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Computers IN Aviation  
User currently offlineSevenair From United Kingdom, joined Feb 2001, 1728 posts, RR: 0
Posted (13 years 6 months 6 days 9 hours ago) and read 9999 times:

What are your oppinions of computers in airliners. Where are they used? Are they good are bad? Could pilots feel less in control if they do not 'feel' the aircraft move. Any bad experiences of them or know when that have caused problems. I need this for a university computing project and I have choose aviation. Thanks a lot guys;

2 replies: All unread, jump to last
User currently offlineRick767 From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2000, 2662 posts, RR: 50
Reply 1, posted (13 years 6 months 6 days 9 hours ago) and read 10003 times:

There are many uses of modern computing equipment on board aircraft today which simplify a pilots job and have contributed in a shift of the traditional pilot role to that of a systems monitor for more of the time than used to be the case.

Flight Management systems, electronic instrument displays and right through to the latest Airbus and Boeing fly-by-wire systems incorporated on recent developments have all played their part in making the job easier for us in the front office, and safer for those in the back.

Computers and computer logic are behind advances such as Ground Proximity Warning Systems, TCAS, Flight Envelope Protection, etc... all of which contribute to enhancing the safety of commercial flight.

I know many pilots who fly the latest fly-by-wire aircraft like the A320 and they don't feel less "in control" of their aircraft just because there is no feedback from the stick. Military pilots have done it that way for years so it's about time we did as well.

That was just a brief rundown of my opinion on these matters, but basically there are more pros than cons I think. The safety benefits are far too great to ignore just because some pilots still love their DC-9s!

I used to love the smell of Jet-A in the morning...
User currently offlineSaintsman From United Kingdom, joined Mar 2002, 2065 posts, RR: 2
Reply 2, posted (13 years 6 months 6 days 9 hours ago) and read 10003 times:

Computers have been used for years in aviation. They started off helping navigation calculations and were analogue (cams, wheels and cogs etc) and heavy. Now they control most aircraft systems.

The biggest difference computers have made is to reduce the workload and where you used to have two pilots, a flight engineer and navigator, you now only need a crew of two (and it could be argued only one in some instances).

The next difference is safety. Systems are more reliable and less prone to causing problems and that is a result of computers. The systems operate more accurately and are constantly monitored. They can also do things quicker than pilots (workload again).

Also worth considering is computers used off aircraft. Computers have been used to prove design and make aircraft more efficient and safer.

Just a few things to get you started but don't forget we still need pilots to fly aeroplanes. Computers can't do everything.

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