CHRISBA777ER
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Airbus Pilots - Do You Like It?

Tue Nov 11, 2008 1:38 pm

Not intended to be flamebait - serious question.

I was on a U2 A319 back in April at AGP. We were sat at the gate waiting for WX at LGW to clear - it was snowing a lot back home and we ended up moving to a remote stand to wait. The crew were great and did their best to keep everyone entertained - we were there for about three and a half hours in the end. Anyway, the flightcrew had the office door open and were inviting people to come up and take a look around, so naturally, I ventured forward. I met the Captain, an ex BA 777 line Captain who moved to short-hauls with U2 as he liked being home every night. The F/O was a nice Dutch lad of about 24 - nice fellas. We chatted about the BA G-YMMM accident and discussed the fuel icing etc and the Captain ventured that it had to be a fuel pump fault or something. We watched an XL 738 pull onto stand ahead of us and I asked if the Skipper liked flying the bus in relation to the 777. To my utter amazement he pointed to the XL 738 and said he'd much rather be flying one of those.

He went on to state that "the French did not build this aeroplane to be hand-flown - it is designed to spend its life on autopilot. I don't like it at all. Its not a proper aeroplane, for me."

Basically the only thing he liked about it was the traytable, but he said "you dont choose your fleet based on traytables and cup-holders. I like the overpowered nature of the aeroplane though. Its sprightly, but I much prefer the Boeing"

He also told me that he prefered the CFMs on the bus compared to the IAE V2500s which are better in the cruise but take quite a lot longer to spool up - the CFMs are much quicker apparently. My impression was that he preferred to handfly the aeroplane a lot, and that he got then chance to do it a lot with the 777s he used to fly, but not at all on the A319. Given the chance he'd take the 737 or a nice 757 any day, he said.

Anyone got any thoughts on this?

I thought everyone who flew the Airbus FBW types really liked them!

[Edited 2008-11-11 05:41:56]
What do you mean you dont have any bourbon? Do you know how far it is to Houston? What kind of airline is this???
 
PhilSquares
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RE: Airbus Pilots - Do You Like It?

Tue Nov 11, 2008 2:57 pm



Quoting CHRISBA777ER (Thread starter):
He also told me that he prefered the CFMs on the bus compared to the IAE V2500s which are better in the cruise but take quite a lot longer to spool up - the CFMs are much quicker apparently.

It's not spool up, it's the start cycle. On the CFMs you can have both started and be getting the taxi clearance by the time one V2500 has stabilised. It is much longer with the V2500. I have flown both and have had fewer problems with the V2500.

Quoting CHRISBA777ER (Thread starter):
I thought everyone who flew the Airbus FBW types really liked them!

Not true!!!
Fly fast, live slow
 
CHRISBA777ER
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RE: Airbus Pilots - Do You Like It?

Tue Nov 11, 2008 3:10 pm



Quoting PhilSquares (Reply 1):
Quoting CHRISBA777ER (Thread starter):
He also told me that he prefered the CFMs on the bus compared to the IAE V2500s which are better in the cruise but take quite a lot longer to spool up - the CFMs are much quicker apparently.

It's not spool up, it's the start cycle. On the CFMs you can have both started and be getting the taxi clearance by the time one V2500 has stabilised. It is much longer with the V2500. I have flown both and have had fewer problems with the V2500.

You learn something new every day on here - thanks  Smile

Quoting PhilSquares (Reply 1):
Quoting CHRISBA777ER (Thread starter):
I thought everyone who flew the Airbus FBW types really liked them!

Not true!!!

Evidently!

I suppose in ones non-flying enthusiasm for something it never occurs to one that someone might not share your enthusiasm. Just because I like the cabin better doesn't me the guy at the front prefer it!

I suspect the guy in question - who was a top bloke and i really enjoyed chatting to him - misses his nice big 777.

Phil - got to ask - would you miss your nice big 744F if you transferred to A319s?
What do you mean you dont have any bourbon? Do you know how far it is to Houston? What kind of airline is this???
 
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Starlionblue
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RE: Airbus Pilots - Do You Like It?

Tue Nov 11, 2008 4:27 pm

I have spoken to many Airbus pilots. Some love the airplane, some don't. Some like some features and not others.

There probably is a similar amount of pilots who like and dislike Boeing products.

More importantly, those Airbus or Boeing pilots who are not totally gung ho about it still feel safe flying their aircraft.

Quoting CHRISBA777ER (Reply 2):
I suppose in ones non-flying enthusiasm for something it never occurs to one that someone might not share your enthusiasm. Just because I like the cabin better doesn't me the guy at the front prefer it!

Indeed.
"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots."
 
SQ325
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RE: Airbus Pilots - Do You Like It?

Tue Nov 11, 2008 7:17 pm

First of all I have to say that i never flew a B737NG.
My experience so far about 3100hrs RJ85 (pretty much the same cockpit like the 737-3/4/5, 30 hrs in the B732 Sim and a one time experience in a B744 Sim + 900 A320 hours the type I am currently flying.
I personally like the Airbus very much.

Cons:
I agree that the Airbus is designed to take as much load as possible from the pilot.
I also think that some of the Airbus procedures are nonsense, Autothrust always on e.g. Also during gusty winds it is kind of difficult to fly manual because the computers always try to keep the wings level, by being slow with that the pilot tends to over correct. The Pilot gives an input to react on a gust relates bank change and a second later the computer does the same.

Pros:
The cockpit is great, extremly "user friendly" you have massive space.
Autotrim is a great thing,(I think on the B777 you only need to trim away speedchanges and the rest is done by the autotrim on the bus you never trim)
The autoflight system is great if you know it and use it efficient.
I had huge prejudices against the side stick and the FBW system. I have to admit I WAS WRONG. It is great, you give a input release the stick and the aircraft maintains its attitude.


Overall it is not perfect, especially the system complexity is a problem. Sometimes you just can' t figure out where a specific problem comes from. Resets are mostly prohibited.
I got used to the little bad things the Airbus has and I now really enjoy to fly the Airbus.

As the spellcheck does not work I apologize for possible misspellings!
 
David L
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RE: Airbus Pilots - Do You Like It?

Tue Nov 11, 2008 8:38 pm



Quoting CHRISBA777ER (Thread starter):
He went on to state that "the French did not build this aeroplane to be hand-flown - it is designed to spend its life on autopilot.

Oh dear. I suspect many of the Airbus pros are going to disagree with that.  Smile

I always got the impression that the FBW Airbuses are designed to be easier to hand-fly. Perhaps he means it isn't enough of a challenge, like automatic gearboxes, anti-lock brakes and traction control on a car, for example.
 
Mr AirNZ
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RE: Airbus Pilots - Do You Like It?

Tue Nov 11, 2008 8:44 pm

I have a friend who flies the A320 for Air New Zealand. Would try to go back to the 737-300 in a heartbeat if it didn't involve a pay cut but as other's have said, each to their own.
 
wing
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RE: Airbus Pilots - Do You Like It?

Tue Nov 11, 2008 9:18 pm

I flew the 737 and flying the 320 family.I enjoyed them both but if you ask me I would never want to change from Airbus types anymore.
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PGNCS
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RE: Airbus Pilots - Do You Like It?

Tue Nov 11, 2008 9:42 pm



Quoting CHRISBA777ER (Thread starter):
We watched an XL 738 pull onto stand ahead of us and I asked if the Skipper liked flying the bus in relation to the 777. To my utter amazement he pointed to the XL 738 and said he'd much rather be flying one of those.

He went on to state that "the French did not build this aeroplane to be hand-flown - it is designed to spend its life on autopilot. I don't like it at all. Its not a proper aeroplane, for me."

