The evolution of civil aircraft technology has been characterised by a drive towards three goals: the improvement of safety, the increase of operational reliability and the reduction in the actual cost of flying from A to B. This evolution has now been oversha‐dowed by another evolution, more widespread in its application, that of micro‐circuit technology. Avionics has at last come of age with the introduction of micro‐compters into all aspects of the control of aircraft where they provide consistent high‐speed decision‐making with the facility for self‐monitoring. In addition, the overall systems employing the micro‐computers represents a saving in weight, yet bring with them greatly enhanced flexibility of operation. The aircraft due to enter service in the next few years are likely to provide supreme examples of this burgeoning of avionics in providing extensive improvements in passenger comfort and safety together with optimisation of the economics of flying.
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