Technology assessments during the 1980s projected the development of advanced military fighter aircraft that would require propulsion systems that could accommodate multimission capability with super maneuverability. These propulsion systems would be required to provide significantly improved thrust to weight, reduced thrust specific fuel consumption, and up and away thrust vectoring capabilities. Digital electronic control systems with significantly expanded capabilities would be required to handle these multifunction control actuation systems, to integrate them with flight control systems, and to provide fail-operational capability. This paper will discuss the challenges that were presented to propulsion system control designers, the innovation of technology to address these challenges, and the transition of that technology to production readiness. Technology advancements will be discussed in the area of digital electronic control capability and packaging, advanced fuel management systems, high pressure fuel hydraulic actuation systems for multifunction nozzles, integrated flight propulsion controls, and higher-order language software development tools. Each of these areas provided unique opportunities where technology development programs and flight prototyping carried concepts to reality.

Tillman, K. D., 1990, “Integrated, Reliable, Fault-Tolerant Control for Large Engines,” technical report, WRDC-TR-90-2040.
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