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Old 23rd Mar 2014, 19:22   #7563 (permalink)
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Hotel Sheets, Downtown Plunketville
Age: 70
Posts: 567

The dissertation by Messrs. Engin Uzuncaova and Miguel A. Ayola, in their paper titled Boeing 777 Flight Control System, gives a useful overview of the FBW system used for the first time on a commercial airliner. Section 4 deals with Safety Analysis and states that the probability of a given failure condition is consistent with its severity, and that all failure combinations producing a catastrophe are extremely improbable.

The paper may be found at.

If we accept that the aircraft remained airborne for the whole period of its endurance, then it would be safe to assume that its electrical primary flight control system remained operative throughout the whole of this period. The crew were for reasons yet unknown were unable to divert it from its last assigned course and robotics became their master. Such a scenario does give rise to concerns over total reliance on automation and its implied dependence on electical power. In a similar vein I do recall there was, some years back, a short spell of trying to replace the old clicking cog mags with electronic ignition for light piston aircraft, it was soon abandoned.
What with first for FBW and all computer design, have we heard anything at all from the folks at Seattle. I just wondered whether they have made any comment at all.
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