You are on page 1of 117

Aircraft Electrical & Electronic Systems

K.N.S Acharya

2010 Infosys Technologies Limited

2010 Infosys Technologies Limited

Aircraft systems
1. Avionic Systems

Navigation System,
Flight deck and cockpit systems
Communication System

2. Flight Control System,

3. Aircraft Electrical System

2010 Infosys Technologies Limited

What is Avionics?
Avionics is actually a combination of Aviation & Electronics.
Represents the field of technology that encompasses the electronic equipment
and systems that are used on aircraft and aircraft components.
Avionics equipment is usually thought of as different from electrical or
electromechanical aircraft equipment but the lines between electrical systems
and avionics systems are not always distinct, especially in the more modern
Supports the goal of helping flight crews get safely from point to point.
Avionics helps pilots with their responsibilities in the cockpit to
Aviate (Tracking and Controlling Aircraft Pitch, roll and yaw)
Navigate (track position, way point estimates, deviation from desired course,
avoiding collision with obstacles, in all weather conditions)
Communicate (communicate flight progress with others who need to know
other crew members, ATC, other aircraft, Flight Service Stations and

2010 Infosys Technologies Limited

What are the functions of Avionics?

Function of Avionics Systems is to receive, compute and display
Navigation data,
sense flight parameters,
correlate information,
consolidate and present information to crew,
support crew by automating functions like flight control and flight
enhance safety,
improve flight performance,
permit communication with external elements.
Help crews manage their workload, onboard systems and the flight situation
The Goal of avionics is to help the aircraft get from one location to another location in
almost any weather condition.

2010 Infosys Technologies Limited

Terminologies used in Avionics

ADF Automatic Direction Finder

NDB Non directional Beacon
VOR - VHF omnidirectional range
DME Distance Measuring Equipment
TACAN TACtical Air Navigation
VORTAC A special VOR which
combines VOR T TCAN
RNAV Area Navigation
RMI Radio Magnetic Indicator
HSI Horizontal Situation Indicator
LORAN C Long Range Navigation
INS / IRS Inertial Navigation System /
DNS: Doppler Navigation System
GPS: Global positioning System
ALS: Approach Lighting System
VASIS: Visual Slope Indicator System
ILS: Instrument Landing System
MB: Marker beacon
MLS: Microwave landing System
DGPS: Differential GPS

2010 Infosys Technologies Limited

20 Popular Avionics Abbreviations

Best way to learn Avionic Systems is

using 5 Ws + H
1. What: is the purpose of this system
2. Who is permitted use this system?
(Military Civil Etc)
3. Where: is the system situated?
Ground , Aircraft or space?
4. Why is this system Good or Bad?
5. When: was the system certified for
use in avionics & Future?
6. How: does this system function?

Aircraft Navigation Systems

Finding the way from one place to another is called
Moving of an aircraft from one point to another is the most
important part for any kind of mission. Plotting on the paper or
on the map a course towards a specific area of the earth , in
the past, used to be a task assigned to a specialized member
of the aircraft's crew such a navigator. Such a task was quite
complicated and not always accurate. Since it depended on the
observation , using simple maps and geometrical instruments
for calculations.
Today, aerial navigation has become an art which nears to
perfection. Both external Navaids (Navigational Aids) and
on-board systems help navigate any aircraft over thousand
of miles with such accuracy that could only be imagined a few
decades ago.

2010 Infosys Technologies Limited

Methods of Navigation
The following are the main methods of air navigation. There are:
1. Pilotage , 2. Dead Reckoning , 3. Radio. 4. Celestial Navigation
5. Satellite Navigation

1. Pilotage or Piloting: ( Based on Visual Landmarks) is the most

common method of air navigation. This method, the pilot keeps on
course by following a series of landmarks on the ground. Usually
before take-off, pilot will making pre-flight planning , the pilot will
draws a line on the aeronautical map to indicate the desired course.
Pilot will note various landmarks , such as highways , railroad tracks,
rivers , bridges . As the pilot flies over each of landmark , pilot will
checks it off on the chart or map. If the plane does not pass directly
over the landmark , the pilot will know that he has to correct the

