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For the signal processing part of a flight control system a definition of the system integrity function is given in order to enable comparative evaluation of different design approaches with respact to the system integrity and mission survival. Two main failure detection methods are analytically investigated, the passive failure detection and the selfdiagnosing active failure detection. For the sensing part of a flight control system a sensor failure detection and elimination concept is presented, based on doubled sensors and deterministic observers. This system equals the fail-operational properties of a triplex-system.