What is FADEC on Boeing 737? (Full Authority Digital Engine Control)

Full Authority Digital Engine Control (FADEC) is a sophisticated electronic engine control system used in modern aircraft, including the Boeing 737. It is responsible for managing the fuel flow, thrust, and various other parameters that affect the performance and efficiency of the engines. FADEC replaces the traditional mechanical controls and offers enhanced accuracy, reliability, and operational flexibility.

The FADEC system consists of a set of hardware and software components that work together to monitor and control the engines. It continuously collects data from various sensors placed throughout the engine, such as temperature, pressure, and speed sensors. This data is then processed by the FADEC computer, which uses complex algorithms to determine the optimum settings for engine performance in real-time.

The primary objective of FADEC is to ensure the engines operate within safe limits while maximizing their efficiency. By constantly adjusting the fuel flow, ignition timing, and other parameters, FADEC optimizes the engine’s performance across different flight conditions, such as takeoff, climb, cruise, and descent. This results in improved fuel efficiency, reduced emissions, and increased engine lifespan.

FADEC also provides built-in redundancy and fault detection capabilities. In the event of a sensor failure or abnormal condition, the FADEC system can automatically detect the issue and adjust the engine parameters accordingly to prevent engine damage. This enhances the safety and reliability of the aircraft.

Advantages of Full Authority Digital Engine Control

FADEC offers several significant advantages over traditional engine control systems, making it a crucial technology in modern aircraft like the Boeing 737. Let’s explore some of these advantages:

1. Improved Engine Efficiency

One of the key benefits of FADEC is its ability to optimize engine performance throughout the flight envelope. By continuously monitoring and adjusting the engine parameters, FADEC ensures that the engines operate at their most efficient levels across different flight phases. This leads to reduced fuel consumption, which is not only economically beneficial but also environmentally friendly, as it results in lower carbon emissions.

According to Boeing, the FADEC-equipped engines on the 737 aircraft can deliver up to a 3% reduction in fuel burn compared to previous engine models without FADEC. This improvement translates into significant cost savings for airlines and a reduced carbon footprint for the aviation industry as a whole.

2. Enhanced Reliability

FADEC’s digital nature eliminates many of the mechanical components found in traditional engine control systems. This reduces the risk of mechanical failures and simplifies the overall engine control architecture. With fewer moving parts, the chances of system malfunctions and maintenance issues are significantly reduced.

Moreover, FADEC provides built-in redundancy, meaning that in case of a failure in one FADEC channel, the other channel can seamlessly take over control of the engine. This redundancy enhances the reliability and safety of the system, ensuring that aircraft engines can continue to operate even in the event of a partial system failure.

3. Simplified Pilot Operations

With FADEC, the task of engine management is largely automated, reducing the workload on pilots. The FADEC system computes and adjusts the optimal engine parameters, eliminating the need for manual throttle adjustments and other complex procedures. This simplifies the pilot’s tasks and allows them to focus more on the overall flight management and situational awareness.

Additionally, FADEC provides automatic engine control during critical phases of flight, such as takeoff and landing. It ensures that the engines produce the required thrust and respond promptly to pilot commands, enhancing the aircraft’s maneuverability and safety.


Full Authority Digital Engine Control (FADEC) is a revolutionary technology that has transformed engine management in aircraft like the Boeing 737. Through its advanced hardware and software components, FADEC ensures optimal engine performance, improved fuel efficiency, greater reliability, and simplified pilot operations. Its adoption in modern aviation has led to significant advancements in engine control systems, resulting in safer, more efficient, and environmentally friendly aircraft.

As technology continues to evolve, we can expect further enhancements in FADEC systems and their integration with other aircraft systems, paving the way for more efficient and sustainable aviation in the future.

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