View Full Version : SAFEE,safe aircraft in future european environment

2nd Jun 2004, 17:37
There is a project led by SAGEM,BAE,NLR,Airbus de,Thalès....and sponsored by the EU,which in case of "unlawful" take-over of the aircraft will lock-out everybody on board-including the aircrew-of the flight controls;the airplane will then be "flown" from the ground to a safe landing on some out-of-the-way airfield.
Some very hard questions here to answer,right?
As my information is rather sketchy,I am counting on you lot to help on this discussion.

Mods please,I'd like this to stay on R&N as it affects our future!

3rd Jun 2004, 15:35
Don't know about the Airbus family but on all the Boeings I've ever flown, a certain amount of pilot input is required before the aircraft can actually land 'automatically'. To the uninitiated, the most important of these actions include:

1. Setting the Autobrake
2. Arming the LOC and GS
3. Lowering the landing gear
4. Making the appropriate flap selections.

Now, assuming that they do invent this 'override' function and can reprogram the FMC and direct the a/c to a new destination, I would think that the modifications required to permit the controlling of the above numbered items alone would make the cost of potentially saving a few thousand human lives prohibitive. To use the automatic functions as they are today, and assuming full CATIIIB (rules out B737's) availability at the destination airport would still require so much investment that I would hazard a bet that the powers that be will find it cheaper to scramble a few fighters armed with air to air 'autoland' missiles! :rolleyes:

Why not just design some ejecting passenger pods? I seem to recall one person posting here many years ago actually trying to patent his own design. I think the Chemtrailers finally got to him though! :} Breath holding not advised!

3rd Jun 2004, 17:03
Armed with very few facts, on face value, I think this is a poorly considered idea.

I'm sure this has been discussed in the various post 911 threads previously, but surely:

If the flight control system has a back door remote override system, then the terrorists don't even have to be on the plane, right?

I wonder whether the fact that this would be much easier to implement in Airbii is in any way related to the fact Airbus is on the project team? If they made this idea 'de facto' just think how much hassle that would give Boeing in terms of compliance mods!

4th Jun 2004, 08:14
More info :
The project started last year as a EU Commission sponsored-to the initial amount of 37Million Euros-study.
Here is the link to a PP presentation of the status of the project :
I am sure other googles would come out with more but I thought this could be the best introduction to the subject.
Looking at the 5 identified subprojects gives a chill to my spine as beyond the technocratic jargon there is definitely a will and an intent to see the study to the end.
I do not think it is another AvsB war as it looks very much like an eventual implementation of a ground control take-over of an airplane,officially for security reasons.

One of the main problems of fighter intervention in Europe is where the decision rests:ie,Nato fighters (let's say British for example's sake) over Germany and facing the threat of a highjacked airplane being flown towards Frankfurt...who gives the order?
I understand this is a very sensitive subject but I'd really like our colleagues to start looking to a seemingly far-fetched sci-fi goofy brainstorming exercise but which could in reality be a lot closer than we'd thought.
After all,we discussed the cockpit door locking policy at length...look where we are now.

Dr Dave
4th Jun 2004, 09:44
Before anyone get's too upset about this in terms of some kind of European conspiracy, note that NASA is also thinking along similar lines. If you look at the following documnet, which is NASA's Aviation Safety and Security Aviation Safety and Security Program Overview Program Overview - Independent Implementation Review, you will see on p67-68 programmes on 'refuse to crash aircraft' and 'self recovering )landing ) aircraft.

NASA strategy (https://postdoc.arc.nasa.gov/cgi-bin/postdoc/get/download/AvSSP%20IIR%20Overview.pdf?url_id=128254&ext=pdf)

Note it is a 68 page colour PDF - so rather large

In these security-obsessed days, this kind of programme is inevitable. Preventing implementation will be the key.

Dr Dave

ATC Watcher
4th Jun 2004, 10:30
The the recent successes of the Globalhawk UAV has given some ideas to young earger top advisors.
The project, (i.e. to study the feasibility of ) will go ahead on both sides of the Atlantic as politicians are calling the shots on that one .
The weakest part of the whole project is the data link.
On Global hawk, there is little interference from the ground . The aircrfat is programmed beforehand, and it has autonomy such as to decide to go around if there is too much crosswind, as it did recently, etc..).

Securing the datalink is a nighmare.

Also once the system/link is known, it should also be impossible from anywhere in the aircraft to disable it... that means no circuit breakers, etc.. another safety issue in case electical malfunctions, fire, etc..
I guess the study is challenging and will take some time, but it also paves the way to totally umnanned flight...

Because in the mind of some, what is more secured than a armed plated cockpit door ? : no cocpit door and even more secured than that ?: no cockpit at all.

But those neocons political advisors should maybe be told that Hijacking a datalink from the ground is perhaps much easier and far less risky that boarding an aeroplane full of pax.