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Airbus A380 - Danger button?

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posted on Jan, 16 2007 @ 04:55 AM
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First: I have very little knowledge of aircraft in general... So please deny my ignorance...


I received a series of pictures of the A380 showing of the rather impressive airplane being built, as well of the finished product including the breathtaking cockpit. Something that caught my eye is a big red box next to the pilot's seat with Danger written on it. It reminded me of a cartoon with the big red button that shouldn't be pushed...?

The function of this button/box is still unclear though. Some claim that the "Danger" box contains an emergency STOP button; if a pilot- wishes to disembark midair it will bring the plane to a complete stop"... As I said I don't know much about flying, but I don't see how bringing a giant airplane to a complete stop will get you out of danger - not even to mention that it's impossible to bring something that's flying to a complete stop - seeing that it will stop flying.

Others say it's for some sort of "escape chute" to open up. (The clowns say it's where pilots dump the bad airline food...
)

Do some of the more informed people perhaps know what this "button" is for?

Link to PICTURE in question




posted on Jan, 16 2007 @ 06:03 AM
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eject, eject, eject punch the canopy


no seriously i would suspect its for evaluation of test aircraft.
but thats just a guess



posted on Jan, 16 2007 @ 06:16 AM
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I dont know what it is but its clearly not for bringing the plane to a complete stop. As you said it would stop flying, probably just fall out of the sky!

I agree that its probably something to do with the test aircraft, maybe an emergency stop for the engines or something.



posted on Jan, 16 2007 @ 06:25 AM
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The Danger button was only in the prototype version of the A380. I think it was to shut all the systems down incase of a failure when testing on the ground.

Look - No Danger button in this one A380 Cockpit



posted on Jan, 16 2007 @ 07:05 AM
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That sounds reasonable - but why is this the only aircraft with such a button - even if it's only a propotype?

I found another picture of the cockpit - as an additional photograph to fiftyfifty's picture (and the first) - Picture - and here the cockpit differs once again - or at least the lay-out of the part in question... How many different prototypes did they build!?



posted on Jan, 16 2007 @ 07:42 AM
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A friend of mine worked on the A380 project for a while - I'll ask him and see if he can confirm what it is. He's in a meeting at the mo but should be out in an hour or so, so i'll update this thread as soon as I know!



posted on Jan, 16 2007 @ 07:55 AM
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Originally posted by Gemwolf
That sounds reasonable - but why is this the only aircraft with such a button - even if it's only a propotype?

I found another picture of the cockpit - as an additional photograph to fiftyfifty's picture (and the first) - Picture - and here the cockpit differs once again - or at least the lay-out of the part in question... How many different prototypes did they build!?


They usually build two to three prototypes, but only one flies. They have one they test in all weather conditions, one they test to destruction to see how long it will hold up to pressurization and how the wings flex etc, and then there's the flying prototype. The only one that would need an "In case of emergency push this big red button" is the flying prototype. The others don't even have real engines mounted on them sometimes.



posted on Jan, 16 2007 @ 08:10 AM
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I'd expect it's something to allow for escape in an emergency, but it does seem a bit longwinded for that, as it seems to have a lock fitted as well. Not something you would want in a desperate situation surely.

It almost looks like a button in an old James Bond film that the villain would reach for to fire his nuke.



posted on Jan, 16 2007 @ 08:34 AM
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Indeed, it is intresting. Jimbowsk, where's that answer!?!



posted on Jan, 16 2007 @ 08:43 AM
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Originally posted by watch_the_rocks
Indeed, it is intresting. Jimbowsk, where's that answer!?!


He's just got back to me now - he's unsure specifically what it's for as he only worked on the wings (rolls eyes), but he agrees that it'll be on a prototype of the plane as the cockpits don't have those 'danger' boxes now.

He's doing a little more digging so hopefully we'll get some sort of confirmation as to exactly what it's for!

Fingers crossed for 'self-destruct button'.



posted on Jan, 16 2007 @ 08:49 AM
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Originally posted by Jimbowsk

Fingers crossed for 'self-destruct button'.


lol
you just never know . . .



posted on Jan, 16 2007 @ 09:45 AM
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Ok, here's the latest from the email my mate just sent to me:

I remember hearing somewhere that for the first flight(s) all the crew wore parachutes and there was an emergency hatch near the nose of the aircraft so they could bail out in the event of emergency. I always thought this a bit far-fetched but it is apparently true.

