Flight International article on cockpit design

From:         chuanga@iia.org (Andrew Chuang)
Date:         16 Jan 95 21:39:06 
Organization: International Internet Association.
View raw article
  or MIME structure

In 11-17 January 1995 issue of _Flight International_ there is an article
titled ``Lessons from the Cockpit.''  A brief history of "glass cockpit"
was given.  Much of the article dealt with the German pilot union's
reactions to a number of recent Airbus's mishaps (namely, Lufthansa's 93
A320 crash in Warsaw, China Airlines' 94 A300-600 crash in Nagoya, TAROM's
94 A310 near crash near Paris-Orly, Air Inter's 92 A320 crash, and Airbus's
own A330 test-flight crash in 94).

Interestingly, it was mentioned in the article that there was a Service
Bulletin issued by Airbus in Dec 93 that the French authority (DGAC)
classified as a mandatory airworthiness directive (AD) requiring French
operators to incorporate the autopilot-software modifications for the
A300/310 in two years.  As speculated in the article that if China Airlines
had implemented the modifications, the accident might have been avoided.

In conclusion, the article said (a direct quote):

   Meanwhile, Airbus is gaining operational experience every day with
   DFBW (Digital Fly-By-Wire), using a digital system which is not 
   designed to make the pilot feel as if he is flying a traditional
   aeroplane.  Boeing is about to enter the operational ring with its
   777, an aircraft which artificially reproduces for the pilots the
   characteristics of a traditionally controlled aeroplane, although it
   is flow using digital-control laws.
   Is Boeing right in its premise that reality must be disguised to
   achieve the best possible man-machine interface?  Or, there being
   no prefect solution, do both companies' approaches have an equal
   chance of being effective?   As the world progresses into digital
   future, only time will tell.

You may want to check out the article yourself.

         |  H Andrew Chuang    chuanga@iia.org  |