aa777jr
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Piloting An Airbus Vs Boeing

Sat Nov 13, 2004 5:32 am

For commercial pilots, how difficult is it to master the Boeing (yoke) versus the Airbus (kickstick)? Do AF or NW have pilots that fly both a/c during the same month or so? Excuse my ignorance in the terms of the hardware on the respected planes.

AA777jr
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Scorpio
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RE: Piloting An Airbus Vs Boeing

Sat Nov 13, 2004 5:33 am

Ummm... excuse MY ignorance, but what exactly is a kickstick?
 
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Starlionblue
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RE: Piloting An Airbus Vs Boeing

Sat Nov 13, 2004 5:36 am

Be nice Scorpio. We all know it's called a lickstick  Big grin

Anyway the difference between the yoke and the sidestick takes much less time to get used to than all the rest of the differences, of which there are legion. It's really not that big a deal.
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CRPilot
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RE: Piloting An Airbus Vs Boeing

Sat Nov 13, 2004 5:40 am

Is the "stick" mechanically actuated when the auto pilot is off? You know...to give it a real feel!?!?!?
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Starlionblue
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RE: Piloting An Airbus Vs Boeing

Sat Nov 13, 2004 5:48 am

It never gives feedback. But this is intentional. The Airbus stick is not meant as a direct connection to the control surfaces, as more conventional yokes and sticks are. It is a roll and pitch rate selector. The force the pilot exerts on the stick is an indication of his desired roll or pitch rate. How that rate is achieved is then up to the plane.
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jpetekyxmd80
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RE: Piloting An Airbus Vs Boeing

Sat Nov 13, 2004 6:35 am

Do AF or NW have pilots that fly both a/c during the same month or so?

I highly doubt they would have any need to have boeing/airbus pilot conversions, and if it happened it would certainly be for awhile.
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Starlionblue
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RE: Piloting An Airbus Vs Boeing

Sat Nov 13, 2004 7:15 am

Sure, if you fly the DC-9 and the MD-8x and the MD-9x at the same time, it's no biggie, but the differences are not so major. Keeping pilots current on both Airbus AND Boeing is possible, but would probably cost too much to be practical for the airline since the differences are great.
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longhauler
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RE: Piloting An Airbus Vs Boeing

Sat Nov 13, 2004 8:23 am

It took me about 20 minutes to get used to the sidestick, and then felt very natural, and still does.

It is not really accurate to say there is no feedback from the sidestick though. When in Normal Law, the sidestick is "springed" back to neutral. The further from neutral you are, the greater the push back to neutral. So, it doesn't feel like a computer joystick, it feels like a control yoke.

In hydraulically controlled aircraft with feedback, this is exactly how it feels. Same for unassisted controls, the further you deflect a control surface, the stronger the wind force to return that control surface to neutral. When flying with a sidestick, this spring feedback is essential, otherwise one would overcontrol. Much like the very early Comet I crashes due to overrotation on takeoff, you need that spring to remind you that you are commanding "something" other than neutral.

When in Direct Law, namely the first ~50ft of takeoff, the last ~50ft of landing, or when degraded due to computer failures, the sidestick reacts exactly like a control yoke of a conventional aircraft. That is the say the feedback increases with respect to aircraft attitude, instead of control surface deflection.
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CRPilot
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RE: Piloting An Airbus Vs Boeing

Sat Nov 13, 2004 8:33 am

Very cool info LongHauler. I figure there had to be some kind of feedback.
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raggi
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RE: Piloting An Airbus Vs Boeing

Sat Nov 13, 2004 8:37 am

A bit off topic, but still:

Having only flown Cessnas and Pipers, I got to try a Cirrus SR22 the other day. I got used to the stick in no time, real nice, even with my left hand...
Now, I realize we're talking about machines way bigger than GA aircraft, but anyhow, I liked the sidestick. But then again the SR22 is not your average GA aircraft either.


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MD11LuxuryLinr
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RE: Piloting An Airbus Vs Boeing

Sat Nov 13, 2004 8:39 am

I don't know how difficult it is to master an Airbus versus a Boeing, but I do know that the Airbus has a tendency to make insults at and below 20 feet.. Big grin
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aa777jr
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RE: Piloting An Airbus Vs Boeing

Sat Nov 13, 2004 11:42 pm

I saw a video on here for a Airbus A340 taking off, and the pilots are using the sticks on the sides to control with the throttle. Did anyone else watch? Very interesting!

