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convair880mfan
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Flight Deck Temperature Comfort

Mon Jul 12, 2021 2:32 pm

I read a couple of articles awhile back by airline pilots who flew the Boeing 707. Both wrote that the flight deck got uncomfortably and uncontrollably hot at times, especially while flying the pattern on warm days. One, pilot, I think, described it as 'miserable.'

I am interested in what pilots and others know about the climate conditions of other jetliner types. One pilot who wrote an article in a book said the Lockheed L-1011 Tristar air conditioning kept the flight deck cool during all phases of flight.

How about other jetliner flight decks?
 
Avgeek21
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Re: Flight Deck Temperature Comfort

Mon Jul 12, 2021 3:00 pm

The E-Jet E1 struggles with the heat and can’t keep it cool. Once airborne it’s fine.

The 737 does a fine job in both hot and cold climates. Oddly some aircraft are way better at it than others.
 
jetmatt777
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Re: Flight Deck Temperature Comfort

Mon Jul 12, 2021 4:53 pm

I am not a pilot but I notice a lot of E145 pilots have foil sunshades that cover the entire window surface. I have seen other aircraft have them like what you would use in your car to just block the main areas; but the 145 guys block every square inch of the window. So I assume that cockpit gets very hot.
 
LASVegan
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Re: Flight Deck Temperature Comfort

Mon Jul 12, 2021 6:17 pm

Airbus 320 cockpit gets quite cold by the feet and legs on longer flights (3 plus hours). Some 320s are actually fitted with feet warmers in the cockpit, though my airlines current fleet doesn’t have them. The flip side is that the cockpit stays quite comfortable on hot days on the ground if the apu is running.
 
VMCA787
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Re: Flight Deck Temperature Comfort

Mon Jul 12, 2021 8:17 pm

I flew the DC-10 for about a year and then went to the 747. The DC-10 was the best aircraft I have flown when it comes to cockpit comfort. IIRC, the #1 pack was dedicated to the cockpit only. You could sit there with OAT of 40+ and high humidity and you would be very comfortable. The 747 on the other hand, would be a sauna by that time. Granted the 74 cooled down in flight but on the ground it wasn't that good.
Fly fast, live slow!
 
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DL_Mech
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Re: Flight Deck Temperature Comfort

Mon Jul 12, 2021 8:22 pm

convair880mfan wrote:
I read a couple of articles awhile back by airline pilots who flew the Boeing 707. Both wrote that the flight deck got uncomfortably and uncontrollably hot at times, especially while flying the pattern on warm days. One, pilot, I think, described it as 'miserable.'


Some 707s (and DC-8s)had a vapor cycle air conditioning system (Freon Pack) vs. the typical air cycle machines used today. Those vapor cycle packs were similar to a home/automotive system and were not as dependable as the air cycle machines. I can recall some warm flights (as a passenger) on the 707.

The L-1011s had lots of air vents below the cockpit windows which provided good air flow. It’s great when small chunks of ice come spitting out through those vents.

This plane is built to withstand anything... except a bad pilot.

Former AMT on A220,A310,A319/20/21,A330,A350,B707,B717,B727,B737,B747,B757,B767,B777,DC-9,DC-10,L-1011,
MD-80/90,MD-11
 
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Starlionblue
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Re: Flight Deck Temperature Comfort

Tue Jul 13, 2021 1:07 am

The A330 and A350 are fine, with quite consistent temperature. The A350 seems a bit more efficient on the cooling front. Since we fly both, many guys seem to set the knob at the same setting as the A330, often resulting in a bit of a chill.

There are plenty of adjustable air vents, including a gasper that you can point at your face/torso.

I always carry a thin jumper in my flight bag. This is especially useful on overnight flights where I'll probably be a little tired and get cold.
"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots." - John Ringo
 
Max Q
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Re: Flight Deck Temperature Comfort

Tue Jul 13, 2021 4:45 am

The 727 packs couldn’t really cope on the summer, it would get very hot in the cockpit, it did at least have reasonably good airflow however


Conversely, at night, especially in the winter it was difficult to keep the two front seats warm enough after an hour or so in the cruise. I remember wearing a sweater, my uniform coat and an overcoat sometimes it got so cold. The Engineer would be sweating at his panel and the Captain and I would be freezing, like there was an invisible temperature curtain between us


The MD80 stayed warm enough in flight but on the ground it was terrible, very weak airflow, it got so hot in the cockpit sometimes we’d resort to opening the cockpit windows and closing the outflow valve, you’d get an enormous rush of air from the back that exited through our windows and gave us some relief


The 757 and 767 were just in a completely different ballpark, there was always more than adequate cooling and heating available


Just one example, I was brand new on the 757 and we showed up at the airport in Las Vegas in the middle of summer, the aircraft had been sitting on the ramp with no electrical power or AC for hours, it was over 150F when I got on board


In the 727 or MD80 with no precooled external air available that would have been a nightmare, the packs would never have cooled it off, it would take about an hour after take off before reaching normal temperatures in the cabin and cockpit



On this day in LAS I started the APU, put the packs on and in 20 minutes it was comfortable in the cockpit and throughout the aircraft, I was amazed



The older aircraft could be kept somewhat cool if you did everything right but once they got hot forget it, if you didn’t have external AC you pretty much had to take off to cool things off, nothing else worked


Reminds me of a story, some time ago a DC 8 that belonged to a South American carrier was in a long line for take off at Miami in the middle of summer.