Basically the only thing he liked about it was the traytable, but he said "you dont choose your fleet based on traytables and cup-holders. I like the overpowered nature of the aeroplane though. Its sprightly, but I much prefer the Boeing"

I've flown both types and I would disagree with him on all counts.

Quoting PhilSquares (Reply 1):
Quoting CHRISBA777ER (Thread starter):
I thought everyone who flew the Airbus FBW types really liked them!

Not true!!!

But the majority do.

Quoting CHRISBA777ER (Reply 2):
I suppose in ones non-flying enthusiasm for something it never occurs to one that someone might not share your enthusiasm. Just because I like the cabin better doesn't me the guy at the front prefer it!

And just because you dislike the cabin, doesn't mean that the pilot likes the aircraft either. I flew the 737 for two years and always smiled at the door when I said goodbye: I'd guess that zero of my passengers could tell I loathed the machine.

Quoting SQ325 (Reply 4):
I personally like the Airbus very much.

Agreed.

Quoting SQ325 (Reply 4):
I also think that some of the Airbus procedures are nonsense, Autothrust always on e.g.

Not all carriers use Airbus procedures; I agree that carriers which require A/T (etc.) go overboard. The airplane is VERY nice to hand fly with the automation turned off.

Quoting SQ325 (Reply 4):
The cockpit is great, extremly "user friendly" you have massive space.

In every way superior to any Boeing, especially the ghastly, cramped 737 on this front.

Quoting SQ325 (Reply 4):
I had huge prejudices against the side stick and the FBW system. I have to admit I WAS WRONG. It is great, you give a input release the stick and the aircraft maintains its attitude.

I second that. I had an extremely pro-yoke mindset, and was very unenthusiastic about the side stick. Then I had my first sim in the 320, and would never voluntarily fly with a yoke again.

Quoting SQ325 (Reply 4):
The autoflight system is great if you know it and use it efficient.

It isn't as simple to master as the Boeing, but once learned is excellent.

Quoting David L (Reply 5):
I always got the impression that the FBW Airbuses are designed to be easier to hand-fly.

I think that's a pretty fair statement. The people who claim it isn't designed to be hand flown are simply wrong. It is a pleasure to hand fly, and, in fact, the first full flight simulator period in the initial 320 course I attended spent the entire time hand flying the aircraft. At some carriers, though, procedures are written to maximize automation when flying the Airbus, a philosophy I fundamentally disagree with.

Quoting Mr AirNZ (Reply 6):
I have a friend who flies the A320 for Air New Zealand. Would try to go back to the 737-300 in a heartbeat if it didn't involve a pay cut but as other's have said, each to their own

Well to each his own: I would never set foot on another 737 if given the choice.

Quoting Wing (Reply 7):
I flew the 737 and flying the 320 family.I enjoyed them both but if you ask me I would never want to change from Airbus types anymore.

I agree with you, Wing. Well except for the part about enjoying them both!  Wink
 
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Jetlagged
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RE: Airbus Pilots - Do You Like It?

Tue Nov 11, 2008 9:59 pm



Quoting CHRISBA777ER (Thread starter):
He went on to state that "the French did not build this aeroplane to be hand-flown - it is designed to spend its life on autopilot. I don't like it at all. Its not a proper aeroplane, for me."

The people who don't like Airbus always blame the French, don't they?

If the Airbus was only intended for automatic flight they wouldn't have bothered with the many protections in the EFCS, would they? The Airbus is very easy to hand fly, it's company procedures which determine how much hand flying a pilot can do. Depending on the airline the autopilot will be on for just much of the time on a Boeing as on an Airbus.

It's just the grumblings of a disatisfied pilot. Luckily for him he's still flying with easyJet and not looking for a job after XL closed.  Wink
The glass isn't half empty, or half full, it's twice as big as it needs to be.
 
Pihero
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RE: Airbus Pilots - Do You Like It?

Tue Nov 11, 2008 10:23 pm

Aftrer Wing and PGNCS, I would say that going back to a 737 would be a seback. Not on my life !
The initial comment by the Pilot Chris referred to in his initial post is ludicrous :

Quoting CHRISBA777ER (Thread starter):
My impression was that he preferred to handfly the aeroplane a lot, and that he got then chance to do it a lot with the 777s he used to fly

That guy had been on the BA long haul with his 777, I doubt very much that he had done more than three landings in any given month. Compared to an average of some 40 to sixty on medium haul. If he can't get some hand flying, I submit that he's doing something wrong.

Quoting CHRISBA777ER (Thread starter):
the French did not build this aeroplane to be hand-flown - it is designed to spend its life on autopilot. I don't like it at all. Its not a proper aeroplane, for me."

The French, quiite a number of Germans and a few Brits, among all the nationalities involved, I might add..
Look at it this way : A/P on, it's a dream ; A/P and A/THR off, you have the most accurate flying any aircraft can give you ( I still fly under-50-minute sectors manually, I mean completely manually). It is still a dream.

Quoting CHRISBA777ER (Reply 2):
Phil - got to ask - would you miss your nice big 744F if you transferred to A319s?

You should have asked me : I transferred from the 744 to the 'Bus and think that it was the best move I made in my career...and now getting a 330 rating, there is no doubt in my mind : I prefer working on AI products. They've won my vote, hands down. ( I do miss the aurora over Northern Canada, though...among other things).
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tdscanuck
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RE: Airbus Pilots - Do You Like It?

Wed Nov 12, 2008 1:03 am



Quoting CHRISBA777ER (Thread starter):
I thought everyone who flew the Airbus FBW types really liked them!

People who first learned on Boeing then went to Airbus sometimes complain. I don't think I've ever heard an Airbus pilot complain about its normal flying characteristics (some gripe about the error handling a little bit). I've never heard a pilot who trained Airbus and then switched to Boeing be happy about it though.

Quoting SQ325 (Reply 4):
Autotrim is a great thing,(I think on the B777 you only need to trim away speedchanges and the rest is done by the autotrim on the bus you never trim)

As far as I know, all current Boeings have autotrim. You *can* trim away a speed change but the airplane should do it by itself anyway. The 737NG and 777 certainly have it.

Quoting David L (Reply 5):
I always got the impression that the FBW Airbuses are designed to be easier to hand-fly.

I think it depends on what you mean by "hand fly". If you mean "I want to control the control surfaces" you're basically out of luck. If you mean "I want to control the airplane attitude" then it's great.

Quoting David L (Reply 5):
Perhaps he means it isn't enough of a challenge, like automatic gearboxes, anti-lock brakes and traction control on a car, for example.

That's sort of my impression...you're not going to get as much of a "feel" from the Airbus because of the way the control laws work, but it's doing to do *exactly* what you tell it to do.

Tom.
 
SlamClick
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RE: Airbus Pilots - Do You Like It?

Wed Nov 12, 2008 2:18 am

I've had a pretty fair sampling of the airliners of my times and I love the Airbus.

Boeing builds great products and I can't fly them without reflecting on the B-17 and its legend, but in the real world of going to work every day I just find the Airbus to be such a pleasant environment to work in, I'd hate to give it up.

The only thing that would lure me away from the A-320 is to get back onto the A-330 which I hold to be the finest thing I ever flew - and I flew some great ones:

DC-3
Super Cub
Huey

...for examples.

The Airbus is a treat to hand-fly, especially with the autothrust engaged. I can hand-fly an ILS with one engine or two, and only make two or three control inputs all the way down final. If you look at the little square in the center of the "airplane" symbol on the PFD, it shows exactly one pixel of black at each corner when the flight director crosshairs are centered. You can narrow your scan down to those four pixels and fly the whole airplane by no more reference than that. I fought it a bit at first - "stirred the paint" as my instructor called the unnecessary sweeps of sidestick but a few minutes into the second simulator session realized what it took. It is like flying a spacecraft with reaction thrusters - you just give it a shot of sidestick, let go and watch it respond. When it is going where you want, you just stop making control inputs. I love it!

