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airbus cockpit controls

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From fsx virtual cockpits I came to realize that airbuses have a side stick to control the pitch, roll, etc instead of a typical front stick of boeings'. Any idea why airbus prefers it, and still use rudder pedals instead of using stick swivel to yaw?Dont the pilots have difficulty adjusting when transitioning from 1st officer to captain?

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Difficulty - not really.With a traditional yoke, they have to transition from using their right hand to fly and left hand on various buttons and controls to the opposite.At that level of experience - it's not a difficult transition - and they have plenty of full-motion - cockpit specific - simulator time make the transition. Also the airlines have plenty of experience/ past learning of issues to watch for and teach.The yoke is descended from directly controlling the aircraft control surfaces by physical movement and wires.The sidestick is Fly-by-Wire - and a very different concept of flying.With a yoke you move the elevator and hold the yoke in the moved position. When you release the yoke, the elevator returns to the neutral position.My understanding of Fly-by-Wire is you move the side stick to tell the computer how much you want to move the elevator. When you release the side stick and it centers - that does NOT tell the elevator to return to the neutral position. You have to use the side stick to tell the computer to return the elevator to neutral.With a side stick, a pilot doesn't spend time holding the control over to maintain a steady bank angle like he does with a yoke.That might be wrong - but we've learned in FSX that the Airbus system - even as poorly modeled as it is in FS - is very different than the traditional yoke systems.

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Excellent video here, showing what is possible with fbw, and its features:

Dave

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>and still use rudder pedals>instead of using stick swivel to yaw?An idea to use stick swivel instead of rudders is in my opinion a non-starter in real aviation. Any human factor expert would probably tell you that such arrangement is highly undesirable. Do you like your joystick with swivel action? Did you try such a joystick for serious cross-wind landing? In my opinion as a real pilot I would never like to see such a thing in a real aircraft - it is so confusing for a pilot and I bet most real pilots would not like such a thing either. Rudder controls should remain in the pedals.Michael J.http://img142.imageshack.us/img142/9320/apollo17vf7.jpg

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>My understanding of Fly-by-Wire is you move the side stick to>tell the computer how much you want to move the elevator. When>you release the side stick and it centers - that does NOT tell>the elevator to return to the neutral position. You have to>use the side stick to tell the computer to return the elevator>to neutral.>>With a side stick, a pilot doesn't spend time holding the>control over to maintain a steady bank angle like he does with>a yoke.I expect the controls to center on releasing the sidestick as otherwise it might lead to disorientation - lose the track of what current state the control surfaces are at. Also, by your way the rate of movement of controls is not directly in your hands but is fed to the computer for corresponding stick angle.This is what happens to me if I start flying in fs using a keyboard. It feels handicapped when you close in with a 738, etc on approach and struggle to line it up with either late or extreme responses leading to crash. Really annoying.I would like the three control surfaces to exactly track the movement I make with the stick.

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>Any idea why airbus prefers it, and still use rudder pedals>instead of using stick swivel to yaw?In the air, when the system is in "normal law", I believe the rudder pedals are not used and the sidestick provides turn coordination. Besides that, normally in flight the throttle levers are in the "climb" detent and left there and they do not move at all.I guess the idea is if you want it done the Boeing way, buy a Boeing.scott s..

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All modern airliners coordinate the turn, it's to do with the little button marked Yaw Damper on the dashboard. Without it they become very hard to fly at the speeds they go at.

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>The sidestick is Fly-by-Wire - and a very different concept of>flying.As a RW Airbus FO I disagree, fly the aircraft like it were any other type of aircraft and everything's just fine. Obviously you don't have to worry about trimming (which is a mixed blessing) but just use the joystick in a conventional manner and the aircraft flies like a conventional aircraft. It's designed to be intuitive so don't sweat it and fly normally. I've seen some very competent and experienced Captains get themselves into a whole world of pain by trying to "second guess" the FBW system and "do things differently" because of the computers.>With a yoke you move the elevator and hold the yoke in the>moved position. When you release the yoke, the elevator>returns to the neutral position.>>My understanding of Fly-by-Wire is you move the side stick to>tell the computer how much you want to move the elevator. When>you release the side stick and it centers - that does NOT tell>the elevator to return to the neutral position. You have to>use the side stick to tell the computer to return the elevator>to neutral.Every FBW system is different so it's hard to generalise but in the case of the Airbus, fwd/aft stick controls vertical G loading and left/right controls roll rate. Simple as that. We don't worry about what we think we're telling the computer to do and what it may or may not do given that input, we just fly it like an aircraft and life is good.>With a side stick, a pilot doesn't spend time holding the>control over to maintain a steady bank angle like he does with>a yoke.Assuming FBW, yes but then the same is true (I believe) on a 777 which has a FBW system AND a yoke.>That might be wrong - but we've learned in FSX that the Airbus>system - even as poorly modeled as it is in FS - is very>different than the traditional yoke systems.I'm afraid you're suffered from negative training, a common problem when not using the expensive training aids (read Level D sims) to learn/understand complex multi dimensional real world problems. I've said it before and I'll say it again, fly the aircraft as if it were a normal aircraft and it will fly fine. If you start trying to get clever with it, you will bugger it up. FSX models FBW very poorly, in real life you rarely notice the FBW is even there.Hope this helps,Ian

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