2010 Infosys Technologies Limited

Dead Reckoning
2. Dead Reckoning is the primary navigation method used in
the early days of flying. It is the method on which Lindberg
relied on his first trans-Atlantic flight. A pilot used this method
when flying over large bodies of water, forest, deserts. It
demands more skill and experience than pilotage does. It is
based on time, distance, and direction only.
The pilot must know the distance from one point to the next, the
magnetic heading to be flown. Pilot works on the pre-flight plan
chart , pilot plan a route in advance. Pilot calculate the time to
know exactly to reach the destination while flying at constant
speed. In the air, the pilot uses compass to keep the plane
heading in the right direction. Dead reckoning is not always a
successful method of navigation because of changing wind
direction. It is the fundamental of VFR flight.
2010 Infosys Technologies Limited

DR Ground Speed estimation

2010 Infosys Technologies Limited

Radio Navigation, Celestial Navigation,

Satellite Navigation
3. Radio Navigation is used by almost all pilots. Pilots can find
out from an aeronautical chart what radio station they should
tune to in a particular area. They can then tune their radio
navigation equipment to a signal from this station. A needle on
the navigation equipment tells the pilot where they are flying to
or from station, on course or not
4. Celestial Navigation: Based on Navigational reference to
heavenly bodies, Sun, Moon, planets, stars, satellites etc
5. Satellite Navigation: Navigation through use of data
broadcast by a Satellite (SAT) based transmitter

2010 Infosys Technologies Limited


Navigating Across Oceans

Pilots have special methods for navigating across oceans.
Three commonly used methods are:
1. Inertial Guidance: This system has computer and other
special devices that tell pilots where are the plane located.
2.LORAN: Long Range Navigation The plane has equipment
for receiving special radio signals sent out continuous from
transmitter stations. The signals will indicate the plane location
3.GPS Global Positioning System: is the only system today
able to show your exact position on the earth any time,
anywhere, and any weather. The system receiver on the
aircraft will receives the signals from satellites around the

2010 Infosys Technologies Limited


Presenting information to Crew - Display system Purpose &

Provides situational awareness to the pilot by displaying flight critical
information for successful completion of the mission.
Type of Information displayed
Primary flight performance - Airspeed, Attitude, Altitude, Heading, Vertical
Speed, Radio Direction & Distance, etc.
Navigation Flight plan, approach, VOR, moving map, Situation
Engines Torque, Np, Ng, ITT (Turbine inlet temperatures) , Oil
Pressure, Oil Temperature, Fuel Pressure, Fuel Flow, Fuel Qty (different
Aircraft Utility System
Pressurization/ air conditioning
Hydraulic Power
Auxiliary Power unit

2010 Infosys Technologies Limited


A Typical Flight Deck A380 Flight deck

2010 Infosys Technologies Limited


Boeing 777 Flight Deck

2010 Infosys Technologies Limited



Ideas of Orthographic Projection
Top View
Front View
Profile View

Front View in PFD

Top View in ND

Profile View in VSD as

part of ND

DESIGN for 3 Dimensional Situational Awareness

2010 Infosys Technologies Limited

Flight deck

2010 Infosys Technologies Limited


An Electronic Flight Instrument System (EFIS) is a flight
deck instrument display system in which the display technology
used is electronic rather than electromechanical. EFIS normally
consists of a primary flight display (PFD), multi-function display
(MFD) and Engine Indicating and Crew Alerting System
(EICAS) display. Although cathode ray tube (CRT) displays
were used at first, liquid crystal displays (LCD) are now more

Olden Days
Displays Glass
Tube display

2010 Infosys Technologies Limited


Basic Flight instruments

2010 Infosys Technologies Limited


PFD/ND Format

PFD - Basic T


Attitude Indicator
Horz. Situation Ind.

2010 Infosys Technologies Limited



EFIS Format

Basic T

Mach/Airspeed Ind.
Radio Dist. Mag. Ind.
2010 Infosys Technologies Limited

Attitude Indicator
Horz. Situation Ind.

NAV Display

Vertical Speed Ind.

