From:         kls@ohare.Chicago.COM (Karl Swartz)
Organization: Chicago Software Works, Menlo Park, California
Date:         22 May 95 02:46:16 
References:   1 2 3 4 5
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>Some statistics were posted providing a list of flights where confusion
>at the flight deck controls caused the crash. Since we are talking about
>FBW systems, then those crashes that did not involve the 320 or 340 should
>not be listed as they make Airbus look worse than it really is. (Eg: the
>crash of a 300 or 310 should not be used in this discussion).

The waters get pretty muddy here, as it's not really FBW itself that
appears to be a problem but an overdependence on computers to run the
whole mess, and inadequate interfaces between the human and electronic
pilots.  This is independent of the means of actually conveying the
instructions to the engines and flight surfaces, thought FBW makes it
easier to throw away the old rules and do whatever you want.

The A300 and A310 are relevant in this regard, since they share much
of the automation, in more rudimentary form.  The same goes for the
757 and 767, which is why the Brittania Airways incident was included.

>Now, I would be more interested in seing the evolution of Airbus's systems
>between the 320 and the 340 since the 340 is closer to the 777 in terms of
>development periods and more importantly, since Airbus also had a chance to
>learn from the problems of its 320. (as did Boeing).

In terms of the interface, Airbus chose to ignore any lessons from the
A320, since the A340 has a cockpit that's nearly as identical to its
smaller cousin as possible.

Karl Swartz	|INet
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