Posts: 1170
Joined: Tue Sep 21, 1999 9:52 pm

MD-11 Avionics

Thu Feb 01, 2001 9:03 am

The MD-11's avionics and computer systems are said to be the best
in the world. Would anyone voice their opinions? Have they been
matched, and do you think Boeing will use them in future models?

RE: MD-11 Avionics

Thu Feb 01, 2001 11:25 am

I wouldn't say that the MD-11 avionics and computer systems are the best in the world but I'd say that was pretty close.

In terms of state of the art technology, the 777 and the newer airbuses (?- I don't know much about Airbus airplanes?) have newer more innovative computers and system architecture. Take the 777, it utilizes the IMA architecture (integrated modular avionics) where instead of many black boxes, it uses computer cards on racks, making maintenance much easier. In terms of data bus communications, it uses a newer ARINC standard instead of the ARINC 429 the MD-11 has. The 777 also integrates many separate functions such as Air data computer and IRUs together (ADIRU). The MD-11 does not.

In terms of cockpit integration and human factors design, the MD-11 , IMHO, is a lot better than the 777. The Glareshield control panel has quite a few less switches and functions, making pilots tasks easier. The MD-11 overhead panels is less cluttered by streamlining and automate many aircraft electrical and fuel controls. In this respect, your statement about the MD-11 is quite true, IMHO.

Boeing already used the MD-11 design on their new 717. The 717 is quite similar to the MD-11 in avionics (if you are familiar with one, you can operate the other without training - don't ask the FAA, they won't buy it but believe me you can). The 717 uses newer components and therefore better than the MD-11. It uses LCD displays vs. CRTs on the 11, It integrates more avionics systems like combining the warning computer, display computer, and Flight Management computer in one unit called the VIA (versatile Integrated Avionics). It also uses the ADIRU similar to the 777.
Hope this helps more than hurts,
Posts: 10221
Joined: Mon Dec 04, 2000 6:38 pm

RE: MD-11 Avionics

Thu Feb 01, 2001 10:04 pm


To be a bit more accurate, when the MD-11 came out in 1990, at that time it was state of the art.

At that time 20 Mhz 80386 PCs were state of the art too...

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