Re: Landing the 747 on autopilot

Date:         28 Jun 98 18:47:30 
From:         alan721@my-dejanews.com
Organization: Deja News - The Leader in Internet Discussion
References:   1
Next article
View raw article
  or MIME structure

In article <airliners.1998.985@ohare.Chicago.COM>,
  Prashanth Kuchibhotla <me@yoyoma.edu> wrote:
>
> I was grazing the channels last night and came across the last 1/2 hour
> of a truly awful Hollywood formula terror-in-the-skies movie. The only
> reasons I stayed were the B747 and Lauren Holly (in that order). The
> ending showed the B747 completely landing itself hands-off after Ms.
> Holly programs in the runway and airport codes into the computer.
> Brakes. Thrust reversers. The works. All hands-off.
>
> I remember reading somewhere that the 747 (at least the new ones) can
> land itself. True? How often has it been tried? In regular passenger
> service?

The late model 747's do have autoland capability that is used quite
regularly. At the airline where I work, the aircraft MUST make an autoland at
least every 30 days to remain in Category III autoland status.	B-737-300 and
later, 757, 767, & 777 also have autoland.  I saw the movie and, while they
tried to make some technically correct moves, some of it was BS.  Programming
the desired airport and runway into the flight management computer was
correct, but some of her inputs were BS.  Selecting all three autopilots on
approach was correct, but I don't remember her setting the autobrake
selector.  Thrust reversers have NO automatic deployment.  It is manual only.
 Overall, it was the best attempt at accuracy that I have seen.

I was riding jumpseat into Dulles in a B-757 a few years ago and asked the
captain if he could possibly do an autoland.  He had to maintain his currency,
so he agreed if traffic was light.  We had about a 10 to 15 knot crosswind and
the 757 landed exactly on the centerline.  I was impressed.  I was also
surprised by the workload that the crew had, even though the autopilot was
doing the flying.  And it was VMC!

-----== Posted via Deja News, The Leader in Internet Discussion ==-----
http://www.dejanews.com/   Now offering spam-free web-based newsreading