Flight deck is big and roomy and comfortable. There is a light to tell you when the forward biffy is occupado and you can even watch an ECAM page to tell you when the toilet is flushed. Everyone knows about the tray table but I'll tell you, I can't recall a more enjoyable meal than I've had at that table, gazing out at a constantly changing view.

I even like it as a non-rev. More comfortable than any Boeing up to the 767. The jumpseat is one of the better ones out there. It even makes good coffee.

Sorry good people of Renton and Everett, those are my impressions. If I ever feel an urge to bomb Bremen or Wilhelmshaven I can assure you Boeing will be my one stop shopping, but for taking peeps to Disneyville, I do like the Airbus.
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tdscanuck
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RE: Airbus Pilots - Do You Like It?

Wed Nov 12, 2008 3:30 am



Quoting SlamClick (Reply 12):
The Airbus is a treat to hand-fly, especially with the autothrust engaged. I can hand-fly an ILS with one engine or two, and only make two or three control inputs all the way down final.

Although I understand completely what you mean, I think a lot of people would consider that the opposite of hand-flying...the computer is doing a lot of work to artificially stabilize the airplane in a condition like that.

Quoting SlamClick (Reply 12):
The jumpseat is one of the better ones out there. It even makes good coffee.

That is the greatest jumpseat *ever* Big grin

Quoting SlamClick (Reply 12):
Sorry good people of Renton and Everett, those are my impressions.

Nothing to be sorry about...I don't think Boeing has ever claimed their have the most pleasant or user-friendly flight deck.

Quoting SlamClick (Reply 12):
If I ever feel an urge to bomb Bremen or Wilhelmshaven I can assure you Boeing will be my one stop shopping, but for taking peeps to Disneyville, I do like the Airbus.

I think the Airbus v. Boeing thing is a lot more from the engineers than the pilots. Engineers get downright militant about what the "right" answer in the trade study was (even though, almost by definition, if there was a clearly right answer you didn't need the trade study). Pilots, by and large, seem to be a more practical lot.

Tom.
 
SlamClick
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RE: Airbus Pilots - Do You Like It?

Wed Nov 12, 2008 4:20 am



Quoting Tdscanuck (Reply 13):
Although I understand completely what you mean, I think a lot of people would consider that the opposite of hand-flying...the computer is doing a lot of work to artificially stabilize the airplane in a condition like that.

Yeah, I appreciate what you are saying. My personal feeling is that the flying I've done in the Bell 47 leaves me without any need to prove my stick and [pedal] skills to anyone, ever again. Positive, dynamic stability inherent in ALL type-certificated fixed-wing aircraft is functionally indistinguishable from "computer" driven stabilities. In the 'bus the flight control computers smooth out the microexcursions behind the scenes. In lesser airplanes physics, trim, yaw dampers etc. etc. do the same thing - they just take longer.

Frankly, the psychomotor activity of flying an airplane, any airplane, kind of bores me. It proves nothing anymore, once the pilot has a few hundred hours and I think most of us who have responed here who have actually flown the 'bus can fly an airplane with less mental effort than we can drive a car. My pleasures in flying have, for many years, come from things other than stick-and-rudder.

Like the quality of the coffee or not wrinkling my uniform coat in a closet smaller than the pockets of that coat.

I realize that neither Boeing nor Airbus manufacture the coffee makers but I really don't give two carwash tokens about where they come from - I just enjoy my working day on the 'bus more.
Happiness is not seeing another trite Ste. Maarten photo all week long.
 
mpdpilot
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RE: Airbus Pilots - Do You Like It?

Wed Nov 12, 2008 4:50 am

So I have a question to add here. After reading all the responses here there seems to be an almost overwhelming preference for the bus. Why does Boeing still build their airplanes the way they do, if almost every pilot finds the bus equal or better in terms of pilot use?
One mile of highway gets you one mile, one mile of runway gets you anywhere.
 
osiris30
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RE: Airbus Pilots - Do You Like It?

Wed Nov 12, 2008 5:15 am

I too have a question for the sidestick guys.

The one thing I've always wondered about is; how hard is it to coordinate your movements when your method of input is off to the side. Is it much of an adjustment? I know even in my (admittedly very amateur) flying in sims, that the position of the input device makes a huge difference to my performance.

TIA
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speedracer1407
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RE: Airbus Pilots - Do You Like It?

Wed Nov 12, 2008 5:26 am



Quoting MPDPilot (Reply 15):
Why does Boeing still build their airplanes the way they do, if almost every pilot finds the bus equal or better in terms of pilot use?

I don't speak for the many respected user/pilots in this thread, but notice that some of their comments include an initial skepticism about the 'bus flight controls, as below:

Quoting SQ325 (Reply 4):
I had huge prejudices against the side stick and the FBW system. I have to admit I WAS WRONG.



Quoting PGNCS (Reply 8):
I had an extremely pro-yoke mindset, and was very unenthusiastic about the side stick. Then I had my first sim in the 320, and would never voluntarily fly with a yoke again.

Manufacturers decide on flight control philosophies based, in part, on their perceptions and feedback of what the airline and its pilots want. I guess it would make sense to assume that Boeing decided that their major customers weren't enthusiastic enough about sidestick FBW to invest in developing one of their own.

Still though, I wonder just how expensive it would be to take all the FBW software capability already baked into the 777, for example, and modify it to behave similarly to the Airbus.
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Starlionblue
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RE: Airbus Pilots - Do You Like It?

Wed Nov 12, 2008 5:30 am



Quoting MPDPilot (Reply 15):
So I have a question to add here. After reading all the responses here there seems to be an almost overwhelming preference for the bus. Why does Boeing still build their airplanes the way they do, if almost every pilot finds the bus equal or better in terms of pilot use?

Now there's an interesting question! My thoughts
- Boeing has been in business about 400 years; Airbus about 40. More legacy, especially from the days when aircraft were designed by engineers without a lot of input from the airlines. Airbus is "young enough" that the aircraft have always been very much customer driven.
- This is a bit "out there" but in Western Europe there is a much stronger push to automate in any industry compared to the US. This is driven by much higher labor costs. So perhaps Europeans are more accustomed to automation and have fewer qualms about it.
- Boeing is moving in the Airbus direction, if you will, with more FBW and so forth. But of course they can't say that. There has to be product differentiation at some perceived "deep" level.
- Airbus was launched into a saturated market, so they had to nail it first try (A300), and repeat the success for every new series (A330/340, A320). The only way to do that was to listen very carefully to the customers and then proceed to blow them away.

Quoting SlamClick (Reply 12):
There is a light to tell you when the forward biffy is occupado and you can even watch an ECAM page to tell you when the toilet is flushed.

They certainly seem to have an eye for IMPORTANT info.

Quoting SlamClick (Reply 12):
It even makes good coffee.



Quoting SlamClick (Reply 14):

I realize that neither Boeing nor Airbus manufacture the coffee makers but I really don't give two carwash tokens about where they come from - I just enjoy my working day on the 'bus more.

I could compare American coffee and French coffee but I won't... Ok I lied. American coffee is considered watered down and tasteless by the Europeans. Perhaps there's a message there. Probably not thoguh.  Wink

Quoting SlamClick (Reply 12):
Sorry good people of Renton and Everett, those are my impressions. If I ever feel an urge to bomb Bremen or Wilhelmshaven I can assure you Boeing will be my one stop shopping, but for taking peeps to Disneyville, I do like the Airbus.

 rotfl 
"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots."
 
tdscanuck
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RE: Airbus Pilots - Do You Like It?

Wed Nov 12, 2008 5:30 am



Quoting MPDPilot (Reply 15):
Why does Boeing still build their airplanes the way they do, if almost every pilot finds the bus equal or better in terms of pilot use?