This DC8 was painted black all over, the worst possible color to keep an aircraft cool. After some time this aircraft’s FO gets on the radio and asks if they can taxi around all the aircraft ahead and get priority for take off


The tower naturally did not want to provide this special treatment and told them do


In response the crew radioed back ‘it’s so hot in the back now if we can’t take off I think some people gonna die’


There was a moments silence while the tower controller digested this, he then gave instructions for this DC 8 to taxi around all the aircraft ahead and gave him immediate take off clearance once he reached the runway


It can get pretty hot in that aluminum tube..
The best contribution to safety is a competent Pilot.


GGg
 
shamrock137
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Re: Flight Deck Temperature Comfort

Tue Jul 13, 2021 11:18 am

Avgeek21 wrote:
The 737 does a fine job in both hot and cold climates. Oddly some aircraft are way better at it than others.


Interesting, as a passenger some of my most uncomfortable flights in regards to cabin temp on the ground have been in the 737. The 739 specifically seems to have a hard time cooling off on a warm day.

I'd add the CRJ-200 as being generally useless at keeping the cabin / cockpit cool in the summer. Dash-8 as well. I remember being a passenger on a Dash-8 from EWR in the summer, even in cruise the cabin just never cooled off.
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Woodreau
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Re: Flight Deck Temperature Comfort

Tue Jul 13, 2021 3:12 pm

LASVegan wrote:
Airbus 320 cockpit gets quite cold by the feet and legs on longer flights (3 plus hours). Some 320s are actually fitted with feet warmers in the cockpit, though my airlines current fleet doesn’t have them. The flip side is that the cockpit stays quite comfortable on hot days on the ground if the apu is running.


Interestingly, I find the opposite to be true. It is quite uncomfortable in the cockpit of a 320 if you take too long to get the ground air disconnected and onto the packs/APU. The only way to keep up is to put up window shades.

But I have seen a 49c temp cabin in LAS after the plane had sat on the gate for a few hours with no ground air connected cool down to a comfortable 22c for boarding in 20 minutes using the APU running the packs. The cockpit didn't cool down until I put up the sunshades.

In flight - it's quite comfortable even on the 5-6 hr transcons - the cockpit stays at a constant 24c - the COND page shows the conditioned air going into the cockpit at 28-30c. You have to open all of the air vents. If you close all of the air vents because you're cold, all that happens is the cockpit gets even colder as the flight progresses. All of our feet warmers are placarded "INOP" they were deactivated when we took delivery of the aircraft from other air carriers that had the footwarmer option installed.



The 1900 had no conditioned air capability when at the gate/hardstand. No APU. So if you didn't put up the window shades you were looking at sweating in the cockpit sitting in 38-48c cockpit temp doing the paperwork while the FO boarded and briefed the passengers. So often I'd be outside doing the paperwork standing next to the FO boarding the passengers. We'd demonstrate the proper use of the safety briefing cards for cabin cooling. Once the passenger door was closed and we got the engines going, the VCM would do a heroic but vain attempt to cool the cabin, so you'd just be drenched in sweat taxiing around for takeoff, doing the before takeoff checklist, and the 2 ACMs didn't cool the cabin/cockpit until we got in the air and leveled off at cruise. Once at cruise you could freeze the cabin if you didn't pay attention to the temp controllers. So thank goodness it was usually less than 2 minutes from after start to before takeoff checklist and rolling down the runway.
Last edited by Woodreau on Tue Jul 13, 2021 3:18 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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bigb
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Re: Flight Deck Temperature Comfort

Tue Jul 13, 2021 3:18 pm

CRJ-200s were terrible of the PACKs were weak. In-flight and on ground.

CRJ-700/900s were good.

747 is good in-flight, not great on the ground. It would get warm up there.


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ATP, CFI, CFII, MEI, B747-400, CRJ-200/700/900
 
GalaxyFlyer
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Re: Flight Deck Temperature Comfort

Tue Jul 13, 2021 8:19 pm

Yes, the 727 engineer’s panel could throw off some with all those bulbs and switches.
 
Max Q
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Re: Flight Deck Temperature Comfort

Tue Jul 13, 2021 9:09 pm

On the older aircraft we found that pre-cooling the cabin before landing as much as possible was a big help for it to remain cool on the ground
The best contribution to safety is a competent Pilot.


