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Faro
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747 Better At Precision Flight-Path Control?

Mon Dec 31, 2007 10:25 am

In his book “Handling the Big Jets”, D P Davies mentions that his personal experience with the 747 during UK certification trials was that the very cramped cockpit, though noisy and uncomfortable, was an aid to precision flying. In effect, he outlined that the close proximity of the pilot’s head and body to the windscreen pillar and cockpit side enhanced the impression of flying “in rather than on” the aircraft, giving a higher-fidelity bodily feedback of what the airframe was up to.

Do the pilots out there share this impression? Is precision flight-path control easier on the 747 than, say, the 777 for example?

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OldAeroGuy
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RE: 747 Better At Precision Flight-Path Control?

Mon Dec 31, 2007 3:26 pm

Remember that the 747 was the first twin aisle airplane certified. If Mr. Davies had had the opportunity to fly today's twin aisle airplanes, I doubt he would have made the same statement.
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RE: 747 Better At Precision Flight-Path Control?

Mon Dec 31, 2007 5:55 pm



Quoting OldAeroGuy (Reply 1):
Remember that the 747 was the first twin aisle airplane certified. If Mr. Davies had had the opportunity to fly today's twin aisle airplanes, I doubt he would have made the same statement.

I believe his comment was with respect to the cramped nature of the flight deck arrangement and not (in this specific passage) to the 747's flight controls per se. Let me therefore rephrase: Is it easier to maintain precision flight-path control in a cramped flight deck than in a spacious one?

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RE: 747 Better At Precision Flight-Path Control?

Tue Jan 01, 2008 10:36 am

What is a "flight path"? That sounds like something out of "Last of the Mohicans."

The primary source for "flight path" control is the autopilot. Autopilots tend to favor very large cockpits, as several have told me at the "Auger Inn" lounge after a few too many.

I think that MSFS has "flight paths," you might want to check with them.
 
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RE: 747 Better At Precision Flight-Path Control?

Tue Jan 01, 2008 10:51 am

Ok, for the terminologically pure: Is it easier to maintain precise control of speed, rate of descent and runway alignment during final approach to a manual landing in a cramped flight deck or in a spacious one?

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RE: 747 Better At Precision Flight-Path Control?

Tue Jan 01, 2008 12:12 pm



Quoting Faro (Reply 4):
Ok, for the terminologically pure: Is it easier to maintain precise control of speed, rate of descent and runway alignment during final approach to a manual landing in a cramped flight deck or in a spacious one?

I've flown the 744, 747, DC-10, 757, A320 and 727. They all do the same job and they all do it quite well. It makes no difference on what aircraft you're flying. It's tough to compare the old technology to the newer aircraft, but click everything off on a 320 and it will be just like the 744. Sure the mass of the aircraft has some stabilizing effect, but at the end of the day, they all do the job extremely well.
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RE: 747 Better At Precision Flight-Path Control?

Tue Jan 01, 2008 3:37 pm



Quoting Faro (Reply 4):
Is it easier to maintain precise control of speed, rate of descent and runway alignment during final approach to a manual landing in a cramped flight deck or in a spacious one?

One factor that I've personally found does make things difficult is a lack of usable armrests. Without a good armrest on which to anchor your elbow, one must manipulate the yoke with his/her entire arm and shoulder. With a good, well-positioned armrest, the movement is mostly limited to the wrist and forearm. I've found this makes precise yoke adjustments much easier.

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RE: 747 Better At Precision Flight-Path Control?

Tue Jan 01, 2008 4:26 pm



Quoting ThirtyEcho (Reply 3):
What is a "flight path"? That sounds like something out of "Last of the Mohicans."

The primary source for "flight path" control is the autopilot. Autopilots tend to favor very large cockpits, as several have told me at the "Auger Inn" lounge after a few too many.

I think that MSFS has "flight paths," you might want to check with them.

Nothing wrong with the term flight path, so no need for the quotation marks. In fact all modern airliners have the option to display the flight path vector on the PFD.

Autopilots work just as well with small cockpits (I guess I'm missing the joke you appear to be trying to make). Anyway, if pilots are not controlling flight path during manual flight then they are not doing their job properly.

The "flight paths" in MSFS are there to guide less experienced sim flyers through the required manoeuvres. Optional assistance only. It's a way of visualising the required flight path and something that has been considered for real world aircraft too.

