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The Airbus - known as "Satan's Kitten" by Pilots

Dec 31, 2014 - 5 comments

The unfortunate loss of an Airbus illuminates a problem that is not well known outside of aviation circles.

That is to say any Boeing product can recover from a situation that the Airbus cannot.

China Airlines flight 006, a 747 SP, tumbled from the air in 1985, falling like a leaf 30,000 feet, until the pilots regained control. The aircraft ended up with structures destroyed and engines burned up, but all survived. An Airbus cannot recover from many in-flight situations that any Boeing can recover from.

The reasons are simple:

Airbus structures are lighter and have less strength than in a Boeing to save weight.

Wow! What a rocket-ship concept.

To prevent overstressing, a computer limits the amount of control the pilot has over ailerons, rudder and elevator. The small "handle" that controls the aircraft does not actually input to the flight surfaces. It gives "suggestions" to the computer

A pilot can perform fighter pilot maneuvers with a Boeing.

The Boeing pilot actually flies the plane!

He/she has complete instantaneous control of all flight surfaces, which can be moved to the limits of motion. The degrees of freedom designed into those control surfaces far exceed that on the Airbus.

With an Airbus under ANY circumstances there can only be very shallow banks and climbs, and limits of the rudder, ailerons and elevators cannot exceed these limits without structural failure.

This limitation saved weight and lots of fuel.

Airbus 587 lost the tail when the pilots hit the rudder, causing structural failure and the deaths of all aboard..

On the other hand, with a Boeing,when the pilot moves the yoke the control surfaces actually move.

In addition all Boeing pilots can push those power levers to the wall and obtain 150 percent of normal power on every engine. That engine may have to be replaced when the plane lands, but that power is there.

The philosophy of Airbus was to prohibit under any circumstances the pilot from obtaining more than 75% power from the engines. This extends the time before overhaul at the cost of providing pilots with an option that may save the aircraft. Airbus maintains that "The pilots would damage the engines if left to their own devices."

The Airbus uses a computer system using logic known as "normal law". It cannot be over-ridden in an emergency by the pilot. Remember "Hall", in the movie "Space Odyssey"?

These shortfalls have been well-discussed in the reputable Aviation publication Aviation Week and Space Technology.

If it ain't Boeing, I ain't going.

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535822 tn?1443980380
by margypops, Jan 01, 2015
Thats so interesting and informative caregiver...a lot there I didnt know ...do you think this is a connection between the missing aircraft ?

535822 tn?1443980380
by margypops, Jan 01, 2015
Thats so interesting and informative caregiver...a lot there I didnt know ...do you think this is a connection between the missing aircraft ?

144586 tn?1284669764
by caregiver222, Jan 01, 2015
The shortfalls of the Airbus have been discussed extensively in Aviation circles, particularly in  the reputable publication Aviation Week and Space Technology. The designers saved fuel, at the expense of providing the pilot with many options. For a while pilots refused to fly the Airbus. If you google "differences between the Boeing and the Airbus" the facts I stated are outlined and substantiated. Boeing builds airplanes. Airbus is a jobs project. Airbus flight 587 went down out of Kennedy and I was there removing bodies, The pilot applied full rudder deflection and the tail came off. Images of the torn off structures were posted in  AW and ST. Restriction of power lever control under ANY circumstances if a major shortfall. Actually Boeing engines can develop 200% rated trust. They will have to be scrapped but that power is there. In an Airbus headed for a collision with a mountain you cannot exceed 75% of potential thrust. This is aside from the limitations on control authority. The ailerons on a Boeing, the elevators and the rudder can move further than in the Airbus, providing control authority. When a Boeing and not the case with the airbus. The Airbus engineers argued that too many pilots were returning with bent airplanes and burned out engines. Thus even if both aircraft have the same engine, the Boeing version can be stressed to the limit while on the Airbus this is not possible. Because Boeing uses the old-fashioned yoke (like as cut-off steering wheel) the co-pilot can watch every movement of the pilot and taker over instantly. With the airbus control is suggested by a small handle, and when the pilot operates this handle the co-pilot cannot see what he is doing. On the net is a video of an early 707 rolled on it's back several times like a fighter. Such a maneuver would be impossible in an Airbus product. Not for nothing, in an age of terrorism,a Boeing can avoid certain ground to air missiles. The Airbus cannot.

144586 tn?1284669764
by caregiver222, Jan 01, 2015
If one searches the NTSB database for the crash investigation report on the crash of an Airbus flight 587 with the loss of 280 lives the conclusion was catastrophic failure and separation of the rudder and stabilizer due to aerodynamic forces developed when the copilot used "excessive" rudder input. What!.  Oh...both engines fell off in flight when the aircraft went out of control. Aviation Week and Space technology printed photographs of the failed structures next to that of a comparable Boeing. The Boeing structure was much thicker and designed to take far heavier loads.

144586 tn?1284669764
by caregiver222, Jan 05, 2015
It appears that the formation of ice crystals. which cannot be detected on weather radar, caused caused a surge, then a stall, and then a flameout of the engines. This phenomena was a factor in the crash of Airbus 332, an A300-200 on 1 June 2007. In that case ice on the pitot tubes was an additional factor. This problem was discussed in "Boeing Aero Magazine" Q/2007 and in the article "Ice Particle Threat to Engines in Flight", A/AA 2006-206. In fairness, both Boeing and Airbus aircraft are susceptable to this hazard. Boeing recommends that aircraft do not fly within 50 miles of area where there are known to be ice crystal formation. The fuel from the tanks goes through a screen, and then a heater element before entering the engines. It is this screen that becomes clogged with ice. An airworthiness directive was issued to add an additional heating element to turbofan aircraft engines, but it is unknown if this was accomplished in the case of the Asian aircraft. As a precaution, pilots are instructed to keep auto-ignite on when entering such conditions inadvertantly.

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