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34 votes
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Would a wireless fly by wire system be practical?

The fly-by-wire is absolutely vital for control of the aircraft, and the three dominating factors here are safety, safety and safety. Weight is not one of them. The fly-by-wire system is triple or ...
Koyovis's user avatar
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25 votes
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What kind of delay does the A320's fly-by-wire system add?

Yes there will be a delay, but the delay caused by the control loop is really tiny. I've seen position control loops run successfully and stable at a couple of hundred Hz for simulator motion systems, ...
Koyovis's user avatar
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25 votes
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What is the difference between autopilot and fly-by-wire system?

An autopilot can fly the aircraft based on pilot selected modes. The autopilot therefore reduces the pilot's workload by replacing manual inputs via the yoke or sidestick. A fly-by-wire (FBW) system ...
Bianfable's user avatar
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23 votes

What is the maximal acceptable delay between pilot's input and flight control surface actuation?

Excessive phase lag is a direct contributor to Type I Pilot-Induced Oscillation (PIO). Phase lag comes from: Rigid body dynamics of the aircraft (e.g. delay between elevator surface and pitch rate ...
JZYL's user avatar
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21 votes
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Do pilots use the pedals in flight on planes with a sidestick (Airbus)?

The rudder pedals are not usually used in flight, even with the autopilot off. The rudder on the Airbus A320 can be controlled via a mechanical connection to the rudder pedals in the flight deck, but ...
Bianfable's user avatar
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17 votes

What is the difference between autopilot and fly-by-wire system?

Fly-by-wire system removes physical link between cockpit controls and flight control surfaces. To do this, there must be some sort of rule how pilot's input is interpreted and converted into control ...
busdriver's user avatar
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16 votes

Why can't the A320's computer-imposed limits be overridden?

Computer limits can be overridden on an Airbus as a ‘last resort’, though I have serious doubts that would have helped with the landing on the Hudson incident. Granted, getting out of Normal Law is ...
Radu094's user avatar
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13 votes

Would a wireless fly by wire system be practical?

That will be very unlikely simply because wireless is much less reliable by several order of magnitude. considering the current day an age of terror threats if the encryption (and you will need ...
ratchet freak's user avatar
13 votes

Are there any fly-by-wire airliners with negative or near-neutral pitch stability?

No. Modern FBW airliners use less static stability than what the early jets were used to, but stability is still positive. The negative camber at the root airfoil of sweptback horizontal tails might ...
Peter Kämpf's user avatar
13 votes

What kind of delay does the A320's fly-by-wire system add?

I don't have an answer for the timings (I personally don't think that's publicly available information), but I can answer this is the delay noticeable by pilots? as I have some direct experience, ...
Federico's user avatar
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13 votes
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Why did fly-by-wire systems take so long to implement?

A simple answer is that the aircraft control system has ultimate responsibility for survival of the aircraft. If it completely fails, you are as good as dead in most cases. Short of in-flight ...
Zeus's user avatar
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13 votes

Do pilots use the pedals in flight on planes with a sidestick (Airbus)?

Side stick or no, once airborne, you never touch the rudder pedals in any airliner when flying except during landing where independent rudder inputs are used to keep the airplane lined up during the ...
John K's user avatar
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13 votes
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Under what circumstances does the F-16 and possibly similar fighters deploy leading edge slats?

Technically, F-16 and "similar fighters" have leading edge flaps (LEF) (or droop flaps), rather than slats. The difference is that they don't form a gap between themselves and the main ...
Zeus's user avatar
  • 9,103
12 votes

Which CPUs and programming languages are used in new airliner flight control systems?

Note: I focused more on changes in aviation hardware and software than what's currently used since the question linked about programming languages is still current for "new" aircraft. I do not wish ...
RealAnswersNotAI's user avatar
12 votes
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How does the Boeing 777's yoke of both the captain and the first officer have synchronized movement?

From the FCOM v2 (9.20.1): The primary flight control system uses conventional control wheel, column, and pedal inputs from the pilot to electronically command the flight control surfaces. The ...
Bianfable's user avatar
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11 votes

What is the difference between autopilot and fly-by-wire system?

You have already received a number of excellent answers, and I just want to add something very short and to the point, regarding the question you pose in your title: What is the difference between ...
Jörg W Mittag's user avatar
10 votes

Is A380's center of gravity really too far back?

No. Positive lift on the tail does not necessarily mean that the center of gravity needs to be aft of the aerodynamic center of the aircraft. Only when the lift per area of the tail surface is higher ...
Peter Kämpf's user avatar
10 votes
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How are Airbus pilots trained for using the mechanical backup control systems?

In my particular case: I probably did 10 minutes of demonstrating mechanical backup during initial type rating I cannot remember for sure, but it never reappeared in any recurrent sim, and even if I ...
Radu094's user avatar
  • 7,980
10 votes

How much computing power is needed to keep commercial and military planes flying?

For commercial airliners: the computing power is set during development and certification of the type. The A320 was developed in the 1980s and still uses Intel 80186 and Motorola 68020 processors. ...
Koyovis's user avatar
  • 61.8k
9 votes

Do Airbus pilots have to practice flying in alternate law?

When I did my initial type rating on the Airbus it was rare to find the aircraft in normal law. The thing is most of the complex failures such as dual hydraulic failures, emergency electrical ...
Anas Maaz's user avatar
  • 1,963
9 votes

Do Airbus pilots have to practice flying in alternate law?

Air France 477 was in a fully developed stall. In a normal flight attitude. All the way from 40,000 feet to the surface of the ocean. The aircraft was falling like a leaf from a tree, with an angle of ...
Koyovis's user avatar
  • 61.8k
9 votes

What is the maximal acceptable delay between pilot's input and flight control surface actuation?

This is a classic problem in control system theory. The condition to be avoided at all costs is the case where the pilot's control actions get out of phase with the movements of the plane, so the ...
niels nielsen's user avatar
9 votes
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Does the pilot still have final control authority on modern Boeing airplanes?

I think you fell for a common misunderstanding: Fly by wire ≠ flight control augmentation It is - in the first place - another method to get the pilots input out to the control surface just like ...
Chris's user avatar
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9 votes
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Which civil aircraft use fly-by-wire without mechanical backup?

Airbus While the Airbus A320, A330 and A340 still have fly-by-wire with some mechanical backup, the Airbus A380 and A350 removed these. They are full fly-by-wire using electrical backup for ...
Bianfable's user avatar
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8 votes
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Can flight control computers detect and help to avoid pilot-induced oscillations?

PIOs occur because the pilot senses a rapid movement and feels the urge to counter it. Key is the frequency of a few Hertz, so the pilot's reaction kicks in with a phase shift such that it promotes ...
Peter Kämpf's user avatar
8 votes

Would a wireless fly by wire system be practical?

Although technically feasible, having wireless communication between cockpit and the various end-points around the aircraft produces significant issues. Primarily: Channels: Unless you use multiple ...
Trevor_G's user avatar
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