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Original Boeing 727

23 Mar 2016 23:01 #46917 by shadar
Original Boeing 727 was created by shadar
Ah, remembering the days when everything was manual and it took three guys up front to keep up with it all? VHF radios, radar and a simple autopilot was about as computerized as it got. I used to fly around the Arctic (off all places) in these in the early 70's.

Boeing just hung some new engines on this old plane (along with a few other tweaks) and flew it from one field to another here in Seattle to put it in their museum. I think the pilot pictured flew this plane when it first went into service in 1964.

Cool thing about Boeing here in its hometown... Anyone else that wanted to move an old plane, that hadn't flown for decades, a dozen miles up the road would have taken it apart and put it on a truck. But not Boeing. No, no. They sent in their guys and got it back in good working shape, with new engines, and flew it that dozen miles. My god those old engines were loud.

Gotta love Boeing...

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23 Mar 2016 23:29 #46918 by fats
Replied by fats on topic Original Boeing 727
here is a pair of pics showing where i work

Firstly here is a pic of the 747-8 flight deck



And here we have a pic of the A380 flight deck



We have come a long way in 30 years since the 727

Fats

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24 Mar 2016 00:29 #46920 by shadar
Replied by shadar on topic Original Boeing 727
Starship Enterprise meet a square-rigger sailing ship.

A friend of mine used to work as a engine mechanic on B-52 bombers in the 70's. The center console between the pilots was huge, with 8 throttles and long levers for spoilers, flaps, elevator trim, etc. It was huge and took physical effort to use. (Still does... the 1960's BUFFs are stiff flying, piloted by men and women in their 20's).

The issue was that the throttle levers were connected by cables to the engines, and it was impossible to rig them so they all generated the same rpm/thrust/fuel-burn at the same position. The MUST DO rule as I recall him saying, was that every engine had to achieve 100% rpm when the throttles were all the way forward. Other than that, they were often quite mismatched and each lever and its engine had to be individually adjusted for optimal cruise.

The pilots hated too much slop in the cables. Which there always was. My friend spent a lot of time fussing over keeping the throttles adjusted more or less equally. Like after every flight.

Pilots didn't normally just push the throttles forward and back, except perhaps at take-off or go-arounds, etc.. They had to lace their fingers into that maze of throttles and wiggle them side to side to make small adjustments. Early engines were fairly slow responding, and since the throttles were a little mismatched, it was wildly challenging to hold an exact position during air refueling, which often took 30 minutes or more to complete (when they were draining an entire tanker in one plug).

There are still crews flying aircraft that are basically the same as when they entered the active inventory in the mid-50's. Much equipment has been upgraded, but not the basic mechanical controls in the cockpit.



Shadar

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24 Mar 2016 02:37 #46922 by Sarge395
Replied by Sarge395 on topic Original Boeing 727
I joined the Army in or about the late 80's. We used M16's, M9 pistols, had kevlar helmets, wore BDU's, and ate MRE's (meals ready to excrete).

Fast forward to 2011 (last tour) and everything but the uniform pattern, the MRE menu choices and the M16 stayed the same. M4 is just a shorter rifle than an M16 for closer quarters in vehicles and for room to room operations.

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24 Mar 2016 03:17 #46923 by shadar
Replied by shadar on topic Original Boeing 727
You mean you aren't usingdisruptors and wearing full-body armor with computer-enhanced senses and a high-powered exo-skeleton?

Because that's about the level of changes that have played out in aircraft cockpits over just a slightly longer period.

Those throttle levers on the modern jets aren't connected by cables to anything. Just a connection to the computer.

At least Boeing gives you a yoke, even if it too is just sending coded signals to the computer. It still looks like a proper airplane cockpit.

Airbus puts that big keyboard where the yoke should be, and a little side stick for the rare times when it's flown manually.

