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Aircraft Computers

  1. Charles P. Satterthwaite

Published Online: 14 DEC 2007

DOI: 10.1002/9780470050118.ecse010

Wiley Encyclopedia of Computer Science and Engineering

Wiley Encyclopedia of Computer Science and Engineering

How to Cite

Satterthwaite, C. P. 2007. Aircraft Computers. Wiley Encyclopedia of Computer Science and Engineering. .

Author Information

  1. United States Air Force, Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 14 DEC 2007


The aircraft industry and the computer industry are relative newcomers in two centuries of technical innovation. It is only natural that these powerful industries have merged to provide continuous improvements in capabilities and services for aircraft customers. Landau defines an aircraft as any structure or machine designed to travel through the air. He then defines a computer as a person who computes or a device used for computing. From these definitions, an aircraft computer is a device used on (or in association with) any air-traveling machine or structures used to make computations. Computers can be found in every aspect of the aircraft industry. On the aircraft, there are computers for flight control and display, computers monitoring and regulating flight functions, computers recording and processing flight activities, computers providing passenger entertainment, and computers providing communication and navigation. Equally important are the ground-based computers at airports, maintenance depots, and air traffic control stations that provide services for all aspects of flight.


  • embedded computer;
  • network-centric;
  • fire control computer;
  • real-time computer;
  • contols;
  • displays