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Old-School Phones On The Flight Deck Still?  
User currently offlinenitepilot79 From Turkey, joined May 2008, 275 posts, RR: 0
Posted (4 years 3 months 4 days 5 hours ago) and read 4844 times:

While looking at the photo of the 787's flight deck; I noticed that the PA (public address) phone seems a bit bulky for such modern times. I've noticed this same thing on a lot if not all new airliner builds. It is somewhat comical for me to see these 80's looking phones sitting on the aft portion of the center console near all those sleek, modern instruments. Any ideas why they keep bulky things around?


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21 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineBMIFlyer From UK - England, joined Feb 2004, 8810 posts, RR: 58
Reply 1, posted (4 years 3 months 4 days 5 hours ago) and read 4842 times:

Here's the picture you refer to?


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Photo © Andres Ramirez



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User currently offlinefrancoflier From France, joined Oct 2001, 3790 posts, RR: 11
Reply 2, posted (4 years 3 months 4 days 4 hours ago) and read 4694 times:

Don't forget that these handsets (as well as most of the cockpit furnishing and instruments) need to endure many decades of harsh continuous use. From experience, these handset will be dropped, slammed, showered in coffee repeatedly over their lifetime.

They also need to be ergonomic and easy to quickly grab.



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User currently offlineqqflyboy From United States of America, joined Oct 2003, 2292 posts, RR: 13
Reply 3, posted (4 years 3 months 4 days 3 hours ago) and read 4655 times:

While the backside may not have changed much, their capabilities have. No longer do you simply call the cockpit or cabin, or cockpit, forward, mid and aft cabins. You can now call specific doors and different crew rest areas/bunks. Now you dial a number to reach a specific part of the aircraft and the phone rings, or you get a busy signal, just like a normal phone. No longer is the line always live. Mutiple calls can be made simultaneously to different parts of the a/c by different users/recipients. The newer phones also allow for cabin specific P.A.s, as well as a/c wide. The interphones are far more advanced than they ever used to be. While this isn't 'new' technology, the phones, while they look the same, continue to get improved functionality that helps crew communication.


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User currently offlinemcdu From United States of America, joined Apr 2005, 1473 posts, RR: 17
Reply 4, posted (4 years 3 months 4 days 3 hours ago) and read 4566 times:

One of the changes I don't I will care for based on this design is the lack of a radio tuning knob. Looking at the Radio Management Unit it appears to employ the use of a digital keypad to "dial" a frequency. Not a fan of single digit inputs, hope it has some type of scroll or knob for tuning. This involves some interesting human factors changes from all previous designs.

User currently offlineHiJazzey From Saudi Arabia, joined Sep 2005, 870 posts, RR: 1
Reply 5, posted (4 years 3 months 4 days 2 hours ago) and read 4505 times:

I like the Boeing 787 stickers stuck right in front of the pilots. Just in case they forget what they are flying 

User currently offlinespacecadet From United States of America, joined Sep 2001, 3630 posts, RR: 12
Reply 6, posted (4 years 3 months 4 days 1 hour ago) and read 4311 times:

Quoting nitepilot79 (Thread starter):
I noticed that the PA (public address) phone seems a bit bulky for such modern times.

I don't really understand the "girth" of it either (a real phone like this is about 90% air, and I'm not sure what else would be stuffed into a cockpit phone), but I do understand the basic shape and length/width. For one thing, a cockpit phone has to be corded for reliability, so there's that. Second, it's not about fashion or making something pocket-sized - it's about putting the microphone in the ideal spot to speak into. I'm not sure what sort of mics these phones use but I would imagine they're a type that intentionally doesn't pick up background sounds very well - meaning they should work best if your mouth is very close. Small phones that we all carry around or even use in our houses these days use mics designed to pick up sound at more of a distance, which is why you can hear all sorts of crap on most cell phone calls. You don't want that on a cockpit phone.

There's a similar design consideration for the ear piece, which should encircle a pilot's ear so that he can more easily hear. Modern home phones don't provide any sort of "seal" and can't be easily positioned on the ear by feel. Another thing you don't want in the cockpit.

So I can understand cockpit phones being bigger than normal and a more traditional style. I don't know why they need to be so thick, but I can see why the overall design is what it is.



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User currently offlineLY4XELD From United States of America, joined Mar 2000, 858 posts, RR: 15
Reply 7, posted (4 years 3 months 4 days ago) and read 4149 times:

Quoting HiJazzey (Reply 5):
I like the Boeing 787 stickers stuck right in front of the pilots. Just in case they forget what they are flying

That's probably their call sign, not their type.



