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Mechanical flight control system

Mechanical flight control system

  • As aviation matured and aircraft designers learned more about aerodynamics, the industry produced larger and faster aircraft.
  • Therefore, the aerodynamic forces acting upon the control surfaces increased exponentially.
  • To make the control force required by pilots manageable, aircraft engineers designed more complex systems.
  •  At first, hydromechanical designs, consisting of a mechanical circuit and a hydraulic circuit, were used to reduce the complexity, weight, and limitations of mechanical flight controls systems.
  • As aircraft became more sophisticated, the control surfaces were actuated by electric motors, digital computers, or fiber optic cables.
  •  Called “fl y-by-wire,” this fl ight control system replaces the physical connection between pilot controls and the fl ight control surfaces with an electrical interface.
  •  In addition, in some large and fast aircraft, controls are boosted by hydraulically or electrically actuated systems.
  • In both the fl y-by-wire and boosted controls, the feel of the control reaction is fed back to the pilot by simulated means.


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