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Boeing seeks to simplify 787 software

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posted on Nov, 15 2013 @ 02:09 PM
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Boeing is to be testing a new software version on the 787-9 to simplify it. It's come out that because the software monitors so many features of the aircraft that it's something of a hypochondriac. The big issue with the teething problems seems to be an over alert of minor problems, which leads to the pilots being cautious with the alarms.

They're not "dumbing down" the software, but making it more discriminatory towards what alerts are valid and what aren't.


Boeing is providing more detail about plans to improve the in-service reliability of the 787-8, some of which involves evaluations of revised software during on-going flight tests of the stretched 787-9.

Although the company acknowledges it still has much work in front of it to combat the ‘teething troubles’ early in the 787’s service life with the electrical system, batteries, hydraulics, brakes, oxygen system and others, it says the chief focus is now fixed on rationalizing the aircraft’s very sophisticated software.

The 787’s software-intensive control and monitoring systems measure vast amounts of data, far more than any previous airliner.

As a result, this has triggered an unexpectedly high number of low-level nuisance alerts that have led to inadvertent higher-level events, turn-backs and diversions.

The aircraft has been internally dubbed by Boeing as a systems ‘hypochondriac’, flagging notices to flight crews who are trained to err on the side of caution. “We are looking at software improvements to reduce the number of nuisance warnings and improve the built-in-test equipment (BITE) capability,” says 787 Airplane Development vice president Mark Jenks.

787 Software




posted on Nov, 15 2013 @ 02:10 PM
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It's so simple. Just take the software, and throw it in the bin. Then leave plane building to Airbus who actually know what they are doing.



posted on Nov, 15 2013 @ 03:16 PM
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reply to post by Act1Scene1
 


Really?

Airbus - 44 years of experience in building commercial airliners.

vs.

Boeing - 98 years of experience building commercial airliners, military bombers, military fighters, rocket systems, ect....

Who knows what they are doing again?



posted on Nov, 16 2013 @ 02:32 AM
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Act1Scene1
It's so simple. Just take the software, and throw it in the bin. Then leave plane building to Airbus who actually know what they are doing.





Hahahahahahaha, you mean the company that blames pilots when the computer locks into landing mode and decided to touch down in the middle of a forest?

Look into the conspircy of AirFrance covering for Airbus by blaming pilots for problems that just can't even happen in a Boeing.

Pilot friends of mine say that Airbus pilots never even learn how to actually FLY a large airliner because everything is so dependent on computers.

Times may be changing, but Airbus wish they had half the accomplishments of Boeing.
edit on 16-11-2013 by 8675309jenny because: (no reason given)



posted on Nov, 16 2013 @ 02:38 AM
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reply to post by Sammamishman
 


Whilst I would never condone or support such an inflammatory statement as "leave the pane building to Airbus....etc" , you do realise that Airbus didn't just pop into existence in 1969 from nowhere?

The knowledge that went into the beginnings of the company was basically the accumulative experience of all Europes aircraft manufacturers, starting with a basic design from Hawker Siddeley that became the A300, and that set the pattern for every modern widebody that isn't a Jumbo.

Just sayin.

On the other hand, the world needs Airbus and Boeing. Anyone who thinks a monopoly for either one would be a good thing needs to think again.



posted on Nov, 16 2013 @ 03:39 AM
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8675309jenny
...
Pilot friends of mine say that Airbus pilots never even learn how to actually FLY a large airliner because everything is so dependent on computers. ...

Even if that were true, its a nonsensical argument.

Being able to fly airliners without computers is a skill with rapidly declining relevance. Computers are not "optional", the human-machine interface has been irrevocably changed by putting the computers in-between. There is no distinction between the "Airliner" and "the computer inside", both are one unity. And this goes for all modern airliners, not just Airbuses.

The fact is that computers have made flying orders of magnitude safer, compared to the relatively rare occurences where computer failure or "communication breakdown" between computer and pilot has led to incidents.

Any time during flight training wasted on bypassing the computer for hypothetical scenarios, is time lost on training for flying WITH computers.


Sammamishman
reply to post by Act1Scene1
 


Really?

Airbus - 44 years of experience in building commercial airliners.

vs.

Boeing - 98 years of experience building commercial airliners, military bombers, military fighters, rocket systems, ect....

Who knows what they are doing again?

If you one really wants to use lineage and professional history as an argument between the two, the combined knowledge that merged into Airbus easily blows Boeing out of the sky. But noone in their right mind would do that, because that comparison is irrelevant at this point in time.
edit on 16/11/2013 by Lonestar24 because: (no reason given)



posted on Nov, 16 2013 @ 03:55 AM
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computa.....computa.....yes today I'd like to go to London England. Please take off now."



posted on Nov, 16 2013 @ 05:16 AM
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spartacus699
computa.....computa.....yes today I'd like to go to London England. Please take off now."


