This return trip also brought memories from the past. The 737-200/300 was the first 737 I instructed in at America West. Below are the overhead panels of the aircraft above. While the forward panels look like these aircraft are two different aircraft types, the overhead panels do not. There is not a great deal of difference with the switching logic over the years. Do you know why?
When the first 737's came out, the switching logic was lever-latch. The technology at the time. Southwest was a major customer for Boeing. The FAA was on the verge of mandating a new type rating for the new models. They all came to an agreement. If Boeing built their future Boeing 737 aircraft with lever-latch switches instead of push button, the FAA wouldn't require the new type rating and SWA would save millions in training costs.
Does the overhead panel, between pushing buttons or moving switches, impact the operation of the aircraft from the pilot's perspective? Negotiations are a powerful thing and create history.
Thank you Southwest Airlines for your continued hospitality!
Enjoy the Journey!