lot of work to artificially stabilize the airplane in a condition like that.

Yeah, I appreciate what you are saying. My personal feeling is that the flying I've done in the Bell 47 leaves me without any need to prove my stick and [pedal] skills to anyone, ever again. Positive, dynamic stability inherent in ALL type-certificated fixed-wing aircraft is functionally indistinguishable from "computer" driven stabilities. In the 'bus the flight control computers smooth out the microexcursions behind the scenes. In lesser airplanes physics, trim, yaw dampers etc. etc. do the same thing - they just take longer.

Frankly, the psychomotor activity of flying an airplane, any airplane, kind of bores me. It proves nothing anymore, once the pilot has a few hundred hours and I think most of us who have responed here who have actually flown the 'bus can fly an airplane with less mental effort than we can drive a car. My pleasures in flying have, for many years, come from things other than stick-and-rudder.

Like the quality of the coffee or not wrinkling my uniform coat in a closet smaller than the pockets of that coat.

I realize that neither Boeing nor Airbus manufacture the coffee makers but I really don't give two carwash tokens about where they come from - I just enjoy my working day on the 'bus more.



Happiness is not seeing another trite Ste. Maarten photo all week long.
User currently offlineMPDPilot From United States of America, joined Jul 2006, 991 posts, RR: 0
Reply 15, posted (5 years 9 months 1 week 6 days 8 hours ago) and read 11506 times:

So I have a question to add here. After reading all the responses here there seems to be an almost overwhelming preference for the bus. Why does Boeing still build their airplanes the way they do, if almost every pilot finds the bus equal or better in terms of pilot use?


One mile of highway gets you one mile, one mile of runway gets you anywhere.
User currently offlineOsiris30 From Barbados, joined Sep 2006, 3192 posts, RR: 25
Reply 16, posted (5 years 9 months 1 week 6 days 8 hours ago) and read 11489 times:

I too have a question for the sidestick guys.

The one thing I've always wondered about is; how hard is it to coordinate your movements when your method of input is off to the side. Is it much of an adjustment? I know even in my (admittedly very amateur) flying in sims, that the position of the input device makes a huge difference to my performance.

TIA



I don't care what you think of my opinion. It's my opinion, so have a nice day :)
User currently offlineSpeedracer1407 From United States of America, joined Dec 2004, 333 posts, RR: 0
Reply 17, posted (5 years 9 months 1 week 6 days 7 hours ago) and read 11478 times:



Quoting MPDPilot (Reply 15):
Why does Boeing still build their airplanes the way they do, if almost every pilot finds the bus equal or better in terms of pilot use?

I don't speak for the many respected user/pilots in this thread, but notice that some of their comments include an initial skepticism about the 'bus flight controls, as below:

Quoting SQ325 (Reply 4):
I had huge prejudices against the side stick and the FBW system. I have to admit I WAS WRONG.



Quoting PGNCS (Reply 8):
I had an extremely pro-yoke mindset, and was very unenthusiastic about the side stick. Then I had my first sim in the 320, and would never voluntarily fly with a yoke again.

Manufacturers decide on flight control philosophies based, in part, on their perceptions and feedback of what the airline and its pilots want. I guess it would make sense to assume that Boeing decided that their major customers weren't enthusiastic enough about sidestick FBW to invest in developing one of their own.

Still though, I wonder just how expensive it would be to take all the FBW software capability already baked into the 777, for example, and modify it to behave similarly to the Airbus.



Dassault Mercure: the plane that has Boeing and Airbus shaking in their boots.
User currently onlineStarlionblue From Greenland, joined Feb 2004, 17015 posts, RR: 67
Reply 18, posted (5 years 9 months 1 week 6 days 7 hours ago) and read 11475 times:



Quoting MPDPilot (Reply 15):
So I have a question to add here. After reading all the responses here there seems to be an almost overwhelming preference for the bus. Why does Boeing still build their airplanes the way they do, if almost every pilot finds the bus equal or better in terms of pilot use?

Now there's an interesting question! My thoughts
- Boeing has been in business about 400 years; Airbus about 40. More legacy, especially from the days when aircraft were designed by engineers without a lot of input from the airlines. Airbus is "young enough" that the aircraft have always been very much customer driven.
- This is a bit "out there" but in Western Europe there is a much stronger push to automate in any industry compared to the US. This is driven by much higher labor costs. So perhaps Europeans are more accustomed to automation and have fewer qualms about it.
- Boeing is moving in the Airbus direction, if you will, with more FBW and so forth. But of course they can't say that. There has to be product differentiation at some perceived "deep" level.
- Airbus was launched into a saturated market, so they had to nail it first try (A300), and repeat the success for every new series (A330/340, A320). The only way to do that was to listen very carefully to the customers and then proceed to blow them away.