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User currently offlinefalstaff From United States of America, joined Jun 2006, 6122 posts, RR: 29
Reply 8, posted (4 years 3 months 3 days 23 hours ago) and read 4073 times:
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Quoting HiJazzey (Reply 5):
I like the Boeing 787 stickers stuck right in front of the pilots. Just in case they forget what they are flying

I have seen that on a lot of plane types. The L1011 has rudder pedals with L1011 on them.
Even this classic 707 has titles infront of the pilots


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Photo © Dna



It isn't just commercial types either I have seen that on a B-52 and a B-47



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User currently offlineairtechy From United States of America, joined Dec 2006, 506 posts, RR: 0
Reply 9, posted (4 years 3 months 3 days 21 hours ago) and read 3855 times:

I really don't like pushbuttons for data entry. A knob you can hold in turbulence....with a button your extended arm moves all over the place. Having said that, some things are so complicated they do require a keypad. I just think some things...like frequency select on the comms and navs...work better with stacked knobs.

Jim


User currently offlineB6JFKH81 From United States of America, joined Mar 2006, 2894 posts, RR: 7
Reply 10, posted (4 years 3 months 3 days 21 hours ago) and read 3793 times:

Quoting francoflier (Reply 2):
Don't forget that these handsets (as well as most of the cockpit furnishing and instruments) need to endure many decades of harsh continuous use. From experience, these handset will be dropped, slammed, showered in coffee repeatedly over their lifetime.

They also need to be ergonomic and easy to quickly grab.

  

BINGO. As a member of the Technical Supply Chain portion of this industry, I couldn't imagine how many handsets we would be going through if they were made smaller and more delicate. As is, we still swap out quite a few on a regular basis. A lot of things on planes take a lot of abuse from crew and customers, sometimes leaving it bulkier and able to withstand that abuse helps. The less you have going out for repair, the less spares you need in the system, both save $$.

~H81



"If you do not learn from history, you are doomed to repeat it"
User currently offlineetherealsky From United States of America, joined Apr 2010, 328 posts, RR: 0
Reply 11, posted (4 years 3 months 3 days 20 hours ago) and read 3744 times:

Quoting qqflyboy (Reply 3):

Wow, very cool - I never knew they could do all that  



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User currently offlineAKiss20 From United States of America, joined Sep 2007, 626 posts, RR: 5
Reply 12, posted (4 years 3 months 3 days 19 hours ago) and read 3721 times:

Perhaps a stupid question, but why isn't PA/interphone things pumped through the pilot's headset? There is a mic there already and it can be more "hands free." My only guess is that it could interfere with ATC, but only 1 pilot is making a PA call at any time, so there is always another one monitoring freq.


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User currently offlineDALMD88 From United States of America, joined Jul 2000, 2571 posts, RR: 14
Reply 13, posted (4 years 3 months 3 days 19 hours ago) and read 3711 times:

Quoting AKiss20 (Reply 12):
Perhaps a stupid question, but why isn't PA/interphone things pumped through the pilot's headset? There is a mic there already and it can be more "hands free." My only guess is that it could interfere with ATC, but only 1 pilot is making a PA call at any time, so there is always another one monitoring freq.

The PA is through the headset/boom and hand mike. The phone is for calling flight attendent stations, but can also be used to make general PA. On older planes I think it is just for FA communications.


User currently offlinetdscanuck From Canada, joined Jan 2006, 12709 posts, RR: 80
Reply 14, posted (4 years 3 months 3 days 19 hours ago) and read 3694 times:

Quoting nitepilot79 (Thread starter):
While looking at the photo of the 787's flight deck; I noticed that the PA (public address) phone seems a bit bulky for such modern times.

A handset is a handset, pretty much...other than being heavier for durability, it's about the same size as my essentially-brand-new Cisco VOIP handset.

Quoting mcdu (Reply 4):
One of the changes I don't I will care for based on this design is the lack of a radio tuning knob. Looking at the Radio Management Unit it appears to employ the use of a digital keypad to "dial" a frequency. Not a fan of single digit inputs, hope it has some type of scroll or knob for tuning.

It doesn't, just digital buttons. I like it, because it goes with how ATC gives you the frequencies...just punch it in as you hear it.

Quoting HiJazzey (Reply 5):
I like the Boeing 787 stickers stuck right in front of the pilots. Just in case they forget what they are flying

It's what LY4XELD said:

Quoting LY4XELD (Reply 7):
That's probably their call sign, not their type.

ZA003 normally operates as "Boeing 003", for the airshow only it changed to "Boeing 787". Especially for pilots shared across a lot of planes that all have identical flight decks, it could be easy to forget which call sign you're on today.

