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Boeing Or Airbus...Pilot's Point Of View

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Boeing Or Airbus...Pilot's Point Of View

Old 8th Apr 2002, 18:49
  #41 (permalink)  

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this is extremely silly and not PPRuNe worthy.
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Old 10th Apr 2002, 05:29
  #42 (permalink)  
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Most people would be honest in telling you that they would gladly fly the oldest piece of sh!t in northern khazakstan with yak p!$s for fuel just to get their bum into one of these types. I have been flying a 744 for a while now and i can say that although it is an older type it is built like a brick sh#t house. Sure the cockpit is sorta nailed onto that of the 747-300 and yeah the winglets are sorta glued onto the old wing but look at how many operators around the world are still flying them. I know we use twice as much fuel as the busses but hey I have been stuck behind and below a bus which i can tell you is the wrong place to be when you need a higher level for long range performance reasons. The 340-300 cruises between M.79 and M.82 if its lucky and we cruise between M.82 and M.86 ( at cost index 80-250 ). We actually climb at VMO sometimes coz we are so heavey that i swear we would fall out of the sky if we were to fly any slower, when we hit turbulence we seem to maintain a stable passenger ride, and we definatley dont need to switch the a/c packs off for takeoff ( except Johannesburg in summer), good luck to anything trying to leave there at 394 tonnes in summer without redlining all 4 engines on rotate. However my senior collegues have decided to retrain me to the A330-300 and the CCQ ( for those on bus you may know what this is) to the 340-300 and when we take delivery in september the 340-600. So now i get to spill my coffee in my lap whenever i hit light to moderate turb. I get a dining table in front of me instead of a control yoke, the only manual reversion i can control will the stab ( limited) and the rudder trim, but het the 340-600 has it all removed. I still will take off with packs off even though i will have trent 600 under the wings, but het my new plane will be made of composite plastic, and it can be returned for a new one every 5 yrs or so for a fresh plane ( just like Daewoo does with their plastic cars). I am actually looking forward to flying the bus, but i use that term loosely, it has alpha floor prtection to not allow you to stall it has auto throttle , yet the thrust lever never move, so basically it has no tactile response, which will make my job harder now trying to figure out what the hell the plane is doing. But hey i have lots to look forward to, now i will get to fly polar 1 hkg-jfk non stop, where the only ERA's have no facilities to offload the pax?
Go figure
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Old 11th Apr 2002, 13:50
  #43 (permalink)  
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Thank You Hvy 18 wheeler thats exactly the kind of response I wanted to hear. Unlike some other emotional, childish people who have got the wrong idea of my post.

Thanks again you have really encouraged me to keep on posting being very new to the PPPRUNE
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Old 11th Apr 2002, 16:57
  #44 (permalink)  

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18 wheels:

wait,watch and learn.if you are new to the concept you have got a real thrill coming to you. enjoy.....
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Old 14th Apr 2002, 19:37
  #45 (permalink)  
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: Chicago
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Airbus vs Boeing debates almost always result in hostile arguments.

Boeing and Airbus have different design ideologies.

I am probably more slanted towards Boeing. I've worked on 727's since '85 when I was hired for UAL, all the way until the end of August '01. I've been a 727 captain since '89 (12-year command time on 727's). All I can say is I loved that plane. I would have kept flying it providing they didn't retire them. I now fly the 757/767 Category.

The 757/767's have a decent degree of automation on them. The A-320 does go a bit farther however.

To be honest, people complain most about FBW. Fly-by-Wire is not really the biggest deal. FBW simply means that there are no mechanical linkages that connect to the control column and rudder pedals in the cockpit. The linkages are instead replaced with wires. Hence the name "fly-by-WIRE". The 757's and 767's have FBW technology on them. Most don't know that (spoilers), but it is true.

With a FBW plane, when you pull back on the control-column, it signals a command to the actuators which tell the elevators to deflect up. Logically a greater pull on the stick will signal a greater amount of elevator. Turn the column to the left, and it signals the left aileron to deflect up, and the right one to deflect down.

FBW does have it's problems in the fact that electrical problems can occur. Aircraft with fly-by-wire technology tend to have a great deal of electrical redundancy to compensate for this. The possibility still exists.

FBW doesn't even have to have digital computers involved. Just analog technology works just fine. The CF-105 Arrow used Analogue computers. It had full FBW too. It of course had a conventional mechanical back-up too. Both Airbus and Boeing FBW however, use Digital FBW.

