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AlaskanFlyboy

When was autothrottle invented for jets?

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I am sort of amazed to see no autothrottle in the commercial releases of the 707 and 727. Surely they had autothrottle in widespread use by the late 1960s ? I can understand the original versions not having AT, but would it not be realistic to issue these add-ons with AT? JS

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No, most did not. Then again, the pilots of these planes, like all pilots (even today) are well-trained at controlling speed, and flying the plane without any automation. An AT is / was certainly not a necessity. I used to fly trans-Atlantic to Italy on 707s every year during the 1960s and 70s, and they did not have an AT, an FMC, or autoland, yet we arrived safely every time. It's amazing what a competent pilot can do without automation. However, the AT was probably invented in the late 50s at the latest, but what you must understand is that it was, nor is not a necessity, just a luxury /cost-saving feature, just like an FMC is. Any good pilot can control airspeed, or fly SIDS and STARS manually, it's a basic flying skill. It's not that hard to maintain a given speed in a 727 or a Cessna 150, you just need the training / experience to do it, and that is what being a pilot is all about. Using the automation to do it for you is secondary. You do not get to that stage in a flying career until you have first demonstrated (and continue to do during your currency check rides) that you can do it by hand.Did you know that the largest operator of 737s, Southwest Airlines, does not have auto throttles on their aircraft, and that includes their latest 737 NGs? They also have one of the best safety records in the business.Why? Because their pilots always have to rely on THEIR skills, not just the automation. ;-)Did you know that most Beech 1900s do not even have an autopilot installed? I have a friend who flies them for a living, and everything he does in that plane is done with his own skills, not that of automation.Regards,http://www.dreamfleet2000.com/gfx/images/F...R_FORUM_LOU.jpg

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When I flew a 767-400 with an high time major airline check pilot several years ago, he strongly recommended using the auto throttle during the approach phase of the landings. He said that normally you would be too busy at a major airport looking out the window for other aircraft, to have to worry about monitoring your airspeed on the approach.

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Lou,Thanks very much for your detailed and interesting reply! Good stuff. Cheers, mate,JS

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Gee-it must be nice to have that-how do us GA guys do it! :lolI flew jumpseat on a 737 in 1998 and the captain of that bird said he never used autothrottle as he felt it alarmed the passengers.I have to admit-I never feel comfortable when as a passenger on approach the engines are whirring up and down dramatically-and I am a pilot!http://mywebpages.comcast.net/geofa/pages/rxp-pilot.jpg

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In, Reality, all 707's and 727's had AT. It was called the S/O, F/E, Third Crewman etc.... All kidding aside, only sellect early 727's had AT and late 727's equiped for CAT IIIa Auto Land had AT's and these have mostly been disabled as CAT IIIa doesn't require AT(727). One has to realize that even with the late 727's, the AT was a customer option and not standard. Cheers,JohnBoeing 727/737 & Lockheed C-130/L-100 Mechanichttp://www.precisionmanuals.com/images/forum/ng_driver.jpg

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Our E-3's still do not have autothrottles. Infact, I've seen pilots put our gear down at 270 kias just to slow us down, then brought them back up again.Jeff

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I think this is an interesting element of Flightsim - we seem to learn how to use an aircraft with the autopilot first - and then handflying if we dare. I'm guilty of this myself even lol. Now I'm trying to learn how to handfly all the planes with good accuracy by just going up and doing the same basic lessons I do with my real world flight training - changing airspeeds while flying straight and level is a good one to start with on any addon plane.

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The 2 flight instructors I had when I was training for my license, always had me work on slow flight, climbs, turns, descents, all at minimum controllable airpseed. I do this with the sim planes also, and I view this as an good exellent way to get a feel of how the plane is going to handle during the most critical time of a flight.

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I only use the autothrottle when I'm looking out for those pesky AI planes :-lol. I like to be in full control of an aircraft when landing, and autothrottles are normally out of the question.

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Donny AKA ShalomarFly 2 ROCKS!!!I have heard Southwest standardises the avionics setup of their aircraft as much as possible. Usually there are dramatic differences in the same model of aircraft flying for the same airline. I think the major improvement in safety comes from pilots simply being familiar with what they work with rather than being more dependant on their own skills. If you are familiar with operation of the automation it doesn't necessarily decrease safety when properly monitored. Southwest also encourages aerobatics training for their pilots, (NOT in 737s though) since unusual attitude situations can develop in any aircraft which are not always due to pilot error but one with aerobatics training can deal with them better. Years ago any airline pilot who did aerobatics in a company simulator would be fired but that is being rethinked and subject to change. Cockpit teamwork and situational awareness are also strengthened by the "three challenge rule" when implemented.Personally I prefer IAS or mach hold with manual throttle operation during climbs and descents. I sometimes engage autothrottle during cruise but even during automated approaches keep autothrottles off usually. But to each their own.In the real world, pilots or owners with enough money have far greater flexibility as to the avionics suite in their aircraft. If you're willing to pay for it, I wouldn't doubt you could install mods and get EFIS in a Cessna 172. Though if you know how to do it yourself or can pay someone to do it for you, almost anything is possible virtually too.Best Regards, Donny:-wave

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Why would the use of the auto-throttle alarm the passengers? First of all would most of them even know what it ment?

