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Fly-by-wire describes a system where no directly connection of the stearing instuments of an aircraft to the aerodynamicly acting flaps exists. In smaller or older planes the pilot drives the flaps via steel wire directly, this needs much of musculair strength in case of bigger or faster planes.

In a fly-by-wire system the stearing command, given by the pilot, is converted into an electronic signal, this signal is transfered over wires to a servo that drives the flaps.