GGg
 
GalaxyFlyer
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Re: Flight Deck Temperature Comfort

Sat Jul 31, 2021 11:04 pm

The C-5 flight deck, cockpit doesn’t really describe it fully, had a major failing—it wasn’t sealed up under the pilots’ feet. Normally, not a problem until unloading out the front on a cold day. The cold and wind would blow up they the unsealed areas behind the panel and freeze your feet. I mentioned to the Lockheed Engineering team who visited in the planning for the C-5M—total news to them. No one complained, I guess.
 
zanl188
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Re: Flight Deck Temperature Comfort

Sun Aug 01, 2021 11:58 am

GalaxyFlyer wrote:
The C-5 flight deck, cockpit doesn’t really describe it fully, had a major failing—it wasn’t sealed up under the pilots’ feet. Normally, not a problem until unloading out the front on a cold day. The cold and wind would blow up they the unsealed areas behind the panel and freeze your feet. I mentioned to the Lockheed Engineering team who visited in the planning for the C-5M—total news to them. No one complained, I guess.


Intentional? To keep flight deck from collapsing if cargo compartment depressurizes. Thinking about that open grid flooring on the troop deck….
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N1120A
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Re: Flight Deck Temperature Comfort

Sun Aug 01, 2021 12:24 pm

Of course, it doesn't matter what kind of plane it is if you're on Lufthansa, especially with a MUC crew. Those heaters will be on and it will be miserable :-P
Mangeons les French fries, mais surtout pratiquons avec fierte le French kiss
 
GalaxyFlyer
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Re: Flight Deck Temperature Comfort

Sun Aug 01, 2021 2:02 pm

zanl188 wrote:
GalaxyFlyer wrote:
The C-5 flight deck, cockpit doesn’t really describe it fully, had a major failing—it wasn’t sealed up under the pilots’ feet. Normally, not a problem until unloading out the front on a cold day. The cold and wind would blow up they the unsealed areas behind the panel and freeze your feet. I mentioned to the Lockheed Engineering team who visited in the planning for the C-5M—total news to them. No one complained, I guess.


Intentional? To keep flight deck from collapsing if cargo compartment depressurizes. Thinking about that open grid flooring on the troop deck….


Good question, the Lockheed team didn’t mention that, but certainly plausible.
 
Avgeek21
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Re: Flight Deck Temperature Comfort

Sun Aug 01, 2021 3:34 pm

shamrock137 wrote:
Avgeek21 wrote:
The 737 does a fine job in both hot and cold climates. Oddly some aircraft are way better at it than others.


Interesting, as a passenger some of my most uncomfortable flights in regards to cabin temp on the ground have been in the 737. The 739 specifically seems to have a hard time cooling off on a warm day.

I'd add the CRJ-200 as being generally useless at keeping the cabin / cockpit cool in the summer. Dash-8 as well. I remember being a passenger on a Dash-8 from EWR in the summer, even in cruise the cabin just never cooled off.


The question was regarding the flight deck cooling. No issues there. I most often work in climates north of 45C/110F and some aircraft struggle more than others when it comes to the cabin cooling. Never flown a 739 myself. When it's that hot outside just putting the temp controllers to max cold on ground isn't enough. We try to keep the doors/shades closed as long as possible and our engineers start cooling starts no later than 2 hrs before departure if it had extended ground time. Maybe board only through one door if pax nbrs allow and close the cargo holds quickly too. We taxi with airco from the APU not the engines as it is nearly 50% more effective in it is output of cold airflow in pounds per minute. Even so some aircraft don't really start to cool down until you reach cruise level. You are now 20-25 min in and need double that to get it down to acceptable levels. But that's only the odd aircraft. When you set takeoff thrust we all collectively go; "ahhhhh....nice!"
 
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barney captain
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Re: Flight Deck Temperature Comfort

Tue Aug 03, 2021 8:44 pm

shamrock137 wrote:
Avgeek21 wrote:
The 737 does a fine job in both hot and cold climates. Oddly some aircraft are way better at it than others.


Interesting, as a passenger some of my most uncomfortable flights in regards to cabin temp on the ground have been in the 737. The 739 specifically seems to have a hard time cooling off on a warm day.

I'd add the CRJ-200 as being generally useless at keeping the cabin / cockpit cool in the summer. Dash-8 as well. I remember being a passenger on a Dash-8 from EWR in the summer, even in cruise the cabin just never cooled off.


Completely agree. The 737 absolutely struggles to keep the cabin cool on the ground on hot days. The MAX is better than the NG's and the 800's better than the 700's (more volume).
Southeast Of Disorder
 
B777LRF
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Re: Flight Deck Temperature Comfort

Wed Aug 04, 2021 10:22 am

Old, clapped out, 727 in the desert: Utter and complete garbage; flying with the windows open was exceedingly tempting but, of course, practically impossible. We draped towels over the seats, less the next unfortunate bugger should be drenched in the sweat of the previous occupant. The FE had a particularly nasty time, but we all suffered. Except for the load-master, who would make a nest in the A position and make himself very comfortable enjoying the breeze from the not-completely-sealed main-deck door.
Old, well maintained, 757 in the desert: Couldn't care less, handles the heat with grace and dignity.
Boeing Stearman: Level of comfort directly proportional to attire; t-shirt in the summer and wearing every single piece of garment in the closet during winter.
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