Date: 28 Jun 98 18:47:32 From: Chris Dahler <email@example.com> Organization: The World's Usenet -- http://www.Supernews.com References: 1
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> 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? Just about any modern jet aircraft has an autopilot with autoland capabilities these days, from B737's to B747's and everything in between. This function is used when performing a Cat III approach, in which visibilities get as low as 700 feet. Further, in order to maintain an autopilot's certification for autoland, generally the aircraft must perform an autoland approach once every 30 days, regardless of the weather. The autopilot will bring the aircraft down a glidepath and on the horizontal centerline of the runway using a conventional ILS system. It will retard the throttles and perform a flare, then touch down the nose gear. A separate system called Autobrakes will apply brake pressure at a level preset by the crew. A further separate system called Autospoilers will deploy the speedbrakes and ground spoilers once the aircraft is on the ground. These functions are about all the aircraft is capable of doing on its own. Reverse thrust still has to be applied manually by the pilot (at least, I am unaware of any autothrottle system that has reverse command capability).