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Early Aircraft Computers

Aircraft design in the early days was very rudimentary and it wasn’t until 1960 that we saw the first computers used in aviation in the form of flight simulators. Here a pilot could simulate a flight under all flight conditions, and in all environments, before the actual flight, or during the construction of the actual plane itself.

These simulators then later assisted with aircraft configuration during their construction. Some of these configurations included the creation of the blended body and wings, forward swept wings, the refinement of specialized airfoils, and canard surfaces. Adjustments were then made in the design and structure of the aircraft, balancing out all factors to create better and improved planes.

Simulators are still in use today and a wide variety can be found in our Century Avionics aircraft product range.

On board Computers

A further extension of the use of computers in aviation is their onboard use. Here pilots can calibrate, adjust and test the aircraft’s equipment before and during flight, thus avoiding potential problems along the way.

This had a huge impact on the role of the pilot. The role has changed drastically, from being the person who manually flies the plane to the completion of its journey, to one who now manages and oversees the mechanical aspects in the cockpit.

Autopilot was originally designed to assist the plane to fly in a straight line, whereas now we have such advanced technology that our computers can guide a plane right through on autopilot from take-off to landing, taking into account fuel consumption, the weather, the wind, among several other factors, to make the right adjustments to fly.

The technology today allows adjustments to be made considering all aspects of the plane in flight, as well as all conditions surrounding and impacting it, creating a flying experience that is far above and beyond the capability of any human pilot.

Not only have computers played a large role in the specific design and construction of aircraft, but they now too have created a safer environment for airplanes to fly in, where accuracy and speed of flight adjustments no longer rely solely on the skill of the pilot, but also on the amazing capabilities of technology.

Visit the Century Avionics online store today to see what aircraft products and technology you need to make your own flying experience an incredible one.


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