Pitot instruments

2010 Infosys Technologies Limited


Vertical Speed Indicator

2010 Infosys Technologies Limited


Navigation Systems -Methods

Terrestrial or



Radio Navigation


Dead Reckoning
System (INS)

Celestial Navigation





2010 Infosys Technologies Limited


Landing Aids

Self contained



ADF Provides Aircraft bearing with respect to a Ground station called

VORs: Provides Aircraft radial W.R.T a ground station

2010 Infosys Technologies Limited


Distance measuring Equipment provides
distance between Aircraft and DME ground
station. Ideally we want a ground distance
between Aircraft and DME station, but DME
normally provides the slant distance

2010 Infosys Technologies Limited


RMI Indicator Showing VOR, HDG and ADF

2010 Infosys Technologies Limited


Question: Why do you require 3 Navigational Aids DME,
ADF and VORs? Can we do with one?

2010 Infosys Technologies Limited


Over/Under Engine Format

Center Upper Display Unit

Primary Engine Display

2010 Infosys Technologies Limited

Center Lower Display Unit

Secondary Engine Display

Navigation Aids
Air navigation needs

Earth model for reference


A co-ordinate system to identify position/fixes and to compute distances


Navigational aids for reducing the workload of Navigator/pilot

Basic Navigation aids

Aeronautical Charts: specialized maps that show more than geographical features 1.

Navigation aids and airways which are highways in the air


location of airports, Land marks like mountains, rivers, lakes etc.


National borders

Magnetic compass

2010 Infosys Technologies Limited


Aeronautical Map / Chart

Aeronautical MapsVideo

2010 Infosys Technologies Limited


Ex: Symbols Navigational Aids

VOR, short for VHF omnidirectional radio range

2010 Infosys Technologies Limited


Airspace Structure

2010 Infosys Technologies Limited



2010 Infosys Technologies Limited


Class C & Class D

2010 Infosys Technologies Limited


Class E & G

2010 Infosys Technologies Limited


CNSA Systems
Helps in en route navigation

Infrastructure providing
connectivity between AirGround and Ground-Ground

Helps gathering weather
reports, collision detection

Managing Air Traffic
Integrated CNS Architecture
to improve ATM

2010 Infosys Technologies Limited


Aircraft Communication Systems

2010 Infosys Technologies Limited


Aviation Communication Applications :Voice and Data

Air Traffic Management (ATM)
Air Traffic Control (ATC)

Air Traffic Services (ATS)

Communication, Navigation, & Surveillance (CNS)
Airline Operational Communications (AOC)
Flight Operations

Airport Operations
Airline Administrative Communications (AAC)
Airline Passenger Communications (APC)Management (ATM)

2010 Infosys Technologies Limited

Aviation Communication Equipment

Voice Communication from Aircraft to Ground Station (ATC) and other
aircraft using
Digital Audio Control Panel
VHF Radio
HF Radio
SATCOM. For Passenger Telephony services

Data Communication from Aircraft to Ground Station (GSPs) and in turn

to ATC & Airlines (Terminal services) using
ACARS/CMU (Aircraft Communications Addressing and Reporting System)
VHF Radio
HF Radio

2010 Infosys Technologies Limited

Fundamentals Of Modulation
To Transmit Information Over Long Distances High Frequency
Carriers Are Required
Higher the Frequency, Smaller the Wavelength & Smaller the Antenna
For Example, Wavelength at 100MHz is 3 Meters
To Send Information (Voice &/or Data) we have to alter some
Characteristic of the Carrier Waveform as a Function of Information.
This is called Modulation.
Modulation can be Analog (Voice or Digital)
Carrier Frequencies are Allocated Internationally & Nationally for
Various Services Ex: Cellular Comm., TV, FM Radio, Air/Ground
Air/Ground Comm. Frequency Band is 118 MHz to 137 MHz.

2010 Infosys Technologies Limited

Analog Communications Overview

Modulating signal m(t)
Carrier = A Sin (ct+)
Modulation schemes
Amplitude Modulation
Frequency Modulation
Phase Modulation

2010 Infosys Technologies Limited

Surveillance Systems

2010 Infosys Technologies Limited


Surveillance Systems in Civil Aircraft

For all weather operation, Surveillance Systems needed in Civil
Aircraft are for: Enhanced Ground Proximity Warning System (EGPWS) Most
of the accidents happen under poor visibility and pilot is
unaware of the terrain and flies into it.
Traffic Collision Avoidance System (TCAS)
TCAS provides advisories
Traffic (indicating the presence of other aircraft) and
Resolution (indicating the maneuver, climb or descend)

Weather Hazards (Weather Radar/EO Sensor) to indicate the

direction and location of Hazards such as Thunderstorms,
Turbulence, Windshear, so that the pilot can steer the aircraft

2010 Infosys Technologies Limited

EGPWS- Basic Functions

7 modes of EGPWS

Mode 1: Excessive Descent Rate

Mode 2: Excessive Closure to Terrain
Mode 3: Altitude Loss after Takeoff
Mode 4: Unsafe Terrain Clearance
Mode 5: Excessive Glideslope Deviation
Mode 6: Advisory Callout/Bank Angle
Mode 7: Wind shear Alerting

EGPWS: Video

2010 Infosys Technologies Limited

Air Traffic Management

2010 Infosys Technologies Limited


Air Traffic Management


Air traffic is monitored/

managed through highly
structured systems
2. Pilots are governed by
Flight traffic Rules
3. Controllers instructs
pilots during every stage
of the flight
4. Ensures safety, avoids
collisions, chaos

2010 Infosys Technologies Limited

Flight Profile

Preflight :
Pilot fills flight plan
Gets weather info
Performs checks
Taxis Aircraft from
terminal gate to
designated runway

2010 Infosys Technologies Limited

Flight Profile
Take Off :
Pilot receives
permission from
Local Control
(Tower) to take off
Powers Up aircraft
Begins take off

2010 Infosys Technologies Limited

Flight Profile
Departure :
Departure Control takes over (TRACON)
Pilot is issued with altitude and route

2010 Infosys Technologies Limited

Flight Profile
Enroute :
Pilot receives instructions on what altitude
maintain what frequencies to switch etc.

2010 Infosys Technologies Limited

Flight Profile
Descent :
Pilot contacts Descent control.
Receives instruction to descent and change heading towards
destination airport

2010 Infosys Technologies Limited

Flight Profile
Approach :
Pilot receives Approach
Files flight procedure to get
designated runway
Control changes from
TRACON to Local Tower for
landing clearance

2010 Infosys Technologies Limited

Flight Profile
Landing :
Pilot receives clearance for
landing on the designated
On touching the ground
the control is transferred to
ground controller
Ground controller directs
the pilot across taxiways to
reach the terminal gate

2010 Infosys Technologies Limited

Flight Service Station (FSS)

FSS provides following services to private pilots

Preflight briefings
Weather information departure airport, route
and destination airport
Three types of briefings
Complete initial info

Updates to standards

Forecast information
Emergency Assistance
Aircraft loses its way
Emergency Landing

2010 Infosys Technologies Limited

Local Control ( Tower )

Control towers provide safe, orderly flow of air

traffic at airport and its vicinity.
There are four major classifications of control towers
1. Flight Data controller ( Pre flight )


Clearance Delivery controller ( Pre flight )


Is responsible for the ground movement of aircraft taxiing or vehicles

operating on taxiways or inactive runways

Local controller ( Take off and Approach)

2010 Infosys Technologies Limited

Responsible for obtaining and relaying departure clearances to pilots

Ground Controller ( Preflight Taxiing)


Relays Weather info and NOTAM ( Notice to Air Men)

Operates Flight Data processing equipment

Provides safety sequencing of Arrivals and departures

Maintains separation between Arrivals and departures

TRACON- ( Terminal Radar Approach


Bay Area Class B airspace

2010 Infosys Technologies Limited

TRACON controllers direct

aircraft during descent and
One TRACON can handle
multiple Air ports
Aim is to maintain separation
between the flights
Equipped with Radars,
monitor Radar screens and
maintain Voice/Data
communication with Pilot
Hands off control to next
TRACON at the edge of
Air Space

Center ( ARTCC)
Center or Air Route Traffic Control Center
Aircraft during en route
Three controller positions
Radar controller
Controller in-charge
Ensures separation between Aircrafts
Lateral 5 miles
Vertical 1000ft ( below 29000 ft
2000ft ( Above 29000 ft)

