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Retro

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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
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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
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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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