The McDonnell Douglas F-18A Hornet is the first production aeroplane with a digital fly-by-wire flight control system, backed up by mechanical reversion on the taileron controls, with cable links. Photo shows the 11th and last of the FSD F-18As, and the first to be finished in operational US Navy colours.
The much-utilised McDonnell Douglas Phantom c/n 62-12200, in its PACT (Precision Aircraft Control Technology) configuration in 1974 with canard surfaces added. Now exhibited in the USAF Museum at Wright Patterson AFB, it was first flown as a fly-by-wire research vehicle on 29 April 1972.
The Hunter 12 that has been flying at the RAE since 1973 with a fly-by-wire system has recently been fitted with an F-16-type non-movable control column, on which hand pressure alone is required to actuate the FBW system.