Associate controller
Receives Flight Plan 5 - 20 min
before Aircraft arrives the
sector airspace

Radar Handoff
Assists Radar controller
during heavy traffic

2010 Infosys Technologies Limited

Working Together

During pre flight

Flight plan is filed

Weather info is obtained
Departure clearance is obtained
Receives instructions from the
ground controller to reach the
designated take off run way

Pilot receives Cleared for

Departure from the local tower for
the take off

After take off pilot is instructed to change the frequency to contact

Departure controller in TRACON. Aircraft is routed away from airport
through assigned heading with climb clearance for new altitude
Now aircraft is handed over to Center controller for en route direction.
Center controller monitors and gives instructions to pilot throughout his
airspace from sector to sector

2010 Infosys Technologies Limited

Working Together
Once the aircraft is around 150 miles
from destination Airport it starts
descent phase.
It moves from cruising altitude to a
lower altitude
Around 50 miles from airport it is
handed over to TRACON controller
where the aircraft enters Approach
Approach controller blends different
streams of aircraft into a single line for
landing in run ways

Flight is then handed over to Local Tower controller who give clearance for
landing in the designated runway.
After landing the control is given to the ground controller who directs the pilot
across taxi ways to the terminal gate
London Heathrow
Take off


2010 Infosys Technologies Limited


Flight Control Systems

2010 Infosys Technologies Limited


Flight Control Systems

1. Basic Object Motions.

2. Aircraft Motions & Control Surfaces.
3. Other flight control Surfaces.
4. Classification of Flight Control Surfaces.
5. Flight Control System.

2010 Infosys Technologies Limited

Basic Object Motions

1. Translation
2. Rotation

2010 Infosys Technologies Limited

Basic Object Motion - Translation

We live in a world that is

defined by three spatial
dimensions and one time
dimension. Objects move
within this domain in two
ways. An object translates, or
changes location, from one
point to another.
And an object rotates, or changes its attitude. In general, the motion of any object
involves both translation and rotation. The translations are in direct response to
external forces. The rotations are in direct response to external torques or
moments (twisting forces)

2010 Infosys Technologies Limited

Basic Object Motion Translation and Rotation

2010 Infosys Technologies Limited

Control of Vehicles
There are many types of vehicles used to transport people and objects from
place to place on Earth. How are these vehicles guided to a destination?
For Car :- Turning the steering wheel changes a car's direction.

2010 Infosys Technologies Limited

Control of Vehicles
For Boat :- The rudder is used to control the direction of a boat.

2010 Infosys Technologies Limited

Control of Vehicles
For Bicycle :- A bicycle is controlled by turning the handle bars and shifting
the rider's weight.

2010 Infosys Technologies Limited

The Wright 1902 Glider- Flight control

2010 Infosys Technologies Limited

Control surfaces and aircraft six degrees of freedom

2010 Infosys Technologies Limited

Vertical Stabilizer



Airbrake /


2010 Infosys Technologies Limited


Airplane Parts - Control Surfaces

2010 Infosys Technologies Limited

Flight Control System

1. Conventional Control System
2. Fly-By-Wire Control System
3. AutoPilot

2010 Infosys Technologies Limited

Flight Control System and its top level needs

The flight control system is the system which controls the plane. This system
consists of mechanical and electronic parts, and the pilot.
It has to improve safety by means of a high degree of fault tolerance, and also
by relieving the tasks of the pilot:
Reduce the pilots workload by providing an intuitive user interface and by
performing some functions automatically.
Prevent the crew from inadvertently exceeding the aircrafts controllability
Act to maintain the aircraft within its normal range of operation.
Prevent the pilot from inadvertently entering a stall condition.
Mission: The flight control system has to be highly unlikely to fail (effectively fault
tolerant) so the plane can have safe flights.
Use profile: The system has to operate during each flight (from takeoff to
Lifecycle: Same as lifecycle of the plane, which is somewhere around 2030years.