Shadar

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24 Mar 2016 03:20 #46924 by ace191
Replied by ace191 on topic Original Boeing 727
This plane was sometimes referred to as a Skateboard or "Miss Piggy." Biggest problem with the early ones was the 7 second spool up time for the engines. Pilots transitioning from propeller aircraft were used to near instant full power when the throttles were advanced which resulted in several crashes on approach. Another issue was that the fuel tanks were in the wings and the engines were in the rear. This meant that the fuel lines ran under the passenger seats which could be a problem in a crash.

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24 Mar 2016 03:32 #46925 by ace191
Replied by ace191 on topic Original Boeing 727
How do you steer these on the ground? And have you ever had all those nice screens go dark except for the little square one in the middle.

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24 Mar 2016 04:27 #46926 by shadar
Replied by shadar on topic Original Boeing 727

ace191 wrote: How do you steer these on the ground? And have you ever had all those nice screens go dark except for the little square one in the middle.


I think they have a little stick control somewhere (or its computer coupled into the yoke or joystick) that controls the nose wheel steering. Brakes are controlled by the rudder pedals.

Given everything is fly-by-wire, if the computers totally die (all of them!) then nothing is controlling anything. Fortunately, there are many redundancies to reduce that risk to near (but never!) zero. More likely a software bug would get you.

I was a huge fan of computer-controlled fly-by-wire until I saw this video of an Airbus 320 flying into the ground during a go-around that was well within the aircraft's performance envelope. Supposedly a software glitch caused the crash.

Fats probably knows more of the story.

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24 Mar 2016 08:53 - 24 Mar 2016 16:29 #46927 by Woodclaw
Replied by Woodclaw on topic Original Boeing 727

shadar wrote: You mean you aren't usingdisruptors and wearing full-body armor with computer-enhanced senses and a high-powered exo-skeleton?

Because that's about the level of changes that have played out in aircraft cockpits over just a slightly longer period.


It's not that those things haven't been tried -- as far as I know linear frame exo-skeletons have been tested since the '80s -- but that they were not efficient. Aside from any technical problem I think that the main handbrake here is the cost/effect ratio: spending millions to improve an already expensive aircraft is an acceptable expense, because of the already massive pricetag; but spending the same amount to outfit a rank and file soldier isn't, because soldiers are supposed to be cheap-ish to train.

(formerly Anon, still Librarian)

"What is the point of having free will if one cannot occasionally spit in the eye of destiny?" ("Gentleman" John Marcone)
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24 Mar 2016 15:21 #46930 by jimbob
Replied by jimbob on topic Original Boeing 727
Man. Cockpits are cool......

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25 Mar 2016 04:49 #46948 by SCOTT R
Replied by SCOTT R on topic Original Boeing 727
So with all this electronic wizardry in the cockpits of these huge aircraft, is there any need anymore for dedicated flight engineers, navigators or radio operators? Two or three pilots can now take care of the entire work load?

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25 Mar 2016 07:08 #46949 by shadar
Replied by shadar on topic Original Boeing 727

SCOTT R wrote: So with all this electronic wizardry in the cockpits of these huge aircraft, is there any need anymore for dedicated flight engineers, navigators or radio operators? Two or three pilots can now take care of the entire work load?


Crews are always two pilots these days.
Engineers, radio operators and navigators are long gone.
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25 Mar 2016 18:25 #46958 by AlbertC
Replied by AlbertC on topic Original Boeing 727

shadar wrote:

SCOTT R wrote: So with all this electronic wizardry in the cockpits of these huge aircraft, is there any need anymore for dedicated flight engineers, navigators or radio operators? Two or three pilots can now take care of the entire work load?


Crews are always two pilots these days.
Engineers, radio operators and navigators are long gone.


My uncle was a flight engineer in former Varig airlines, and also worked in Congo with an old Lockheed Electra. Unfortunately this last experience destroyed his health conditions and he passed away last year, but nobody can say he had a boring life.

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26 Mar 2016 01:45 #46965 by slim36
Replied by slim36 on topic Original Boeing 727
Its fun reading about planes with throttles that went past 100% to en.wikipedia.org/wiki/War_emergency_power . Did they develop special drugs and supplements to give humans like the east bloc olympic athletes that seemed to have unnatural abilities?

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