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Content archived on 2024-04-19

Electrically powered integrated control actuators: Flight testing in primary flight controls


The thermal behavior of the actuator has been excellent in flight with only some minor concerns when the actuator is a long time energized on the ground. This has been checked in several flights with very different flight profiles both in duration and external temperature.

The compatibility of the actuators with other aircraft systems has also been demonstrated. No interaction between the EHA and other systems has been observed. A valuable environmental data base to establish a realistic thermal model of the actuator has been obtained and a preliminary actuator thermal model defined. It is considered that the EPICA Flight Test Program has been highly successful from the technical point of view. The program has fully met its technical objectives achieving important milestones for the development of electrically powered actuators.

Following the results of the program it can be stated that:
- A robust EHA concept design is available for an actuator power range up to 1,5kw.
- No major obstacle has been found to achieve a formal qualification for an EHA actuator of this power range.
- The performances of the EHA actuator during flight tests have been according to expectations.
- The thermal behavior of the EHA in flight has been acceptable, with no temperature limits override during the 15 flights and more than 30 flight test hours of operation. Only a minor concern exists for heat transfer on ground in case of extended actuator power-on intervals.
- No compatibility problems have been found with respect to other aircraft systems.
- A simplified EHA thermal model exists that will be the basis for further development to extend the use of the model.

As a summary it can be concluded that EHA technology maturity, for this power range, has been given a major forward step following this program and can be considered ready for product oriented development.


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