[Go to Bluecoat USA]
The Bluecoat Project
The Bluecoat Project was created by Bill Bulfer as a means of
opening an ongoing discussion between the engineers who build flight
deck automation systems and the pilots who use them. The goal of the
Bluecoat Project is to provide clear and unrestricted exchange of
accurate information between participants. The Bluecoat Project is
comprised of airline pilots, engineers, and aero industry researchers
interacting through an electronic mailing-list. Discussion topics
include flight management computers, EFIS and EICAS displays,
automated subsystems, flight mode annunciators, flight directors,
autopilots, and the integration all avionics equipment in the modern
cockpit. Although the project started as a mailing list it is now a
full-fledged internet forum which includes a parallel mailing-list on
B-737 systems (excluding FMS). Detailed information regarding contents
and registration can be found on servers both in the U.S.A. (Houston) and
in Europe (main server in
Bretigny, near Paris, France).
A bit of history : The Bluecoat School of London
In the early 1800's, (before the development of the chronometer) the
ship's captain had to rely on the skills of a trained mathematician,
for the only way to find longitude at sea was by precise observations
of the moon and stars. Sometimes these calculations took up to four
hours. This made the problem of determining longitude an educational
as well as a technological problem, and sea-faring nations organized
mathematics courses for common sailors.
In the late 18th century,
Charles II set up a mathematics course for forty pupils at the famous
Bluecoat school in London. But teachers found it hard to satisfy both
the sailors and the mathematicians. The governors of the school,
noting that many great sailors had done well enough without
mathematics, asked whether future sailors really needed it. On the
side of mathematics, Sir Isaac Newton argued that the old rules of
thumb were no longer good enough. Daniel Boorstin - "The Discoverers"
This brings us to the Bluecoat Forum. It attempts to improve the lines
of communication between the mathematician and the ship's navigator,
the designer and the pilot.
The Bluecoat E-Mag is a news and research feed between the engineer
and the pilot, and between pilots. The goal is to provide clear,
unrestricted exchange of accurate information between participants,
and to discuss issues facing pilots of advanced technology aircraft.
The Bluecoat E-Mag charter:
A moderated discussion-group dealing with the advanced cockpit transport.
Topics include, but are not limited to, transport category Flight Management
Systems, instrument displays, and Mode Control Panels.
The Bluecoat Forum is maintained by volunteers including Bill Bulfer,
CAL - 737 Captain and Author of the "737 and Big Boeing FMC User's Guides
and 737 Cockpit Panel Notes" (moderator); Jim
Messina, CAL - 737 Captain (mailing-list maintainer);
Eric Hoffman (web maintenance at Eurocontrol).
The usual Internet rules for "netiquette" apply to Bluecoat's
mailing-list. A few important points follow :
Try to keep your post on topic for your Subject. Better to
have multiple posts, each with a different Subject.
It is imperative to keep the Subject: Re: (subject) when
maintaining a thread. Most mailers do this. All Bluecoat
mailing-list exchanges are duplicated on password-protected web
pages. The web transcripts are read by Bluecoaters who do not
wish to have their mailbox clogged by the mailing-list. The
archiving software used to generate the transcripts threads
messages according to Subject line contents. Once you
subscribe to Bluecoat you may find that you prefer to read it on the
web; please ask (by private e-mail) the mailing-list maintainer
to switch you to the web (you will still receive important
administrative messages via e-mail).
Try to keep your right margin less than 80 characters e.g.
72 for original posts and replies. Use your carriage return key!
Try to minimize the amount of a prior post used in your
reply, using just enough lines necessary to reference the
thought at hand. This saves space space for everyone and
avoid confusion as to who said what. A satirical introduction to netiquette can be read in deutsch,
Anonymous postings will not be accepted, but the moderator will
sanitize information if the request is made (for example if you
would like to post something but are reluctant to draw undue
attention to either yourself or your organization the moderator
will gladly launder your post clean of all references to you).
Do not post virus
alerts, exceedingly long messages, messages where most of the text is
included from a previous message, binary files such as programs or
pdf reports (please get in touch with administrators), questions
on how to use your computer, humor which is unrelated to flight
deck automation. Offenders will be reprimanded (at least).
What does it cost and who is it open to?
Subscription to the Bluecoat Forum is free and available worldwide to any
transport pilot, transport component engineer, regulator, or research
scientist working in this field. You must have an electronic address that can
be accessed through the Internet.
Occasionally, all subscriber's names, employers, and e-mail addresses are
made available to others receiving the digest.
How to subscribe
In the registration form (see below), briefly introduce yourself, describe your work, and the equipment you operate
or plan to bid. If you would like to volunteer to be a moderator, please
After the System Operator manually enters you to the list, you may
communicate to the whole group by sending mail to a "list address"
issued in your welcome message. Your subscription may not occur
immediately, as some members of the Bluecoat admin team are line
pilots who live and work out of suitcases 3 or 4 days a week.
Mail can be sent to individuals in the usual manner. Members are
invited but are warned that their mailbox will be full if they do not
check their mail on a frequent basis (Bluecoat generates from 5 to 10
messages per day). We recommend infrequent readers to access Bluecoat
directly on our password-protected web pages (if that is your intent
please mention it in your registration form).
Once you have read all the above
(especially the rules of behavior)
(All subsystems excluding FMS)
When will I receive the first issue?
Anytime you send a letter to list address, it is immediately sent to
all subscribers, including yourself (sometimes you might only receive it
after a delay of a few hours). On a monthly basis, the moderator
simply collects certain articles, conducts the research, and publishes
the results in the digest format.
How do I get off the list if I so choose?
Anytime you would like to be removed, (I can't imagine this happening)
simply send mail to firstname.lastname@example.org
with at least the word unsubscribe in your message (but that is
Please copy and send this letter to other professionals in the industry as a
means to invite them to join.
My Internet address is bbulfer_at_firstnethou.com
My Compuserve address is 71063.526_at_compuserve.com
Disclaimer regarding this server
Last modified: Mon Jun 8 00:23:39 1998