For one thing, in the commercial world, pilots don't buy aircraft. Say what you may about the cockpit comfort level, the performance of Boeing aircraft doesn't imply anything "wrong" to the people making the purchase decisions.

In addition, you've got install base to consider. You can only (practically) totally overhaul the cockpit interface when you go to a new type and, even then, you've got transition concerns. I'm sure part of the reason the 787 is the way it is is that a lot of customers are going to be migrating 767 and 777 crews to it. Also, it would inject a whole bunch of extra certification scrutiny at a time that you don't really want it.

Airbus was lucky (and gutsy) that when they did the A320 they had no install base...their design could stand on its merits alone without dealing with commonality to a prior product. Although I'm sure they probably lost some early sales just due to being different than everything else that customers were used to. Boeing was already locked into an installed base of thousands of yoke airplanes by the time the A320 showed up.

Tom.
 
PhilSquares
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RE: Airbus Pilots - Do You Like It?

Wed Nov 12, 2008 7:33 am



Quoting Tdscanuck (Reply 19):
I'm sure part of the reason the 787 is the way it is is that a lot of customers are going to be migrating 767 and 777 crews to it



Quoting MPDPilot (Reply 15):
Why does Boeing still build their airplanes the way they do, if almost every pilot finds the bus equal or better in terms of pilot use?



Quoting Speedracer1407 (Reply 17):
Manufacturers decide on flight control philosophies based, in part, on their perceptions and feedback of what the airline and its pilots want. I guess it would make sense to assume that Boeing decided that their major customers weren't enthusiastic enough about sidestick FBW to invest in developing one of their own



Quoting Starlionblue (Reply 18):
The only way to do that was to listen very carefully to the customers and then proceed to blow them away.

It should be pointed out that when Boeing was in the initial process of designing the 777, the airlines involved in the users group overwhelmingly wanted a yoke instead of a sidestick. From Boeing's perspective, it made no difference at all. It was what the customers wanted.

Quoting MPDPilot (Reply 15):
Why does Boeing still build their airplanes the way they do, if almost every pilot finds the bus equal or better in terms of pilot use?

I'd be careful about making such all encompassing statements like that. There is a big difference between Airbus' and Boeing's logic on how the flight crew fits into the loop. I think the pilot community is just about evenly split on their opinion on both approaches. For every leading edge approach one manufacturer takes, there are other applications the other manufacturer takes.
Fly fast, live slow
 
CHRISBA777ER
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RE: Airbus Pilots - Do You Like It?

Wed Nov 12, 2008 7:59 am

Great thread! Really informative guys - thanks very much.
What do you mean you dont have any bourbon? Do you know how far it is to Houston? What kind of airline is this???
 
mpdpilot
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RE: Airbus Pilots - Do You Like It?

Wed Nov 12, 2008 8:39 am



Quoting PhilSquares (Reply 20):
I'd be careful about making such all encompassing statements like that. There is a big difference between Airbus' and Boeing's logic on how the flight crew fits into the loop. I think the pilot community is just about evenly split on their opinion on both approaches. For every leading edge approach one manufacturer takes, there are other applications the other manufacturer takes.



Quoting Speedracer1407 (Reply 17):
I don't speak for the many respected user/pilots in this thread, but notice that some of their comments include an initial skepticism about the 'bus flight controls, as below:

I read every single thread prior to posting and the overwhelming majority said the bus was their favorite. Now some said that their were parts that they didn't like but the whole package was better. I didn't mean to sound like I was talking for other pilots as I know plenty of pilots that will refuse to fly airbus's based on their preference. I was simply making an observation of this thread. Which tends to favor the Airbus. Now I don't think that either plane is bad or better they just have different approaches to the same problems that face airplane design.
One mile of highway gets you one mile, one mile of runway gets you anywhere.
 
PhilSquares
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RE: Airbus Pilots - Do You Like It?

Wed Nov 12, 2008 8:49 am



Quoting MPDPilot (Reply 15):
Why does Boeing still build their airplanes the way they do, if almost every pilot finds the bus equal or better in terms of pilot use?

There's what you wrote.

I know plenty of Airbus trained pilots who, when they go to a Boeing, never want to go back. And the opposite is true. With the exception of the 777, every Airbus cockpit from the 320-380 is much nicer than the Boeings. However, in other areas, such as Vnav, I would say Boeing is light years ahead of Airbus.

Having flown both types, I think each have their strange issues. However, having flown a FBW aircraft prior to the Airbus, I have some reservations about the Airbus approach. Just so people don't misinterpret what I am writing, it's not a safety issue but a personal preference. Again, it's not a A v. B issue.
Fly fast, live slow
 
stratosphere
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RE: Airbus Pilots - Do You Like It?

Wed Nov 12, 2008 8:58 am



Quoting PhilSquares (Reply 23):
Having flown both types, I think each have their strange issues. However, having flown a FBW aircraft prior to the Airbus, I have some reservations about the Airbus approach. Just so people don't misinterpret what I am writing, it's not a safety issue but a personal preference. Again, it's not a A v. B issue.

Same in the tech world also. I like some things that Airbus does and some not...I remember though when NWA first got the A-320 some of the pilots were leary of it and did not like the side stick and at first made some pretty bad landings (atleast the ones I was on) but they came to like them and regularly grease landings now. Both Boeing and Airbus build a fine product. I guess it is a matter of what your preference is.
 
Pihero
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RE: Airbus Pilots - Do You Like It?

Wed Nov 12, 2008 11:22 am



Quoting Tdscanuck (Reply 19):
For one thing, in the commercial world, pilots don't buy aircraft.

Tom, you'd have to qualify that :
Among other examples, the ones that are most prominent :
- Juan Trippe, ex-Navy bomber pilot was responsible for the 707 introduction to PanAm.
- Najeeb Halaby, also a pilot and also at the head of PanAM basically forced the 747 era.
- Charles Lindberg as an advisor to Trippe in 1964 made the success of the Dassault Mystère 20 a reality. The rumour has it that he proposed the name "Falcon" for the family...
- Frank Borman, ex USAF fighter, then test pilot, ex- astronaut introduced the Airbus A-300 into Eastern of which he was the CEO...
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David L
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RE: Airbus Pilots - Do You Like It?

Wed Nov 12, 2008 12:17 pm



Quoting Tdscanuck (Reply 11):
Quoting David L (Reply 5):
I always got the impression that the FBW Airbuses are designed to be easier to hand-fly.

I think it depends on what you mean by "hand fly". If you mean "I want to control the control surfaces" you're basically out of luck. If you mean "I want to control the airplane attitude" then it's great.

I meant the former. The second part of my post referred to the latter.  Smile

Quoting SlamClick (Reply 14):
In the 'bus the flight control computers smooth out the microexcursions behind the scenes.

We could compare driving a Landrover to a BMW on the road, (purely from a handling point of view, before anyone gets upset  Smile ). In a Landrover you have to make far more steering corrections whereas a BMW just sits there going exactly where you point it. The mechanics of why that is may be different from what happens in aircraft but, in my book, it doesn't make the Landrover a "nicer" vehicle to drive.

Quoting SlamClick (Reply 14):
Frankly, the psychomotor activity of flying an airplane, any airplane, kind of bores me. It proves nothing anymore, once the pilot has a few hundred hours and I think most of us who have responed here who have actually flown the 'bus can fly an airplane with less mental effort than we can drive a car.

Bringing things down to my level again, I feel exactly the same way about automatic gearboxes and power steering in cars. I used to think they took away the real driving experience. I've changed gear manually thousands and thousands of times. Now I just want a car that's pleasant to drive.
 
David L
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RE: Airbus Pilots - Do You Like It?

