Sachmet wrote:In general the tendency is to optimize economics. Whatever the propaganda - cost is the essential factor in commercial aviation. It is every where else so why the hypocrisy? Sure statistical spoken it has become safer (for the average consumer) but it is also optimized into a pre-planned and boring thing that will easily fail outside of this narrow set of parameters. Take a global crisis (war, financial, economic) and you will find those new planes and the manager-pilot to be lot less safe that the good old ones!. We already are on a path toward this and I prefer four engines and a three man cockpit with pilots that can happily fly the aircraft without any automation.
More automation isn't the answer to compensate for unskilled, untalented, stressed crew or unstable air-planes that need to save a further 5% fuel so that everyone can feel more "ecological" when they go on vacation on the other side of the globe.
Aviation has had a greater share of profiting from the electronic media than many other sectors where when things go south no picture or photo goes around the world even if many more people are dying every year from the reckless use of more and more technology. Commercial aviation is under a heavy pressure to avoid casualties at (almost) any cost. Let the news focus on other forms of dying and I can promise you - no matter the improvement in automation - the accident rate will climb fast if for no other reason.
Lets hope they will find the CVR before this goes under the carpet to all the other "unclear/pilot-error" files. The folks at Boeing are rightly nervous every-time automation comes up in an accident giving the MAX disaster. Not that I have the slightest hope for any profound change in the aviation industry or beyond...
The 737-300 was introduced in 1984 (737-500 predecessor). This was pre-CPU-driven automation by about three years (A320).