AIRBUS vs. BOEING (cont...)

From: (Thornton Shepherd)
Organization: BUMCH
Date:         15 Jun 95 14:25:28 
Followups:    1
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The following is a mail item that I received and my subsequent response.
The initial question was "Which Fly-By-Wire system is better (AIRBUS' or
BOEING's)".  Let me know what you think.

>In-Reply-To: <>
>Neither - or both!
>For me, this is a dumb question rather like asking which is right,
>OS2/Warp or Windows95. One is public and its faults and virtues
>are known, the other is glossy brochure stuff. Some people will
>prefer one product, some the other.


I think this issue goes a little deeper than your OS/2-Windows
analogy.  One doesn't often have the lives of 100-350 people
depending on the philosophy behind the software that one's PC
is running!   Essentially, AIRBUS' philosophy puts the ultimate
power in the "hands" of the machine whereas BOEING's philosophy
is to give the pilot the final say.  This consideration makes the
systems significantly different.

As for the "glossy brochure stuff" that I presume is referring to
BOEING's FBW system and its lack of service experience, please
remember that AIRBUS' system once had that same "glossy" aura
surrounding it.  The problem is that its image became severely
tarnished shortly thereafter and has continued to "darken" quite
rapidly.  Maybe BOEING's system will prove to be as problematic
but at least its planes have gotten through the certification process
without killing anyone.