Wed Nov 12, 2008 1:42 pm



Quoting David L (Reply 26):
I meant the former. The second part of my post referred to the latter.

Oops... please transpose "former" and "latter".  embarrassed 
 
Captain.MD-11
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RE: Airbus Pilots - Do You Like It?

Wed Nov 12, 2008 2:43 pm

Interesting debate  Smile

I personally have no Airbus experience, however I do have 1300hrs flying the 737 classic.

Flying the 737 you feel almost part of the aircraft, as you are actively involved with most areas of the airliners operation. I feel part of the loop and enjoy doing the simple things, like switching the gens on bus etc and overall I love the rawness of this classic Boeing design.

I have no desire to fly an Airbus product, but I fully appreciate they're a fantastic piece of equipment.

My only real gripe with the 737 is that I need to be in a bigger flightdeck. I can't stop banging my head! Big grin

I do have friends who have gone Airbus - Boeing and would not go back.

Give me a 757 / 767 or 777 so that I can avoid these cuts and bruises on my head lol
Twins,twins, everywhere.... but where are the three holers?
 
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HAWK21M
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RE: Airbus Pilots - Do You Like It?

Wed Nov 12, 2008 3:27 pm



Quoting Captain.md-11 (Reply 28):
I do have friends who have gone Airbus - Boeing and would not go back.

Out here there are quite a few.

Quoting Captain.md-11 (Reply 28):
My only real gripe with the 737 is that I need to be in a bigger flightdeck. I can't stop banging my head!

Watch out for the Stab trim being operated with the manual lever sticking out.  Smile

regds
MEL
I may not win often, but I damn well never lose!!! ;)
 
Captain.MD-11
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RE: Airbus Pilots - Do You Like It?

Wed Nov 12, 2008 4:27 pm

MEL

I've not had that pleasure yet lol Big grin (hope I never do)

The main culprit is the map light situated just in front of the CB panel...... its a nightmare for me.

Love hand flying her though, I try to as often as I can  Smile
Twins,twins, everywhere.... but where are the three holers?
 
2H4
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RE: Airbus Pilots - Do You Like It?

Wed Nov 12, 2008 4:56 pm



Quoting PhilSquares (Reply 23):
having flown a FBW aircraft prior to the Airbus, I have some reservations about the Airbus approach.

I'd love to hear you elaborate on this. Particularly the operational and logic differences between the two FBW systems.

Quoting David L (Reply 26):
We could compare driving a Landrover to a BMW on the road, (purely from a handling point of view, before anyone gets upset). In a Landrover you have to make far more steering corrections whereas a BMW just sits there going exactly where you point it. The mechanics of why that is may be different from what happens in aircraft but, in my book, it doesn't make the Landrover a "nicer" vehicle to drive.

I think a better comparison would be between a Caterham Super 7 and a brand-new BMW 1-Series. Physically manipulating the Caterham requires a greater portion of the operator's attention and effort. The operator must focus on countersteering, feathering the throttle to avoid wheelspin, and considering how brake applications might disrupt the balance and traction of the vehicle. All of these demands arguably result in a greater level of operator "involvement", but they also leave less concentration available for other things.

The BMW, on the other hand, automates much of the nuances of vehicle handling. The driver, in many cases, simply aims the vehicle at the exit of a curve, buries the throttle, and enjoys the ride as the car's computers spend a millisecond here and a millisecond there getting the car there safely. They dab the (ABS-equipped) brakes one at a time, retard the throttle a bit when they detect a bit of wheelspin under acceleration, and make hundreds of small corrections before large ones are required. While these actions also limit the operator in certain ways, the end result is that the operator has far more "available concentration" and is able to focus on more things before becoming task-saturated.

In short, the BMW driver could probably negotiate that curve while selecting a new CD and talking on the phone. If the Caterham driver were to attempt those things, he or she would very likely get into serious trouble.

And that's what Airbus engineers are concerned with. Reducing the "aircraft handling" portion of the pilot's workload to allow for other things to be attended to before becoming task-saturated.

2H4
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David L
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RE: Airbus Pilots - Do You Like It?

Wed Nov 12, 2008 6:33 pm



Quoting 2H4 (Reply 31):
I think a better comparison would be between a Caterham Super 7 and a brand-new BMW 1-Series

I wasn't suggesting that Boeings, etc, are "horrible" to fly so I didn't choose a worst-case comparison. I chose the Landrover because that's the least "stable" vehicle I've ever driven on the road.  Smile

I stick by my general point, though, that requiring more input doesn't make a car "nicer" to drive for me. After getting several years' driving under my belt, I'd choose the BMW over the Landrover - on the road, anyway. Actually, I'd choose something else but that's another story.

I just didn't know if pilots felt the same about aircraft so I felt compelled to back up the good Captain in my own bumbling way.

Quoting 2H4 (Reply 31):
The BMW, on the other hand, automates much of the nuances of vehicle handling. The driver, in many cases, simply aims the vehicle at the exit of a curve, buries the throttle

True but, in the case of the cars, a lot of the handling differences are due to engineering and structure, rather than simply automation. I'm certainly not suggesting that's the case in the A v. B saga... honestly  Smile
 
babybus
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RE: Airbus Pilots - Do You Like It?

Wed Nov 12, 2008 8:13 pm

Pilots must be like any other human in that you will always prefer the model you trained on and initially flew.

I'm like that with computers or mobile phones. They just seem to get worse when they should be getting better to use.  Big grin
and with that..cabin crew, seats for landing please.
 
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Starlionblue
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RE: Airbus Pilots - Do You Like It?

Wed Nov 12, 2008 11:07 pm



Quoting Osiris30 (Reply 16):
The one thing I've always wondered about is; how hard is it to coordinate your movements when your method of input is off to the side. Is it much of an adjustment? I know even in my (admittedly very amateur) flying in sims, that the position of the input device makes a huge difference to my performance.

This question frequently gets asked. The thing is, on an aircraft with a yoke the left seater flies with the left hand anyway. It takes only a few minutes to get used to flying with the left for most people. Try it in the sim. It is easier than you think.

Quoting PhilSquares (Reply 20):
It should be pointed out that when Boeing was in the initial process of designing the 777, the airlines involved in the users group overwhelmingly wanted a yoke instead of a sidestick. From Boeing's perspective, it made no difference at all. It was what the customers wanted.

Quite right. No company survives without listening to its customers. I have said before that fundamentally both Airbus and Boeing build the aircraft they believe the customers will want to buy.

Quoting Pihero (Reply 25):
- Juan Trippe, ex-Navy bomber pilot was responsible for the 707 introduction to PanAm.

Let's not forget his huge contribution to the 747 program. The famous "handshake agreement" with Bill Allen basically launched the aircraft.

Quoting Captain.md-11 (Reply 28):
Give me a 757 / 767 or 777 so that I can avoid these cuts and bruises on my head lol

The 757 has that step down into the cockpit. Surely you could contrive to hit your head there too?  Wink
"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots."
 
David L
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RE: Airbus Pilots - Do You Like It?

Wed Nov 12, 2008 11:16 pm



Quoting Babybus (Reply 33):
Pilots must be like any other human in that you will always prefer the model you trained on and initially flew.

I see your point but there are examples in this thread of pilots who prefer Airbus after flying other types first and I'm sure there are those who prefer other types after training first on Airbus.
 
PGNCS
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RE: Airbus Pilots - Do You Like It?

Thu Nov 13, 2008 2:32 am



Quoting Tdscanuck (Reply 13):


Quoting SlamClick (Reply 12):
The Airbus is a treat to hand-fly, especially with the autothrust engaged. I can hand-fly an ILS with one engine or two, and only make two or three control inputs all the way down final.

