Re: AA965 proves Airbus bashers deadly wrong

From:         kls@ohare.Chicago.COM (Karl Swartz)
Organization: Chicago Software Works, Menlo Park, California
Date:         22 Jan 96 04:40:41 
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>... the more natural feel a sidestick has for flying than a yolk.  The
>fact that military aircraft use sticks is proof of the last point.

First, a minor nit -- one fries a yolk, and flies with a yoke.

I assume in your comment about military aircraft you mean sidesticks,
i.e., what Airbus uses.  The fact that military aircraft use them has
nothing to do with natural feel, and everything to do with maintaining
control in a high G environment (which an airliner could not survive).
The smaller amount of space required may also be a consideration in
the tight environment of a fighter cockpit.

>In fact even MD's new military transport uses side sticks.

That *may* simply be an artifact of a preference in military circles,
derived from experience with fighters where there IS a good reason for
using a sidestick.

>You have not responded to the comment about elevators.  Are you afraid to
>ride the elevator?  You would probably be the type of person who was
>against human operators being replaced with computer controls.

If the software controlling an elevator fails, the worst that can
happen is failsafes can stop the elevator in its tracks, forcing me
to wait for rescue or climb out the escape hatch on top.  When an
aircraft gives me a similar option (e.g., push the ejection button)
to get out safely if the software fails, I'll be just as happy with
a computer-controlled aircraft.  Last I checked, even in First Class,
there were lots of knobs and buttons but none would allow me to beat
a hasty retreat.

--
Karl Swartz	|Home	kls@chicago.com
		|Work	kls@slac.stanford.edu
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Moderator of sci.aeronautics.airliners -- Unix/network work pays the bills