This is the release mechanism for this hatch. This explains why it has the key lock on it as it assumes sufficient time to react to blow the hatch and get all the test crew out - about 5-10 people I think. (end email).

So there ya go! I hope they don't test those things near peoples houses, the last thing you'd want is an abandoned A380 fallin on your house! Try explaining that to the insurance company over the phone...



posted on Jan, 16 2007 @ 09:52 AM
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Sounds right to me. It's definitely an actuator for some kind of function that will results in a dangerous situation if not performed at the right time or under the right conditions.



posted on Jan, 16 2007 @ 10:02 AM
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In the comments under the pic on Airliners.net a user guesses that due to the fact it's a prototype it is probably the ejection seat

Would they really have an eject button on a commercial craft? any other examples of that?

[edit on 16-1-2007 by Perfect stranger]



posted on Jan, 16 2007 @ 10:04 AM
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Just got another question about the cockpit pic. There is a joy stick but no traditional yoke. So is it correct that this plane is being flown by a joystick?



posted on Jan, 16 2007 @ 10:10 AM
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Yes. Fly by wire systems are usually flown by a joystick instead of a yoke. The control movement range is much smaller with FBW, and it's much easier to incorporate a stick than a yoke with it.

As for the question about ejection seats, it's not the seats that eject. There's a small hatch, usually with a big steel bar hanging over it. When that handle is pulled the bar drops and punches the door away from the plane, then the crew drops out the hatch with parachutes on.

[edit on 1/16/2007 by Zaphod58]



posted on Jan, 16 2007 @ 10:47 AM
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Originally posted by Jimbowsk
I remember hearing somewhere that for the first flight(s) all the crew wore parachutes and there was an emergency hatch near the nose of the aircraft so they could bail out in the event of emergency. I always thought this a bit far-fetched but it is apparently true.



No, no, not far-fetched at all, its standard practice.

Indeed, usually they will blow up (out) a section of fuselage (not the doors as they are the hardest part of the aircraft to destroy). The crew then bail out through the gap.

edit: Well, thats what Bombardier did with the CRJ and Learjets - so that choice could have been because of the small fuselage.

[edit on 16/1/07 by kilcoo316]



posted on Jan, 16 2007 @ 11:08 AM
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As others have said, here is an escape hatch fitted into the R1 cargo hatch on MSN001 that is activated by that panel in the cockpit. The retaining lock is removed prior to flight and put back into place when the aircraft is made safe, because the escape hatch is permanently armed.

In the event of an inflight emergency, the pilots would blow this hatch and the flight test crew would evacuate through this hatch via a slide positioned just behind the flight deck.

This is standard procedure on all flights in the first stages of a flight test programme, and Boeing did indeed do it on the 777 - in the documentary 'Building a 21st century jet' where they cover the first flight, you can see the crew all wearing parachutes.




posted on Jan, 16 2007 @ 11:15 AM
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Originally posted by Gemwolf
First: I have very little knowledge of aircraft in general... So please deny my ignorance...



Link to PICTURE in question




Looks like some kind of an option to me it is not on all picctures of a 380 cockpit.






BTW how does one make a 380 come to a SUDDEN Stop?
Other then hitting a brick wall head on that is




[edit on 1/16/2007 by shots]



posted on Jan, 16 2007 @ 11:20 AM
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Originally posted by Zaphod58
Yes. Fly by wire systems are usually flown by a joystick instead of a yoke. The control movement range is much smaller with FBW, and it's much easier to incorporate a stick than a yoke with it.

As for the question about ejection seats, it's not the seats that eject. There's a small hatch, usually with a big steel bar hanging over it. When that handle is pulled the bar drops and punches the door away from the plane, then the crew drops out the hatch with parachutes on.

[edit on 1/16/2007 by Zaphod58]


Zaphod?

Zaphod the Highway Star? Glad to hear from you!

DAMN! I thought it was the "LUDICROUS SPEED" mechanism. ( See lower left below )





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