An autopilot is a mechanical, electrical, or hydraulic system used to guide a vehicle without assistance from a human being. Most people understand an autopilot to refer specifically to aircraft, but self-steering gear for ships and boats is sometimes also called by this term.
In the early days of transport aircraft, aircraft required the continuous attention of a pilot in order to fly in a safe manner. This created very high demands on crew attention and high fatigue. The autopilot is designed to perform some of the tasks of the pilot.
The first aircraft autopilot was developed by Sperry Corporation in 1912. Elmer Sperry demonstrated it two years later in 1914, and proved his credibility of the invention, by flying the plane with his hands up.…
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