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When in normal law, if you pull the nose up all the way, and are at the edge of the envelope, will the computer even give you a stall warning? I would guess (hope!) not, since the plane is never actually in danger of stalling. Assuming that's the case, a stall warning from the computer should always be heeded.

If that's not the case, and the stall warning sounds even when there's no real danger of stalling (because the controls are operating in normal law), I feel like that's a terrible user interface.




I really don't like the idea in general that 'normal law' mode lets the pilots yank the controls any which way and the computer (supposedly) prevents the plane from leaving the safe flight envelope. I believe that sets up the wrong attitude in the pilot's mind about having to carefully and thoughtfully control the aircraft.

If the flight computer is having to intervene and change the flight controls, then at the very least there should be a force-feedback mechanism in the stick which tells the pilot he's doing something wrong, and that he really shouldn't be yanking back the stick that hard.

The other bad part of the user interface is that the two sets of flight controls are not linked, like they were in the old days. With side sticks, it is not easy to see what the other pilot is doing. And averaging the control inputs of the two pilots is INSANE, in my opinion. Only one pilot should be flying the plane, and it needs to be quite obvious who that is at all times.

The CRM mechanism to take over flight controls should not be saying the words "I have control", it should be flipping a big switch on the center console that visibly indicates who has control.

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I like the idea of linked control, like on the small planes. That's "the principle of least surprise" and also gives the copilot the right information of what another guy is doing -- that was obviously missing here!

However if you add force feedback of the plane computer "correcting you" you'd never know if it's plane or an another guy. Therefore, force feedback from the computer doesn't sound to me as a good idea. Some kind of feedback would be a good thing, but in panic, it wouldn't be noticed. I guess I'd put something like something "protruding up" on the stick when in another mode -- you'd feel and see it.

Finally, switch flipping is unnecessary if you have a force feedback. It think that's really the major feature missing!

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