Thrust Levers

After seeing Aliens for the hundredth time this morning (thanks in part to my son) it dawned on me that they don’t have a conventional power quadrant (thrust levers).

I drew on my professional experience flying jet aircraft – manual manipulation of the engine output is dwindling. There are basically 5 modes (detents) on a modern day thrust lever (FADEC):

  • Takeoff / Go-Around (TO/GA)
  • Flex/Max Continuous Thrust (FLX/MCT)
  • Climb (CL)
  • Forward Idle
  • Max Reverse

Is it possible to map this control to the flight stick? Because of the VTOL nature of the Dropship don’t we need some kind of fine control? Like in hover – to climb or descend?

I can envision a “auto-hover” which will reduce the pilot workload but what about landing on a grid reference? Using pitch trim in VTOL mode? Not sure what else it would do.

One thought on “Thrust Levers

  1. reskin Post author

    Auto-thrust! You can turn off the Auto-thrust and fly it manually or if (gasp!) it is deferred. Normal ops is all auto-thrust. Once set to the Climb detent at 1000′ in the climbout all thrust changes are automatic (levers do not move) until about 20 feet in the flare when you go to idle. Took about 10 seconds to get used to it!


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