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What was the first operational jet engine to use a control system containing semiconductors? This would include analog systems as well as digital ones. I am assuming that analog ones came first.

This would have to be a component used for normal operation of the engine, it would not include any equipment used for maintenance or diagnostic of the engine while on the ground.

Additionally it would have to be an aviation jet engine actually installed in aircraft that flew. Not just an engine used for R & D purposes on the ground.

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    $\begingroup$ Out of curiosity, why do you ask? Seems like a very specific question. $\endgroup$ – acpilot Feb 12 '17 at 15:47
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    $\begingroup$ It should be interesting to learn about the difficulties they had in the development of such a system and how they overcame it. The aviation & space industries always have a low tolerance for failure, leading to interesting solutions $\endgroup$ – Eric Urban Feb 12 '17 at 15:56
  • $\begingroup$ Your question is unclear. Are you looking for any component bolted to a jet engine or otherwise related to its operation that implemented a semiconductor (electrical generation system, for example), or only the engine control system? $\endgroup$ – J Walters Feb 12 '17 at 21:12
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    $\begingroup$ Can you define what you mean by "semiconductor"? It is an incredibly broad term meaning everything from LED's to transistors and high end microprocessors. The history of semiconductors goes back into the 1800's $\endgroup$ – Ron Beyer Feb 13 '17 at 4:45
  • $\begingroup$ It seems like you are more looking for the history of semiconductors in aviation engines, which would be a book topic. $\endgroup$ – GdD Feb 13 '17 at 9:21
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The RB211 as found on the L-1011 (first flight Nov 16, 1970) had a fuel control amplifier that, while it was not the primary control of the engine, was capable of controlling fuel flow.

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  • $\begingroup$ Thanks, could you let me know where you found those documents? $\endgroup$ – Eric Urban Feb 14 '17 at 13:39
  • $\begingroup$ Facebook L-1011 Group $\endgroup$ – Sports Racer Feb 14 '17 at 20:00
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The first jet engine with an digital electronic controller seems to be the Pratt & Whitney JT9D-7R4D, a 213 kN turbofan with its Digital Electronic Supervisory Control System.

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JT9D engine, source: Wikipedia

From this ASME paper dated 1981:

The JT9D-7R4 Digital Electronic Supervisory Control System incorporates all the hydromechanical elements of previous JT9D control systems plus an Engine Electronic Control, an alternator to provide dedicated electrical power for the Engine Electronic Control, and an engine inlet pressure/temperature probe.

Previous engines used an electromechanical fuel controller to set and regulate thrust. For this engine the electromechanical unit was still used, but it was coupled with the electronic engine controller. If necessary the EEC could be shutdown.

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Source: DocSlide

The first aircraft to be equipped were the Boeing 767-200 and Airbus A310-200, both released in 1982.

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A310-221 (source)

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