quote: Also, one of Airbus' key characteristics that help airlines maintain training efficiency is the fact that all their models - from the A320 to the A380 - have very similar cockpit and controls. Moving between models just requires about a week of familiarisation, and even then it's mostly for the flight characteristics than instrumentation. Boeing hasn't quite reached that level of standardisation yet, though that's not to say they won't.</quote
Actually, it was Boeing who started this trend way back in the mid 80's with the 757/767 programs and continued with it ever since on their other models. It can be difficult to tell the difference between a 757 and 767 cockpit and that was a very unique selling point for the Boeing aircraft and was one of the main reasons for Boeing's success in the mid 1980's.
quote: But what is desirable to pilots is not neccessarily desirable to the corporation buying the planes.We have to realize that automation will only increase in the future, and that (whether or not the 787 is truly safer than the A380) it will eventually lead to a near-total elimination of pilot error.
quote: No, an efficient engine is-- by definition-- one that maximizes the thrust/fuel consumption ratio. I realize that one common way of doing this is to run the engine closer to design specs, but there are others. With advanced technology and materials, a higher-efficiency engine CAN also be safer, and run with more overhead on tolerances.
quote: Actually, it was Boeing who started this trend .... and was one of the main reasons for Boeing's success in the mid 1980's.