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Guest Fearless Tower

Cockpit layout in new generation aircraft.

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Hi,One thing that struck me, is why manufacturers of new aircraft makes cockpits with old levers?What I am thinking about is mainly why they don

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I would suspect because levers have a particular "feel" and thus can convey more to the pilot than a button which could be like any other one.Same reason the mixture, prop, and throttle controls usually have different "feeling" knobs on them in GA aircraft....http://mywebpages.comcast.net/geofa/pages/rxp-pilot.jpg

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>I would suspect because levers have a particular "feel" and>thus can convey more to the pilot than a button which could be>like any other one.>>Same reason the mixture, prop, and throttle controls usually>have different "feeling" knobs on them in GA aircraft....Hi,That makes sence. But I also would like to refer to Airbus and their joystick layout. Talk about loss of yoke feeling when that new layout came. I guess it all falls under the "get used to" factor. :-)http://www.scandicair.com/images/sa_banner.gifMy specs are:Dell Dimension 4600 P4/2.8 at 3.0 Ghz1024 Mb DDR333 Dual channel memory (2x256,1x512)256 Mb ATI Radeon X850 Pro ViVoCatalyst 5.9ATITool V0.24DirectX 9.0cW XP Home with SP1E171FPb Flat panel monitor 17"240Gb (2x120) 7200rpm HDLacie 250Gb Extern HD

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whats up with the airbii having really small gear levers?

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It all has to do with feel. I would hate to fly an aircraft that has buttons for things like gear, flaps, and the speedbrake. Maybe Im just being a sinic though; most pilots hated the idea of flying without a yoke until they tried it.

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So your saying that you want the throttle levers ripped out and replaced with F1, F2, F3 and F4 keys :-lolI feel that it is best to keep levers there on the flight deck, they operate large pieces of equipment. I wouldn't want to accidently drop the gear or put up the speed brakes my pressing the wrong button

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Well,..despite what we think now,..we also know that sooner or later there will be buttons instead of levers. Maybe not the throttles, but everything else. :-hahhttp://www.scandicair.com/images/sa_banner.gifMy specs are:Dell Dimension 4600 P4/2.8 at 3.0 Ghz1024 Mb DDR333 Dual channel memory (2x256,1x512)256 Mb ATI Radeon X850 Pro ViVoCatalyst 5.9ATITool V0.24DirectX 9.0cW XP Home with SP1E171FPb Flat panel monitor 17"240Gb (2x120) 7200rpm HDLacie 250Gb Extern HD

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>Well,..despite what we think now,..we also know that sooner>or later there will be buttons instead of levers. I don't think so. Read more on the subject and you will find out that "buttons" and "joysticks" are only appropriate for aircraft that have fly-by-wire hard envelope protection. For aircraft that even has fly-by-wire but soft protection (like Boeing) buttons and joysticks are not suitable because of human factors. Simple and inexpensive GA aircraft will always rely on straightforward mechanical connection (simple things are much more dependable) therefore such aircraft will never have "buttons".Michael J.http://www.precisionmanuals.com/images/forum/pmdg_744F.jpghttp://sales.hifisim.com/pub-download/asv6-banner-beta.jpg

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>>Well,..despite what we think now,..we also know that sooner>>or later there will be buttons instead of levers. >>I don't think so. Read more on the subject and you will>find out that "buttons" and "joysticks" are only appropriate>for aircraft that have fly-by-wire hard envelope protection.>For aircraft that even has fly-by-wire but soft protection>(like Boeing) buttons and joysticks are not suitable because>of human factors. Simple and inexpensive GA aircraft will>always rely on straightforward mechanical connection (simple>things are much more dependable) therefore such aircraft will>never have "buttons".>>Michael J.Hi,So basicly you are saying that an aircraft never will have buttons instead of levers,....?? I Don

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Maybe the levers will be gone when pilot control of those items is eliminated altogether. The throttles on airbuses arent used much in manual mode, and could in principle be replaced by something smaller and simpler. But I fail to see why a button is an improvement, apart from being slightly cheaper. In busy and stressful situations (such as emergencies) a good sized lever is much more intuitive than a fickly button.-

