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About the project

Background

The concept all-electric aircraft (AEA) supposes avoiding centralized hydraulic systems on board the aircraft. For most typical aircraft these centralized hydrosystems supply power to actuators of the primary and secondary control system, wing-flap system, landing gear retraction, break unit and nose gear.

On board the all-electric aircraft traditional electro-hydraulic servovalve actuators are to be removed; so electric actuators powered by the electric generating system are to be installed instead. Besides, the electrification of aircraft actuation system results in fundamental changes within its power package, so that pneumatic and hydraulic power consumption is minimized on board the airplane.

At present many research and industrial projects are developed all over the world. They show the trend of the actuators system electrification and these projects are:

  • EPAD (Electrically Power Actuation Design) in the USA.
  • All-electric aircraft development comprehensive program in Russia.
  • MOET (More Open Electrical Technologies), POA (Power Optimized Aircraft), Actuation 2015 etc. in European Union.

Despite all the advantages of the actuators system electrification technology, today the implementation of electric actuators in primary control system is limited by a number of factors. First of all it is a flight operating safety to be the reason. However, there are many civil airplanes where the engineering solutions based on the concept AEA are realized. There are Airbus A-380 and Boeing-787, which are used by the global renowned airlines for more than five years. Besides, at present the certification of all-electric aircraft (Airbus E-fan) is validated by Airbus.

Then, the flight control actuation systems research for the next-generation haul aircrafts with the higher level of the electrification is the main objective of work within this project. Furthermore, the main lines are development of technologies and creation facilities for the fundamentally new aircraft hardware power package, which is supplied by electric power most of all.

Objectives

The main objective is the development of “more- or all-electric” flight control actuation system with electrically powered actuators for the deflection of primary control surfaces of future airplanes. The elimination of onboard hydraulic power-network with the realization of such architecture potentially will result in the reduction of overall system weight, increasing A/C power and fuel efficiency as well as other outcomes

  • Definition of an electrical architecture for A/C Flight Control System.
  • Development of mathematical and computer program models of electrically powered actuators.
  • Study focussing on the management of thermal environmental aspects, in order to handle thermal dissipation during the architecture definition phase.
  • Study focusing on the management of the electromagnetic compatibility aspects in order to evaluate mainly the conducted emissions of new architectures.
  • Development of technologies of local hydraulic systems smart control (with pressure adaptation) for power consumption optimization.
  • Development of an Electro-Mechanical Actuator.
  • Development of the System Safety assessment and Health and Usage Monitoring System.

Technical innovations

  • Weight: Weight saving due to equipment and due to removal of hydraulic system, as well as A/C support structures needed.
  • Cost/Operation: Cheaper maintenance of electrical equipment instead hydraulic ones. Health monitoring system help to plan maintenance actions, granting the dispatchability of A/C.
  • Maintenance: HUMS monitors the condition of the system components and allows a more efficient maintenance regimen reducing downtime and pushing unscheduled actions to be aligned with the Aircraft scheduled plan resulting in high availability and reduction of operation costs. Elimination of fluid of the system.
  • Safety: HUMS helps accurate identification of faults prior catastrophic failures assuring the safety of the flight. EMA Antijamming System® avoids the inadvertent mechanical seizure of the equipment.
  • Power consumption: Low electric power consumption.
  • EMI/EMC: Assure electromechanical compatibility (EMI/EMC), assessing the conducted and radiated emissions of new architectures.