AA777jr
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A319114
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RE: Piloting An Airbus Vs Boeing

Sun Nov 14, 2004 3:32 am

lol, md11luxurylinr! Boeing is making the same insult to my knowledge, however their jets don't say it out loud (it's displayed on the pfd)
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ramerinianair
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Go Boeing

Sun Nov 14, 2004 3:41 am

Well, I think that the yoke is better. It gives feedback which, I like-it gives me a better feel. Of course, I've never flown an Airbus besides from a coach seat, but I do use the stick on FS2004. The yoke on the cessnas I fly in are nice. You learn with a yoke, I think you should keep it uniform. When things go worng, you have to use your experience and training. When a lot of your hours are on a yoke and your using a stick it may be hard. The stick doesn't sound that good in my opinion.
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Starlionblue
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RE: Piloting An Airbus Vs Boeing

Sun Nov 14, 2004 6:59 am

Same for unassisted controls, the further you deflect a control surface, the stronger the wind force to return that control surface to neutral.

Well, unless airflow over the surface is perturbed (as in a stall). Would the Airbus stick give feedback indicating this? I know it's sort of hard to stall an Airbus but anyway...

What I mean is that of course there is increasing resistance, but this is not the same as feedback emanating from aerodynamic forces on the control surface.

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corey07850
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RE: Piloting An Airbus Vs Boeing

Sun Nov 14, 2004 10:41 am

I would think it would be harder to get used to the "inverted yoke" like on Embraers and Falcons etc.... I'm sure it probably takes a few minutes to get used to, but it just looks so unnatural.
 
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RE: Piloting An Airbus Vs Boeing

Sun Nov 14, 2004 11:18 am

Going from one to the other isn't hard. I've flown Katanas, a Lancair, and SR-20. They all work the same way. Push it forward, the cows get bigger, pull back and the cows get smaller. As for the inverted design like Embaers and Hawkers, they fit into the natural hand position and are very comfortable from what I hear. To be honest though, when you get to that type of aircraft, you do very little hand flying. They aren't easy to control at cruise and the auto pilot does a much better job of keeping the movements from causing the passengers in the back to puke.

777s also have no mechanical connection to the flight controls. All movements are interpreted by the ARINC Bus and then digitally sent to the flight control actuators. Boeing and Airbus have different fly-by-wire philosophies though. Airbus sticks don't give feedback and give very little movement. Boeing has a compensator system that gives the yolk a "feel" like flying by hand.
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Santhosh
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RE: Piloting An Airbus Vs Boeing

Sun Nov 14, 2004 2:13 pm

Is it dufficult for a pilots flying an Airbus as a F/O when he/she upgrades to a Captain? because being a captain you have to control the airbus sidestick using the left hand?

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gigneil
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RE: Piloting An Airbus Vs Boeing

Sun Nov 14, 2004 2:49 pm

I saw a video on here for a Airbus A340 taking off, and the pilots are using the sticks on the sides to control with the throttle.

I'm sorry I don't understand what you mean. The throttle in an Airbus is in the same position.

If you mean they're using the sidestick in conjunction with the throttle, then yes. That's what we've been talking about. The sidestick.

Is it dufficult for a pilots flying an Airbus as a F/O when he/she upgrades to a Captain? because being a captain you have to control the airbus sidestick using the left hand?

Its the same for a traditional yoke system. The captain flies with his left hand while throttling with his right.

N
 
cancidas
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RE: Piloting An Airbus Vs Boeing

Sun Nov 14, 2004 5:03 pm

the airbus mcdoo (MCDU) is enough to drive a boeing pilot up the walls! i highly doubt that airlines keep pilots current on both the airbusses and the boeings in thier fleet, it's just impractical and a lot of work for the pilot.
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Jeff G
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RE: Piloting An Airbus Vs Boeing

Mon Nov 15, 2004 12:25 am

The Airbus sidestick doesn't give feedback of any sort. It only provides increasing resistance when increasingly deflected from the neutral position. But that resistance is a mechanical function of the centering mechanism - it doesn't change with flight conditions.

