Control in the cockpit: crews vs. computers.Aerosp Am. 1996 Aug; 34(8):28-33.AA
In the no-holds-barred competition between Boeing and Europe's Airbus Industrie for dominance in the world's commercial jet airliner markets, the question of who--or what--is in charge in the cockpit has been a significant selling point. Airbus, which pioneered highly automated flight controls with its A320 narrow-body transport in the late 1980s, likes to emphasize the "protection" features built into the aircraft through those automated systems. Boeing, which employs many of the same concepts in its new 777 twin-engine widebody transport, tends to put more emphasis on crew involvement in the operation of that aircraft. Is there a difference? In fact, the question has broader implications than those involving the marketing battle between Boeing and Airbus. Airlines, aircraft manufacturers, flight training specialists, human factors gurus, and aviation authorities in various countries are struggling with the isse as automation becomes more and more prevalent on passenger and cargo-carrying aircraft around the world.