Hi, just curious what the main differences are when flying a regional aircraft (eg. E190) and flying a 737 (or similar Airbus aircraft)?
Believe it or not it’s not much. In fact the Embraers are very modern aircraft and depending on the model of 737 or Bus it may have features they don’t (auto anti-ice for example).
An airplane is an airplane and while the larger airframes are heavier and therefore more stable and may also have more automation it’s really not that different. Transition training is more about procedures and systems than flying skills.
Not much really. The larger airplanes are more stable and are thus less affected by wind gusts and turbulence, but on some level, they are all airplanes and have the same inherent characteristics. The 737 is one of the least advanced airplanes I have ever flown, while the 145 was pretty modern. I would say the A320 tops the list as far as being the most advanced I have flown, but I have heard that even that pales in comparison to the 787.
That being said though, areodynamics are the same regardless of how advanced an airplane is.
You guys sure about that?
I know you guys both didn’t mean to use stable in the way it sounded. I understand what you were trying to say, but for everyone else reading I think it is important to clarify the formal meaning of stability.
Stability is determined by an aircraft’s ability to return to it’s previous orientation after being disturbed (disturbed either by the pilot or by the environment). While larger planes are heavier, yes. That doesn’t necessarily make them more stable. However, it makes them less affected by a disturbance which is what I’m sure Chris and Adam meant to say.
Just imagine which would be a smoother off-roading experience: driving a Prius or a tank?
Airliners are considered to be large aircraft, yes, but they are also equipped with more advanced technology like gain scheduling, yaw damping, and other higher-level functions which aid in the aircraft’s overall handling, smoothness, and stall characteristics, BUT only when those functions are turned ON.
When the higher-level functions are turned off, only then do you really get a feel for how the plane really flies.
Airliners are also commonly low-wing, swept back, with more aft CGs, all which make the plane LESS stable than most GAs.
Smaller aircraft, the classic Skyhawk for example, while it may be equipped with just the essentials compared to airliners, are considered to be the most stable planes on the market which is what makes them such popular trainers. The straight, high-wing design and forward CG gives them a natural tendency to recovery from stalls and even spins which makes them incredibly stable.
Anyone, feel free to correct me on anything I missed or phrased incorrectly.
(Sigh)… Thank you for the lesson Tory.
You are of course correct, both Chris and I used the term “stable” incorrectly. In our defense we were answering a question posed by a perspective pilot and used the term as something a layman could understand vs its actually definition in aerodynamics.
Please accept my apology for my incorrect use of the word stable. What I meant was a plane that weighs 400,000lbs is less likely to be tossed around like a leaf in the wind than a plane that weighs 40,000 or even 100,000. Hence it will “feel” less stable (whether or not it actually is as stated above by Tory is another conversation).
As a side note in a previous post you asked about PBS parameters and the subject of “no fly” preferences came up. The above correction is a great example of how you end up being listed “avoid” on someone’s bid
Your welcome? As I said, the lesson wasn’t for you. Obviously you know how airplanes fly Mr. Greaser
Yes, your definition of stability is correct, although it is not how the term is commonly used.
I would point out that the EMB 145 is the only jet that I know of where the yaw damper is routinely turned off. Every Boeing and Airbus I have flown leaves the yaw damper on all of the time and gain scheduling is not a term that I am familiar with. The only way for us to turn these types of systems off is through non-normals and emergency procedures. The way the airplane handles with these systems functioning normally is how the plane really flies.
Over the years have you developed a preference for the yoke vs side stick vs “handlebars”? Sorry I’m not sure what the control column in an Embraer is called, I guess technically it’s still a yoke
I prefer the stick. Not the control logic behind it, but the stick itself. If I have to fly with a yoke, I much prefer a Boeing yoke. The Embraer yoke is silly at best. It forces one to sit with their legs in an odd position during crosswind landings, or your legs cab block the yoke. I think it is a terrible design.
The control column on an Embraer takes some getting used to. I don’t know how the 145 compares to the 175. I actually find that the 175 is roomy.
I never had and issue with handlebars vs the conventional yolk and transitioning to either is a non-event.
Now the sidestick on the Bus is a whole other conversation. If you look at it, it looks like this beefy fighter plane stick that’s inviting you to grab it and hand fly the plane but that’s really false advertising (it’s taunting you). The stick is actually called an “input device” by Airbus and has ZERO connection to any flight surface (fly by wire) and ZERO “feel” (real or synthetic). Wrap your hands around that stick and you’re going to have a BAD day! So what do you do? You use your thumb and your index and/or maybe your middle finger and use the slightest amount of pressure to fly the plane. Anything more and you will start the Airbus “stirring the pot” maneuver where you’re fighting to get the plane from one over correction to the next. Know how you stop the gyrations? You let go. Yup, if you’re ever flying an Airbus and she gets too squirrelly you just let go completely and the plane will settle itself right down, as if to say (in a French accent of course) “stupide pilot!, what where you thinking? Leave me alone and let me fly myself. Why don’t you do what you do best? Drink a macchiado and eat a croissant!”. It’s stupid plane designed by jealous pilot hating French engineers!
I actually think the stick is pretty cool. Although, on a gusty crosswind landing I think I’d much prefer a control column.
Adam clearly has issues with the French and the Airbus that he needs to work out. The stick has actually grown on me a bit over the past several years, although I still prefer to have direct control inputs into an airplane.
Until you’ve flown Fifi you don’t know! Sure it looks cool but trust me, it’s a lie.
Chris clearly has Stockholm Syndrome.
Does an A320 sim count?
Haha, very fun to see that everyone’s got their own personal preferences. Perhaps Chris is a fan of the side stick because he gets to eat his lunch on a tray table
Speaking of, do you get cup holders? Where are you supposed to put your macchiato?
Yes all commercial cockpits I’ve ever seen have an ample supply of cup holders. As a matter of fact the A330 still has ashtrays!
Every airliner I have flown has cupholders, some better than others. Airplane manufactures figured out long time ago that they had better give pilots cup holders, or they would end up with liquid spilled in places they did not want it to be.
In the CJ3s I fly each side has two cup holders but they are very narrow. It took me quite some time to find a coffee tumblr narrow enough to fit, but luckily Starbucks saved the day. I paid double the price of a normal one but hey, having coffee is priceless am I right?