The Second Version

22/07/09

Boeing Fanboys

Those guys are out there. Whenever an Airbush crashes with or without loss of life, they loudly scream their "I told you so!"

They seem to revel in fear and death and destruction, when it confirms their prejudices - chief among those, that anything European is stupid and evil.

Yes, you don't hear them railing against some dubious choices by Boeing (like the infamous 747 cargo door, that initially was prone to opening in flight), because Boeing is American and anything american is clever and good.

The most hated target of the Boein Fanboys is the fly-by-wire system used on Airbus planes. A semplistic description of the system is a series of computers (not exactly like desktop PCs, tho) actin as filter between pilot inputs and control surfaces. A better description of the Airbus flight control laws can be found here, tho.

And I doubt that the fanboys have ever bothered to read that, because their objections go from semi-coherent to rabid ideological rants. No trace of an analysis of what fly-by-wire system are and do, there.

I have often heard that Boeing leaves final authority to pilots, while Airbus does not, but so far I couldn't find any source describing that in detail.

The reality is, human blunders and errors have killed far more people than computer malfunctions. The history of flight is fully of pilots and ground personnel screwing up until planes smash into the ground, break up or even burn without being evacuated.ù

By contrast, so far the Airbus fly-by-wire system is the direct cause of one, maybe two accidents and one of them occurred during a demonstration flight.

In the specific case of the Air France hull loss, the mostl ikely cause seems to be icing of the airspeed sensors, which occurred during severe turbulence and in conditions of near-zero visibility. It is possible to test in a flight simulator how well a Boeing would perform.
Wanna bet?

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2 Commenti:

  • Don't forget the 737 rudder hardover issue either.

    Di Anonymous Anonimo, Alle 16/4/16 09:47  

  • Yes, that was bad too. But I didn't need to provide an extensive list, just a few examples.

    Di Blogger Fabio, Alle 22/6/16 03:00  

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