Considering the technical complexity of modern commercial aircraft and the operational complexities of running any airline service, it may seem surprising - especially to anyone steeped in the ways of business and/or operational automation - to consider the level to which a commitment to paper is maintained. Most of the …
As much as many ATPs love a glass cockpit, they also demand needle, ball and airspeed. Mechanical. I've seen pictures of the 787 cockpit. Look to the lower left of the pilot and the lower right of the co-pilot. The mechanical hydraulic pump for the landing gear is under a panel just behind the engine control console.
re. Glass Cockpits
It's not the pilots that demand backup instruments, it's the FAA/CAA. Everything in the cockpit is regulated up to the eyeballs and in-flight documentation is included.
I'm sure some pilots would love to have more room in the cases to keep their sandwiches, sunglasses and enormous watches...
I'm sure I remember seeing in the aircraft documentation that the 787 portable EFB was actually a hybrid device, with 2 CPUS, 2 sets of memory etc, running both Linux and Windows XP in the same box. The Linux bit was to connect to the aircraft data systems, and the XP part used for driving the display.
This may no longer be accurate as it's been a while since I looked at the documentation, and the systems are changing all the time, but I'm pretty sure it was the case, and given what a strange piece of design it was it was quite memorable. Exactly why it would be this way I'm not sure, probably a way of abstracting the XP bit away from any aircraft systems.
Mechanical standby instruments are always fitted, but sometimes (as in current gen fast jets) can be hidden behind other (movable) readouts to save wasting valuable space - and to be honest if you're in a scenario where you're down to the standbys, you're pretty f**ked anyway, particularly in something like a 787. It takes a ton of failures to knock out *everything* (double databus fail, multiple power bus fail etc.), so anything that takes the cockpit out to that extent would be pretty catastrophic.
True but it does happen....
Look up the United Airlines Souix City DC10 crash. There's tons of good stuff about it online. They were down to throttle control on two engines (no aerodynamic control at all) and still got about half the passengers off alive.
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