The sidestick "appears" to give feedback when in flare mode or direct law because the autotrim function changes in flare mode and isn't active in direct law. That means that instead of flying stick-neutral, the stick has to be constantly deflected, which to the pilot feels much like "feedback".
 
SlamClick
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RE: Piloting An Airbus Vs Boeing

Mon Nov 15, 2004 1:33 am

Landing an Airbus: Guys it doesn't have to be an insult. The Airbus says it three times as a verb, only after that does it become a noun.

Flying with Left or Right Hand: This one never fails to amaze me when it comes up. "Is it hard to fly with the left hand after using the right?" Let me ask you this; do you crash your car every time you take your preferred hand off the steering wheel? A ten hour student should be able to fly with either hand, or even standing up. It is the movement of the yoke or stick that matters and that does not change when you switch hands or seats.

Sidestick feedback: In Airbus training I stumped the instructor. He was talking about flight control laws and said that in Direct Law you'd get the ECAM message "USE MANUAL PITCH TRIM." I asked the instructor (not a pilot) since there is no feedback to the sidestick how would we know when pitch trim was needed?

I'll let you chew on that one for a while.



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Starlionblue
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RE: Piloting An Airbus Vs Boeing

Mon Nov 15, 2004 2:00 am

Sidestick feedback: In Airbus training I stumped the instructor. He was talking about flight control laws and said that in Direct Law you'd get the ECAM message "USE MANUAL PITCH TRIM." I asked the instructor (not a pilot) since there is no feedback to the sidestick how would we know when pitch trim was needed?

I'll let you chew on that one for a while.


Hmmmmm.... Let go of the stick and see if the plane remain stable in pitch?  Big grin It does indeed seem a bit tricky....
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rendezvous
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RE: Piloting An Airbus Vs Boeing

Mon Nov 15, 2004 7:43 am

Flying from the other seat does take a bit of getting used to. I tried landing the Cessna 172 from the right seat a few weeks ago (I was the safety pilot) and I found it quite difficult. I'm sure with a bit of practice it would be a fair bit easier though.
 
DeskPilot
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RE: Piloting An Airbus Vs Boeing

Mon Nov 15, 2004 11:03 am

When an Airbus is in normal law (mode), I take it you don't have to trim ? So, once you remove pressure and the sidestick returns to neutral, the aircraft holds that pitch, roll, etc - correct ?

How do you coordinate this with the rudder ?
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Starlionblue
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RE: Piloting An Airbus Vs Boeing

Tue Nov 16, 2004 1:35 am

When an Airbus is in normal law (mode), I take it you don't have to trim ? So, once you remove pressure and the sidestick returns to neutral, the aircraft holds that pitch, roll, etc - correct ?

How do you coordinate this with the rudder ?


Not an expert but:

- Yes the aircraft will maintain attitude if within certain attitude limits (33 degrees roll for example). If outside those limits, the stick must be held deflected.

- Rudder coordination is handled by the aircraft systems, just like on any other large jet. Yaw damper.
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rendezvous
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RE: Piloting An Airbus Vs Boeing

Tue Nov 16, 2004 5:59 am

So if you bank the aircraft to say, 30 degrees angle of bank, do you still need to apply back pressure, or does the computer take care of this for you?
 
buckfifty
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RE: Piloting An Airbus Vs Boeing

Tue Nov 16, 2004 10:43 am

Sidestick feedback: In Airbus training I stumped the instructor. He was talking about flight control laws and said that in Direct Law you'd get the ECAM message "USE MANUAL PITCH TRIM." I asked the instructor (not a pilot) since there is no feedback to the sidestick how would we know when pitch trim was needed?

I was working on that in the sim. For me, if the plane was moving away from the attitude I intended it to be, I just moved the trim up or down, and the rest I'll cover with sidestick movement to compensate. Really jerky, but that's when it really hit me that it almost feels like a video game. I'll get the PNF sometimes to help me with the pitch, especially on a go-around.

How do you coordinate this with the rudder ?