2010 Infosys Technologies Limited

Flight Control System

To achieve flight control we require the capability to control the
forces and moments acting on the vehicle; if we can control
these, then we have control of accelerations and hence velocities,
translations and rotations.
Direct mechanical linkages were used between the pilots cockpit
controls (pitch/roll stick and rudder pedals) and the control surfaces
that maneuver aircraft, which are : tail plane, ailerons and rudder.
This arrangement is inherently of high integrity, in terms of
probability of loss of aircraft control, and provides us with a very
visible baseline for explaining FCS developments.
Pilot(s) work load is more
Non-optimized handling qualities
Maintenance costs are high.
2010 Infosys Technologies Limited

Mechanical Flight Controls

On aircraft of the A300 and A310 type, the pilot commands are
transmitted to the servo-controls by an arrangement of mechanical
components (rods, cables, pulleys, etc.). In addition, specific computers
and actuators driving the mechanical linkages restore the pilot feels on
the controls and transmit the autopilot commands

2010 Infosys Technologies Limited

Electrical Flight Controls - FBW

The term fly-by-wire has been adopted to describe the use of electrical rather
than mechanical signaling of the pilots commands to the flying control
actuators. One can imagine a basic form of fly-by-wire in which an airplane
retained conventional pilots control columns and wheels, hydraulic actuators
(but electrically controlled), and artificial feel as experienced in the 1970s with
the Concorde program. The fly-by-wire system would simply provide electrical
signals to the control actuators that were directly proportional to the angular
displacement of the pilots controls, without any form of enhancement.

2010 Infosys Technologies Limited

Hydraulic System For Flight Control On Boeing 727 Aircraft

2010 Infosys Technologies Limited

Control surfaces & Cockpit controls connectivity

2010 Infosys Technologies Limited

Control surfaces & Cockpit controls connectivity

2010 Infosys Technologies Limited

2010 Infosys Technologies Limited

Flight Controls
Pitch Trim
Pitch Trim Digital
Position Display

Pitch Trim
Left Elevator

Right Elevator

Rudder Position
Right Ground
Spoiler Position

Left Ground Spoiler


Right Flight Spoiler


Left Flight Spoiler


Right Aileron

Left Aileron

Right Flap Position

Left Flap Position

Right Flap Detent

Digital Readout

Left Flap Detent

Digital Readout
Left Tire Graphic

Right Tire Graphic

Right WOW Status

Left WOW Status


Nose Tire Graphic

2010 Infosys Technologies Limited

Combined WOW Status


Nose WOW Status


Static Stability of Aircrafts

If the airplane is disturbed, for example, by
atmospheric turbulence, and noses up
slightly (angle of attack increases), the
airplane is no longer in equilibrium. If the
new forces and moments, caused by the
angle-of-attack increase, produce a
tendency to nose up still further, the
airplane is statically unstable and its
motion will diverge from equilibrium. If the
initial tendency of the airplane is to hold the
disturbed position, the airplane has neutral
static stability. On the other hand, if
restoring forces and moments are
generated by the airplane that tend initially
to bring it back to its equilibrium straight
and level condition, it is statically stable

2010 Infosys Technologies Limited


Dynamic Stability of Aircrafts

If it is assumed that the airplane is
statically stable, it may undergo
three forms of motion with time.
(1) It may nose down, overshoot,
nose-up, overshoot to a smaller
degree, and eventually return to
its former equilibrium condition of
straight and level flight. This type
of decaying oscillatory motion
indicates that the airplane is
dynamically stable. (2) It may
continue to nose up and down
thereafter at a constant amplitude.
The airplane is said to have
neutral dynamic stability. Or, in
the worst case, (3) it may nose up
and down with increasing
magnitude and be dynamically
2010 Infosys Technologies Limited


Digital Fly-By-Wire flight control system

In Summary

Conventional aircraft control systems rely on mechanical and hydraulic links

between the aircrafts controls and the flight surfaces on the wings and tail. The
controls and flight surfaces are directly connected. Mechanical links are also
used for the engine control.
In fly-by-wire systems, the cockpit controls generate electronic signals that are
interpreted by a computer system and are then converted into outputs that drive
the hydraulic system connected to the flight surfaces. Engine control is also
mediated by the FCS computers.

