Don't you just love these guys too ? Was once told by an instructor that the only silly questions, are the ones you do not dare to ask.
Anyway, both a-busses and lazy-b's share more or less similar engine's. There are of course differences from the, for instance, RR Trent mounted on an A330 vs. the one on a B777. But all of the big 3 engine builders (GE / PW / RR) supplies both manufacturers.
However, the design philosophys of Boeing & Airbus are quite different, views on who's the better are abundant on this forum. All Airbuses except the 300 & 310 are fly-by-wire controlled, and the control column has been replaced by a joystick.
All Boeings except the 777 are all controlled by mechanical links.
Fact of the matter is that both manufactureres has succeded in producing a family of aircraft, which generally deliveres their payloads safely and economically from point a to point b, at more or less the same speed.
PH From a pilots point of view I have to reluctantly agree with 18wheeler-Boeings integration of the pilot is far superior to Airbus.In the early 1980s the technical director of Airbus declared it was AIs intention to remove pilots from the front end-good PR move.The A320 was supposed to be a step in this direction with its pilot button pusher/monitoring concept.I think AI have now accepted that,in our lifetime,pax will not climb aboard an a/c without at least one pilot in the cockpit.Unfortunately no significant design philosophy changes were made to the A330/340 when they were introduced. On the other side of the coin,as SGB said, Airbus aircraft are far better built-go and have close look at a 747 then an A340. Two reasons for this 1 airbus design specifications far higher 2 Airbus partners have engineering apprenticeships between 3 & 5 years .Boeing have a USA hire/fire approach with a lot more unskilled/semiskilled people(checkout the thread on FAA audit failures) Airbus a/c are far more efficient than an equivalent Boeing - compare an A320 wing aerodynamically with any 737 ; no contest.
[This message has been edited by alosaurus (edited 28 November 2000).]
On the subject of yoke versus side-stick, I found that I became used to the handling of the the side stick in short order. There is no real logic in having a large intrusive object between your legs - if you catch my meaning. Once you have the arm rest positioned ok the side stick is perfectly comfortable and instinctive. BUT
There is a problem, albeit soluble, and especially for people who have alot of hours who are converting, in that there are these things called 'control laws'. These are the problem and the solution would be much easier if Airbus took alot more trouble in explaining them;instead of sort of insinuating that anyone who is a little puzzled at first is some kind of blinkered stick-in-the-mud.
I have no problem with side sticks having got used to them. I do wonder though why Airbus went to all the bother of developing 'Normal' and 'Alternate' law when 'Direct' law was perhaps all that was necessary.
I do think that people who say things like 'Airbus Always' or 'Not Boeing - Not Going' are a little puerile.
As I said on another post, consider the following:-
Pilot - Computer - Aeroplane
Computer - Pilot - Aeroplane
Which is the safer? It makes for a good discussion at least.
Philosophically, Boeing have had a long time to learn from "tombstone technology", Airbus are relative newcomers, but they'll learn from their mistakes just as well as Boeing have.
Fact of the matter is, when you strap your rear end to the airplane, it doesn't matter whether it's been built by Boeing, Airbus or your local kit-builder, you stop worrying about who built it and start hoping it gets where you are going intact. If you fly either of the big two your chances are pretty good!
When comparing the larger 2 aircraft there is a fair bit of difference( A340 VS 747 AND A330 VS 767). The first one is cruise speed. The 747 is a good deal quicker- 0.3 M? in the cruise than the A340 as is the 767 over the 330. Then there is capacity, which in the case of the 747-400 is a fair bit more than the A340-300. In terms of avionics the A340 cockpit is more advanced and ergonomic than is the 747's. All in all both are fine aircraft.
A question here. I have noticed that the airbus types have a steering tiller on the F/O's side. Does the F/O steer the aircraft on his sector, and respond to checklist challenges? Or does the commander maintain the status quo, and dictate the flow over the forward battlefield.
It is my understanding that the winglets on some Airbus aircraft were in fact designed by Boeing under a NASA contract.
The design was given to Airbus free but any US Airframe manufacturer that wants to use the design has to pay NASA for the rights. It seems that Airbus operators are saving fuel at the expense of the US taxpayers.
Bahamas - in my Co the SOP is that the FO does so all the 'steering', checklist responses etc in the same way as the skipper on his sectors. The only difference Chocks to Chocks (on a normal sector) is that the Capt makes the welcome on board PA (and gets to chose which dinner he/she wants )
£0.02 - Most people I fly with who have experience of both types say that whilst Boeings can be more fun/rewarding to fly, Airbus flight decks are a nicer working environment