Computer says noooooooooooo!!!!



posted on Nov, 16 2013 @ 05:40 AM
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Act1Scene1
It's so simple. Just take the software, and throw it in the bin. Then leave plane building to Airbus who actually know what they are doing.



Really? Read in to the accident reports of the Air France A330 that stalled and fell into the south atlantic and tell me Airbus has got its design all sown up.

Increasing complexity and the HMI work to make it manageable is a difficulty that affects all the big manufacturers.



posted on Nov, 16 2013 @ 07:10 AM
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justwokeup

Act1Scene1
It's so simple. Just take the software, and throw it in the bin. Then leave plane building to Airbus who actually know what they are doing.



Really? Read in to the accident reports of the Air France A330 that stalled and fell into the south atlantic and tell me Airbus has got its design all sown up.

Increasing complexity and the HMI work to make it manageable is a difficulty that affects all the big manufacturers.


EXACTLY.

2 years later another Air France crew nearly did the same thing because they are not trained how to actually FLY a damn aircraft and didn't understand why the plane was autocorrecting.


airnation.net...



posted on Nov, 16 2013 @ 07:17 AM
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reply to post by 8675309jenny
 


It's not Airbus that's the problem in those cases, it was the Thales pitot tubes. They were susceptible to freezing, which led to faulty data being sent to the computer. If you read the reports this happened several times, and in almost all of the incidents the crew responded correctly, as trained by Airbus, and absolutely nothing happened. Most people weren't even aware anything had happened, and the reports went unnoticed because of it.



posted on Nov, 16 2013 @ 07:22 AM
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Lonestar24

8675309jenny
...
Pilot friends of mine say that Airbus pilots never even learn how to actually FLY a large airliner because everything is so dependent on computers. ...

Even if that were true, its a nonsensical argument.

Being able to fly airliners without computers is a skill with rapidly declining relevance.


You're very wrong on that count. Understanding how to actually FLY the aircraft gives you an understanding of what might be going wrong when the plane is in autopilot and doing funny things.

nymag.com...

The Asiana moron pilot AND the copilot don't even understand what a frickin STALL is apparently!! When the plane was undershooting the runway because they were going 100kts in a giant flying chunk of METAL.... they thought they could gain altitude by pulling FULL BACK on the stick.... LOLOLOL.

That's the equivalent of turning the steering wheel in a parked car to avoid an oncoming train!
edit on 16-11-2013 by 8675309jenny because: (no reason given)



posted on Nov, 16 2013 @ 07:33 AM
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Zaphod58
reply to post by 8675309jenny
 


It's not Airbus that's the problem in those cases, it was the Thales pitot tubes. They were susceptible to freezing, which led to faulty data being sent to the computer. If you read the reports this happened several times, and in almost all of the incidents the crew responded correctly, as trained by Airbus, and absolutely nothing happened. Most people weren't even aware anything had happened, and the reports went unnoticed because of it.


I think it's a combination of Airbus design and Air France training.

www.airliners.net...

One major stupid design on the Airbuses is that the stick doesn't move to show what autopilot is doing and the second stick doesn't move the same as the flying pilot's either, so you have to look over his shoulder to see if he's doing some boneheaded thing like pulling back while approaching the stall threshold.

And forget the pitot, if you're at 35,000ft, 85% power and GPS speed shows 150kts, you're a moron to not realize you're in a climb and about to stall the damn plane.



posted on Nov, 16 2013 @ 07:52 AM
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8675309jennyYou're very wrong on that count. Understanding how to actually FLY the aircraft gives you an understanding of what might be going wrong when the plane is in autopilot and doing funny things.


Quite right, since you mention that AF accident, If they had recognized an unreliable airspeed situation and gone Pitch and Power right away, the outcome would most likely be different.

Boeing or bus, the problem is lack of training for non normal situations , and over reliance on Automatics.



posted on Nov, 16 2013 @ 09:36 AM
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reply to post by waynos
 


True, maybe I shouldn't have used "vs", but I also didn't include Airbus + lineage, just Airbus on purpose.
I was just trying to make the point that Boeing has been around for a long time and has experience in doing a great many things and that I'm pretty sure they know what they are doing, in rebuttal to the statement that they didn't.



posted on Nov, 16 2013 @ 10:09 AM
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reply to post by 8675309jenny
 


It's really obvious you've never flown a plane. So here's a suggestion for you. Take a broomstick, sit in a computer chair, with a blindfold on, spin it around a few times, and when you stop, keep the broom stick in a vertical position. Try that for 10 seconds, stop, and without moving the stick, take the blindfold off.

That is almost like what it's like flying when you have no horizon to reference. Try it, and come back and tell me how easy it is to recognize a stall when you're blind.