Quoting SlamClick (Reply 12):
There is a light to tell you when the forward biffy is occupado and you can even watch an ECAM page to tell you when the toilet is flushed.

They certainly seem to have an eye for IMPORTANT info.

Quoting SlamClick (Reply 12):
It even makes good coffee.



Quoting SlamClick (Reply 14):

I realize that neither Boeing nor Airbus manufacture the coffee makers but I really don't give two carwash tokens about where they come from - I just enjoy my working day on the 'bus more.

I could compare American coffee and French coffee but I won't... Ok I lied. American coffee is considered watered down and tasteless by the Europeans. Perhaps there's a message there. Probably not thoguh.  Wink

Quoting SlamClick (Reply 12):
Sorry good people of Renton and Everett, those are my impressions. If I ever feel an urge to bomb Bremen or Wilhelmshaven I can assure you Boeing will be my one stop shopping, but for taking peeps to Disneyville, I do like the Airbus.

 rotfl 



"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots."
User currently offlineTdscanuck From Canada, joined Jan 2006, 12709 posts, RR: 80
Reply 19, posted (5 years 9 months 1 week 6 days 7 hours ago) and read 11474 times:



Quoting MPDPilot (Reply 15):
Why does Boeing still build their airplanes the way they do, if almost every pilot finds the bus equal or better in terms of pilot use?

For one thing, in the commercial world, pilots don't buy aircraft. Say what you may about the cockpit comfort level, the performance of Boeing aircraft doesn't imply anything "wrong" to the people making the purchase decisions.

In addition, you've got install base to consider. You can only (practically) totally overhaul the cockpit interface when you go to a new type and, even then, you've got transition concerns. I'm sure part of the reason the 787 is the way it is is that a lot of customers are going to be migrating 767 and 777 crews to it. Also, it would inject a whole bunch of extra certification scrutiny at a time that you don't really want it.

Airbus was lucky (and gutsy) that when they did the A320 they had no install base...their design could stand on its merits alone without dealing with commonality to a prior product. Although I'm sure they probably lost some early sales just due to being different than everything else that customers were used to. Boeing was already locked into an installed base of thousands of yoke airplanes by the time the A320 showed up.

Tom.


User currently offlinePhilSquares From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 20, posted (5 years 9 months 1 week 6 days 5 hours ago) and read 11451 times:



Quoting Tdscanuck (Reply 19):
I'm sure part of the reason the 787 is the way it is is that a lot of customers are going to be migrating 767 and 777 crews to it



Quoting MPDPilot (Reply 15):
Why does Boeing still build their airplanes the way they do, if almost every pilot finds the bus equal or better in terms of pilot use?



Quoting Speedracer1407 (Reply 17):
Manufacturers decide on flight control philosophies based, in part, on their perceptions and feedback of what the airline and its pilots want. I guess it would make sense to assume that Boeing decided that their major customers weren't enthusiastic enough about sidestick FBW to invest in developing one of their own



Quoting Starlionblue (Reply 18):
The only way to do that was to listen very carefully to the customers and then proceed to blow them away.

It should be pointed out that when Boeing was in the initial process of designing the 777, the airlines involved in the users group overwhelmingly wanted a yoke instead of a sidestick. From Boeing's perspective, it made no difference at all. It was what the customers wanted.

Quoting MPDPilot (Reply 15):
Why does Boeing still build their airplanes the way they do, if almost every pilot finds the bus equal or better in terms of pilot use?

I'd be careful about making such all encompassing statements like that. There is a big difference between Airbus' and Boeing's logic on how the flight crew fits into the loop. I think the pilot community is just about evenly split on their opinion on both approaches. For every leading edge approach one manufacturer takes, there are other applications the other manufacturer takes.


User currently offlineCHRISBA777ER From UK - England, joined Mar 2001, 5964 posts, RR: 62
Reply 21, posted (5 years 9 months 1 week 6 days 5 hours ago) and read 11426 times:

Great thread! Really informative guys - thanks very much.


What do you mean you dont have any bourbon? Do you know how far it is to Houston? What kind of airline is this???
User currently offlineMPDPilot From United States of America, joined Jul 2006, 991 posts, RR: 0
Reply 22, posted (5 years 9 months 1 week 6 days 4 hours ago) and read 11401 times:



Quoting PhilSquares (Reply 20):
I'd be careful about making such all encompassing statements like that. There is a big difference between Airbus' and Boeing's logic on how the flight crew fits into the loop. I think the pilot community is just about evenly split on their opinion on both approaches. For every leading edge approach one manufacturer takes, there are other applications the other manufacturer takes.