Although I understand completely what you mean, I think a lot of people would consider that the opposite of hand-flying...the computer is doing a lot of work to artificially stabilize the airplane in a condition like that.

It is flying by hand; just as on the 777, computers take manual inputs and translate them into flight control reactions; this in no way diminishes the fact that the pilot is manually putting the aircraft where he or she wants it to be. Whether there are cables or wires, real or artificial feel, is irrelevant to the task at hand.

Quoting Tdscanuck (Reply 13):
Nothing to be sorry about...I don't think Boeing has ever claimed their have the most pleasant or user-friendly flight deck.

I bet they've claimed it, but if they did they were lying!  Wink

Quoting SlamClick (Reply 14):
Positive, dynamic stability inherent in ALL type-certificated fixed-wing aircraft is functionally indistinguishable from "computer" driven stabilities. In the 'bus the flight control computers smooth out the microexcursions behind the scenes. In lesser airplanes physics, trim, yaw dampers etc. etc. do the same thing - they just take longer.

Exactly. Even (most) aircraft with hydraulically powered controls have artificial feel. The task from our seat is the same.

Quoting MPDPilot (Reply 15):
So I have a question to add here. After reading all the responses here there seems to be an almost overwhelming preference for the bus. Why does Boeing still build their airplanes the way they do, if almost every pilot finds the bus equal or better in terms of pilot use?

The overwhelming preference is from Airbus pilots; there are many pilots who have not flown it that know they would hate it. There are a few that have flown it and prefer the Boeing. In my career the number I personally have met who have flown both and prefer the Boeing can be counted on my fingers, but they do exist.

Quoting Osiris30 (Reply 16):
The one thing I've always wondered about is; how hard is it to coordinate your movements when your method of input is off to the side. Is it much of an adjustment?

It's irrelevant. The side stick is totally natural, but in a yoke equipped aircraft, you fly with your outboard hand on the yoke, too.

Quoting Tdscanuck (Reply 19):
For one thing, in the commercial world, pilots don't buy aircraft. Say what you may about the cockpit comfort level, the performance of Boeing aircraft doesn't imply anything "wrong" to the people making the purchase decisions.

No, it implies that they don't value the flight deck ergonomics as much as the pilots, though.

Quoting PhilSquares (Reply 20):
It should be pointed out that when Boeing was in the initial process of designing the 777, the airlines involved in the users group overwhelmingly wanted a yoke instead of a sidestick. From Boeing's perspective, it made no difference at all. It was what the customers wanted

That is my understanding. I have heard from several sources that UAL was especially against the idea; can anyone definitively comment on that?

Quoting PhilSquares (Reply 23):
I know plenty of Airbus trained pilots who, when they go to a Boeing, never want to go back. And the opposite is true. With the exception of the 777, every Airbus cockpit from the 320-380 is much nicer than the Boeings. However, in other areas, such as Vnav, I would say Boeing is light years ahead of Airbus.

And I know many (MANY) more Boeing pilots who never want to go back to the Boeing after flying the Airbus. Certainly the Airbus FBW cockipts are head and shoulders above Boeing, but there are things I would change about both manufacturer's planes. The list for AIrbus is much shorter, of course. I don't agree with you, by the way, about Boeing VNAV, especially on the 737, 757, or 767.

Quoting Captain.md-11 (Reply 28):
Flying the 737 you feel almost part of the aircraft, as you are actively involved with most areas of the airliners operation. I feel part of the loop and enjoy doing the simple things, like switching the gens on bus etc and overall I love the rawness of this classic Boeing design.

And for people who want to get out of the 1950's, it's a complete disaster.

Quoting Captain.md-11 (Reply 28):
I do have friends who have gone Airbus - Boeing and would not go back.

And the opposite is true.

Quoting Babybus (Reply 33):
Pilots must be like any other human in that you will always prefer the model you trained on and initially flew.

Not always; I flew Boeing long before I flew Airbus, and would never go back given my preference.

Quoting Starlionblue (Reply 34):
This question frequently gets asked. The thing is, on an aircraft with a yoke the left seater flies with the left hand anyway. It takes only a few minutes to get used to flying with the left for most people.

Bingo.
 
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HAWK21M
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RE: Airbus Pilots - Do You Like It?

Thu Nov 13, 2008 6:47 am



Quoting Captain.md-11 (Reply 30):
I've not had that pleasure yet lol (hope I never do)

I hope you don't ever too.
Theres a small joke in Mx about limping pilots.If a pilot gets off a B737 liming on his Left foot he is the pilot from the rightt seat,normally the F/O,If he limps on his right foot,he could be the commander or the one on the Left seat.  Smile

The strike of those handles are directly onto ones knee cap.I remember in Mx,an AME seated on the pilots seat,positioned those handles out for manually moving the Stab trim wheel & another switched on the Electric trim....The sound of pain was very loud  Smile

Always remember to stow them back fast.....

regds
MEL
I may not win often, but I damn well never lose!!! ;)
 
PhilSquares
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RE: Airbus Pilots - Do You Like It?

Thu Nov 13, 2008 7:08 am



Quoting PGNCS (Reply 36):
I don't agree with you, by the way, about Boeing VNAV, especially on the 737, 757, or 767.

It's been so long ago since I flew the 757, I really can't remember. But then again, they were before the 320. However, on the 744, 777 the VNAV function will accomplish things such as an automatic power reduction at TOD, assuming you have the lower altitude constraint in the window. In the Airbus, not sure of the 380, you will have to manually reduce the thrust to accomplish a Vnav Path descent. That's just one of the many differences between the two. There are a whole host of things on the cruise page that Boeings have that Airbus doesn't.

But at the end of the day, it really boils down to personal preferences. Are A or B better than the other, I don't think you can quantatively answer that question. The 320/737NG numbers are really identical in terms of cost. The 330 is certainly a great aircraft for the market Airbus wants to target.
Fly fast, live slow
 
tdscanuck
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RE: Airbus Pilots - Do You Like It?

Thu Nov 13, 2008 8:19 am



Quoting Pihero (Reply 25):
Quoting Tdscanuck (Reply 19):
For one thing, in the commercial world, pilots don't buy aircraft.

Tom, you'd have to qualify that :
Among other examples, the ones that are most prominent :
- Juan Trippe, ex-Navy bomber pilot was responsible for the 707 introduction to PanAm.
- Najeeb Halaby, also a pilot and also at the head of PanAM basically forced the 747 era.
- Charles Lindberg as an advisor to Trippe in 1964 made the success of the Dassault Mystère 20 a reality. The rumour has it that he proposed the name "Falcon" for the family...
- Frank Borman, ex USAF fighter, then test pilot, ex- astronaut introduced the Airbus A-300 into Eastern of which he was the CEO...

I agree, my initial statement was a little vague. What I should have said is "the guys buying the aircraft aren't the ones who will fly it in revenue service."

There are lots of pilots in high airline positions. However, when excercising their abilities as aircraft purchasers, they're looking it as an asset to enable their company to make money. Pilot comfort may factor in there, but it's way down on the list.

Quoting PGNCS (Reply 36):

Quoting Tdscanuck (Reply 13):
Although I understand completely what you mean, I think a lot of people would consider that the opposite of hand-flying...the computer is doing a lot of work to artificially stabilize the airplane in a condition like that.

It is flying by hand; just as on the 777, computers take manual inputs and translate them into flight control reactions; this in no way diminishes the fact that the pilot is manually putting the aircraft where he or she wants it to be. Whether there are cables or wires, real or artificial feel, is irrelevant to the task at hand.

Actually, it is a big difference. In the typical sense of "hand fly" the pilot is commanding where he wants the *control surfaces* to be. It's completely up to the pilot to make the choice between control deflections and airplane response. On most FBW airliners, especially the current ones, the airplane interprets pilot inputs as requests for *attitude rate changes* and moves any/all control surfaces however it feels like to accomplish the request.

