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Thread: landing by wire??

  1. #1 landing by wire?? 
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    How is it with modern airplanes like Airbus 3xx and Boeing 7xx during starting, flight and landing. Do pilots actually fly them by moving their steering joystics or is it done by computer onboard ie. by wire.
    I have heard on tv that latest planes are flown by wire but is it so with all of modern planes?


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    Wojtek


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  3. #2 Re: landing by wire?? 
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    Quote Originally Posted by wienertakesall
    How is it with modern airplanes like Airbus 3xx and Boeing 7xx during starting, flight and landing. Do pilots actually fly them by moving their steering joystics or is it done by computer onboard ie. by wire.
    I have heard on tv that latest planes are flown by wire but is it so with all of modern planes?


    Cheers

    Wojtek
    It's all done with electronics. The controls in the cockpit are connected to a computer, which decides how to actually move the flaps etc. in order to do what the pilots told it to do. Often there are backup controls that are actually physically connected in case the computers fail or something. Some of the older jets (like the 747) still use physical controls.


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  4. #3  
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    Scifor Refugee is right but is missing the misconception. "Fly by Wire" does not equal "autopilot" which is what wienertakesall is really asking. "Fly by Wire" simply refers to the electronic connection between joystick and control surfaces in modern airplanes (replaces the purely mechanical control of older models). The pilot is still in control (unless the computer takes control in emergencies or malfunctions as in recent Air France incidences).

    The question is: Are start, cruise, and landing controlled by autopilot? I think the answer is no for start and landing, yes for cruise, at least partially.
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  5. #4  
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    In the case of modern airliners, I believe it is nothing more than electronic control of things like power brakes are on cars. If you lose the vacuum from the engine, you still have brakes, but you have to apply a far greater force to make them work. I could be way off here, but I doubt you have to manually switch in the manual system should the power assist stop working.

    Now the F-117 is the only true fly by wire aircraft I'm aware of. They couldn't get anything like that to fly reliably until fast enough computer controls were in place. A feedback system changes the control surface angles faster than a human can respond. One such feedback system is a PID loop, which happens to be the mathematics in my current sig.
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