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Engineers and pilots favourite and least favourite aeroplanes

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Engineers and pilots favourite and least favourite aeroplanes

Old 28th Feb 2022, 10:33
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Engineers and pilots favourite and least favourite aeroplanes

Which aeroplanes, in your opinions, were great from a pilot perspective but not so easy to maintain ? And vice versa. I've heard praise from both quarters for the early DC9s and 737s. Descriptions such as rugged, simple, belt and braces. Conversely, I've heard at least one pilot describe the Jetstream 41 as a pilot's aeroplane but I've worked with several engineers who were less complimentary. I haven't yet spoken to a pilot who didn't like flying the Viscount, 757 or TriStar but, again, I gather the TriStar could be a pig to maintain.

Any stories or opinions? Thankyou.
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Old 28th Feb 2022, 11:19
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Time to resurrect Eric "Winkle" Brown's classic quote about an aircraft he was testing (variously attributed to the Blackburn Botha and/or the Westland Wyvern): "Access to the cockpit is difficult. It should be made impossible."
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Old 28th Feb 2022, 11:26
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The B757 has many good points, but in turbulence the ride in row zero is very poor. There seems to be a fuselage resonance which soon builds to the tea-spilling stage. The 767 does not suffer that, and is better in other ways too - e.g. more logical systems, notably hyd and pneumatic. Of the two, I much preferred the 767.
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Old 28th Feb 2022, 11:55
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Bae ATP. Another Technical Problem.
Absolute dog toffee of an aeroplane to maintain.
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Old 28th Feb 2022, 13:00
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The B757 has many good points, but in turbulence the ride in row zero is very poor. There seems to be a fuselage resonance which soon builds to the tea-spilling stage
Never flew it, but I recall it being known as the racing snake.
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Old 28th Feb 2022, 13:38
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Yes, perhaps a reference to the high idle thrust (on the RB211) with engine anti-ice on, when it is most reluctant to slow down. Makes winter approaches interesting.
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Old 28th Feb 2022, 15:43
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I once knew a pilot - now deceased - who had flown various British types in his long career, including the Viscount, HS748, ATP and 146. He once said the Viscount was "a beautiful aeroplane to fly" whilst pointing at the ATP parked outside the office and essentially saying the latter type just didn't compare.
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Old 28th Feb 2022, 16:02
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The DH Dove was a delight to fly but the inverted engines made changing cylinder heads a very messy job. Other than that, I didn’t hear our engineers complaining too much.
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Old 28th Feb 2022, 16:06
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Most of my engineering history has been on piston-engined aircraft, small and large. Favourites are DC3, An2, Dove and Heron. Despised are Jodels, Robins and Grumman AA5s. I wouldn't do overtime on any of them.
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Old 28th Feb 2022, 16:08
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Fokker F-27 Friendship. Simple, rugged, never let you down. The original "gentleman's horseless carriage". I can't recall the engineers complaining too much either.

Alternatively, the aircraft you are currently flying (with some exceptions)

Last edited by Herod; 28th Feb 2022 at 16:10. Reason: Additional Text
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Old 28th Feb 2022, 16:21
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DA-42 (‘06) with the original Thielert 1.7L, what an absolute delight to fly.
Gave our Head of Maintenance sleepless nights and heartburn though.
Every single later incarnation took away from that initial brilliant airplane.
A fuel hog with the Lycomings and just a hog in every aspect with the Austro’s
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Old 28th Feb 2022, 16:40
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BAe146 from a contractor engineer's point of view. Always lots of work to keep the money rolling in.
A lot of people hated them but I loved them. Just the right size, big enough to be a proper aeroplane without too much cabin/seats/galley/IFE stuff to deal with.
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Old 28th Feb 2022, 17:00
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I'm a short-a*** and for me the worst aircraft to get in and out off was by far the unlamented Edgar Percival EP9 - one needs to be virually double-joined and heaven help you if you needed to get out in a hurry.. The Vampire's cockpit is also cramed and untidy ... luckily I'm not too claustrophobic.
I've worked on many types but by nationality British ones were horrible - no space to get in an access hole with a normal wrist as well as a spanner. Here I refer to types such as the Spitire (airframe fuel and hydraulic systems especially) and Vampire (working on a Goblin in situ) French ones such as their helicopters were great and American ones such as C47, AT6 and even the Mustang also nice.
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Old 28th Feb 2022, 17:35
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The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

Embraer 145, hardly goes wrong on my time working on them.
SAAB 2K always going tech for something.
Jetstream 41.. Jurassic, noisy and horrible to work on.
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Old 28th Feb 2022, 17:54
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Slightly off topic but loading containers into the belly of Lakers DC-10's and A.300's showed a certain diveregence of design philosophy - the DC-10 system was simple, rugged and mechanical. The A.300's wasn't - computerised sensors etc. Worked ok so long as all your containers were absolutely true and square....
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Old 28th Feb 2022, 17:57
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Originally Posted by stevef View Post
Most of my engineering history has been on piston-engined aircraft, small and large. Favourites are DC3, An2, Dove and Heron. Despised are Jodels, Robins and Grumman AA5s. I wouldn't do overtime on any of them.
So big = good; small = not so much
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Old 28th Feb 2022, 18:08
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B757 was a delight. Lighter on the controls than a 76, beautifully responsive with oodles of power, RB211 535e4. Yes, it was like sitting on the end of a vibrating ruler in chop. Even easier to land than a VC 10, both had trailing trucks but the 76 had them on the wrong way round and the 75 was much simpler to operate !
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Old 28th Feb 2022, 18:11
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The MD900 Explorer is a maintenance engineer's nightmare - requires more planned maintenance per year than any other aircraft I know, maintenance manuals are ambiguous and poorly written, spare part availability is poor. However, all pilots I know are in love with it.

I also hated to work on the B737, which is praised by many pilots, but is full of outdated systems. I was working on it together with the A320, and the contrast is huge. The latter is the most user friendly aircraft I have ever seen.
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Old 28th Feb 2022, 18:54
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Another vote for the B757 !
Generally a nice aircraft to work on.

I'm surprised no one has mentioned the BAC 1-11, there was a joke that the designer's daughter must have been raped by an aircraft engineer !
I only had very limited experience working on them but I remember some bits were a bit of a nightmare to get to.
Although every pilot I ever spoke to seemed to love them.
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Old 28th Feb 2022, 19:50
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Originally Posted by Webby737 View Post
Another vote for the B757 !
Generally a nice aircraft to work on.

I'm surprised no one has mentioned the BAC 1-11, there was a joke that the designer's daughter must have been raped by an aircraft engineer !
I only had very limited experience working on them but I remember some bits were a bit of a nightmare to get to.
Although every pilot I ever spoke to seemed to love them.
The Sikorsky S76. I love the stone age technology of holding the horizontal stabiliser in place with wedges.
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