In recently created aircraft flight control systems, it has
been the airframers responsibility to fully define the system prior to it being
put out to tender. However in later flight control system developments, there
has been a move towards an open time of system definition, where the system
provider has liaised intimately with the client to jointly develop the system
definition. This has generally been driven by the decrease so as to market for
Improved by adopting a collaborative systems approach to
engineering, there is presently less duplication of effort.
Advantages of this approach include all the requirements
being understood by both client and provider; a cleaner client/provider
interface; optimised system components, all leading to technologically
advanced, but cost effective arrangement being engineered.
A number of lessons have also been gained from this project,
mainly in the areas of customer/supplier management and in dealing with the
difficulties in managing such a complex system In future projects, powerful
necessities the board will be instrumental in controlling systems which are
becoming ever more complex.
Generally, the arrangement of flight control systems has
undergone a slow but steady development over the years. In the early days
systems were perpetually mechanical. The pilot was directly linked to the
control surfaces such that he could feel what was happening, this brought about
basic systems. The aircraft manufacturer took responsibility for the design and
manufacture of all the systems within the aircraft allowing an optimised and
highly integrated design against their own requirements.
During the 1950’s to 1960’s, the increase in aircraft speeds
and size resulted in the requirement for power flying controls. The force
flying controls were complex, repetition was needed to achieve safety,
hydraulic power sources had to be provided and artificial feel systems needed
to give the pilot tactile feedback he was used to. The huge increase in both
complexity and technology forced a change of approach. Normally the aircraft
manufacturer continued to be responsible for the system configuration and
developed expertise in all areas of system design allowing them to characterize
the arrangement required and the major features of the component units.
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