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Watching a video on YouTube of an A340-600 takeoff, I noticed that it has at least two exterior cameras — one for lining up the nosewheel, and the other on the tailfin:

After the NTSB recommended the use of exterior cameras in 2012, I'm wondering how widespread these are? Which models of Airbus aircraft have them? Do any Boeings?

Do these record or are they realtime-only?

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Apparently, it is catching on.

Boeing mentions it is unique to 777, probably the first one to have cameras.

A feature unique to the 777-300ER and 777-300 flight deck is the Ground Maneuver Camera System (GMCS), designed to assist the pilot in ground maneuvering of the 777-300 with camera views of the nose gear and main gear areas. The cameras are on the leading edge of the left and right horizontal stabilizers and the underside of the fuselage and are used during ground maneuvering. The images are displayed at the Multi-Functional Display positions in the flight deck in a three-way split format.

Boeing also has patents for this: here and here.

I am not sure if these patents prevents others to have them, because many business jets already had cameras on, and this trend is catching on even for passengers on commercials plans.

Airbus mentions this too for A340:

The A340-500 and −600 has taxi cameras to help the pilots during ground maneuvers.

I guess it has several different names, probably because of pending patents etc.


As far as the recording goes, I could not find any information.

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  • 2
    $\begingroup$ The A380 has external cameras as well. $\endgroup$ – fooot Apr 18 '14 at 21:00
  • $\begingroup$ @fooot I agree. I am sure 787 has them too. Probably all new planes have them. $\endgroup$ – Farhan Apr 18 '14 at 21:10
  • $\begingroup$ Does the 787 have them? I can't find any mention. $\endgroup$ – fooot Apr 18 '14 at 21:52
  • $\begingroup$ @fooot I cannot find that either. It doesn't look like Ground Maneuver Camera System (GMCS) was only developed for 777. $\endgroup$ – Farhan Apr 19 '14 at 1:38
  • $\begingroup$ For what it's worth, at least on Cathay Pacific, you could watch the camera mounted underneath the fuselage on the passenger IFE system on their 777-300ERs. I didn't see a way to select the other cameras, though. Still, it was a nice feature. $\endgroup$ – reirab Apr 13 '15 at 4:17
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I fly the A320 and 321 which, at our company, had been equipped with nose cameras. The pictures, though, where just used for passenger entertainment during takeoff and landing and keep being disconnected by maintenance when failed due to high spare parts costs.

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