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Hello! I have a question about the MD-11 aircraft. Is it truly fly-by-wire or are there old fashioned hydraulics and cables also installed as a back-up?
Thank you for your attention.
Well, it's not fly by wire in the sense that there are no cables, cables actuate the hydraulic acuators. No cables is airbus, and as far as I know the MD-11 isn't like that.
What I don't know is whether the MD-11 has servo tabs like the 737 sim that I have flown. The servo-tabs are how the flight control surface moves, and it's usually moved by a hydraulic actuator, but in case those go out, you can go to manual and move the servo tabs by moving the flight controls. For one, I'd think that the size of the MD-11 would make this impossible. In the 737 you have 3 hydraulic systems for the rudder, due to the fact that the rudder would be impossible to actuate with a servo tab. The flight controls (ailerons and elevator) are just barely moveable with the servo tabs. I had the "pleasure" of flying one around in this way a little while back. In the sim, but it doesn't matter much, it feels real and you gotta be a "strong" guy to do this, good to get some help from the co-pilot if you can. It can be exausting. One cool thing is that you are still left with electronic elevator trim even if the hydraulics go out, so that makes controlling it with no hydraulics a little easier, but still it is no walk in the park.
Again, I don't know the MD-11 like I know the 737, but even if it had servo tabs, I have severe doubts as to if anyone could control a plane of that size in that fasion.
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