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Affordable digital fly-by-wire flight control system for small commercial aircraft


Objectives and content
The goal of this project is to develop an architecture
for a an affordable fly-by-wire (FBW) digital flight
control systems (DFCS) for small commercial aircraft,
while utilising advanced technologies such as
Fuzzy/Neural and robust control algorithms which will
reduce the cost of the system development and the
operational cost of the aircraft. Currently the FBW-FCS
technologies are used mainly in fighter aircraft and
large civil transport/cargo jets. The objective is to
evaluate the affordability and cost effectiveness of
incorporating these technologies in small civil aircraft.
The possibility to reduce the complexity of the control
algorithms and the redundancy management in the system
will be evaluated, using two main methodologies: the
conventional/robust control and the Fuzzy/Neural control.
If successful, the outcome of this project, which is
scheduled for three years, will include clear
recommendations as for the affordability of the FBW-DFCS
technology to small civil jets. In addition, a detailed
description of the required technologies and design
methods needed to achieve the affordable and costeffective solutions will be presented.
The main achievement of the ADFCS project will be the
definition of a FBW-DFCS which will provide preferred
automatic control solutions for small jet aircraft,
including a clear design methodology for constructing and
incorporation of the FCS onto an existing aircraft and
especially, on a new designed aeroplane. The emphasis is
on obtaining enhanced affordability of FBW-DFCS compared
to the common conventional mainly mechanical systems
implemented today in small aircraft.
The major innovation will be the application of robust
control law design techniques, partially based on fuzzy
logic and neural networks, in combination with automated
design processes.
This project will be carried out by seven (7) partners
from four different European countries. The consortium
includes two airframe industries, one Avionics system
industry, two research organisations and two educational
universities. The project was built in a special
structure, aimed to reduce the probability of failure to
a minimum level.
The resulting FCS designs will be tested on a flight
simulator, with pilots in the loop, to evaluate their
safety, controllability, handling qualities and ability
for self reconfiguration after system failures. Based on
the certification requirements, various failure modes
will be addressed, covering both mechanical and
electrical failure cases.
It is the intention of the industries involved in the
project, to use the resulted technologies in their future
products. The airframe manufacturers are looking into
the possibility to replace the old mechanical systems in
their current production line, with an advanced FBW
system. The Avionics systems industry in this project
wishes to explore the possibilities to reduce the level
of complexity in their current FCS products and to
improve their cost effectiveness when used in small
commercial jets.

Funding Scheme

CSC - Cost-sharing contracts


Israel Aircraft Industries Ltd

Participants (5)

Alenia Aerospazio Un'Azienda Finmeccanica SpA
Corso Marche 41
10146 Torino
Centro Italiano Ricerche Aerospaziali ScpA
Via Maiorise
81043 Capua
2,Anthony Fokkerweg 2
1059 CM Amsterdam
Technion City
32000 Haifa
Technische Universiteit Delft
2628 CD Delft