So the pilot is actually commanding two different things in the two different systems.

Tom.
 
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Jetlagged
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RE: Airbus Pilots - Do You Like It?

Thu Nov 13, 2008 3:05 pm



Quoting Tdscanuck (Reply 39):
Actually, it is a big difference. In the typical sense of "hand fly" the pilot is commanding where he wants the *control surfaces* to be. It's completely up to the pilot to make the choice between control deflections and airplane response. On most FBW airliners, especially the current ones, the airplane interprets pilot inputs as requests for *attitude rate changes* and moves any/all control surfaces however it feels like to accomplish the request.

The "traditional" pilot cannot choose between control deflections and aircraft response. One determines the other. With a traditional control system, the pilot is demanding a pitch rate through elevator deflection, in the Airbus the pilot is demanding normal acceleration, which is very closely related to pitch rate. Laterally the traditional demand and FBW demand is the same (roll rate). FBW smooths these inputs, just as FADEC smooths and linearises thrust lever inputs. Yet there isn't the same debate between the differences between "real" thrust lever control and FADEC (thrust by wire).

FBW is not quite as chaotic as you imply in determining which control surfaces move. Neither can a 767 pilot, for example, decide which surfaces the yoke moves either. That depends on flight condition and aircraft configuration, just as it does with an Airbus.

In an earlier post you said FBW stabilises the Airbus, but this is not true. FBW Airbuses are aerodynamically stable and Boeings have long had stability augmentation of one kind or another. FBW does smooth out external disturbances to a certain extent of course. However with the controls released, a FBW aircraft is effectively in attitude hold, and that's as true of the 777 as it is of the Airbus.

I've flown many different airliners (albeit full flight simulators), mostly Boeings, and my 'untrained' view is that the A320 is the most pleasant to fly by hand. The 747-400 runs it close.
The glass isn't half empty, or half full, it's twice as big as it needs to be.
 
SlamClick
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RE: Airbus Pilots - Do You Like It?

Thu Nov 13, 2008 3:21 pm



Quoting PhilSquares (Reply 38):
In the Airbus, not sure of the 380, you will have to manually reduce the thrust to accomplish a Vnav Path descent.

Not sure what you mean by "manually" as you don't move the thrust levers. You do have to select a descent mode from ALT CRZ by setting a lower altitude on the glareshield and either pushing or pulling the knob for "managed" or "open" descent. If you have "managed" selected, it will descend to whatever altitude is set on the glareshield and it will make every speed and altitude constraint in the flight plan on its way down. In "open" descent or "expedite" it will disregard all such constraints on its way down.

Meanwhile the thrust levers remain at CLB (climb) until you flare for landing.

The one Boeing feature I missed was the ability to line-select to the scratchpad. I don't know much about FMS2 but I don't think it has that capability. The big difference between the A and B descent modes at least comparing similar aircraft is that on the Boeing 737 it will cruise up to top-of-descent, start down (as long as you have enabled the descent by dialing a lower altitude on the glareshield) and then twenty seconds later it will announce "DRAG REQUIRED"

Airbus doesn't have that feature. That is one of the things I like about it.
Happiness is not seeing another trite Ste. Maarten photo all week long.
 
PhilSquares
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RE: Airbus Pilots - Do You Like It?

Thu Nov 13, 2008 4:16 pm



Quoting SlamClick (Reply 41):
Not sure what you mean by "manually" as you don't move the thrust levers. You do have to select a descent mode from ALT CRZ by setting a lower altitude on the glareshield and either pushing or pulling the knob for "managed" or "open" descent. If you have "managed" selected, it will descend to whatever altitude is set on the glareshield and it will make every speed and altitude constraint in the flight plan on its way down. In "open" descent or "expedite" it will disregard all such constraints on its way down.

You are correct. On the Airbus, even having the lower FL selected you either need to push for managed or pull for open descent. On the Boeing, if you have the lower FL selected, at the TOD the aircraft will follow the path. On the Boeing, it will meet all altitude/speed constraints, assuming winds are put in as is the case on the Airbus. On the Boeing if you want "open descent" you merely select FLCH and it's idle thrust and the IAS/IMN when you selected FLCH.

Again, just an odd system that has so many other automatics in the system.

Quoting SlamClick (Reply 41):
then twenty seconds later it will announce "DRAG REQUIRED"

Not having flown the 737, I can't comment on that. But on the 744 and the 777, the aircraft will, just like the Airbus operate within a range of speeds to maintain the computed path. If it can't do that, then you will get the "Drag Required" message. However, the FMS must compute it's inability to maintain the path over the remaining descent profile.
Fly fast, live slow
 
David L
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RE: Airbus Pilots - Do You Like It?

Thu Nov 13, 2008 6:41 pm



Quoting PGNCS (Reply 36):
In my career the number I personally have met who have flown both and prefer the Boeing can be counted on my fingers, but they do exist.

I trust we can assume you have the usual complement of fingers?  Smile

Quoting Tdscanuck (Reply 39):
In the typical sense of "hand fly" the pilot is commanding where he wants the *control surfaces* to be.

I understand that in non-FBW aircraft that's what happens "inside the system" but is that what pilots are actually trying to do? I.e. do they actually care how the control surfaces move, assuming they're confident they're not going to be ripped off?
 
Pihero
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RE: Airbus Pilots - Do You Like It?

Thu Nov 13, 2008 9:12 pm

Quoting SlamClick (Reply 41):
You do have to select a descent mode from ALT CRZ by setting a lower altitude on the glareshield and either pushing or pulling the knob for "managed" or "open" descent. If you have "managed" selected, it will descend to whatever altitude is set on the glareshield and it will make every speed and altitude constraint in the flight plan on its way down. In "open" descent or "expedite" it will disregard all such constraints on its way down.



Quoting PhilSquares (Reply 43):
You are correct. On the Airbus, even having the lower FL selected you either need to push for managed or pull for open descent. On the Boeing, if you have the lower FL selected, at the TOD the aircraft will follow the path. On the Boeing, it will meet all altitude/speed constraints, assuming winds are put in as is the case on the Airbus. On the Boeing if you want "open descent" you merely select FLCH and it's idle thrust and the IAS/IMN when you selected FLCH.

Philsquares, you seem to have forgotten that you have to select - or have selected before - VNav first. There's no VNav switch on the 'Bus, it is achieved by pushing the ALTitude knob.
Let's be clear, here : There is no difference between Open Des and FLCH ( as witnessed by the FLCH light coming on on the glareshield panel of the 'Bus }. Whether you achieve that mode by pulling the altitude selector knob or by selecting FLCH, the same mode is set on.
OTOH, it is quite amusing that one of the only modes requiring a pilot confirmation input (pushing the knob, provided you already have a lateral mode on, confirms the command for a VNAV descent to the seleted altitude}, is the one that's being questioned !
I remember a few times on the 744 when we couldn't get, for some reason, a descent clearance and had to cancel the VNav...
Can't win them all.
On the 'Bus, that confirmation is nice...an early clearance...one push...and the plane goes down at 1000 Ft/min until you intercept the original profile...Niiice ! And that profile is a lot more accurate than on the 744...and more : I can leave everything there for an ILS interception and the speed schedule will be managed, too...
And I still prefer both the controls (one knob only) and the PFD info of the 'Bus. A lot less clutter if you asked me. Again, a matter of preferences...or bias ( of which, btw I could be guilty, too ! ).

Quoting Tdscanuck (Reply 39):
Actually, it is a big difference. In the typical sense of "hand fly" the pilot is commanding where he wants the *control surfaces* to be.

Come on,Tom, That's just not true, if only for the presence of a spoiler mixer of some sorts in the chain of control,

Quoting Tdscanuck (Reply 39):
It's completely up to the pilot to make the choice between control deflections and airplane response.