Quoting AKiss20 (Reply 12):
Perhaps a stupid question, but why isn't PA/interphone things pumped through the pilot's headset?

It is. But the headset can only do all PA or all interphone (the selections on the tuning control panels). If you want to do a specific zone, or a specific attendant station, or specific crew rest bunk, you need more resolution, which you get from the handset.

Tom.


User currently offlineSP90 From United States of America, joined May 2006, 388 posts, RR: 0
Reply 15, posted (4 years 3 months 3 days 18 hours ago) and read 3670 times:

Quoting HiJazzey (Reply 5):
I like the Boeing 787 stickers stuck right in front of the pilots. Just in case they forget what they are flying

Maybe its just the lighting in that photo but that looks suspiciously like a P-Touch label.  


User currently offlinekanban From United States of America, joined Jan 2008, 3620 posts, RR: 27
Reply 16, posted (4 years 3 months 3 days 18 hours ago) and read 3664 times:
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Quoting falstaff (Reply 8):
Even this classic 707 has titles infront of the pilots

707 & 727s had medallions indicating the model in the wheel & column hub... they were the biggest spares sellers because pilots kept prying them out for souvenirs....


User currently offline747classic From Netherlands, joined Aug 2009, 2176 posts, RR: 14
Reply 17, posted (4 years 3 months 3 days 9 hours ago) and read 3543 times:

Quoting LY4XELD (Reply 7):
That's probably their call sign, not their type.



Stickers on the pilots panels are normally stating the registration and selcal code, because both are aircraft related and can changes frequently within one crew rotation. (Aircraft can fly 24/7 , you are not able to do so)
During R/T conversation sometimes your are asked for your registration and/or selcal code by ATC, for a speedy answer you only have to check your pilots panel.
The call sign in airline operation changes with every destination (or stretch) flown and is mentioned on your flight plan. (and inserted in your FMS.) With each new ATC contact you are stating your call sign, so you have to remember that for a few hours.



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User currently offlinetdscanuck From Canada, joined Jan 2006, 12709 posts, RR: 80
Reply 18, posted (4 years 3 months 3 days 8 hours ago) and read 3532 times:

Quoting SP90 (Reply 15):
Maybe its just the lighting in that photo but that looks suspiciously like a P-Touch label.

That's because it is a P-Touch label.

Quoting 747classic (Reply 17):
Stickers on the pilots panels are normally stating the registration and selcal code, because both are aircraft related and can changes frequently within one crew rotation.

On a 787, registration and selcal code are in the information block just outboard of the PFD, so no need for a panel label.

Quoting 747classic (Reply 17):
The call sign in airline operation changes with every destination (or stretch) flown and is mentioned on your flight plan. (and inserted in your FMS.)

That's true for airlines, but not for flight test...flight test aircraft normally hold the same call sign for months at a time (but the pilots swap around all the time, so from their point of view it changes often).

Tom.


User currently offlineDashTrash From United States of America, joined Aug 2006, 1536 posts, RR: 2
Reply 19, posted (4 years 3 months 2 days 21 hours ago) and read 3427 times:

Quoting DALMD88 (Reply 13):
On older planes I think it is just for FA communications.

The ones on the Dash 8-100s do both cabin PAs and FA comms. The -200, -300s and -100s didn't have phones and used the headsets.

Quoting kanban (Reply 16):
707 & 727s had medallions indicating the model in the wheel & column hub... they were the biggest spares sellers because pilots kept prying them out for souvenirs....

I know many people who have one or two laying around.....


User currently offlinedxing From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 20, posted (4 years 3 months 2 days 15 hours ago) and read 3324 times:

Quoting AKiss20 (Reply 12):
Perhaps a stupid question, but why isn't PA/interphone things pumped through the pilot's headset?

As noted it is and it makes for some interesting calls on the ops frequency every once in a while.


User currently offlineAKiss20 From United States of America, joined Sep 2007, 626 posts, RR: 5
Reply 21, posted (4 years 3 months 2 days 14 hours ago) and read 3312 times:

Quoting dxing (Reply 20):
Quoting AKiss20 (Reply 12):
Perhaps a stupid question, but why isn't PA/interphone things pumped through the pilot's headset?

As noted it is and it makes for some interesting calls on the ops frequency every once in a while.

I recall a funny clip of a pilot making his PA speech on JFK GND and after he was done GND was like "come on guys, you can't let him get away with this" and a sudden barrage of "where are we going?" "what is the temperature?" "What airline am I on?" followed 



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