The thing that Irks Boeing fans is called Performance-Envelope Protection. This is a feature which is used to keep the plane within its performance envelope (stall protection, overbank, and overspeed protection etc.). There are two types of performance envelope protection. Hard and Soft Limitation

Hard Limits: These are pre-programmed limitations which are not overrideable by the pilot. The Airbus design uses this philosophy. No matter how much the pilot tugs on his stick (no pun intended ) the plane cannot be pitched up beyond 30 degrees pitch, or banked beyond 67.5 degrees. Maximum vertical acceleration (g-force) is limited to 2.5 G's (physically the A-320 could pull 4 or so G's). To my knowledge, I think the computer will prevent descents in excess of 9,000 fpm. This as a rule can be much safer. It however may present a problem when dealing with unusual or special circumstances that require maximum capabilities of the aircraft.

Soft Limits: These are pre-programmed limitations which can be overridden by the pilot. The 777 uses this philosophy. When the computer senses that it's limits are about to be exceeded, it could sound a warning, or apply more resistance on the control-column. The 777 has a maximum bank angle of 35 degrees. When this is exceeded, the computer will automatically attempt to counter this with a 30-degree opposite bank and sound a warning which can only be shut-up by reducing the bank angle to 35 degrees or less. Soft-limits rely on pilot competence, not incompetence. Hard-limits tend to assume incompetence of the pilots. Considering that most pilots have years, and thousands of hours of experience (I have over 15,000 and about 17 years experience with UAL), I would of course rely on competence.

Many pilots (myself included) feel that they should have full control over their aircraft, and that their commands should not be interrogated by a committee of computers.

Additionally is control-interface.

The A-320 is a very radical design. It doesn't have a conventional yoke, but a sidestick instead. It's like a joystick and it's placed on the side of the cockpit (left on the Capt's side and right on the F/O's side). While people would wonder "how would you get used to that?" I could easily answer, because when I fly (with a yoke) my left hand's on the yoke, and my right hand's on the throttles. Since in some circumstances, which would require heavy control-forces (727's not that bad unless you're on manual-reversion *laughs*), you'd have both hands on the yoke, Airbus compensated by making the sidestick more sensitive. The sidestick's do not have any artificial-feel to them. Even the F-16's sidestick would move small amounts to provide a little bit of feel. This presents an interesting thing. If the F/O's flying, the captain's stick doesn't move at all. On a mechanical plane, when the F/O moves the yoke, my yoke moves too. To deal with this problem, there are "takeover" buttons, which enables one crew member to takeover. This means that his sidestick is in control. Assuming the F/O is flying the plane, my sidestick wouldn't do jack no matter how much I moved it until I hit the takeover button. Then I'd have control and his sidestick wouldn't have any effect no matter what he did. This would essentially keep control-inputs from conflicting with one another. Of course, in a properly-coordinated cockpit, both pilots REALLY should know who's flying the plane . The problem with the sidesticks is that they leave practically no room for a practical mechanical back-up. For this reason the Airbuses rely on their electrical redundancy to insure against a total failure, and their computer redundancy to prevent a computer failure. If the computer fails, they go to direct-mode. This is basically an analog FBW-backup. The analog signals can bypass the computers and go directly to the actuators. Stab trim can be controlled through trim-wheels mechanically, and rudder trim. Stab-trim is otherwise automatically controlled. The A-320 has autothrottles, but they're called "auto-thrust". When the auto-throttle makes an adjustment in engine power, the throttles do not move. This can be very confusing. The throttles can be moved into thrust-gates. This essentially sets the maximum allowable thrust into the computer. The throttle setting can be anywhere in that range, up to that point or below. This relies on the fact that the pilot would be looking at the EICAS-display to determine engine RPM. The Airbus A-320 to A-340 is a good airplane. Very safe, and very few accidents. The fact that all the accidents were due to pilot error, I find quite disturbing. People often use this to glorify the Airbuses, saying that they're infallible, and it's the pilots that f*cked the pooch and nothing more. This could also be used to argue that the plane was so radically different from all the other planes flown, that pilots, particularly ones with little experience on the type, could potentially have difficulty with the high degree of automation, and the uniqueness of the Airbus design.

