Airbus or Boeing

MVSW

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Airbus or Boeing??? Pro's and Con's from you guys that fly them??
 

typhoonpilot

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This is a question that can really only be answered by someone who has flown both types, which wouldn't be me.

From a philosophical standpoint I tend to prefer Boeing. Boeing have always respected in their designs the end user, in this case the pilot. In their view it is the pilot who should decide whether the aircraft is required to be operated outside the envelope rather than have that decision already made for them by a computer. Boeing builds soft protections; aural, visual, and tactile to warn a pilot he is about to exceed the flight envelope but they do not stop him from exceeding the envelope if he so wishes. Boeing have also kept the pilot " in the loop " by providing control feedback in the form of feel in the yoke in response to control movement and movement of the thrust levers in response to power changes.

The Airbus pilots will, of course, defend their steed. I like to tell the story of a particular windy day in Pittsburgh a few years back. We had to delay in Dayton due to guss exceeding 80 knots. When the winds died down a bit we made our way over to PIT. On the approach the wind was almost straight down the runway in excess of 40 knots with gusts to 56. It was a little bumpy but not too bad. We landed and on the taxi-in watched two Airbii doing go-arounds. " Odd, I though to myself ", on arriving at the terminal I noticed that there were no Airbus to be seen, only us Boeings and McDonnell Douglas products.


TP
 

HAL

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There was a thread about a 17 year old A320 being parted out, and in that I had a post describing the differences between the types:

http://forums.flightinfo.com/showthread.php?t=56248&page=1&pp=15

What I said was:

As an America West Airbus pilot, and also having flown Boeing & Douglas planes, I think I can reliably speak up on this.

The oldest of AWA's Airbus planes are going away; they're being replaced as new ones arrive. The planes all have IAE engines, but the old ones are -A1 powered. The newer ones are all -A5 powered and have much better performance, especially on hot days in Phoenix. As much as I appreciate the high technology in the Airbus (and find it enjoyable to fly) I think that they have chronic maintenance problems sooner than Boeing or Douglas planes have. You can easily tell the age of the plane just by looking at the panel and the maintenance logbook. New, they're both clean. Old, they're both cracked with patches and MEL stickers on them. I think it's a shame, but it seems to me that the Airbus does have some problems lasting as long as other planes. Do they still fly? Yes. Do they do so reliably? Yes, for the most part. Are they cheaper to buy than Boeings? (a-ha!). Yes.

This absolutely isn't designed to be a Boeing vs. Airbus vs. Douglas thread. I've flown them all, and enjoyed them all. The Douglas was stone simple, overbuilt, and will probably last until I'm well into retirement. The Airbus is a great example of high technology - an engineers plane, built as inexpensively as possible (good for the airlines). The Boeing is somewhere in-between; well engineered with the pilots first in mind, but sturdy enough to take a lot of abuse. They're all good. They're all different.


Hope this helps.

HAL
 

PulluP

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"....but the old ones are -A1 powered. The newer ones are -A5 powered and have much better performance, especially on hot days in Phoenix...."

Of course it is true that the '-A5 powered' newer Airbuses have much better performance...why? because they are on A319s which of course are lighter than the A320; the -A1 engines are on A320s (newer A320s have -A3 engines).

"....you can easily tell the age of the plane just by looking at the panel and the maintenance logbook....cracked with patches and MEL stickers on them."

I asked a Northwest pilot about the panel on their aircraft, and he said the only obvious way to tell if you were flying an older A320 was "it has the old seats" (which are manual, not electric). Otherwise, the panels still all look the same. NWA has its original A320s from 1989, and they are all still flying. As to MEL stickers, that is a function of the maintenance department, if they fix the problem, there will be no MEL sticker...

"....Boeing...providing feedback...movement of the thrust levers in response to power changes."

The Northwest pilot flew both the 757 and A320 and said yes, it is nice to have the thrust levers move with power changes, but once you get used to checking the N1 gauges on the A320, it is no big deal. He also said, however, the biggest benefit to having autothrust is during single engine situations. The Airbus remains completely useful, but in the Boeing, you need to disconnect the autothrust and manually control it....basically giving you extra work during an emergency.
 

typhoonpilot

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The Northwest pilot flew both the 757 and A320 and said yes, it is nice to have the thrust levers move with power changes, but once you get used to checking the N1 gauges on the A320, it is no big deal. He also said, however, the biggest benefit to having autothrust is during single engine situations. The Airbus remains completely useful, but in the Boeing, you need to disconnect the autothrust and manually control it....basically giving you extra work during an emergency.

Not true with the 777. The Autothrottle keeps working fine during single-engine operation. Further, the movement of the thrust levers isn't just " nice ", it is critical to situational awareness. I would bet a lot of money that had the A-320 that crashed doing the low pass had thrust levers that moved the crash would not have happened. The crew would have been aware that the thrust was not responding in a more timely manner and would have reacted those precious few seconds sooner.

TP
 

TWA Dude

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PulluP said:
Of course it is true that the '-A5 powered' newer Airbuses have much better performance...why? because they are on A319s which of course are lighter than the A320; the -A1 engines are on A320s (newer A320s have -A3 engines).
I think there's some confusion about engines. Our A319's and non-old A320's both have IAE A5 engine variants. Northwest flies the CFM engine so I don't know about those. The A319 is the better performer as you wrote.

Oh, and landing a Bus in gusty/crosswinds is indeed an unecessary chore.
 

Clyde

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MVSW said:
Airbus or Boeing??? Pro's and Con's from you guys that fly them??

