Re: A 777 with four engines.

Date:         26 Jul 98 23:57:14 
From:         tschell@s.psych.uiuc.edu (Terry Schell)
Organization: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
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"The Warden" <warden@usa.net> writes:
>Me who doesn't have much faith in new technology thinks that 4 engines are a
>greater safety factor, despite the extra cost. Also, if something happens
>and rudder control is lost, the two outboard engines could be pressed into
>providing sideways control (can't remember the technical term for it) and
>would do a better job than having two engines closer to the center line. For
>instance, if UAL 232 had been a 707, 747, A340, or even a DC-8, (first off,
>the problem wouldn't have happened, but that's another story), they may have
>been able to get a bit more directional movement, and may have been able to
>correct for that gust of wind that pushed them off of the runway and made
>the wing dig into the ground (if that had not happened, they would have
>landed safely). Personally, I think the 777 should be a trijet, at least...

This is like saying, "shouldn't we put build planes with titanium
shielding to protect against small chunks of space debris re-entering
out atmosphere."  Theoretically, that could bring a plane down, but the
chances are sooooo small that it doesn't warrent the expense of trying
to protect from it. Based on millions of flight hours, it is clear that
a 4 engine aircraft does not have a significant safety advantage over a
comparable twin.  If we were to spend an extra 5% of flight expenses in
order to increase overall safety, adding extra engines to twins would
not be the best investment of those safety dollars.