ElI5 Why was the shuttle’s insturmentation (layout, technology, etc) so similar to that of your everyday A340 even when the two are vastly different?

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ElI5 Why was the shuttle’s insturmentation (layout, technology, etc) so similar to that of your everyday A340 even when the two are vastly different?

In: Engineering

The pilot/co-pilot/flight engineer model is well known, well-tested, and still highly applicable. It still has to be flown (mostly for landing; takeoff is largely automated).

The details of each knob or switch may be different but the larger use case is quite similar.

**edit:** also, nearly all of the shuttle commanders and pilots were Air Force or Navy pilots. They already had thousands of hours of experience in that arrangement.

They were both planes, in the broadest sense. There’s a certain set of information that’s relevant to flying any plane, so if the information is the same it makes sense to choose a UI layout that’s known to pilots (many astronauts start out as jet pilots) already.

And there’s also a limited amount of layouts for “we have to fit a hell of a lot of flip switches onto a panel”.

Most of the instrumentation is only used bringing in the shuttle to land and that landing is similar to landing a really heavy glider so requires a pilot and a pilot layout to land safely.