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Home > Flying the Plane > Fly-by-wire Boeing and Airbus – Are their flying philosophy different?
Fly-by-wire Boeing and Airbus – Are their flying philosophy different?
Flying - Flying the Plane
Saturday, 20 December 2014 14:10

Flying the Fly-By-Wire A320

Hello Sir!

I've been recently told that the Boeing 777/787 FBW philosophy differs from Airbus only in 1 thing:-

The Boeing 777 will not override pilots input on the column (it will give you sirens, EICAS messages and stick shakers but you are ultimate decision maker)

On the Airbus you have to push the button in order to turn Flight Envelope off and control in the direct mode (Boeing seem to believe that reaction has to be uninterrupted by button switching)

As far as taking flight path, calculating the desired input on the flight controls (decision how smooth pull it horizontally or vertically) or in case of emergencies (i.e. if left flaperon fails, flight controls will work to minimize the asymmetry effect without change in the column input)

Boeing relies on FBW as much as Airbus does.


Hi James,

If you have not already read it, I have answered a similar question about 6 years ago.

Basically both planes allow the pilots to override the computers. It is true that Boeing FBW enable the pilots to override automation, probably a tad faster than on the Airbus.

For example, on the FBW Airbus, to get into ‘Direct Law’ where most of the flight envelope protections are lost, at least 3 primary flight computers must fail (or consciously switched off)

You can get a better insight on this topic by reading the various feedback or comments from ‘’ How does the fly-by-wire in Boeing 777 differs from the Airbus system? (73,695 hits to date) here.

Building the Fly-By-Wire Boeing 777


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Would AF447 and QZ8501 have happened in a B777 and B73
jonathan clark , 15 Jan, 2015
heading to Madagascar
I have a trip planned in the fall to Madagascar via Paris. I notice that both Delta and Air France will change the aircraft (from 767 to A330 to CDG, and from A330 to 777-200 to Madagascar, after first switching to a 777-300). Why do airlines switch up aircraft on a route from one time of year to another. I hear Air France is upgrading all of their 777's so perhaps they will be re-introducing upgraded business class between Paris and Antananarivo. I hope so, because I'm springing for business class since it is essentially a 24 hour journey from the west coast of the US to Madagascar.
Rebecca , 26 Mar, 2015

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