Compact fly-by-wire system for urban air vehicles from Honeywell
Honeywell has unveiled a new compact fly-by-wire system that is approximately the size of a paperback book. The computer packs the “brains” of an airliner’s flight controls into one system.
The flight control computer from Honeywell is designed to add stability to future electric vertical takeoff and landing aircraft designs by driving electric actuators and dynamically adjusting flight surfaces and motors for smoothly following flight paths. It's intended to reduce turbulence and allow designers to push the limits of aerodynamics, eliminating the need for heavy hydraulics, control cables, or pushrods.
“Honeywell’s technology truly enables these innovative aircraft to fly more safely, accelerating a whole new era in what is quickly emerging as a new transportation economy,” said Carl Esposito, President, Electronic Solutions, Honeywell Aerospace.
The system features a triplex flight control computer architecture, providing multiple backup options. In addition, each computer uses lockstep processing, meaning it has two processing channels that constantly check each other’s work.
Called a compact fly-by-wire system because the controls are augmented by electronics vs. purely manual controls, this new compact computer can be held in one hand. Honeywell says its solution will draw less power, cost a fraction of current systems, and can be used on multiple aircraft types, including more traditional aircraft vehicle designs.
“Aircraft designers can use the compact flight control computer out of the box with easy-to-use development tools,” Esposito said. “It was designed for connectivity to achieve better maintenance and improved fleet operations.”