The term avionics is a portmanteau of the words aviation and electronics.
Avionics is the study and composition of electronic systems used on aircraft, artificial satellites, and spacecraft.
Avionic systems include:
- Communications Systems
- Navigation and Guidance Systems
- Display Indicators
- Management of multiple systems that work individually and syncronically. A complete Avionics system is composed of hundreds of systems that are fitted to the aircraft to perform individual functions.
These can be as simple as a searchlight for a police helicopter or as complicated as sensor system for an emergency remote control landing on water or on land.
History of Avionics
Instrumentation for the navigation of ocean going vessals on water was the first understanding we have of rustic avionics.
The sails on ships the first to harness the wind before flaps and wings blessed the first prototypes on the first Airplane the first successful flight being the Wright Brothers.
The study of Ducks paddling and wings and their tails gave men the idea of using rutters and oars to power and guide ship when they were not harnessing the wind or when the wind was insufficient to give them more speed.
Roughly 20 percent of the costs of the F15E is in avionics. The term avionics was coined by journalist Philip J. Klass as a portmanteau of aviation electronics.
Many modern avionics have their origins in World War II wartime developments.
For example, autopilot systems that are prolific today were started to help bomber planes fly steadily enough to hit precision targets from high altitudes.
Famously, radar was developed in the UK, Germany, and the United States during the same period.
Modern avionics is a substantial portion of military aircraft spending. Aircraft like the F‑15E and the now retired F‑14 have roughly 20 percent of their budget spent on avionics. Most modern helicopters now have budget splits of 60/40 in favour of avionics.
The civilian market has also seen a growth in cost of avionics. Flight control systems (fly-by-wire) and new navigation needs brought on by tighter air spaces, have pushed up development costs. The major change has been the recent boom in consumer flying.
As more people begin to use planes as their primary method of transportation, more elaborate methods of controlling aircraft safely in these high restrictive air spaces have been invented