Quoting Speedracer1407 (Reply 17):
I don't speak for the many respected user/pilots in this thread, but notice that some of their comments include an initial skepticism about the 'bus flight controls, as below:

I read every single thread prior to posting and the overwhelming majority said the bus was their favorite. Now some said that their were parts that they didn't like but the whole package was better. I didn't mean to sound like I was talking for other pilots as I know plenty of pilots that will refuse to fly airbus's based on their preference. I was simply making an observation of this thread. Which tends to favor the Airbus. Now I don't think that either plane is bad or better they just have different approaches to the same problems that face airplane design.



One mile of highway gets you one mile, one mile of runway gets you anywhere.
User currently offlinePhilSquares From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 23, posted (5 years 9 months 1 week 6 days 4 hours ago) and read 11395 times:



Quoting MPDPilot (Reply 15):
Why does Boeing still build their airplanes the way they do, if almost every pilot finds the bus equal or better in terms of pilot use?

There's what you wrote.

I know plenty of Airbus trained pilots who, when they go to a Boeing, never want to go back. And the opposite is true. With the exception of the 777, every Airbus cockpit from the 320-380 is much nicer than the Boeings. However, in other areas, such as Vnav, I would say Boeing is light years ahead of Airbus.

Having flown both types, I think each have their strange issues. However, having flown a FBW aircraft prior to the Airbus, I have some reservations about the Airbus approach. Just so people don't misinterpret what I am writing, it's not a safety issue but a personal preference. Again, it's not a A v. B issue.


User currently offlineStratosphere From United States of America, joined Sep 2007, 1651 posts, RR: 4
Reply 24, posted (5 years 9 months 1 week 6 days 4 hours ago) and read 11387 times:



Quoting PhilSquares (Reply 23):
Having flown both types, I think each have their strange issues. However, having flown a FBW aircraft prior to the Airbus, I have some reservations about the Airbus approach. Just so people don't misinterpret what I am writing, it's not a safety issue but a personal preference. Again, it's not a A v. B issue.

Same in the tech world also. I like some things that Airbus does and some not...I remember though when NWA first got the A-320 some of the pilots were leary of it and did not like the side stick and at first made some pretty bad landings (atleast the ones I was on) but they came to like them and regularly grease landings now. Both Boeing and Airbus build a fine product. I guess it is a matter of what your preference is.



