Posts: 1844
Joined: Fri Jul 13, 2001 8:10 am

Easier To Fly?

Fri Jan 24, 2003 7:13 am

I've heard pilots refer to some aircraft being "easier" to fly then others, I was wondering if this is really true? As far as in the cockpit what makes an aircraft easier to fly? Im basically refering to instruments here ( I know about FBW and all that kind of stuff) But do any specific aircraft have special or unique features which might make them etheir "easier" to fly or more fun to fly? Once again I am refering to commercail airliners. Thanks a lot!
Posts: 9973
Joined: Mon Apr 23, 2001 10:12 pm

RE: Easier To Fly?

Fri Jan 24, 2003 9:08 am

responsiveness to controls and throttle, stability, etc.
All can influence how easy an aircraft is to fly.

Once you're on autopilot having the flight computers fly the thing all that no longer matters of course and you're reduced to monitoring lights and displays until it's time to initiate the descent profile (which is usually also automated except the kickoff point which has to be confirmed).
I wish I were flying
Posts: 1646
Joined: Wed Sep 06, 2000 10:30 pm

RE: Easier To Fly?

Fri Jan 24, 2003 9:48 am

Most part 121 airliners have fairly similar thrust and wing loadings, so in terms of throttle responsiveness they are largely similar. Stability characteristics are similar, as are control force inputs.

Cockpit equipment/layout, and automation levels differ greatly, however, from round dial 737-200s to the newer Airbus products such as the A320/330/340.

In terms of equipment or layout, "glass" cockpits put more information in a closer area, which makes the instrument scan easier or more rapid. Color screens make distinguishing b/t sky/ground, and bank angles easier. Digital readouts give specific info quickly, but are very poor in terms of conveying trends, hence the tape display...

In terms of cockpit automation, there probably aren't any easier a/c to fly than the newer Airbus equipment such as the A320. In normal operations when handflying the a/c, it will "Auto trim" itself in a climbing turn for example, as soon as the stick is released (obviously there's a litany of parameters at issue here, and flight control law/code) but in general they are very easy a/c to fly...they even tell the pilot when to "Retard" the throttles at landing.

An FMS equipped a/c is considerably easier to fly than a 727, 737-200 or DC9 for ex that doesn't have an FMS, simply b/c the autopilot knows the entire flight plan on an FMS equipped a/c, and requires no other input.


Posts: 3484
Joined: Fri May 10, 2002 11:43 am

RE: Easier To Fly?

Fri Jan 24, 2003 12:43 pm

I just got off the phone with my dad and he said the 777's are pretty easy to handle in landing and take off configurations. He said the 767's were a little harder to control, but still rather easy. He mentioned the 757's were the easiest of the three to fly manually in flight. He didn't mention why. Hope this sheds some light on the subject.


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