Re: Airbus yoke vs Sidestick

From:         kls@ohare.Chicago.COM (Karl Swartz)
Organization: Chicago Software Works, Menlo Park, California
Date:         07 Jul 95 14:26:27 
References:   1 2
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>Actually, the commonality means that pilots certified for any 319+
>aircraft is automatically certified for any other, the 340 requiring a
>short 4-engine course.

That's a common misconception.  I think the A319/A320/A321 all share a
common type rating, but the A330 and A340 each require a separate type
rating.  However, given a rating on one of the types, relatively minor
differences training is all that's required to get a rating on one of
the other types, as opposed to going thru a completely new training
program as might otherwise be required.  An article in Airways
provides the training and transition training times:

    A320		26 days, including 51 simulator hours
    A320 => A340	12 days, including 21 simulator hours
    A330 => A340	6 simulator hours
    A340 => A330	no simulator time

The article also mentions that an A340 simulator can be converted to
an A330 simulator in about 20 minutes, by changing the throttles and
a few overhead panels.

>I also think I read in Flight International that Airbus are planning
>to make FBW versions of 300 and 310 compatible with the rest.

That would be a pretty radical change.  Airbus is planning to drop the
A300 within a few years, replacing it with a shortened A330 (called a
A329 in some references), which makes further investment in the A300
improbable.

>Surely a very good competitive advantage for Airbus when supplying
>airlines with different sized aircraft in their fleets.

There's certainly the obvious reduction in number of crews and crew
training costs, but there's also another advantage.  A United pilot
told me that, as First Officer on the 747-400, he barely makes the
required three landings per 90 days to keep his license current.
Relieve FOs, who normally fly only the middle portions of the really
long flights, have to resort to the simulators to maintain their
currency.

Lufthansa would have the same problem with their A340 pilots, except
when scheduling crews they can intermingle A320/A321 (and soon A319)
flights amongst the longer A340 pilots, thereby keeping their pilots
current while doing useful work.

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