On a symetrical flight, it is not tue. The pilot doesn't have a clue about where his contol surfaces are...If you're talking about slipped - or assymetrical flight - , for the pilot, whether it is trad or FBW, one would move the control as one desires in order to achieve the desired result. No difference.
AS a matter of fact, all the ballcrap about rates and Gs come down to THE major difference in flying : On a 'Bus, the pilot controls the flight path while on a "classic" the pilot moves the controls to make pitch/bank/yaw changes in order to obtain the desired flight path --> less accuracy, more "tracking"around, less comfort.
As I'm past the age of needing to demonstrate - or prove - my manoeuvering performance, the 'Bus is doing fine for my taste .

[Edited 2008-11-13 13:18:09]
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PhilSquares
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RE: Airbus Pilots - Do You Like It?

Thu Nov 13, 2008 9:52 pm



Quoting Pihero (Reply 45):
On the 'Bus, that confirmation is nice...an early clearance...one push...and the plane goes down at 1000 Ft/min until you intercept the original profile

And, I assume you've forgotten also, it does the same thing on the 744/777. It will descend at 1000'/min until it is on the path.

Quoting Pihero (Reply 45):
Philsquares, you seem to have forgotten that you have to select - or have selected before - VNav first.

It was assumed you were in ALT, which would be the same as as Vnav on the Boeing. I didn't forget, I just didn't want to go all the way to enumerate the mode that was engaged. Obviously, if I wanted a managed descent, I would have to be in the mode that enabled that. ????

Quoting Pihero (Reply 45):
And that profile is a lot more accurate than on the 744...and more : I can leave everything there for an ILS interception and the speed schedule will be managed, too...

I don't know about that. I have found if you put winds into either system, it becomes much more accurate. The 744/777 will also manage speed, just like the 320/330/340. It is very similar.
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Pihero
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RE: Airbus Pilots - Do You Like It?

Thu Nov 13, 2008 11:51 pm



Quoting PhilSquares (Reply 46):
And, I assume you've forgotten also, it does the same thing on the 744/777. It will descend at 1000'/min until it is on the path.

No, I haven't. Just wanted you to say that you just don't rely on the VNav automatic descent initiation at TOD, you could initiate it too. So, to me there's no difference,

Quoting PhilSquares (Reply 46):
I can leave everything there for an ILS interception and the speed schedule will be managed, too...

I don't know about that. I have found if you put winds into either system, it becomes much more accurate. The 744/777 will also manage speed, just like the 320/330/340. It is very similar.

Don't know about the 777 but I don't remember the autothrottle following flap extension speed schedule on the 744. On the 'Bus, I can, if I wanted to, never touch the Speed knob, never make a speed selection and of course never touch the thrust levers (until the flare) from the TOD : the FMGS selects a descent speed, decelerates to 250 kt at FL 100, further decelerate to clean speed (green dot) on approach, then adapts the speed to my flap/slat configuration and finally nails on Vapp under 700 ft, with automatic wind correction. Super when one is tired...

Quoting PhilSquares (Reply 46):
It was assumed you were in ALT, which would be the same as as Vnav on the Boeing.

The big problem here is of something more than semantics : There is no LNav or VNav of any sort on the 'Bus...and these terms are not annunciated, either on the glareshield of on the FMA of the PFD.
The ALT annunciation you refer to is in fact a pilot-required mode on the FCU, therefore not in any way akin to the Boeing VNav. The VNav equivalent of that situation should be *ALT CRZ*.
The 'Bus refers to *managed modes*, both laterally and vertically. But the beauty -or one of the beauties - of the system is that just by pressing the altitude selection knob, you re-introduce a managed vertical profile and the FMGS takes over. There is the equivalent of B's VNav.
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Mir
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RE: Airbus Pilots - Do You Like It?

Fri Nov 14, 2008 3:28 am



Quoting Starlionblue (Reply 34):
Quoting Osiris30 (Reply 16):
The one thing I've always wondered about is; how hard is it to coordinate your movements when your method of input is off to the side. Is it much of an adjustment? I know even in my (admittedly very amateur) flying in sims, that the position of the input device makes a huge difference to my performance.

This question frequently gets asked. The thing is, on an aircraft with a yoke the left seater flies with the left hand anyway. It takes only a few minutes to get used to flying with the left for most people. Try it in the sim. It is easier than you think.

I think he's talking about position of the controls (in front of you as opposed to at your side) rather than which hand is flown with. It does seem to me that it would take getting used to, but everything I've heard indicates that that transition takes about ten minutes. I will admit that I thought that a bicycle yoke would be wierd to operate, too, but then I spent about five minutes in a sim and that idea was banished from my head - it was fine.

-Mir
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tdscanuck
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RE: Airbus Pilots - Do You Like It?

Fri Nov 14, 2008 4:21 am



Quoting Jetlagged (Reply 40):
The "traditional" pilot cannot choose between control deflections and aircraft response. One determines the other.

I didn't mean he's choosing between them (I used the word "between" before...it was a bad pick), I meant he's choosing a control deflection and using closed-loop control *within the pilot* to get the desired aircraft response.

Control deflection (alone) does not determine the aircraft response...that's the big difference. Control deflection determines the change in moment coefficient. To get the actual change in moment, you also need to know speed and density (i.e. altitude). To get the actual angular acceleration, you need the weight, CG, and moment. And to get to the final result (attitude rate) you need to control how long you've got that angular acceleration (i.e. how long to hold the deflection).

So, in a straight hand-fly airplane, the pilot is commanding control position in order to achieve a desired rate change, but all of the intervening compensations are being done real-time by the pilot. In a full FBW (with rate control laws) there's a direct connection between control stick deflection and rate...all of the intervening feedback is being done in the computer, not in the pilot.

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PhilSquares
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RE: Airbus Pilots - Do You Like It?

Fri Nov 14, 2008 7:14 am



Quoting Pihero (Reply 47):
Don't know about the 777 but I don't remember the autothrottle following flap extension speed schedule on the 744. On the 'Bus, I can, if I wanted to, never touch the Speed knob, never make a speed selection and of course never touch the thrust levers (until the flare) from the TOD : the FMGS selects a descent speed, decelerates to 250 kt at FL 100, further decelerate to clean speed (green dot) on approach, then adapts the speed to my flap/slat configuration and finally nails on Vapp under 700 ft, with automatic wind correction. Super when one is tired...

Just like the 744/777. It will work just fine. I am sure you remember there is no green dot, but it will comply with the speeds in the FMC.

Quoting Pihero (Reply 47):
No, I haven't. Just wanted you to say that you just don't rely on the VNav automatic descent initiation at TOD, you could initiate it too. So, to me there's no difference,

Again, you can do the same thing on the 744/777. You can start a FLCH descent or start a Vnav descent below tht profile at 1000'/min or you can simply sit back and let the automatics take care ot things.

Quoting Pihero (Reply 47):
The big problem here is of something more than semantics : There is no LNav or VNav of any sort on the 'Bus...and these terms are not annunciated, either on the glareshield of on the FMA of the PFD.
The ALT annunciation you refer to is in fact a pilot-required mode on the FCU, therefore not in any way akin to the Boeing VNav. The VNav equivalent of that situation should be *ALT CRZ

It's been over 8 years since I've flown the 320, so I beg forgiveness. ALT CRZ is the same as VNAV as you say. However, the functionality, no matter what the nomenclature, is still the same.

My only point is there are seemingly holes in the managed approach Airbus takes when compared to the Boeing approach. In addition, things on the cruise page if my feeble memory is still there, leave quite a bit of options out when compared to the Boeing. Again, the only point I am trying to make is it's a matter of preference, not an issue of safety.
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