NWA THE TRUE EVIL EMPIRE
25 Pihero : Tom, you'd have to qualify that : Among other examples, the ones that are most prominent : - Juan Trippe, ex-Navy bomber pilot was responsible for th
26 David L : I meant the former. The second part of my post referred to the latter. We could compare driving a Landrover to a BMW on the road, (purely from a hand
27 David L : Oops... please transpose "former" and "latter".
28 Captain.md-11 : Interesting debate I personally have no Airbus experience, however I do have 1300hrs flying the 737 classic. Flying the 737 you feel almost part of th
29 HAWK21M : Out here there are quite a few. Watch out for the Stab trim being operated with the manual lever sticking out. regds MEL
30 Captain.md-11 : MEL I've not had that pleasure yet lol (hope I never do) The main culprit is the map light situated just in front of the CB panel...... its a nightmar
31 2H4 : I'd love to hear you elaborate on this. Particularly the operational and logic differences between the two FBW systems. I think a better comparison w
32 David L : I wasn't suggesting that Boeings, etc, are "horrible" to fly so I didn't choose a worst-case comparison. I chose the Landrover because that's the lea
33 Babybus : Pilots must be like any other human in that you will always prefer the model you trained on and initially flew. I'm like that with computers or mobile
34 Starlionblue : This question frequently gets asked. The thing is, on an aircraft with a yoke the left seater flies with the left hand anyway. It takes only a few mi
35 David L : I see your point but there are examples in this thread of pilots who prefer Airbus after flying other types first and I'm sure there are those who pr
36 PGNCS : It is flying by hand; just as on the 777, computers take manual inputs and translate them into flight control reactions; this in no way diminishes th
37 HAWK21M : I hope you don't ever too. Theres a small joke in Mx about limping pilots.If a pilot gets off a B737 liming on his Left foot he is the pilot from the
38 PhilSquares : It's been so long ago since I flew the 757, I really can't remember. But then again, they were before the 320. However, on the 744, 777 the VNAV func
39 Tdscanuck : I agree, my initial statement was a little vague. What I should have said is "the guys buying the aircraft aren't the ones who will fly it in revenue
40 Jetlagged : The "traditional" pilot cannot choose between control deflections and aircraft response. One determines the other. With a traditional control system,
41 SlamClick : Not sure what you mean by "manually" as you don't move the thrust levers. You do have to select a descent mode from ALT CRZ by setting a lower altitu
42 PhilSquares : You are correct. On the Airbus, even having the lower FL selected you either need to push for managed or pull for open descent. On the Boeing, if you
43 David L : I trust we can assume you have the usual complement of fingers? I understand that in non-FBW aircraft that's what happens "inside the system" but is
44 Pihero : Philsquares, you seem to have forgotten that you have to select - or have selected before - VNav first. There's no VNav switch on the 'Bus, it is ach
45 PhilSquares : And, I assume you've forgotten also, it does the same thing on the 744/777. It will descend at 1000'/min until it is on the path. It was assumed you
46 Pihero : No, I haven't. Just wanted you to say that you just don't rely on the VNav automatic descent initiation at TOD, you could initiate it too. So, to me
47 Mir : I think he's talking about position of the controls (in front of you as opposed to at your side) rather than which hand is flown with. It does seem t
48 Tdscanuck : I didn't mean he's choosing between them (I used the word "between" before...it was a bad pick), I meant he's choosing a control deflection and using
49 PhilSquares : Just like the 744/777. It will work just fine. I am sure you remember there is no green dot, but it will comply with the speeds in the FMC. Again, yo
50 Pihero : Philsquares, A trip down MemoryLane. Forgot that. Ouch ! True, but it was because the 'Bus being just a medium haul plane, some of the features were n
51 Jetlagged : There's no need to patronise, Tom. Oh, and you forgot to mention you also need to know the pitch and roll rate damping coefficients. For a given flig
52 Tdscanuck : Wasn't trying to. I apologize if it came off that way. Good point. Absolutely true, but the difference (at the pilot level, anyway) is whether it's t
53 PPVRA : Well, you don't choose your fleet based on how much fun the pilot has either. . They get the job done efficiently, safely, reliably, comfortably for t
54 SQ325 : Well not entirely, but we are all still boys. The toys just became more expensive!
55 ThrottleHold : I've flown the 737, 742, 320 and 330. Each one has it's pros and cons. But, in the end, the Airbus is the one I would chose due to the comfort and erg
56 Zeke : thing I hate about the Boeing (apart from a very slow FMC) was my ears were ringing from the high cockpit noise after flight (for those who don't may
57 PGNCS : Listen, Tom, while I hear and respect what you are saying, it doesn't matter to the pilot what control surface or surfaces are being used to accompli
58 Pihero : I wish I could have written hat. Cheers !
59 PhilSquares : That is not a Boeing issue! That is the combination of a few things, the first is lack of memory which can be upgraded by the user and secondly the u
60 Post contains links Starlionblue : Contribute to your FMC's performance. Buy some RAM: http://www.newegg.com/Store/SubCateg...SubCategory=381&name=Laptop-Memory
61 Mandala499 : Pihero & Philsquares, I really enjoy your posts here! OUCH! I had that snapping my leg while my leg was up while stretching after 1 landing on the 732
62 DocLightning : PGNCS, don't hold back. Why did you loathe the 737? I do, too. For those of you who have flown it in the right-hand seat and then switched to the lef
63 David L : I assume your question isn't restricted to FBW Airbus since you have to switch hands with a yoke, too... as mentioned previously. That the "difficult
64 Starlionblue : It is not. As I see it, flying requires precision, but it isn't microsurgery when it comes to motor skills requirements. The control afforded by the
65 PGNCS : Cramped, noisy, terrible ergonomics, older ones are slow; the newer ones are even noisier (in the cockpit; they are faster), numerous systems artifac
66 BuckFifty : I still remember, when I first touched that sidestick, it just felt natural. I can't explain it, but it is just an ergonomic design. It took me a whil
67 Triebwerk : So much for the flame war. :-P
68 Pilotaydin : I've just finished my A340 type rating tonight...I have about 2200 hours in the 737-400/800 and just starting line training on the A340...in the sim,
69 2H4 : Congratulations! Why is that? For the routes/schedule? 2H4
70 Starlionblue : Congrats.
71 Tdscanuck : Agreed. That's the sign of a good FBW design...it doesn't seem "wierd" to the pilot and it behaves exactly as you'd expect it to behave. The FBW is,
72 AlexEU : What about flying classic Airbus, A300 / A310? Any experience?
73 Pilotaydin : much appreciated thank you! Well, I know that by the time in done with the A340,I'm gonna miss the direct feel of flying, trimming and also playing w
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