Boeing always pushes boundaries. It’s a way of life.
The “can do” spirit, and the preparedness to take the risk that the company might not be able to deliver on a new and ambitious objective is impressive. The company frequently succeeds.
The latest example of this characteristic I have in mind is Boeing’s plans for 787 pilot training.
The manufacturer says it expects its 787 will handle so like a 777 and the cockpit interfaces will be so generically similar and so intuitive, that a five-day differences course and some time in a fixed-base, touchscreen simulator will suffice for converting 777 pilots direct to airline operations in the new aircraft.
I am prepared to believe the five-day differences training might work, but straight to the left or right hand seat of a 787 commercial flight from a fixed-base, hybrid simulator/touch-screen procedures trainer with no external visual system worthy of the name is stretching it a bit. “Stretching it a bit”, for those unfamiliar with English English as delivered by an Englishman, is an understatement.
I am all in favour of doing more with today’s increasingly smart simulation systems, but this is a step too far.
I suspect Boeing knows the FAA may reject its proposal. But what the hell: if you don’t ask you don’t get.