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i never use A/T.the DC8 doesn't have it,and i don't miss it,it's like Lou said,once you've taken the time to learn it,you'll know what situation requires which powersetting,and you'll do it instinctively,i guess.i must however confess i set cruise power by looking at the fuelburn :-hah ,2500pph gives a good mach 80 cruise,without overspeeds due to windchanges etc.tataJP.

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It's really not that hard to maintain speed (esp in a real plane vs FS) using known power and pitch settings. That's always good stuff to know even if you are flying an autothrottle equiped aircraft. Those things are not foolproof - read the account of the 757 accident in the Domincan Republic where plugged static ports caused everything to be unreliable, including the ASI. If the pilots had used known power and pitch settings, that airplane probably wouldn't have stalled and crashed. Instead they were trying to use FLCH and other autothrottle based techniques and it just worsened the problem...

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I can remember flying as a passenger when autolanding was first introduced in the UK. It was possible to tell when autoland was in use because of the noticeable changes in engine noise as it adjusted the throttles.

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I think that the A/T and other automation in the cockpit is a helper not a way to fly an airplane. When you learn to fly you learn how to do it manually and this is for good reason because you have to know how to do it. For example many students today can not do math without a calculator and sadly they do not feel the need to learn it, they say "why learn when we can use a calculator". I can tell you right now that I would not want such a person working for me as a cashier or some other job that requires math skills. Same goes for a pilot, I would not want to sit in the back of a plane that contained a pilot that did not fully understand the basics or had become too reliant on automation if a failure occured in one of the systems that control automation. I want a pilot that will snap off the auto pilot and confidently take control of the craft in a situation, not go hunting for another A/P mode to get his butt out of the fire. Don't get me wrong, I love the A/P and use it often but it should be a helper rather than the way to fly the aircraft all of the time. Philip Olsonhttp://www.precisionmanuals.com/images/forum/supporter.jpg

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we seem to learn how to use an aircraft with the autopilot first - and then handflying if we dare.That's one of the beauties of FS - we can fly planes we are definitely qualified to fly in the real world, or the FS world to be accurate - and use all the automation to keep the plane in the air.Our company CL-601's don't have autothrottle. The new G-200's do, but the pilot's only use it occasionally - per company policy.One of the things I love about the CaptSim 727 is it forced me to learn to handle the aircraft without relying on an autothrottle, and minimal auto pilot input.But a second question on AutoThrottle for real world pilots?Would it be used during climb? My impression is no - only at cruise. But I could be wrong.

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>>Would it be used during climb? My impression is no - only at>cruise. But I could be wrong.Yes, you are wrong. Michael J.WinXP-Home SP2,AMD64 3500+,Abit AV8,Radeon X800Pro,36GB Raptor,1GB PC3200,Audigy 2

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>>>>Would it be used during climb? My impression is no - only at>>cruise. But I could be wrong.>>Yes, you are wrong. >>Michael J.>WinXP-Home SP2,AMD64 3500+,Abit AV8,Radeon X800Pro,36GB>Raptor,1GB PC3200,Audigy 2>Very eloquent and in depth answer :-rollIt all depends on what the AT was designed to do. Most modern AT's can be used from takeoff to landing. Older AT's like those on the earlier DC-9's were essentially a cruise AT and were not used in the climb or descent.Some aircraft, such as Concorde, were designed to be flown mainly with the AT. In fact, Concorde had limitations on manual throttle approaches as opposed to using the AT.Cheers,JohnBoeing 727/737 & Lockheed C-130/L-100 Mechanichttp://www.precisionmanuals.com/images/forum/ng_driver.jpg

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The big issue with safety when it comes to automation is that as on said, you're outside the loop. You are not feeling what's going on as indepth.As with the jack screw incident involving an Alaskan Airlines flight. The autopilot corrected for the growing problem until it couldn't maintain control anymore. At that point it was too damaged to have any hope for regaining control. I believe airlines now are supposed to have the pilot's hand fly ever hour or so for a few minute to feel for anything out of the ordinary. When automation fails, the only indication it gives may be when it's too late. Autobrakes may fail and you won't know until you're halfway down the runway careening too fast to stop or go-around in the remaining distance. Granted these are rare incidents when they fail, but some airlines like Southwest feel they'd rather have their pilots intuitively aware of their aircraft in the way only hand-flying can bring you.That's my personal opinion on the issue.----------------------------------------------------------------John MorganReal World: KGEG, UND Aerospace Spokane Satillite, Private ASEL 141.2 hrs, 314 landings, 46 inst. apprs.Virtual: MSFS 2004"There is a feeling about an airport that no other piece of ground can have. No matter what the name of the country on whose land it lies, an airport is a place you can see and touch that leads to a reality that can only be thought and felt." - The Bridge Across Forever: A Love Story by Richard Bach

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