From: ABrowne@mtl.marconi.ca (Alan Browne) Organization: Canadian Marconi Company Date: 01 Jun 96 16:27:13 Followups: 1
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I recently was travelling Asia on business, and on one leg I was booked for my first B-777 ride. I sent my B-card up to the cockpit and asked to be in the jumpseat for takeoff... I found the displays to be very crisp, and the procedures associated with gate departure to be well integrated with the Flight Management Computer. I looked carefully, but I don't think I saw a single electro-mechanical indicator...everything was lights, LCD or AMLCD flat panel. Two things that I found to be intriguing: 1- The pedastel mounted display used a "Windows" style GUI with a mouselike cursor (touch sensitive mouse pad" to select options, tick off checklists, etc. 2- There was a flight engineer station, immediately behind the co-pilot's seat. The station consisted of a large flat panel display and a trackball. The flight engineer, monitored systems and called up maintenance logs, and maintenance bulletins on this display. Engine start was a cinch: both engines were set to "start" at the same time, and the EICAS immediately switched to engine parameters display. The left engine spooled and started normally, but the right engine did not light off. (Hot start??) I mentioned this to the captain, who did not seem to notice...he just left everything alone and soon enough (another 15 seconds or so), the right engine lit off properly. (The captain/copilot ignored the whole thing!...let the computer (FADEC?) deal with it...) As we left the gate, the EFIS showed a "GPS" indicator which confirmed that the GPS was receiving valid signals for navigation. I mention this as the B-777 is the first production airliner to incorporate GPS as part of the Avionics design...also of course because my company provides the GPS to Honeywell...who provide it to Boeing. We eventually made our way to the runway and began the takeoff roll. Very smooth and powerful takeoff...made our way to 31000 in a single leap, and then were soon cleared to FL 350...I made my goodbyes and headed for my seat. I have been in the Airbus 320 during takeoff (in fact for whole flights), It seemed to me that the B-777 was just a little "smoother" in operation than the -320, but that might be my own impression as opposed to reality. Alan Browne Canadian Marconi Co.