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>Good points. No doubt experts on "human factors" would have>plenty to say on this subject.>>Michael J.Exactly what I am trying to get to.I remember back in time when Airbus presented their joystick layout, and all voices who claimed that a "single joystick could jepperdize the whole aviation safety issue".As much as we today see buttons instead of levers quite impossible, as many negative thoughts came up also about the Airbus sticks.This is why I am not that sure that there will not be buttons instead of levers in the future. :-)http://www.scandicair.com/images/sa_banner.gifMy specs are:Dell Dimension 4600 P4/2.8 at 3.0 Ghz1024 Mb DDR333 Dual channel memory (2x256,1x512)256 Mb ATI Radeon X850 Pro ViVoCatalyst 5.9ATITool V0.24DirectX 9.0cW XP Home with SP1E171FPb Flat panel monitor 17"240Gb (2x120) 7200rpm HDLacie 250Gb Extern HD

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>I remember back in time when Airbus presented their joystick>layout, and all voices who claimed that a "single joystick>could jepperdize the whole aviation safety issue".What voices? There was no true opposition to Airbus joysticks among experts in the field. Human factor people always considered Airbus' joystick consistent with their fly-by-wire hard-limit envelope philospohy.Michael J.http://www.precisionmanuals.com/images/forum/pmdg_744F.jpghttp://sales.hifisim.com/pub-download/asv6-banner-beta.jpg

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I think the joystick thing with Airbus is ridiculous, but I don't have to worry about fly them either.As far as levers and other mechanical devices in the cockpit are concerned, they're kept that way so blind pilots can find them fast without having to feel their way around. ;)

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>I think the joystick thing with Airbus is ridiculous, but I>don't have to worry about fly them either.Sidesticks are so ridiculous that more and more new generation aircraft (and helicopters) are adopting them. :)Marco

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>What voices? There was no true opposition to Airbus joysticks>among experts in the field. Human factor people always>considered Airbus' joystick consistent with their fly-by-wire>hard-limit envelope philospohy.I was not talking about the elite experts, but the people in general. I remember it very well, all opinion in the media. I suppose you havn

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I'd go with the elite experts on this one. What do people in general care whether the aircraft has a stick or a yoke. Most people probably wouldn't know anyway. The 320 incident had an element of pilot error, and a yoke couldn't have saved the day.-

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>The 320 incident had an element of pilot error, and a yoke couldn't have saved the day.That is true, but on the other hand, a non FBW plane would probably have saved the day. :-)http://www.scandicair.com/images/sa_banner.gifMy specs are:Dell Dimension 4600 P4/2.8 at 3.0 Ghz1024 Mb DDR333 Dual channel memory (2x256,1x512)256 Mb ATI Radeon X850 Pro ViVoCatalyst 5.9ATITool V0.24DirectX 9.0cW XP Home with SP1E171FPb Flat panel monitor 17"240Gb (2x120) 7200rpm HDLacie 250Gb Extern HD

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>>The 320 incident had an element of pilot error, and a yoke>couldn't have saved the day.>>>That is true, but on the other hand, a non FBW plane would>probably have saved the day. :-)Probable. And probably in some other air-accident, a FBW plane would have saved the day. :)Marco

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>Hi,>>One thing that struck me, is why manufacturers of new aircraft>makes cockpits with old levers?>>What I am thinking about is mainly why they don

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It seems odd that this discussion of buttons and switches has turned into a thread about Airbus bashing. I myself am no fan of Airbus, but you really can't blame them for the sidestick concept. Our F-16's had it for years before Airbus thought to consider it. A sidestick versus a yoke or center stick has nothing to do with safety. It has everything to do with ergonomics and that will always have to contend with personal preferences. Kind of like those dang ergonimic split keyboards. Some people who type alot think they're the greatest thing ever invented while other traditionalists hate them with a passion. Again, it's just a matter a preference, but safety has nothing to do with it. I will say this about the Airbus sidestick.....when you do most of your flying by adjusting switched and dials on an autopilot and FMC, it's kind of nice to have the legroom.On a lighter note, here's one I heard from a DE recently:"ya know what the difference between an Airbus and a chainsaw???.....about 2000 trees a minute...."

