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PHD. MBA. MHS. Type rated on A350, A330, B777, B747-400, B747-200, B757, B767, B737, B727. International Airline Pilot / Author / Speaker. Dedicated to giving the gift of wings to anyone following their dreams. Supporting Aviation Safety through training, writing, and inspiration. Fighting for Aviation Safety and Airline Employee Advocacy. Safety Culture and SMS change agent.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Difference between Boeing and Airbus FMS

The Reasons I'm in Cyprus: 

Kayla and Ellis
The Bones being researched

The Reason I'm Posting Training Blogs:

 Answers to yesterday’s quiz.

  • What is the major difference between the FMS phases of flight?  The major difference between the FMS phases of flight is the target speed (magenta bug) in that flight phase.
  • How can you tell which is the active flight phase? The target speed is the primary indicator, but the active flight phase is also printed in green at the top of the PROG and PERF pages on the MCDU.
  • When the approach is activated, what is the target speed? When the approach phase is active the target speed is VAPP The magenta bug. 
  • If the target speed is Green Dot, what is the active phase of flight? The target speed in the go-around phase is Green Dot. (Unless you are holding, have a speed constraint, or speed limit.)
  • How do you shift to the climb phase, from a go-around? Three ways:  Change the destination and enter a new cruise altitude.  Activate the approach and enter a new cruise altitude.  Or activate the alternate.

How well did you do on the quiz?

Both Airbus and Boeing use flight phase changes as a means of managing the speed profile as the flight progresses. The takeoff, climb, cruise, descent, approach, and go-around flight phases each have a unique speed profile. Each FMS changes the flight phases to reflect the desired speed profile for that portion of the flight.

A primary difference between Boeing and Airbus airplanes is the automatic target speed selection, and how it is handled by the FMS.

The greatest differences occur in the approach phase. Many Boeing models rely primarily on pilot selection with the speed window. The Airbus allows the FMS to manage the target speed all the way to touchdown. But like Boeing, Airbus also enables the pilot to manually select the speed at any time.
This design allows normal deceleration with flap extension that requires no manual speed selection. It also enables automatic selection of approach speeds with wind additives due to the groundspeed-mini function, protecting against decreasing headwind windshear on final approach.

Now you know the difference… tomorrow we will fly the Airbus A330 Fully managed.

Enjoy the Journey!
XO Karlene

Flight To Safety first draft: 93,523 Words


  1. As a non-pilot, I have to say that Airbus approach system sounds pretty good--it can be controlled by the pilot, but if the pilot doesn't need or want to control it, the plane system can make sure the approach is safe and the landing is smooth. Is that right?

    1. That is absolutely right! Many people don't believe that you can just fly it. But you can. The system is good... if we understand what it's doing, and don't let it get away from us.

  2. Ok, I totally misread/answered the first question. One of those moments where I said to myself, "How could I have missed this?". Anyway it was good to review the different phases. I thought I would take a shot anyway! :-) ps the last picture looks spooky. Like Tell City, Indiana on a late summer early fall hike.

    1. Excellent job Jeremy. Out of 185 views, you are the only person who took a stab at answering.
      Yes...the last picture in Cyprus is a stack of Piggy Hippo bones sitting out on the back porch. Exciting news: She may have found cut marks in some of the bones. And, they found pigs mixed in with them too. Interesting stuff in the science world in Cyprus.

    2. Karlene, once again thank you so much.. Cyprus has always been a place I want to visit. There is so much science and history from the Mediterranean and the Middle East that has yet to be rediscovered. Keep the photos coming as I am hungry for more.

    3. I will try to keep as many as possible..but my duties include inside babysitting. However, I we do have a tour on the RAF base scheduled with a friend of my daughters. Until then... I will do my best. The wildlife indoors.


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