Accession Number : ADP002710

Title :   Lessons Learned in the Development of the F-16 Flight Control System,


Personal Author(s) : Droste,C. S.

Report Date : OCT 1983

Pagination or Media Count : 9

Abstract : The Fort Worth Division of General Dynamics has been heavily involved with failure-tolerant flight control systems for almost 20 years through production of the F-111 and the F-16. The need for survivability after failure is most obvious on the F-16, which has the world's first production fly-by-wire flight control system. Fly-by-wire is an absolute necessity on the F-16 because the aircraft was designed to be statically unstable and cannot be controlled without the artificial stability provided by the flight control system. Because of difficulties in analytical definition, several external factors may not be included in the failure analysis of flight control systems. These factors, although not directly a part of the flight control system, can render redundancy useless if not considered. Examples of these external factors are pilot interface, ground maintenance, structural resonance, environmental conditions, indirect electrical hazards, and other system failures. These factors are not unique to the F-16 but are common to all aircraft with fly-by-wire flight control systems. This paper discusses examples of how several of these factors manifested themselves in the development of the F-16 and how the F-16 flight control system has evolved to minimize their effect. One of the mose significant evolutions to aid in the isolation and resolution of problems is the time sequenced data provided by the F-16 maintenance memory.

Descriptors :   *Fighter aircraft, *Flight control systems, *Aviation safety, Fly by wire control, Stability, Failure(Mechanics), Reliability, Test and evaluation, Human factors engineering, Man computer interface, Maintenance, Resonance, Electrical properties, Hazards, Environments, Symposia, Conferencing(Communications), Information exchange, Technology transfer

Distribution Statement : APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE