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Published on Mar 5, 2007
This 38 second movie clip shows pilot-induced oscillations of the F-8 DFBW aircraft taken from a chase plane.
From 1972 to 1985 the NASA Dryden Flight Research Center conducted flight research with an F-8C employing the first digital fly-by-wire flight control system without a mechanical back up. The decision to replace all mechanical control linkages to rudder, ailerons, and other flight control surfaces was made for two reasons. First, it forced the research engineers to focus on the technology and issues that were truly critical for a production fly-by-wire aircraft. Secondly, it would give industry the confidence it needed to apply the technology--confidence it would not have had if the experimental system relied on a mechanical back up.