Honeywell Develops Compact FBW for UAM Market

 - June 4, 2019, 2:05 PM

Honeywell has developed a compact fly-by-wire (FBW) flight control system for urban air mobility (UAM) systems that is approximately the size of a paperback book, the company announced Monday. The system drives electric actuators and dynamically adjusts flight surfaces and motors, thereby eliminating the need for heavy hydraulics, control cables, or pushrods. 

Its flight control computer has features derived from Honeywell's fly-by-wire systems for airplanes and includes triplex architecture and lockstep processing, a two-channel system where one channel constantly checks the other’s work.

"Aircraft designers can use the compact flight control computer out of the box with easy-to-use development tools," said Carl Esposito, Honeywell Aerospace's president of electronic solutions. "It was designed for connectivity to achieve better maintenance and improved fleet operations." Honeywell plans to demonstrate the new system June 11 to 12 at the Uber Elevate Summit in Washington, D.C.

Honeywell has agreements to develop navigation and automatic landing systems with several UAM vehicle companies, including Volocopter, Pipistrel, and Eviation.