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Space History Photo: F-8C with the Digital-Fly-By-Wire Control System

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This control system was extensively tested before wide-spread use began. (Image credit: NASA.)

In this historical photo from the U.S. space agency, an F-8C with the Digital-Fly-By-Wire Control System, which was first tested in 1972, is shown during a test flight. The use of electrical and mechanical systems to replace hydraulic systems for aircraft control surface actuation was flight-tested.

Today widely used by commercial airliners, the Digital-Fly-By-Wire Control System allows for better maneuver control, smoother rides, and for military aircraft, a higher combat survivability. For more information please read James Tomayko’s book Computers Take Flight:A History of NASA’s Pioneering Digital Fly-By-Wire Project (NASA SP-2000-4224), which can be found here.

Each weekday, SPACE.com looks back at the history of spaceflight through photos (archive).

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NASA
NASA

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) is the U.S. government agency in charge of the civilian space program as well as aeronautics and aerospace research. Founded in 1958, NASA is a civilian space agency aimed at exploring the universe with space telescopes,  satellites, robotic spacecraft, astronauts and more. The space agency has 10 major centers based across the U.S. and launches robotic and crewed missions from the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral Florida. Its astronaut corps is based at the Johnson Space Center in Houston. To follow NASA's latest mission, follow the space agency on Twitter or any other social channel, visit: nasa.gov