787 Systems

Remember when GPS was new? (I realize I'm dating myself by saying this. If I was cool I'd say, "Remember when NDBs were new?") Most planes had nothing more than a couple VOR/LOC/ILS receivers and an ADF. It was pretty special to find one with DME. A plane with GPS was all the rage and it was amazing what you could do with it...like go direct to a point, as was the extent of my knowledge. Well, aircraft systems have come a long way since then. The toys they're looking at putting on Boeing's 787 Dreamliner in this video are pretty amazing.

The computer engineer in me does cringe a bit when I see them watching screens full of hexadecimal code stream by as they troubleshoot their systems. I almost expected to hear someone in the video say, "You get used to it. I...I don't even see the code. All I see is blonde, brunette, red-head." I'm not sure I'd want the job of troubleshooting all that though.

If they can get all this working it'll mark a new era of sorts for airline travel. It is definitely a different kind of flying, but it will be fun to see. If I have to be stuck in one of the back seats, I guess it'd be all right to have all these toys.

I still intend on flying (and eventually owning) aircraft that aren't equipped with electrical systems though. How about you?