Thales announced yesterday that the Gulfstream Aerospace advanced flight controls (AFC) proof-of-concept research program has achieved a successful first flight with Thales fly-by-wire technology aboard a modified Gulfstream V. The event represents a milestone in a flight test series which began September 26 with a mission on which the GV’s hydromechanical spoiler components were replaced with electromechanical actuators.
The latest flight exercised the Thales dual- channel, single-LRU flight control computer that interfaced with cockpit controls and aircraft sensors to generate digital commands to the electromechanical spoiler control servos. Gulfstream began the AFC program in 2004 to examine the feasibility of lighter and smaller electronically driven flight controls, with focus on spoilers and elevators.
Gulfstream and Thales have collaborated to define ground and flight test requirements for a fly-by-wire system, with Thales providing modular integration and validation tools for the ground test facility and Gulfstream test aircraft. Later this year Gulfstream plans to expand flight testing to include electronically commanded elevator travel using an electrical backup hydraulic actuator.
Thales is at Booth No. 3616, where it is demonstrating infrared enhanced vision on a head-up display and features of the TopFlight satellite communication system and high-gain antenna.