Some of Dai Davies comments can be taken with a pinch of salt. Perhaps he felt more in the loop in the 747's small noisy cockpit, rather than the larger office found in most widebodies, but that is his personal opinion, not established fact. Goodness knows what he would have made of a FBW Airbus.  Wink
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RE: 747 Better At Precision Flight-Path Control?

Tue Jan 01, 2008 4:39 pm



Quoting Faro (Reply 4):
Is it easier to maintain precise control of speed, rate of descent and runway alignment during final approach to a manual landing in a cramped flight deck or in a spacious one?

I forgot to add - if small, cramped flight decks inhibit the ability to precisely maintain speed, rate of descent, and runway alignment, I can think of a certain group of individuals who never got the memo:


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RE: 747 Better At Precision Flight-Path Control?

Wed Jan 02, 2008 2:26 pm



Quoting 2H4 (Reply 8):
I forgot to add - if small, cramped flight decks inhibit the ability to precisely maintain speed, rate of descent, and runway alignment, I can think of a certain group of individuals who never got the memo:

Quite the contrary! The point of this thread if you re-read the inital post is that crampedness allegedly enhances precision flight.

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RE: 747 Better At Precision Flight-Path Control?

Wed Jan 02, 2008 4:16 pm



Quoting Faro (Reply 9):
Quite the contrary! The point of this thread if you re-read the inital post is that crampedness allegedly enhances precision flight.

Hmm...quite right. Perhaps next time I'll try to thoroughly read and comprehend the original post....

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RE: 747 Better At Precision Flight-Path Control?

Wed Jan 02, 2008 10:25 pm



Quoting Faro (Thread starter):
D P Davies mentions that his personal experience with the 747 during UK certification trials was that the very cramped cockpit, though noisy and uncomfortable, was an aid to precision flying. In effect, he outlined that the close proximity of the pilot's head and body to the windscreen pillar and cockpit side enhanced the impression of flying "in rather than on" the aircraft, giving a higher-fidelity bodily feedback of what the airframe was up to.

The point you're making has been a *selling point* of the 747 in some circles and I happened to share Davis's comment : The dimensions of the cockpit give the impression of flying a much smaller airplane. As a matter of fact, putting one's harnesses on was like strapping the airplane to one's back, like a hiking backpack. It was quite a comforting feel. But like all feelings, it is just subjective.

Quoting ThirtyEcho (Reply 3):
The primary source for "flight path" control is the autopilot.

I disagree. Flight path refers correctly to the trajectory of an airplane in the three dimensions, to the point that we are now, in terms of piloting / flying / moving the control surfaces, talking in terms of *flight path control* and use, often on manual visual flying the FPV -flight path vector, aka *the bird*- as Jetlagged mentioned.

Quoting 2H4 (Reply 8):
if small, cramped flight decks inhibit the ability to precisely maintain speed, rate of descent, and runway alignment, I can think of a certain group of individuals who never got the memo

 rotfl 

Quoting Jetlagged (Reply 7):
Autopilots work just as well with small cockpits (I guess I'm missing the joke you appear to be trying to make).

No, you didn't ,you straight-faced hypocrite !  cheeky 
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RE: 747 Better At Precision Flight-Path Control?

Thu Jan 03, 2008 8:31 am



Quoting Pihero (Reply 11):
The point you're making has been a *selling point* of the 747 in some circles and I happened to share Davis's comment : The dimensions of the cockpit give the impression of flying a much smaller airplane. As a matter of fact, putting one's harnesses on was like strapping the airplane to one's back, like a hiking backpack. It was quite a comforting feel. But like all feelings, it is just subjective.

Merci de votre input positif, il me semblait que cela allait de soit, cette question de precision dans l'exiguité, mais les gentils posteurs avaient leurs propre conception de la chose...

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RE: 747 Better At Precision Flight-Path Control?

Mon Jan 07, 2008 11:16 pm



Quoting ThirtyEcho (Reply 3):
The primary source for "flight path" control is the autopilot. Autopilots tend to favor very large cockpits, as several have told me at the "Auger Inn" lounge after a few too many.

I think that MSFS has "flight paths," you might want to check with them.

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Huh, that's the best joke I have heard today.

BTW, when was it last time a commercial pilot looked out of the window? Except for enjoying the view of course (after all they always have a window seat). Or for checking that the runway hasn't moved much since yesterday.

BTW2, where do I find Auger Inn? I know "auger in", haven't tried it, but I'm sure Auger Inn is a lot more pleasant.

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