I haven't flown an Airbus product, but I can still very easily answer your question with this: pay and quality of life (schedule). That will determine which is the better airplane.
 

Boogie

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Airbus: aesthetically ugly, especially the A300 and A380. Ugliest cockpit windows are found on the Airbus products.

Boeing: sexy lines and sleek form. Pleasing on the eye to look at.
 

D-Bo

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I've flown both and prefer the Bus. Contrary to popular belief you can hand fly it around like any other plane. Many dislike the many flight protections it provides thinking it makes them feel like less of a pilot or it not being a pilots airplane. Truth is if you operate it in it's normal flight envelope these protections don't come into play.

As far as the cockpit is concerned, it is the best ergonomically designed cockpit I've ever been in. It's roomy and comfortable. 8 hours in the seat of the bus feels the same as doing only 4 or 5 in the 73. 8 hours in the 73 and I'm worn out. Not in the Bus. I also love the tray table and having my bags right behind me in the cockpit. Had to throw my bags in the overhead on the 73.

You may have also heard about the computers on the Bus doing many uncommanded things. I haven't seen that. I've never seen it do anything I haven't told it to do intentionally or unintentionally. If it's doing something you don't want it to do it's usually because you told it to.

Like I said I prefer the Bus but the 73 is a very good plane also. The best one is the one you can get a good secure job in. I'd fly a C-172 if it paid very well and was secure. Anyway, hope that helps.

D-Bo
 

Saabslime

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People talk of how important your quality of life is in this business. Well, that holds true while your AT work to. As far as creature comforts go, you just can't beat the bus. Most comfortable "office" I've ever had the pleasure of working in.:)
 

Chronic Jetlag

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I've flown the Bus, Boeing and douglas and I prefer Douglas, Boeing then the Bus. There is simply not enough tactile feed back in the Bus to keep pilots in the loop; plus it just feels too "Mickey Mouse" like a Barbie Jet. The gear handle looks and feels like a lolly pop sticking out of the panel, the reverse thrust levers feel like two small plastic tabs you pull to pop open a can of soda. The whole plane just feels counter intuitive, built by engineers without much input from pilots. There's not even an over head reading light. Let's not mention the forward lav just aft of the cockpit. Anyone who's flown the Bus knows about the ventilation design of the lav; you're reminded each time after someone pinches a loaf...pew, you smell it in the cockpit. The brakes overheat 90% of the time after the roll out. Everytime we put on the brake fans I feel like I'm turning on a pair of blow dryers to cool Barbie's wheels. The best design feature on the Bus in my personal opinion are the foot rests that drop down half way.
I'm curious as to how I would feel if I flew the Bus first before Boeing or Douglas.
 

wndshr

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MVSW said:
Airbus or Boeing??? Pro's and Con's from you guys that fly them??

Having flown 320, 737 and MD80

My opinions are.....

Quality of construction.............Boeing
Simplicity............................Boeing
Hand Flying .........................Douglas (Big a/c feel and easy to be smooth)
Comfort..............................Airbus
Cockpit...............................Airbus
Automation..........................Airbus
Easiest to Land......................Boeing (By far)
Most Quiet...........................Douglas (By far)
Coolest lookin.......................Boeing (By far)


Bottom Line: out of the three a/c i have flown....for a short hop i would take a 737 all day long! for any other type of flying it would have to be the airbus due to the comfortable and ergonomically efficient flight deck. a transcon flight in a bus is a non event.
 

D-Bo

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Chronic Jetlag said:
The brakes overheat 90% of the time after the roll out. Everytime we put on the brake fans I feel like I'm turning on a pair of blow dryers to cool Barbie's wheels.

The brakes on the 73 would to......if it could tell you what your brake temp is. Instead of it having the ability to show you the brake temp the 73 has those brake cooling tables in the flight manual. I'd bet those brake temps on the 73 are over 300 C more than you think.

D-Bo
 

Clyde

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olympus593 said:
Airbus Vs Boeing? In another few years it's going to be ERJ Vs CRJ...

But instead of the thread comparing which one is better, the thread will be asking which one is worse.
 

yaks

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Bus s*cks, automation, comfort wise (compared to 757) and all those little operational quirks. Just because it hasn't done anything uncommanded to you just means it hasn't done it yet. Pull and reset cb's is a daily operation. Had a brake temp guage in the 80 and I think I saw it over 300 deg. once. Again an every day occurence on the bus. Latest buffoonery: R and L aileron faults on liftoff resulting in flight controls reverting to alternate law. 10 MD80's or 737's could fly the schedule it takes 15 busses to fly.
 

Chronic Jetlag

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The acronym I used during training for the Bus to help me memorize systems was: **CENSORED****CENSORED****CENSORED****CENSORED**!

D...Direct law
A...Alternate law
M...Mechanical law
N...Normal law

Pun intended!
 

D-Bo

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yaks said:
R and L aileron faults on liftoff resulting in flight controls reverting to alternate law. 10 MD80's or 737's could fly the schedule it takes 15 busses to fly.

That's forked up. Never heard of that one happening. I know I may have sounded like a Bus salesman in this thread but in that situation you can look at it like this. In alternate law you still had more protections than you did in the 80 or the 73. Again, the protections shouldn't come into play as long as the airplane is operated in it's flight envelope but even with the failure you got you were still fine in alternate law.

I admit I haven't been on the Bus long enough to get a lot of the computer glitches you have seen. Maybe my opinion will change a year from now.

D-Bo
 
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