Re: Airbus safety (was Re: TWAs Status)

From:         philip@rainbow.mentorg.com (Philip Peake)
Organization: Mentor Graphics
Date:         11 Dec 92 17:42:32 PST
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In article <airliners.1992.130@ohare.Chicago.COM>, rdd@cactus.org (Robert Dorsett) writes:
|> 
|> >If all new pilots were taught nothing but the side stick,
|> >how long would the old arangementy last - and if the old arangement
|> 
|> Why should pilots be taught nothing but a unique, *proprietary* side-stick 
|> design that no pilot had any experience with before four years ago, and which 
|> is only one of a variety of other possible designs?  

You are avoiding the question - read it again, the operative word is "if".
I really don't think that a side-stick qualifies as "*proprietary*" does it ?
Does Airbus hold patents on some aspect of it ? (I don't know the answer to
this one - but if that IS true, then the result would be proprietary, and
would deserve to fail).

Changing the subject slightly, the world's safest aircraft (Concorde) uses
technology which was new, and for a time unacceptable to various licensing
authorities - it didn't have a MECHANICAL link between the stick and the control
surfaces - only hydraulic. There was *much* concern over this, and lots of
reaction from the pilots and safety mob - they almost won, and the Concorde almost
had to be produced with a mechanical linkage, which no FULL CREW would be able
to budge one mm if they all tried together - in fact, the linkages would probably
have failed, before it would have been possible to move a control surface, when
moving at full speed.

As I said, it has proved to be the worlds' safest aircraft.
Presumably, had a few airlines other than BA and Air France used them, someone
would have flown one or two of them into the ground, and we would be arguing
(or would have been arguing) about the safety of aircraft with no mechanical
backup systems.

Technology changes, old interfaces eventually HAVE to give way as they begin to
fit less and less well with the new technologies.

I don't seem to have noticed any raving about the TGV, the latest versions of
which achieve speeds comparable to that of aircraft, and use a side-stick ...
(yes, I know, French again ...) There is MUCH more prior art in train design,
and they can write off considerably more people than even a fully loaded 747/400
if something goes drastically wrong.

Philip