In the decades after the Wright brothers first flight, all aircraft used mechanical and hydraulic control systems. The pilot controls the aircraft by using a direct style. The trick is to move the sticks and rudder pedals are connected by steel ropes and the pushrod to move the control surfaces on the wings and tail.
When power from the engine and improved speed, it takes a greater force, and the system is used to help hydraulic. Thus, all aircraft with large size and high performance has a system of hydro-mechanical flight control. These conventional flight control systems to limit the aircraft engineer when doing configuration and design in relation to the stability of flying.
With the rise of electronic technology, there is an idea to create an electronic flight control system. On the electronic flight control system, the steel wire and wire pushrod replaced by the much lighter. In addition, with electronic control systems, aircraft engineers more flexibility in determining the configuration, size, and placement of components. Electronic flight control system is the one who became known as fly-by-wire system.
Fly-by-wire flight control system is a system that uses electronic circuits to transmit control inputs from the pilot to the motor that drives the control surface such as a flap, aileron, and rudder. In the control system fly-by-wire is no longer a mechanical connection or directly hydraulic between the pilot with a control surface on the plane. Digital fly-by-wire (DFBW) use the electronic flight control system coupled with a digital computer to replace conventional mechanical control systems.
By adding a digital computer between the pilot and the plane, then a lot of benefits. Fly-by-wire to make the plane lighter because it has eliminated many mechanical hydraulic system. In addition, the aircraft also has the ability to maneuver better because the computer can adjust the attitude of the aircraft hundreds of times per second better than humans. This makes the aircraft can fly passengers more gently and fuel efficiency is better. On military aircraft, fly-by-wire aircraft makes it more resistant to damage from the battle than the conventional control system. Fly-by-wire also requires less maintenance than its predecessor control system.
System control fly-by-wire interpret built for the pilot desires and then translate the control action is taken on the aircraft control surface, a process that also involves the transfer of environmental factors. In the conventional control system, when the pilot pulled the control column elevator flap will rise in proportion to the extent to which the pilot pulled the control column. While the system control fly-by-wire, elevator flap movement is generally well proportioned, but the computer can make adjustments if the turbulent environment of flying there. The ratio between the control column in the hands of pilots with a flap on the wing movement is 1:1 instead, this is no longer a direct relationship.
Digital fly-by-wire (DFBW) was first tested on the F-8 Crusader with NASA tail number 802. The aircraft was manned by Gary Krier from Edwards Air-Force Base, California. The trial results validate the main concepts of electronic flight control system currently used in almost all high-performance aircraft, both military aircraft and civilian transport aircraft. DFBW current flight control system is also used on NASA space shuttle, space shuttle.
Digital fly-by-wire is currently used in various types of aircraft ranging from F/A-18 to the Boeing 777 and the space shuttle. N250 plane that had once made IPTN and was flying at Paris Air Show 1998 also adopted a system of control of fly-by-wire. Then, the N250 is the first-class aircraft control system using fly-by-wire.
At present the concept of electronic-based control systems such as fly-by-wire began to be applied also in modern cars. On modern cars, has installed an electronic device that connects the brake pedal with the brake holders. These electronic devices can be programmed to detect and avoid the wheels are locked (locking wheels) during braking which can cause a car lost control. In the next era of electronic technology, the use of the concept of control of the fly-by-wire can definitely be more widespread.