Re: Flight controls

From:         kls@ohare.Chicago.COM (Karl Swartz)
Organization: Chicago Software Works
Date:         10 Dec 92 18:07:49 PST
References:   1 2 3
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In article <airliners.1992.131@ohare.Chicago.COM> (Robert Dorsett) writes:

>The EFCS, in turn, has been the focus of so much attention that at least one 
>pundit suggested that other aspects may have been allowed to lapse, as 
>evidenced by the initial problems with the toilets or the cabin intercom/
>lighting system, the latter of which, in the words of a BA maintenance 
>engineer, had software so simple "a child could have done it better."  These 
>aren't safety-critical items (well, maybe the lighting is: it didn't work at 

I believe both intercom and lighting are considered safety-critical
items.  Not long ago, I sat for half an hour at O'Hare with a United
747 while they fixed the intercom.  They considered this critial --
justifiably so, IMO -- because it would be necessary for instructing
passengers in the event of an emergency.

Lighting in general may not be deemed critical, though certainly the
directional lighting in the floor is.

>I would not have rated the airplanes as equivalents.  The 767 is "equivalent"
>to an A310, but even then, there are significant differences in cockpit 
>design.  If I've given the impression of "equivalency," it was by mistake: 
>perhaps in avionics maintenance practices, or the A320 or 747-400 as 
>"consumers" of the benefits of the 767/A310 learning curve; little else.  The 
>airplane I'd compare with the A320 is the 747-400, at least in cockpit design, 

Is the MD-11 comparable to the 747-400 in this regard?  I would assume
so since they are of comparable vintage.

Where do the new generation 737s (-300/-400/-500) fit into this?  With
the first flight of the 737-300 coming several years after the 767 came
on the scene I would expect it to be comparable, yet some of what I've
seen suggests it is less sophisticated.  I've been in the cockpits of
each (well, 757s, not 767s that I recall) but really don't know enough
about what I'm looking at to tell the difference.

And, for completeness, where do the glass-cockpit version of the MD-80
family fit into the picture?

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