flying Boeing now for over a decade I'd like to know if there's something the Airbus isn't doing so good (like not keeping speed in Descend etc...). A friend of mine, being Airbus engineer is bashing Boeing all the time so I'd like to have some answers for him.
Having flown the A320 continuously for 20 years and A330 for 10 years with over 14000 flying hours on both types I can honestly say I have only ever had minor issues now and again! The most common being occasional electrical glitches on cold damp mornings till the circuits get warmed up!
Having said that in 6 years of flying the B737 previously, I cannot remember any significant faults on that type either.
Maybe I was just very lucky!
The Viscount however.....now that's another story!
* Pushing for managed descent if you've missed the TOD results in an alarming dive towards the barber pole at 0.79 and above. Use open descent instead.
* Forgetting to activate the approach phase and pushing for managed speed. Generally you've just taken flap one and the aircraft then applies full thrust as 250kts becomes the speed target. There's those that have, and those that will...
* Speed brake with flap one in a 319 upsets the auto thrust and it'll settle about 10 kts fast. Airbus deny emphatically that this happens.
* In an automatic go around, ram the thrust levers to the stops. Even fractionally short will require a change of underwear as you fly the ILS at TOGA power.
Many more where these came from.
Last edited by David Horn; 17th Oct 2012 at 18:49.
Near planned top of descent, Push for Managed Descent, donut stays level, a/c maintains almost level flight, approx - 300 fpm, THR IDLE | DES | NAV on the FMA, N1 Idle, aircraft slowing towards bottom of speed window, even to below green dot if you let it. I see this a few times a year, even after FMGS Revision 1A which overhauled vertical navigation. Hmmph.
Any FBW aircraft is one very large IT project, it just happens to have wings and engines attached etc.
As one with a previous career in the IT industry I can tell you that it is an inescapable fact that ALL IT systems are riddled with bugs whether they may be logic errors or syntax errors etc.
Despite the most rigorous testing, any software driving any system whether it be an aircraft or a can opener will be carrying many many BUGS. The fact that we encounter them so rarely and they are of such insignificance is the only thing that surprises me.
It's not a Boeing vs Airbus thing it's a FBW thing.
Had a problem last year where every time I tried to manage speed, after about 3 seconds it would revert back to selected speed. Rather that than the other way round!
Vertical profile after an altitude constraint - in DES mode the aircraft will continue to descend on the profile calculated prior to the constraint even after it has passed it. A quick DIR TO will cure this before you end up 5000ft low.
Last edited by FliegerTiger; 18th Oct 2012 at 14:23.
Your friend is engaging in a pointless argument. There are pros and cons to the approaches followed by both Airbus and Boeing and if the historical record is anything to go by it would appear that they cancel each other out in terms of an objective appraisal in engineering and safety terms.
No matter what gets thrown around, the fact is that both airframe manufacturers are responsible for designs that have improved safety records over the last few decades. Anything else is just pointless willy-waving.
I am a big Airbus fan, I love their aircraft. But there were simply none of these issues on the Boeing, like the inexplicable occasional inability to maintain speed in cruise or approach, or settling 10 kts above Vapp after using speedbrakes.
Well, how about that for coincidences? First time I see a VOR on emergency power in the '319 it spells out a word and makes me think it is somehow a bug. I am laughing through a loopy haze of fatigue at my own stupidity, but yeah...