This book has attempted to portray the design and development of aircraft systems as practised in the aerospace industry. The industry is currently dominated by the need to deliver hard products, many of them complex interactions of airframe, components, human operators, and systems, both hardware and software. These products are provided to customers as a part of their armed forces or airline infrastructure, which in turn may be part of a wider national or international entity. This increasingly complex nature of products has led to an approach to dealing with them as complex systems.

An understanding of what constitutes a system is important. There is an increasing tendency for domain‐specific engineers to take a broader view of their system, a state of mind that is stimulated by the increasing integration of systems in the modern aircraft. Thus, individual systems are perceived as being sub‐systems of larger integrated systems existing in complex environments. Chapter 2 looked at these wider concepts of system and identified the commonality between them in terms of the form and terminology of systems. There are many books and papers available for further study to build on this understanding and to examine how the field of systems engineering has a large part to play.

Systems engineering is the science, discipline or art that is employed to understand the initial need or requirement for a system and to progress in an orderly manner to the delivery of a completed ...

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