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THE ROLE OF COMPUTERS IN FLY BY WIRE AIRCRAFT AN INTRODUCTION TO FLY BY WIREFBW Traditionally pilots use an inceptor a wheel control column or sidestick to manipulate cables that control pumps and hydraulic actuators The actuators in turn operate surfaces such as flaps ailerons and rudders to provide the necessary effect eg roll left yaw right etc The FBW inceptor is usually a sidestick so called because it is mounted on the pilots side Moving the stick generates electrical signals that are processed by the onboard Flight Control Computer henceforth called FCC and relayed as control signals to energise pumps move actuators and position control surfaces The set-up inceptor to Relayer to Actuators constitutes a Flight Control System henceforth called FCS The fundamental difference between conventional- mechanical FCS and FBW FCS is the relayers Whereas conventional FCS connect inceptor to actuators mechanically via cables and mechanical linkages etc FBW FCS use electrical signals sent down wires hence FBW from inceptor to actuators to achieve the desired effect The FCC therefore is central to a FBW FCS and acts as a nerve centre where mechanical inputs from the inceptor are interpreted into electrical signals to be relayed to actuators Here the electrical signals in turn cause mechanical movement of actuators and thus the flight control surfaces and ultimately the aircraft EXPLANATION OF TECHNICAL TERMS Inceptor Joystick control column or sidestick where command input is made Actuator A device imparting mechanical motion Flap An auxiliary wing surface basically designed to increase lift or drag as necessary located on trailing edge or wings Ailerons Horizontal control surfaces on trailing edge of wings Rudder Vertical control surface on trailing edge of vertical tail Angle of attack AOA Angle at which the cord of an aircraft wing meets the relative airflow Roll Movement of an aircraft about the horizontal axis Bank angle The angle of
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