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Hi there,I was reading through the tech specs on the b737.org.uk website for the FMC, and as suspected, they are running some rather retro hardware down there in those computer bays

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Andrew McCluskey

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Well, actually, I think it doesn't need to have more power since all it does is fairly simple arithmetic. Even the space orbiter has in its computer some similar characteristics.

Ed Ocampo
Staff Reviewer
AVSIM Online

Fly DC Jets

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The Apollo flight computers were about as powerful as a modern calculator. It really doesn't need that much processing power.

Peter Clemenko III
Former AVSIM Staff Reviewer
All posts on the fourm are my own, and not representative of AVSIM.

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"Solving new problems is what keeps us moving forward as individuals and as a society, so don't back down." Garry Kasparov
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As others have noted, the FMC is basically a glorified combination of a calculator and a personal organiser, so there is no need for it to be fancy. The CDU interface was in fact deliberately designed to look like a desktop calculator, so that pilots would not find it too 'alien' when it was introduced. Most aircraft computers are little more than a computer which can store a list and run through it, sending commands to the autopilot. For example, the navigation and attack computer on the F-111 Aardvark was akin in computing power to a Commodore 64.Al

Alan Bradbury

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Another very good reason for not upgrading - and this definately applied to the Shuttle computers - is that modern processors are not bombproof (anyone remember the Pentium FP bug?). The Shuttle flew on basic 286s for quite a while and it was a long time before the 386 was approved for use. It still flies on 386s now, IIRC.-Dai

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