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  1. #1
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    Software rather than hardware input in cockpit

    Why doesn't the cockpit use software controls rather than hardware controls in some planes? (Notice the additional keys in these examples; Boeing 787, 787, 747.)

    The craft should be controlled from the software with a pointing device and keyboard. (Or touch screen if that can offer acceptable precision).

    And why multiple widely separated small screens instead of a single 11520x1080 (6*1920) multi-monitor screen with a single maximized program? (Through Eyefinity for example since Windows can't by itself be set to maximize over multiple display devices.)

    It seems obvious that this will eventually be the case because of the inefficiency in small volume non-PC hardware and software.

    When unmanaged technology enthusiasts tend to produce these kind of complete and non-standard systems, but when managed isn't is possible to achieve efficiency and utilize the PC standard?

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    Re: Software rather than hardware input in cockpit

    Simple answer
    if the software crashes then reboot...if your plane crashes because your software crashes????

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    Re: Software rather than hardware input in cockpit

    Quote Originally Posted by jonesthesoftware View Post
    if your plane crashes because your software crashes?
    How do you equate a software crash with less keys in the input device?

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    300+ Forum Addict Tom_G_2010's Avatar
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    Re: Software rather than hardware input in cockpit

    Couple thoughts on this: For a sim pit, no big deal. For a real aircraft very different story.

    A screen failure with multiple screens means only a loss of some info and with multiple multipurpose displays perhaps no loss of info. One large display failing could mean a loss of a great deal more.

    Switches verses touch screens or mouse clicks. Touch screens and mouse clicks may work better in smooth air, but think about turbulence. Think about trying to touch or click the correct point on a screen as you're bouncing around in rough air as compared to resting your fingers on a panel frame and getting positive tactile contact with the one switch you mean to operate.
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    Re: Software rather than hardware input in cockpit

    Quote Originally Posted by Tom_G_2010 View Post
    One large display
    I didn't say one display device. The Eyefinity software allow you to select display device.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tom_G_2010 View Post
    Touch screens and mouse clicks may work better in smooth air.
    I didn't say mouse. There are pointing devices that can be operated with precision in a moving environment.

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    Re: Software rather than hardware input in cockpit

    The E-190 uses a CCD which is basically a Mouse pad like your laptop and I have to say it was difficult to get use to it at first but it is very nice technology it sometimes is a bit uncomfortable!

    The cursor only moves within the places where you can click something... For example on the E-190 MFD only moves on the top and lower part of the Screen where you have little boxes that enable the menu's of systems, Radars, Tcas etc...

    I've had my share of turbulence and have not had any problems except that like any Machine that is used day and night things tend not to work as they where designed, sometimes the CCD itself is not well calibrated and you have to touch certain parts of it ( mainly the edeges) for it to work properlly! Had a situation in Weather conditions I lost the Radar and had to reset accesing the menu with the CCD and it took me quite a qhile cause we where in turbulence and it was not properlly calibrated but manage to do it...

    Then again Touch screens are now a reality with General Aviation but Airliners I think that is a bit faraway although not by much!

    Regards

    Roberto

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    300+ Forum Addict Tom_G_2010's Avatar
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    Re: Software rather than hardware input in cockpit

    Time will tell for sure if it's all a good idea, but there's no question we are headed that way.

    I'm a total techno geek so I am surprised by my own reaction to this conversation, but I'll stick with mechanical switches as long as they are an available option. I find comfort in the tactile distinction and feedback that a touch screen lacks.

    There have been several technologies introduced into aviation that were "good ideas." But they only became "safe ideas" after a handful of NTSB crash investigations revealed weaknesses in them that needed correction.

    A wise man once said that "Experience is the best teach." A wiser man then said that "Other peoples experience is the best teacher." And, the wisest of them all said "Other peoples bad experiences are ultimate teacher." So, I'll keep reading NTSB incident reports until touch screens get their fair share of press...
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