Re: Boeing 777 - Totally Irresponsible?

Date:         07 Jan 97 07:20:18 
From:         Christopher Davis <ckd@loiosh.kei.com>
Organization: Venus Equilateral Communications Company
References:   1 2 3 4 5 6
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JFM> == Jean-Francois Mezei <nospam.jfmezei@videotron.ca>

 JFM> Airbus provides DIFFERENT feedback than Boeing does. Boeing simulates
 JFM> mechanical feedback on the controls while Airbus provides more
 JFM> complete information on its screens as well as audible feedback.

Does Boeing leave out information on the screens?  Is there no audible
feedback in a Boeing-design cockpit?  I find this unlikely.

A good human interface design will use multiple methods to communicate
information, allowing different situations (or different users) to be
adapted for.

 JFM> You can gain much more USEFUL information from the displays which give
 JFM> you real and accurate measures, as opposed to "what you *feel* when you
 JFM> move the wheel".

Let's say you're sitting in the cockpit during cruise, with the autopilot
on, talking to the chief FA as your meals are being brought in.  You're
therefore not necessarily paying attention to the displays, but you do
have one hand resting on the yoke.  You notice the yoke beginning to tilt
farther and farther to the right as the autopilot adjusts for something
you hadn't noticed--like a slow loss of thrust on the #1 engine.

 JFM> The one area where there seem to be complaints is the throttle on Airbus
 JFM> not matching any changes made by the computer.  Do pilots leave their
 JFM> hands on the throttle throughout the flight to notice if engine throttle
 JFM> is being changed by the computer ?

Throughout the flight?  Probably not.  At some phases?  Certainly.  Is
reaching for the throttle handles to check the current setting one method
that they might use?  Definitely, especially if they're busy looking out
the window or at a different display.

 JFM> From my point of view, I have no problem on MS Flight simulator
 JFM> looking at the screen to see what my throttle is at and pressing
 JFM> certain keys to increase/decrease it to the levels I want. This way
 JFM> I keep my eyes on the main display.

That'd be the same 14" or so main display that includes the "out the
window" view?  Pilots in real airplanes have a far wider range of things
they need to be looking at.

 JFM> Perhaps this is how it is done on the Airbus with actual and precise
 JFM> throttle indication displayed on the pilots main screen

Using a heads-up display?  I doubt it.

 JFM> with the physical actuator acting like a glorified "+" and "-"
 JFM> keyboard keys to increase/decrease throttle till it gets to the
 JFM> desired value as displayed on the screen.

If you crash in MS Flight Simulator you can just restart the program.
That's a little easier to recover from than a real crash.