: of, relating to, being, or utilizing a flight-control system in which controls are operated electrically rather than mechanically

Examples of fly-by-wire in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Take the fly-by-wire hardware that first appeared on General Dynamics’ F-16 fighter. Basem Wasef, Robb Report, 21 Apr. 2024 These more or less three-inch shards peeled off titanium threads when workers installed the titanium bolts that secured the floor in these fly-by-wire planes. Shawn Tully, Fortune, 16 Mar. 2024 Just as fly-by-wire systems have their risks, so does AI if deployed without oversight. Mehdi Daoudi, Forbes, 20 Feb. 2024 The pilots steer using a joystick and fly-by-wire system that automatically integrates with sensor feedback data to control all the motors. Harry Guinness, Popular Science, 9 Nov. 2023 The design was meant to reduce drag, though the whole thing was so unstable that the plane required a fly-by-wire computer system to keep the thing in the air. Jessica Coulon, Popular Mechanics, 1 June 2023 However, the Soviets brought technical flourishes to the concept, including a computerized fly-by-wire flight controls system and both ground-scanning navigation and weather radars. Sébastien Roblin, Popular Mechanics, 22 Apr. 2023 Equipped with these sophisticated flight controllers, the fly-by-wire BlackFly is similar in that regard to the hobbyist drones that rely on processors and clever algorithms to avoid the tricky manipulations of sticks, levers, and pedals required to fly a traditional fixed- or rotary-wing aircraft. IEEE Spectrum, 29 Dec. 2022 Originally developed by McDonnell Douglas in the 1970s, the F/A-18 Hornet was the first aircraft to have carbon-fiber wings and the first tactical jet fighter equipped with digital, fly-by-wire controls. Julie Johnsson, Fortune, 23 Feb. 2023

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'fly-by-wire.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1955, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of fly-by-wire was in 1955

Dictionary Entries Near fly-by-wire

Cite this Entry

“Fly-by-wire.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/fly-by-wire. Accessed 21 Jul. 2024.

Kids Definition


: controlled by electrical signals rather than mechanically

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