Forward Wing Jet

forward-wing-jet.jpg

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    11 Responses to Forward Wing Jet

    1. Grumman X-29. Yet another example of fly-by-wire aircraft designs that can’t be flown without a computer…

      At least it looks cool…

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    2. If you live close to DC, there’s a 1:1 scale model at the Smithsonian Air & Space Museum, www.nasm.si.edu/imagedetail.cfm?imageID=1171

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    3. IT’S STARSCREEEEAAAAMMMM!!!

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    4. @Phy

      So, when you say “can’t be flown without a computer” do you mean “the plane, by its design has a non-optional fly-by-wire system” OR “there is no purely-mechanical system that’s humanly operable, to fly a plane of this design”?

      Surely there’s a backup in place if something is damaged, or in that case do you basically wait till it’s safe and eject, becuase w/o that computer, it’s a flying brick?!?!

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    5. Fly-by-wire is not inherently inferior to mechanical controls. Either will become inoperable if damaged. In fact its easier to have a back up fly-by-wire, than it is to have backup mechanical controls.
      People are so used to their personal computers (ie Windows) crashing without explanation that they are conditioned to think all computer systems are equally unreliable.

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    6. Hmm. I know this is more prime area for linux users, but I must say my PC has been much more reliable than my Mac.

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    7. I didn’t mean to start another Windows vs. Mac vs. Linux comparison. :p
      There doesn’t even need to be an operating system at all on fly-by-wire controls, the necessary functions could be entirely hard coded onto silicon. I don’t know if that how they actually do it in the aviation industry, but it could be done, if that was the best solution.

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    8. @mgear
      Actually the reliability of the computer system is not the issue at all. As Reboot pointed out, the computer systems on these things are actually very reliable. The real problem lies in the design of the plane itself.
      Though the forward swept wing design gives the x-29 greater maneuverability at lower speeds, it also means that it is more sensitive to any control inputs and environmental forces. This, in turn means that many, many more minute control corrections are required to keep it stable in flight than your average jet. So much more, that the computer is a necessity in order to keep the plane under control, as it would be impossible to make all of these adjustments manually.
      The same is true of many modern stealth planes. Many of them have the aerodynamics of a brick, and could not be flown without a computer making constant control adjustments in the background.

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    9. @reboot
      Actually I believe they use a combination of integrated circuitry and firmware, as they need to be able to easily update the programming on the various components of the fly by wire systems without needing to replace all of the hardware…

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    10. Agreed with Phyreblade, its the sort of aircraft that when just in cruise or doing basic aerobatics is difficult to control, let alone doing combat maneuvers. Thats that the Fly-by Wire system is all about, making the controls more “Natural” or as expected by the pilot.

      Fighters like this will probably become more common place, especially as computer technology comes along and our understanding of composites!

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