The 777 uses a conventional yoke. This is often preferred by pilots (I prefer it anyway, except on very small aircraft). Additionally it is the more conventional design. It has fly-by-wire in every respect. Because of the yoke, it allows for a mechanical back-up. The inboard-ailerons (I'm not an expert on the triple-7 so don't kill me if I'm wrong), stab-trim, rudder, flaps/slats, and roll-spoilers are still controllable under mechanical control. Additional advantages of the yoke is artificial-feel. The yoke provides feedback so you do have a feel for the aircraft. Autothrottle-adjustments cause the throttles to move (just like other airliners). This is actually a very big argument pro-boeing fan's use. It's nice to know what the engines are doing. When the autothrottle commands a thrust reduction or increase, the throttles move, and since when I'm flying, my hands are on the throttles, I can feel it, even if I'm not looking at the engine instrumentation.

Essentially Airbus was trying to revolutionize aircraft design. More advanced, more computerised, more futuristic. They also wanted to build a safe plane that was uncrashable. Their ideology assumes that pilots are 'bad-computers' and (assumes the pilot to be an incompetent bumbling idiot) uses the computers to baby sit the pilot. Assuming pilot-incompetence they put in hard-limits. Their design does have a heavy degree of electric and computer redundancy, but leaves almost no room for mechanical back-up.

The Boeing ideology hasn't changed much from 1954. Boeing had the opportunity to add State-of-the-Art hydraulic technology on the 367-80 (the 707 prototype). But even though they had all this technology, they decided that making a more conventional design would be more practical. This is why the 707 is predominantly manual in control (elevators/ailerons manual, rudder hydraulic with manual reversion). Sure it makes the 707's very heavy on the controls, but the idea was to make sure it would be more like the props the pilots were used to flying. Advanced enough to be cutting edge, but conventional enough to be practical. The 777 does this to Boeing tradition. It has state of the art FBW technology, but sticks to conventional yokes as well. It also has a suitable amount of conventional mechanical back-up just in case. Boeing's philosophy also firmly believes that the pilot should be the one in charge. Not the computer. The 777 design also has performance envelope protection built-in, but has soft-limits, and lets the pilot make the ultimate decision. Since Boeing knows the pilots are obviously competent individuals, this is logically the better choice. It also requires a simpler computer code too. And for the Airbus A-320/A-330/A-340 // Boeing 777 safety argument. Not a single Boeing 777 has crashed... that's gotta say something.

-Silent Observer aka "Shorty"
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Old 15th Apr 2002, 03:44
  #46 (permalink)  
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Give me one of those old Lockheed Tritanics any day.
They were a real class act!!!!!!
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Old 17th Apr 2002, 01:36
  #47 (permalink)  
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Where I fly, we have both Boeing and Airbus. The most common comment by Boeing pilots is:

I prefer to do it like this,
(whilst grabbing an imaginary control column with both hands and thrusting back and forward......could be construed as sexual in nature)

Than like that!!!
(whilst holding an imaginary joystick in your right hand, and moving it up and down.......)

Old 17th Apr 2002, 05:27
  #48 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: Gold Coast
Age: 56
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Excellent post, SilentObserver. You've nailed it as to why I don't like Airbus, as they tend to assume the worst in our piloting ability.
As far as computer boffins go at flying planes, I trust me.

One thing the Airbus lovers can't ever tell me is that although it seems to make sense to them that the jopsticks aren't mechanicall conected and the throttles don't move when the power changes, why are the rudder pedals mechanically connected.
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Old 17th Apr 2002, 12:39
  #49 (permalink)  
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You're gonna love this, the 340-600 has given up on all Mechanical back-up.

Boeing: Built by Idiots flown by Experts.
Airbus: Built by Experts flown by Idiots.
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Old 17th Apr 2002, 22:00
  #50 (permalink)  
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Very Ineresting post Silent observer.

You see when I started the post thats the kind of feedback I was expecting. I wanted opinions not arguments. We all have our preferences. I just feel like most of us that when I'm flying I'm in charge not a damn computer. Just like when a CEO is at his desk he's in charge so when I'm in my office let me make the final decisions.

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Old 17th Apr 2002, 22:21
  #51 (permalink)  

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as I remarked earlier,this is not ppruneworthy so,why has it not been terminated?
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Old 18th Apr 2002, 07:48
  #52 (permalink)  
Join Date: Aug 1998
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Because you don't make the decisions!
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