U.S. Centennial of Flight Commission home page

F-8 Digital Fly-by-Wire electronics


NASA used an F-8C for its Digital Fly-by-Wire Program-the first digital fly-by-wire aircraft to operate without a mechanical backup system. This photo shows the Apollo hardware jammed into the F-8C. The computer is partially visible in the avionics bay a


Fly-by-Wire

Fly-by-wire is a means of aircraft control that uses electronic circuits to send inputs from the pilot to the motors that move the various flight controls on the aircraft. There are no direct hydraulic or mechanical linkages between the pilot and the flight controls. Digital fly-by-wire uses an electronic flight control system coupled with a digital computer to replace conventional mechanical flight controls.