As for the Asiana pilots, they did exactly how they should have. The mistake was in the autopilot (a BOEING aircraft may I add, so that really negates the whole Airbus argument). Most pilots in that same situation believed that the autothrottle would have held the programmed speed, and gotten into a similar situation. Add in a new training captain and a pilot that's transitioning, and you have mistakes.

I really suggest you try flying a few times before you start bashing pilots for making mistakes.



posted on Nov, 16 2013 @ 11:17 AM
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Zaphod58---As for the Asiana pilots, they did exactly how they should have. The mistake was in the autopilot (a BOEING aircraft may I add, so that really negates the whole Airbus argument). Most pilots in that same situation believed that the autothrottle would have held the programmed speed, and gotten into a similar situation.


I disagree.

Since the early days of the B777 pilots have been taught NOT to use Flight Level Change as a speed mode below 10000 ft, because if you don't have an active waypoint between you and assigned altitude/ground, the autothrottle wont wake up.
It's designed that way (Flight Level Change)
I know because i'm rated on it.

As for the AF A330 crash they DID have horizon reference, 2 working gyros, and fully working air data computers.

Coupled with N1/EPR that's how large airliners are flown in an unreliable airspeed situation these days.



posted on Nov, 16 2013 @ 11:30 AM
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reply to post by Ivar_Karlsen
 


With Air France happening at the time that it did, even having a horizon reference, I'm not surprised it happened. A lot of pilots get in trouble at night, even experienced pilots. We used to have a rule that all ferry flights on fighters had to be on the deck before local sunset, because even with them being flown by experienced pilots, with all the instrumentation they had, there had been several accidents. So seeing a crew get into a situation where they lost the plot, at that time of night, I'm really not surprised.

As for Asiana, I was in no way trying to pass blame to the autopilot. By "the problem was in the autopilot" I was pointing to comments made by Boeing that even experienced pilots, highly familiar with the aircraft make the same mistake they made with FLCL on the autopilot.

In this case having two highly experienced pilots, in unfamiliar roles led to a breakdown of crew coordination, which has killed more people than almost anything else in the aviation industry.



posted on Nov, 16 2013 @ 11:35 AM
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On a software related note, Boeing has said they're 6 months from a fix that will deal with the reliability, but after that there should be an improvement in the dispatch rate of the aircraft.



posted on Nov, 16 2013 @ 08:56 PM
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Zaphod58
reply to post by 8675309jenny
 


It's really obvious you've never flown a plane. So here's a suggestion for you. Take a broomstick, sit in a computer chair, with a blindfold on, spin it around a few times, and when you stop, keep the broom stick in a vertical position. Try that for 10 seconds, stop, and without moving the stick, take the blindfold off.

That is almost like what it's like flying when you have no horizon to reference. Try it, and come back and tell me how easy it is to recognize a stall when you're blind.

As for the Asiana pilots, they did exactly how they should have. The mistake was in the autopilot (a BOEING aircraft may I add, so that really negates the whole Airbus argument). Most pilots in that same situation believed that the autothrottle would have held the programmed speed, and gotten into a similar situation. Add in a new training captain and a pilot that's transitioning, and you have mistakes.

I really suggest you try flying a few times before you start bashing pilots for making mistakes.


I admit I'm no pilot, but my roomate and best friend for years was an instructor and I do have a few hours logged in a 172. (yes I realize, that's the equivalent of staying in a Holiday Inn last night
)

However as stated, the AF pilots had artificial horizons and they could have realized they were going much slower than they thought if they referred to the ground speed (I realize that could differ from airspeed by as much as 100kts) Either way, if they should be going 520kts and theyre actually going 300kts something is not right. Honestly, they probably never even checked their groundspeed.

I think maybe commercial pilots are forgetting some of the basics becasue they deal with the automated side of things so much. I used to run a race team and even on modern complictaed cars, to fix any engine issue you first refer to the basics (Fuel-Air-Spark). I think a lot of these newer pilots don't even think to question the fundamentals sometimes. Airspeed is everything.

As for Asiana, as far as I understand it, if both pilots pull back on the stick in a 777, the autopilot turns off. And if they hadn't pulled back they actually would have avoided the massive tailstrike.

As I've read though the autopilot was already off at 1,600ft and maybe it was entirely an autothrottle issue.

I know I'm out of my depth in this discussion, but regardless of your field, to be really good at what you do, you should have a solid understanding of the fundamentals which can save your ass in an incident.

My roomate was killed by an executive pilot trying silly moves in a Bonanza. The two guys in back swore they would have been dead too if he hadn't grabbed the controls and did his best to save it last minute.

www.emsworld.com...
edit on 16-11-2013 by 8675309jenny because: (no reason given)






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