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-   -   Should Computers Overrule Humans in Flight? (http://www.startrekmovie.com/forums/showthread.php?t=8291)

Star Trek Viewer 06-11-2009 03:13 PM

Should Computers Overrule Humans in Flight?
 
Airbus and Boeing have different philosophies when it comes to the ability of pilots to control their airplanes. Although Airbus has an emergency system called "Alternate Law," the basic framework of its computer control system is to prevent pilots from executing any maneuvers that the computer decides is "unlawful," or in other words, that it decides the airplane cannot handle. I understand that "Alternate Law" and "Direct Law" apply only when flight control computers are malfunctioning.

Boeing, on the other hand, allows pilots ultimate control over the aircraft. The computer can and does warn about certain maneuvers, as I understand it, but it does not have the ability to prevent pilots from executing any maneuver, regardless of how "unlawful" it is.

This is separate from the question of whether either manufacturer uses "fly by wire."

What do you think? Should computers or should human beings have the final say?

Gary Seven 06-11-2009 03:39 PM

Man needs to fly!

Computers can provide safeguards but should never take the place of the human pilot. While we presently employ unmanned drones for military recon missions in battle regions, we're seeing experimentation with fighter aircraft as well. I've got mixed feelings about this.

Technology could bridge the gap of man's limitations; such as pulling heavy g's in a performance environment. Tech could never replace a human actually being in theater to evaluate a situation, making a tactical response and adjust to any wildcard.

Pilots need to be in the cockpit, not seated in front of a monitor with a joystick.

Zardoz 06-11-2009 03:51 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Gary Seven (Post 218777)
Man needs to fly!

Computers can provide safeguards but should never take the place of the human pilot. While we presently employ unmanned drones for military recon missions in battle regions, we're seeing experimentation with fighter aircraft as well. I've got mixed feelings about this.

Technology could bridge the gap of man's limitations; such as pulling heavy g's in a performance environment. Tech could never replace a human actually being in theater to evaluate a situation, making a tactical response and adjust to any wildcard.

Pilots need to be in the cockpit, not seated in front of a monitor with a joystick.

G7, so well put!!:thumbup::patriot:

Akula2ssn 06-11-2009 03:58 PM

Personally I don't care for the Airbus approach. From a business standpoint, the Airbus approach is potentially more appealing in that you don't necessarily need pilots to maintain certain flight proficiency standards which reduces cost of overhead.

With the Boeing approach, you do have to maintain a certain proficiency level, and pilots are suppose to regularly enter the simulator to train in emergency procedures. Also the pilot is required to be in direct control of the plane for a certain amount of hours rather than sitting there with the computer in control. Boeing establishes certain course criteria the pilots must meet in their training otherwise they are grounded. Boeing does make its simulators available to the airlines for training. Furthermore, major airlines also purchase the simulators from Boeing, and usually make the simulators available to airlines that can't afford to buy their own simulator. Naturally to maintain pilots of that level of proficiency, it costs more money which cuts into profits. And personally I wouldn't want to have to wait for an unpredictable catastrophic systems failure in order to arrest control from the computer.

NCC-73515 06-11-2009 04:16 PM

No skynet, please ;)

Akula2ssn 06-11-2009 04:24 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by NCC-73515 (Post 218803)
No skynet, please ;)

For some reason that just put this image in my head of some pilots sitting there with the plane on autopilot and downloading porn resulting in a virus getting into the computer.

Sohna 06-11-2009 04:26 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Star Trek Viewer (Post 218770)
the basic framework of its computer control system is to prevent pilots from executing any maneuvers that the computer decides is "unlawful," or in other words, that it decides the airplane cannot handle.

And what happens when this control system malfunctions?

Sorry, why bother having pilots at all if they are not permitted to make judgment calls? Give them the information and let them decide whether the risk needs to be taken. Otherwise you could end up with a situation where a plane crashes because evasive action would exceed design standards (which are usually written with a good bit of leeway).

Akula2ssn 06-11-2009 04:35 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Sohna (Post 218809)
Sorry, why bother having pilots at all if they are not permitted to make judgment calls?

Sadly from the business standpoint, that's precisely the point. Trained professional pilots cost money. Get rid of the need for such skilled people and you get rid of that cost which can be written off as additional profit. At least that's my personal cynical view on the matter.

Gary Seven 06-11-2009 05:04 PM

That's the cost of doing business. We shouldn't compromise safety over cost savings. Pilots fly aircraft.

Zardoz 06-11-2009 05:04 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Gary Seven (Post 218820)
That's the cost of doing business. We shouldn't compromise safety over cost savings. Pilots fly aircraft.

I so agree


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