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>It seems odd that this discussion of buttons and switches has>turned into a thread about Airbus bashing. I myself am no fan>of Airbus, but you really can't blame them for the sidestick>concept. Our F-16's had it for years before Airbus thought to>consider it. A sidestick versus a yoke or center stick has>nothing to do with safety. It has everything to do with>ergonomics and that will always have to contend with personal>preferences. Kind of like those dang ergonimic split>keyboards. Some people who type alot think they're the>greatest thing ever invented while other traditionalists hate>them with a passion. Again, it's just a matter a preference,>but safety has nothing to do with it. >>I will say this about the Airbus sidestick.....when you do>most of your flying by adjusting switched and dials on an>autopilot and FMC, it's kind of nice to have the legroom.>>>On a lighter note, here's one I heard from a DE recently:>"ya know what the difference between an Airbus and a>chainsaw???.....about 2000 trees a minute...."Hi,It was certainly not my meaning to turn this into a Airbus bashing thread. ;-)My point was simply that if the pilots can get used to a sidestick, they probably could get used to buttons instead of levers. Even from a safety point of view. ;-)http://www.scandicair.com/images/sa_banner.gifMy specs are:Dell Dimension 4600 P4/2.8 at 3.0 Ghz1024 Mb DDR333 Dual channel memory (2x256,1x512)256 Mb ATI Radeon X850 Pro ViVoCatalyst 5.9ATITool V0.24DirectX 9.0cW XP Home with SP1E171FPb Flat panel monitor 17"240Gb (2x120) 7200rpm HDLacie 250Gb Extern HD

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There is a difference. A sidestick is not less user friendly than a yoke. It is, arguably, more user friendly and intuitive. The design and workings of the yoke was originally dictated not by the pilot's wishes and ergonomical considerations, but by the demands of the mechanical systems used in early aircraft. Somehow we have been stuck with the design ever since, even though the large movements doesn't serve a purpose anymore. There is no maneuver that you can do with a yoke that you cannot do twice as good with a sidestick. Buttons doesn't improve on levers. The levers are already of a size that doesn't take up much cockpit real estate, especially as they are out of the way of the pilots legs. The step from yoke to stick, on the other hand, is to replace a hideously large contraption with a device that fits neatly into the hand, and has the ideal placement, right in front of the pilot's armrest, so that steeering doesn't involve moving the entire upper body. -

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How would you use buttons instead of levers for the throttle, Staffan, especially when you might have to adjust thrust manually, such as in a failure / emergency situation?With the yoke/joystick, the pilot still has something in his hand that moves, and while joysticks may be "new" to airliners, they have been around for years in other types of aircraft.With throttle levers and gear lever, you are truly dealing with a physical device, which when looked at one can determine its state of operation. One can also operate it with their eyes closed, or while not looking directly at it.Those "old" levers are nothing to laugh at, unless you have not spent much time dealing with real cockpits, and having to fly planes under difficult conditions.I can have my eyes glued to the gauges, hand flying a difficult ILS approach, yet can still reach over and grab the throttles or lower the gear. Try that with buttons, especially if you push the wrong button.The same applies to the flap lever and spoiler lever.When all goes to "pot" in the cockpit, I'd rather have solid thrust levers in my hand, and a gear handle, rather than buttons and annunciator lights to decipher. ;-)If you think about it, the three most important things in the cockpit are your flight controls, power controls and landing gear, and they remain mechanical-style devices, and for very good reasons.Remember, even an Airbus can be entirely hand flown / manually controlled, in which case those throttles are not much different than what is on a Boeing or a Piper. ;-)Sometimes the best solution to operating something is the one that is already implemented, as opposed to trying something new just for the sake of making it operate like an autopilot, FMC, or radio, or to make it look more "modern". Regards,http://www.dreamfleet2000.com/gfx/images/F...R_FORUM_LOU.jpg

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>Somehow we have been stuck with the>design ever since, even though the large movements doesn't>serve a purpose anymore.They do serve a purpose.There was a long thread on this subject. You ought to read some professional literature on the subject before making statements that are factually false. You can only have so called "soft" flight envelope protection (that's the flight controls' design philosophy that Boeing prefers in their fly-by-wire (ala 777)) with movements larger than what joystick offers you. To put it simply you could not put a joystick in a 777 without completely changing the flight control software and effectively making if Airbus-like.Michael J.http://www.precisionmanuals.com/images/forum/pmdg_744F.jpghttp://sales.hifisim.com/pub-download/asv6-banner-beta.jpg

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