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B737900
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What Are These Marks?

Wed Feb 24, 2016 12:34 am

https://www.airliners.net/FC_nowm.fil...u=THwyNzgzODc4fGQ5ZzhoN2o2cXdlcnR5 I was looking at the fine photo by Pascal Maillot of the B747-428 in todays Top 5 Photos and noticed what appeared to be magic marker reference marks to the left and right of the Pilot and First Officer. Quite visible but I have no idea what they are. Anybody out there have a clue?

[Edited 2016-02-23 16:47:13]

[Edited 2016-02-23 16:51:06]
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skyhawkmatthew
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RE: What Are These Marks?

Wed Feb 24, 2016 1:06 am

Those are reference marks used to set the seating position correctly. Many other types have a set of 3 balls attached to the central windscreen pillar for this purpose, but for whatever reason the 747 uses these lines on the side pillars.
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7BOEING7
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RE: What Are These Marks?

Wed Feb 24, 2016 3:05 am

The "seat alignment balls" basically ended with the demise of the 727 and 732. The system pictured began with the 757/767 but has been replaced in all Boeing airplanes with visual cues based on the flight instruments and glareshield visability. All Nippon/Nippon Cargo continued to take delivery of their 747's with "seat alignment balls" until their last 744's in 2000/2009 respectively.

There was a similar discussion on TECH/OPS (?) recently but I couldn't find it.
 
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TWA772LR
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RE: What Are These Marks?

Wed Feb 24, 2016 4:24 am

Embraer aircraft still use the balls so they aren't gone yet.
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skyhawkmatthew
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RE: What Are These Marks?

Wed Feb 24, 2016 5:00 am

Quoting TWA772LR (Reply 3):
Embraer aircraft still use the balls so they aren't gone yet.

As do Airbus, including the A350
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nema
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RE: What Are These Marks?

Wed Feb 24, 2016 6:33 am

So, for the laymans layman, how are these marks used for the seating position reference?
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skyhawkmatthew
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RE: What Are These Marks?

Wed Feb 24, 2016 6:57 am

Quoting nema (Reply 5):
So, for the laymans layman, how are these marks used for the seating position reference?

I haven't yet flown a type with the lines on the pillar, but with the ball system, the balls are arranged with one attached to the centre of the pillar, and two (one for each pilot) attached to stalks protruding diagonally from the pillar.

You adjust your seat vertically and horizontally until the closer ball (on a stick) obscures the farther ball (attached to the pillar).

In theory, at this point, your eye is correctly positioned for the design "view" out the windscreen for low-visibility approaches, and your body is approximately where it should be for optimal access to switches and controls. Some adjustment away from the position given by the balls may be required, but it's very handy as an initial reference.

[Edited 2016-02-23 23:01:06]
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DocLightning
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RE: What Are These Marks?

Wed Feb 24, 2016 7:01 am

Quoting skyhawkmatthew (Reply 6):

I haven't yet flown a type with the lines on the pillar, but with the ball system, the balls are arranged with one attached to the centre of the pillar, and two (one for each pilot) attached to stalks protruding diagonally from the pillar.

You adjust your seat vertically and horizontally until the closer ball (on a stick) obscures the farther ball (attached to the pillar).
https://theflyingengineer.files.wordpress.com/2012/10/q400-seat-position-sight-gauge.jpg

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nema
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RE: What Are These Marks?

Wed Feb 24, 2016 1:30 pm

Quoting skyhawkmatthew (Reply 6):
You adjust your seat vertically and horizontally until the closer ball (on a stick) obscures the farther ball (attached to the pillar).

Thanks for that and for DocLightning with the photo. Makes sense and clearly understood.

I Googled 747 seat adjustment and found these useful comments on another forum..

"On the 74s I have flown, there is a crossed-tape marker on the window post, the horizontal part being the eye level and the vertical showing fore/aft location. I have to say that I use it only as a guide and that my ideal position is usually slightly above and behind the cross."

So the guide is to have your eye line level with the horizontal marker, the point is that your eye-height on the 747 needs to be such that you can just see over and down the top of the glareshield.

Ive also found an earlier matching topic from 2000 on here..

+ Sign On 747 Cockpit (by 744lover Jun 11 2005 in Tech Ops)
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Toni_
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RE: What Are These Marks?

Wed Feb 24, 2016 8:33 pm

Quoting 7BOEING7 (Reply 2):
All Nippon/Nippon Cargo continued to take delivery of their 747's with "seat alignment balls" until their last 744's in 2000/2009 respectively.


The KLM 744's have them too. Did they get theirs delivered with them or were they added in a mod?

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gcb5196
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RE: What Are These Marks?

Thu Feb 25, 2016 2:05 am

CRJ's have the balls
 
HAL
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RE: What Are These Marks?

Thu Feb 25, 2016 9:32 am

Many Boeing aircraft are delivered without the markings on the side pillar, or the alignment balls. None of the 767s I flew for HA had them. We simply aligned our view so we were looking directly down (parallel) the top surface of the glareshield, and a comfortable distance from the control yoke.

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7BOEING7
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RE: What Are These Marks?

Thu Feb 25, 2016 9:26 pm

Quoting Toni_ (Reply 9):
The KLM 744's have them too. Did they get theirs delivered with them or were they added in a mod?

It as an option not many airlines got. I'll add KLM to my memory bank.



Quoting HAL (Reply 11):
Many Boeing aircraft are delivered without the markings on the side pillar, or the alignment balls. None of the 767s I flew for HA had them. We simply aligned our view so we were looking directly down (parallel) the top surface of the glareshield, and a comfortable distance from the control yoke.

My bad (memory). 757/767 didn't have the markings and used two step system described below as you mentioned.

1) Sight along the upper surface of the glareshield.

2) Sight over control column until bottom of HSI is visible.


In the late 70's a crotchety old production flight test pilot at Boeing continually made write-ups (squawks) about the "seat alignments balls" being out of adjustment -- in his opinion. When he was forced into retirement in the early 80's, one of his going away gifts was a seat alignment ball model to be attached to the hood of his car where the balls were the size of baseballs .

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