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Guest Anthony_D

Speculations on Boeing's 7E7 Flight Deck

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I'm new here, but, please, don't let that stop you... :DI have been watching Boeing's new 7E7 progress for a while now and noticed that they either haven't designed the flight deck or for security or competitive reasons, haven't shown it. I'd like to take a walk down imagination lane and give you my idea of the ideal flight deck for this big bird.Although the existing flight decks are quite complicated and almost futuristic, they lack a flow to them that makes the aircraft comfortable to fly. I think that one touch sensitive LCD screen in front of each pilot should suffice for the instrumentation. With a glass or high impact plastic slider for the screens to eliminate accidental activations of certain systems, these screens can be configured on the fly (no pun intended) to display any information to the pilot at will. Mechanical backup systems? They would be easily stowed away somewhere for the pilots to access on emergencies. The center console where the flaps, throttle and radios typically go, would be replaced entirely by touch sensitive LCD screens with covers. When the pilots wish to change the flaps for example, they slide the screen cover for it and use their fingers to "drag" the flaps on the screen to their desired position. There would be very little front end mechanics for any system. In the event of a system failure (which would be difficult with redundant systems in the aircraft), alternate mechanical devices stowed away could be easily accessed. There would be no overhead panel as those systems would be available on the forward screens. Either a flight yoke or joystick would be used for manual guidance and they would be "fly-by-wire" much like Airbus's systems. If joysticks are used, the rudder pedals would be eliminated and two joysticks for each pilot would then be used. One for the ailerons and the other for rudder. Or, One joystick with 2 axis, one for ailerons - side to side and one for rudder - twisting. Multiple redundant systems would exist to ensure the pilots had 100% control when necessary. If hydraulics failed, another hydraulic system would start (less powerful, but would suffice). A lot of decision making would be done on the computers. For example, if you were about to land at an airport with storms and wind sheer below minimums for the company you fly for, the aircraft would refuse descent and offer alternate airports.Well, I'm tapped. I'd love to hear your ideas and thoughts.

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While it would be interesting, I think it will be much less fantastic that you would like.I may be wrong, but I was sure that Boeing had planned a configuration as such that 777 pilots could roll right into the 7E7 without much additional training.Perhaps someone else could correct me on this.

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Touch screens would be a disaster.1) You can't find a control on a touch screen without looking at it. Big problem, enough to make the idea impractical straight off.2) Fingerprints on daylight readable screens are very distracting, they diffuse sunlight all over the place.So, there will be lots of LCDs in the 7e7, and probably dual HUDs too, but no touch screens. However, there is some speculation that there will be trackpads and a GUI style interface for some funcions.HOTAS type controls are a possibility, Boeing may even go sidestick.

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It is true that very little information leaked to the public about the 7E7 cockpit.I personally don't think Boeing will go the joystick route.One thing is known - there will be some advances corrently not available on big airliners - like GPS-based terrain avoidance system (apart of existing GPWS).If you look at the Gulfstream G550 cockpit (deemed the most advanced cockpit at the moment) this is probably the way Boeing is going to go. Michael J.WinXP-Home SP2,AMD64 3500+,Abit AV8,Radeon X800Pro,36GB Raptor,1GB PC3200,Audigy 2, Omega 2.7.90 (4xAA 16xAF)

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>Touch screens would be a disaster.Touch screens are already being implemented in some fighter aircraft projects. Given that fighter pilots are in high workload environments, they must possess several advantages over having separate switches.Here are several advantages I can think of:Harmonisation of displays with what they are controlled by. For example, data on your ND (Navigational Display) is controlled by the FMC, autopilot and radio stack. This isn't the most intuitive interface. Far better I think to have single display with a map showing key navigational waypoints. If you touch a particular waypoint, you can bring up extra information about that waypoint. This is just one example of their advantages.>1) You can't find a control on a touch screen without looking at it. >Big problem, enough to make the idea impractical straight off.It brings me on to my next interface - direct voice input and feedback. Voice feedback is already a part of commercial cockpit environments (e.g. GPWS radalt announcements), but direct voice input is currently the sole preserve of fighter cockpits (I think). With voice inputs, you don't need to be fumbling around for switches and controls - you can get on with concentrating on the job in hand.>2) Fingerprints on daylight readable screens are very distracting, >they diffuse sunlight all over the place.There have indeed been problems with reflections on LCD screens on commercial aircraft generally speaking. It's a right pain in the neck for pilots when they get a nice view of the sun bouncing off their LCD screen and obscuring their view of the information on it. But these problems can be overcome with the use of anti-reflective coatings. I'm sure fingerprints and other annoyances can be dealt with in the design of a touch screen that's fit for pilots.Anthony Dyer

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