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brown or grey cockpits?

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brown or grey cockpits?

Old 27th Sep 2019, 20:39
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brown or grey cockpits?

Dear all-knowing ppruners,
Who can explain why the 747-400 and 777 cockpits are brown, while the 737’s and 787’s are dark grey?
I personally like grey better, but who knows the deeper reason for this color choice?

keep safe, regards.
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Old 27th Sep 2019, 21:03
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The DC-9's are green
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Old 27th Sep 2019, 23:27
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Originally Posted by fox niner View Post
Dear all-knowing ppruners,
Who can explain why the 747-400 and 777 cockpits are brown, while the 737’s and 787’s are dark grey?
I personally like grey better, but who knows the deeper reason for this color choice?

keep safe, regards.
Because they used brown paint on those aircraft


Seriously I remember reading an article on this, Boeing’s research indicated that brown would make for a more restful ‘calmer’ ergonomic environment


Dunno, it certainly didn’t interfere with napping
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Old 28th Sep 2019, 01:12
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it's to match your crew meal color.....
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Old 28th Sep 2019, 07:26
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​​​​​Moving from the 747 classic to the 747-400, the warm tone felt more pleasant. Then having gotten used to the 777, the 787 felt a bit grim and a tad depressing despite the modern look.
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Old 28th Sep 2019, 08:03
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Ennnhhh - I see a lot of 737s with brown cockpits. Seems to depend on age/era.

As a guess, the introduction of larger and more colorful displays has made a dark gray as "background" preferable (according to some trickcyclist or other). There are lots of people making their living analyzing environmental color and human performance. I think it was a big deal starting with the first nuclear subs - pinks and yellows and such to enliven long times at sea.

NASA's take (skip to page 110 (pdf. pg 113) for the Conclusions - the rest is a review of previous studies) - hue doesn't matter much, but general contrasts of color/tone do have not-fully-definable effects. Related to long-term exposure for space flight.

https://ntrs.nasa.gov/archive/nasa/c...9890006161.pdf

Personally, I find Airbus pale blue-gray nice, as well as lighter brown/beige. Night-lighting may interact with colors, though.
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Old 28th Sep 2019, 08:44
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‘Boeing Brown’, was perhaps a contribution to attempts to differ from Airbus, particularly with the success of their Porsche designed flight deck. Thus ARINC avionics manufacturers were encouraged to provide the alternative colour.

Similar options were provided for GA aircraft.
BAe were approached by prospective customers to provide a brown flight deck for the DH125. ‘Good grief’, no way - ‘Elephants Breath’ Brown !
These views were supported by comparative investigations on the effect of flight deck background colour; mainly in support of Airbus work. However, some US completion centres did provide a brown flight deck for the 125.
One deviation from the conventional brown was that for a notable wax company - brown boot polish, where the flight deck and cabin were furnished in brown (suede) leather.
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Old 28th Sep 2019, 09:06
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At least 7 different shades of brown on the 747-400. I know RAL codes are available for the 737 greys but I had to get the 747-400 browns matched by taking panels to a DIY store to get them to match some pots of paint.

I prefer the brown, mostly because I loved flying the 74/75/76 and the grey reminds me how miserable life was in the 73.
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Old 28th Sep 2019, 09:25
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Thanks all,

I would expect that a boeing study for the “best” cockpit color would have a certain outcome. (whatever it is)
As a result, ALL planes built thereafter would have “that” color. But that is not the case. Boeing has been alternating their choice back and forth. So now I ended up flying 2 different colors on one type rating. (777/787)
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Old 28th Sep 2019, 21:57
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Originally Posted by pattern_is_full View Post
Ennnhhh - I see a lot of 737s with brown cockpits. Seems to depend on age/era.

As a guess, the introduction of larger and more colorful displays has made a dark gray as "background" preferable (according to some trickcyclist or other). There are lots of people making their living analyzing environmental color and human performance. I think it was a big deal starting with the first nuclear subs - pinks and yellows and such to enliven long times at sea.

NASA's take (skip to page 110 (pdf. pg 113) for the Conclusions - the rest is a review of previous studies) - hue doesn't matter much, but general contrasts of color/tone do have not-fully-definable effects. Related to long-term exposure for space flight.

https://ntrs.nasa.gov/archive/nasa/c...9890006161.pdf

Personally, I find Airbus pale blue-gray nice, as well as lighter brown/beige. Night-lighting may interact with colors, though.
737s with brown cockpits? You sure? Which operator?
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Old 29th Sep 2019, 10:32
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Luckily the major manufacturers don’t use vivid colours. Have flown some light aircraft with horrible interior colours from the 1970s from Cessna and Piper.
Red, blue, green, yellow to name four.

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Old 29th Sep 2019, 12:00
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Not sure what they were thinking with the puke green cockpits in our MD80’s when I flew that thing


It always looked bad or worse.


I agree on the brown, I liked it on the 75/67, don’t understand why Boeing went back to grey on the 787
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Old 29th Sep 2019, 20:47
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Originally Posted by oceancrosser View Post


737s with brown cockpits? You sure? Which operator?
Duuuurr - upon further review, all the images of "brown" 737 panels I thought I saw were made under "orange" cockpit floodlighting.

(I did at least mention that lighting can interact with the paint color!)
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Old 30th Sep 2019, 23:28
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My understanding is that brown was chosen after research done on "calming" colors, or colors that some studies had shown would be of slight benefit to mental states in managing emergencies. I do not remember the source but I read it in a college CRM text at some point.
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Old 1st Oct 2019, 19:14
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Originally Posted by stilton View Post
Not sure what they were thinking with the puke green cockpits in our MD80’s when I flew that thing


It always looked bad or worse.


I agree on the brown, I liked it on the 75/67, don’t understand why Boeing went back to grey on the 787
Happiness is a pink MD80 cockpit!
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Old 2nd Oct 2019, 00:26
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Lockheed gave customers 3 choices on the L1011. Grey, blue or olive green.
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Old 3rd Oct 2019, 07:35
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Originally Posted by CV880 View Post
Lockheed gave customers 3 choices on the L1011. Grey, blue or olive green.

I’ve seen pictures of the gray which only complements one of the finest cockpits in the
industry, blue looks a little unusual, never seen green
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