You fly it just like any other airplane, even on approach. Only difference is that the aircraft goes exactly where you point it on two axes, and you use your feet to control the third. It's all very natural.
 
KYIPpilot
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RE: Piloting An Airbus Vs Boeing

Tue Nov 16, 2004 10:52 am

A NW A-320 pilot told me that after about 20 minutes with the sidestick, it felt natural and that it should have always been that way.
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Starlionblue
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RE: Piloting An Airbus Vs Boeing

Tue Nov 16, 2004 4:17 pm

So if you bank the aircraft to say, 30 degrees angle of bank, do you still need to apply back pressure, or does the computer take care of this for you?

The computer takes care of it for you unless you want to go beyond the bank limits (IIRC 33 degrees). Then you have to apply pressure.
"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots." - John Ringo
 
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Buyantukhaa
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RE: Piloting An Airbus Vs Boeing

Mon Nov 22, 2004 10:11 am

Landing an Airbus: Guys it doesn't have to be an insult. The Airbus says it three times as a verb, only after that does it become a noun.

Eh, I'm getting very very curious as to what the Airbus is saying - I don't have the slightest idea, please enlighten me!
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XFSUgimpLB41X
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RE: Piloting An Airbus Vs Boeing

Mon Nov 22, 2004 10:40 am

Buyant- It says "retard, retard, retard"
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Orville
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RE: Piloting An Airbus Vs Boeing

Mon Nov 22, 2004 11:46 am

I always get a kick whenever I hear about the "retard" callout. I'm sure some pilots take it personally.
 
XFSUgimpLB41X
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RE: Piloting An Airbus Vs Boeing

Mon Nov 22, 2004 12:13 pm

Why would a pilot take it personally? its just coupled to the radio altimeter telling you when to pull the power out... Some of you people on here really amaze me.
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Orville
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RE: Piloting An Airbus Vs Boeing

Mon Nov 22, 2004 1:38 pm

Hey, lighten up. I was just cracking a joke.
 
SlamClick
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RE: Piloting An Airbus Vs Boeing

Tue Nov 23, 2004 12:53 am

Actually I think the voice annunciation lost something in translation.

In American English, "retard" as a verb is pronounced reTARD. Airbus clearly says "REtard" which is how an insensitive boob would pronounce the slang word for a developmentally challenged person.

Maybe it is an insult but it went over my head like a bungee jumper's kilt.
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Hirnie
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RE: Piloting An Airbus Vs Boeing

Tue Nov 23, 2004 1:58 am

So, is the Airbus speaking American English or British English?
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Starlionblue
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RE: Piloting An Airbus Vs Boeing

Tue Nov 23, 2004 4:08 am

French English. Ahem, I meant "International English"  Smile/happy/getting dizzy
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LHSebi
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RE: Piloting An Airbus Vs Boeing

Thu Nov 25, 2004 5:07 am

Hi all,
Stupid question, but how is trim set in an airbus manually? I know the Boeings have the two "switches" on the outer side of the yoke, but the airbus? Thanks,

Sebastian
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Starlionblue
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RE: Piloting An Airbus Vs Boeing

Thu Nov 25, 2004 12:26 pm

IIRC there is a little toggle on the stick.
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SlamClick
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RE: Piloting An Airbus Vs Boeing

Fri Nov 26, 2004 12:30 am

Airbus has a pair of little pitch trim wheels on either side of the center pedestal. When manual pitch trim is required, with the stick centered, the plane may begin to climb or descend. Simply trim opposite this tendency.

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longhauler
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RE: Piloting An Airbus Vs Boeing

Sat Nov 27, 2004 1:38 am

IIRC there is a little toggle on the stick

There are no trim controls on the sidestick, only autopilot disconnect, and radio transmit button. As Slamclick says, when manual trim is required, it is done by turning the trim wheels on the pedestal ... an extremely rare requirement, and so far (touching wood) I have only had that requirement in the Simulator. And, that is with 10 years on the A320, A330 and A340, left and right seat.
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FriendlySkies
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RE: Piloting An Airbus Vs Boeing

Sat Nov 27, 2004 5:00 am

French English. Ahem, I meant "International English"

In America, we call it Freedom English.  Big grin

j/k Big grin

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