Every once in a while a video pops up that embraces the spirit of aviation — this is one of them. This video takes you inside an Avianca Airlines Airbus A320 while flying around South America in one of the best cockpit videos I have seen to date. Man, now I want to go flying.
What does the cockpit of the future look like? New technology? Fewer pilots? Maybe no pilots? I don’t know if people will ever be ready for no human to have some sort of control over their airplane, but maybe they will be ok letting computers take over a bit more.
Recently, Airbus has taken another step towards airplane automation. Now, when two airplanes get too close, the Traffic alert and Collision Avoidance System (TCAS) will sound an alarm, the pilot will check out the situation and make needed adjustments. Many times, the system can provide false alarms or pilots can over-react to the alarm. Aibus’ new system will automatically adjust a plane’s altitude to avoid a collision. This will reduce false alarms and increase safety. For those that feel pilots should have more control — no worries. They are able to shut off the automated system and fly manually if they need to.
Why settle only for an image of an Airbus A380 cockpit? Click to get a full 360 view.
The Airbus A380 is one amazing machine. It is the largest airliner flying today and has a full length top deck. Also impressive if the A380’s cockpit. But why be happy with only a single image? Check out this pretty sweet 360degree view of the A380’s spacious flight deck.
Be sure to notice the A380 in Airbus livery outside and the cockpit screen displaying the tail-cam (notice you can zoom in quite well on the 360 view).
There has been so much excitement about seeing the first Boeing 787 take off and even the second. Now it is time for the third Dreamliner to get some attention. This morning I was invited to see the third Boeing 787 Dreamliner up close and personal. Besides Boeing staff and a few guest airlines, this was the first time outsiders have been allowed to see what’s so special on the inside. Boeing has never invited media on a test plane like this before and they made it clear that this was a still a testbed and wasn’t the final product.
Passengers are able to tint the windows using the button below them. This is a middle level tint.
It was exciting walking up the stairs of the third Dreamliner. The first thing I noticed when walking in was space. Yes, many of the seats were missing, but it seemed tall and roomy. I was quick to move over to the windows and try the electronic dimmers. Instead of shades, you are able to push a button and dim the window from clear to very dark. This is something that will likely entertain children (and aviation nerds) for a few hours on a flight. Getting up to see the flight deck was awesome. The display screens were much larger than I thought and the heads up display was an exciting addition. They even had a 787 Dreamliner emblem on the ceiling, which was a nice touch.
Notice how little room the overhead bins take. The white lighting can be programmed with different color options.
This Boeing 787 test plane only had a few economy seats for us to preview, no Business or First class ones. Boeing will provide a catalog of seats for airlines to choose from. Airlines must choose out of the Boeing catalog for economy seats, but do not for Business Class.
Most of the plane was lit in white, although the front had a nice blue glow to it. Boeing will suggest to airlines that they have the lights on blue when passengers load, since studies show it gives the feeling of space . They also suggest airlines go brighter for meal services, since food looks better when well lit (not sure if peanuts do though).
In the front and rear of the aircraft are crew bunk areas. The bunk areas are located above in the ceiling and have some narrow stairs to get access. They make me think of summer camp, but they at least provide an area away from the passengers where the crew can rest.
It was amazing being able to get so close to this Dreamliner. She looked great in her Boeing "light" livery.
One surprisingly neat part of the Boeing 787 was the lavatories. If you wave your hand in front of the sensor, they will flush and the seat will close. They also have a very spacious feel with the ability to customize the lighting.
The Dreamliner is an amazing aircraft. Even non-aviation nerds should feel a stark difference flying on this aircraft versus others. I think most people were impressed even with this pre-production model. I can’t wait to see her fully decked out.