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(wikimedia.org) A350 thrust levers without the flanking trim wheels.

Why don't the Airbus A380 and A350 have trim wheels?

On the other fly-by-wire Airbus aircraft the trim wheels are there for manual trim in case the aircraft went into direct law since the Airbus sticks do not have a trim control.

Were the trim wheels replaced by another interface? Or is the manual trim option completely removed due to a certain [backup] technology?

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Left: Standard Airbus sidestick on the A350 with no trim control (wikimedia.org). Right: Trim wheels on other Airbus aircraft (wikimedia.org).

The question stems from this comment:

I don’t think [having trim controls] is strictly speaking necessary. It used to be the mechanical backup for FBW failures on early Airbusses, then it was kept a while for commonality. I am not sure whether the A350 still has it?


1 Answer 1


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Both the A350 and A380 have alternate pitch trim control rocker aft of the flap lever in the cockpit to replace the pitch trim wheels near the throttle quadrant.

OPINION: I'd guess this was done simply in a continuous effort to improve the flight deck, reduce clutter and reduce weight. As a pilot myself, I’m not thrilled with it from a kinesthetic standpoint, as the wheel is much more natural to use.

  • $\begingroup$ The wheels are actually are not used normally on large aircraft because there are electric trim switches on the yoke. This allows the pilot to trim without removing a hand, so it is far more natural. They were removed on the B757, CRJ, ERJ and later. The Airbus FBW system autotrims in flight, so the only reason you need it normally is for takeoff preparation. $\endgroup$
    – user71659
    Commented Jun 7, 2018 at 3:26

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