Topic Author
Posts: 2518
Joined: Fri Nov 25, 2005 6:58 pm

Weren’t EIS smoother in the ‘80s/‘90s?

Sun Mar 17, 2019 10:04 am

The 757/767/744/737NG/777/A330/A340 seemed to have a smooth EIS (I guess there were teething problems though) but it seems that modern airliners had either delays (A380, 787), either incidents (A380, 787, A320Neo), or worse for the 737Max.
Only the A350 seems to have a fine EIS (too soon to say for the A330 neo).
What do you guys think?
Flown:717,727,732,733,734,735,738,73H,742/744/748,752,753,762/2ER/763/3ER,772/77E/773/77W, 788, 789, DC8,DC10,E190,E195,MD83,MD88, L1011, A3B2,A319,A320-100/200,A321,A332/A333,A343,A388
Posts: 2893
Joined: Mon Aug 08, 2016 11:40 am

Re: Weren’t EIS smoother in the ‘80s/‘90s?

Sun Mar 17, 2019 10:09 am

Im going to say that EIS and development schedules were much more conservative back then. They didnt build 5 prototypes and then transition to full scale production before the bugs had been ironed out. The 787 is the perfect example of how that went wrong.
User avatar
Posts: 9803
Joined: Sat Nov 03, 2007 1:25 am

Re: Weren’t EIS smoother in the ‘80s/‘90s?

Sun Mar 17, 2019 10:14 am

Great question, don't know if it is true or not. If true, it might be because the steps taken to get it more efficient are more cutting edge and thus riskier. Might be that the beancounters are in charge instead of technicians and they want the development shortened?

The A320 had also its share of problems in its day.

PS A330 neo was late too, problems with its engines.
Many happy landings, greetings from The Netherlands!
User avatar
Posts: 5241
Joined: Sun Sep 10, 2000 12:27 pm

Re: Weren’t EIS smoother in the ‘80s/‘90s?

Sun Mar 17, 2019 10:39 am

The A320 had four accidents early in the piece:
  • F-GFKC - Air France Flight 296 - 26 June 1988
  • VT-EPN - Indian Airlines Flight 605 - 14 February 1990
  • F-GGED - Air Inter Flight 148 - 20 January 1992
  • D-AIPN - Lufthansa Flight 2904 - 14 September 1993

Interestingly, human interaction with the A320’s sophisticated (for the time) level of automation was implicated in each of these accidents. In spite of this, the A320 has gone on to give sterling service.

The A330 had an even less auspicious start, with an aircraft crashing during flight testing in 1994 (it was a customer aircraft for Thai Airways which was being used by Airbus for certification of the PW powered A330). Again in spite of this the A330 has gone on to give sterling service.

Don’t forget as well the MD-80 which lost its empennage during testing in May 1980, followed by the loss of another MD-80 prototype in a landing accident the following month. MD also had dramas with the MD-11 which well and truly failed to meet its targets, and lost many orders as a result.

From memory there was an issue with the production ramp-up of the 737NG during the late 1990s which led to a lot of undelivered aircraft for a period of time.

So while there have definitely been some high profile issues recently, it wouldn’t be correct to say the 80s and 90s were all smooth sailing.

It is not for him to pride himself who loveth his own country, but rather for him who loveth the whole world. The earth is but one country, and mankind its citizens. —Bahá'u'lláh
Posts: 5602
Joined: Mon Feb 18, 2013 11:58 pm

Re: Weren’t EIS smoother in the ‘80s/‘90s?

Sun Mar 17, 2019 11:33 am

LY777 wrote:
What do you guys think?

Phones and cars were less complex then, too. So what? If you want performance and feature improvements they come with new technologies and complexity. Don't go down the Trumpian road 'Planes are too complex to fly.' Focus on program management.
Posts: 14237
Joined: Thu Jan 29, 2004 1:24 pm

Re: Weren’t EIS smoother in the ‘80s/‘90s?

Sun Mar 17, 2019 11:45 am

You also didn't have the internet or social media until the 2000's that can instantly spread out news of in use, development and testing crashes.
Posts: 40
Joined: Fri Jun 24, 2016 5:51 am

Re: Weren’t EIS smoother in the ‘80s/‘90s?

Sun Mar 17, 2019 11:52 am

Well, back in the days pilots used to actually fly the plane and they'd give input to the manufacturer. And the manufacturer would actually listen.

All you need now is a computer kid that at the end would say "it runs better on Windows XP".
Posts: 45
Joined: Sun Mar 17, 2019 11:09 am

Re: Weren’t EIS smoother in the ‘80s/‘90s?

Sun Mar 17, 2019 12:02 pm

I would submit that the number of pilots flying brand new 737s with only 250 hours on the books was quite low in the 80s.
Your inquiry should start with examination of the human factors at play back then.
Posts: 15
Joined: Sat Jan 01, 2011 2:34 pm

Re: Weren’t EIS smoother in the ‘80s/‘90s?

Sun Mar 17, 2019 12:23 pm

I believe it is due to the trend that we have pushed the new planes to the edge of current technology limit, therefore more and more issues are found therefore less smoother EIS for the new generation planes I.e. 787 380 320neo and 737MAX then the older generation one.

Same occurred when 747 DC10 and TriStar, all were the most state of art models at that time.
Posts: 772
Joined: Fri May 01, 2009 5:04 am

Re: Weren’t EIS smoother in the ‘80s/‘90s?

Sun Mar 17, 2019 12:42 pm

I believe the 744 had multiple system issues on introduction. It’s been a while since I read it, but the captain of QF32 talks about some of it in his book.
A319, A320, A321, A330-200, A350-900, A380, 737-700, 737-800, 777-200ER, 777-300, 777-300ER, 787-8, Q300, Q400

Popular Searches On

Top Photos of Last:   24 Hours  •  48 Hours  •  7 Days  •  30 Days  •  180 Days  •  365 Days  •  All Time

Military Aircraft Every type from fighters to helicopters from air forces around the globe

Classic Airliners Props and jets from the good old days

Flight Decks Views from inside the cockpit

Aircraft Cabins Passenger cabin shots showing seat arrangements as well as cargo aircraft interior

Cargo Aircraft Pictures of great freighter aircraft

Government Aircraft Aircraft flying government officials

Helicopters Our large helicopter section. Both military and civil versions

Blimps / Airships Everything from the Goodyear blimp to the Zeppelin

Night Photos Beautiful shots taken while the sun is below the horizon

Accidents Accident, incident and crash related photos

Air to Air Photos taken by airborne photographers of airborne aircraft

Special Paint Schemes Aircraft painted in beautiful and original liveries

Airport Overviews Airport overviews from the air or ground

Tails and Winglets Tail and Winglet closeups with beautiful airline logos