The history of flight control is inseparably linked to the history of aviation itself. Since the early days, the concept of automatic flight control systems has evolved from mechanical control systems to highly advanced automatic fly-by-wire flight control systems which can be found nowadays in military jets and civil airliners. Even today, many research efforts are made for the further development of these flight control systems in various aspects.
Flight controls have advanced considerably throughout the years. In the earliest
biplanes flown by the pioneers flight control was achieved by warping wings
and control surfaces by means of wires attached to the flying controls in
the cockpit. Figure 1.1 clearly shows the multiplicity of rigging and control
wires on an early monoplane. Such a means of exercising control was clearly
rudimentary and usually barely adequate for the task in hand.
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