2010 Infosys Technologies Limited

Advantages of fly-by-wire

Advantages of Fly By Wire

Pilot workload reduction

The fly-by-wire system provides a more usable interface
and takes
over some computations that previously would have to be carried out by the

Airframe safety
By mediating the control commands, the system can ensure that the
pilot cannot put the aircraft into a state that stresses the airframe or stalls the

Weight reduction
By reducing the mechanical linkages, a significant amount
(and hence fuel) is saved.

2010 Infosys Technologies Limited

of weight

Aircraft control surface servo model

2010 Infosys Technologies Limited

Aircraft control surface servo model

Hydraulic actuator
2010 Infosys Technologies Limited

Basic Function of autopilot is to control the flight of the aircraft
and maintain it on a predetermined path in space without any
action being required by the pilot, once the pilot has selected the
appropriate control mode of the autopilot.
The autopilot can thus relieve the pilot from the fatigue and
tedium of having to maintain continuous control of aircrafts flight
path on a long duration flight.
A well designed autopilot, properly integrated with FCS can
achieve a faster response and maintain a more precise flight path
than the pilot. .

2010 Infosys Technologies Limited

Autopilot Loop
Flight Path
Flight Path


Control Loop

Flight Path


Autopilot guidance function in outer loop- generates commands for FCS

in inner loop
These are generally attitude commands which operate the aircrafts
control surfaces through a closed loop control system so that the aircraft
rotates about the pitch and roll axes until the measured pitch and bank
angles are equal to the commanded values. The changes in the aircraft
attitude then cause the flight path to change through flight path
2010 Infosys Technologies Limited

Autopilot Loop
To correct a vertical deviation from the desired flight path, pitch attitude is
controlled to increase or decrease the angular inclination of the flight path
to the horizontal. The resulting vertical velocity component thus causes
the aircraft to climb or dive so as to correct the vertical displacement from
the desired flight path.
To correct a lateral displacement from the desired flight path requires the
aircraft to bank in order to turn and produce a controlled change in
heading so as to correct the error.
The pitch attitude control loop and the heading control loop, with its inner
loop commanding the aircraft bank angle, are fundamental inner loops in
various autopilot modes.
The outer autopilot loop is thus an essentially a slower, longer period
control loop compared with the inner flight control loops which are faster,
shorter period loops.

2010 Infosys Technologies Limited

Autopilot modes
Height Control
Heading Control
ILS/MLS Coupled autopilot

2010 Infosys Technologies Limited


2010 Infosys Technologies Limited

Aircraft Electrical System

2010 Infosys Technologies Limited

2010 Infosys Technologies Limited

Aircraft Electrical Systems

The function of the aircraft electrical system is to generate,
regulate and distribute electrical power throughout the aircraft
New-generation aircraft rely heavily on electrical power
because of the wide use of electronic flight instrument systems

2010 Infosys Technologies Limited

Electrical Power Uses

Aircraft electrical power is used to operate:
Aircraft Flight Instruments
Essential Systems
Passenger Services

2010 Infosys Technologies Limited

Aircraft Electric Power





2010 Infosys Technologies Limited






Power Used
Aircraft electrical components operate on many different
voltages both AC and DC
However, most of the systems use:
115 VAC @ 400 Hz
28 VDC

26 VAC is also used in some aircraft for lighting

2010 Infosys Technologies Limited

Electrical Power Uses (cont.)

Essential power is power that the aircraft needs to be able to
continue safe operation
Passenger services power is the power that used for:
Cabin lighting
Operation of entertainment systems
Preparation of food

2010 Infosys Technologies Limited

Power Sources
There are sever different power sources on large
aircraft to be able to handle excessive loads, for
redundancy, and for emergency situations.
These power sources include:
Engine driven AC generators
Auxiliary Power Units
External power
Ram Air Turbines

2010 Infosys Technologies Limited

Engine Driven AC Generators

Each of the engines on an aircraft drives an AC generator
The power produced by these generators is used in normal
flight to supply the entire aircraft with power

2010 Infosys Technologies Limited

APU Power
Most often the APUs power is used while the aircraft is on the ground during
maintenance or for engine starting
However, most aircraft can use the APU while in flight as a backup power

2010 Infosys Technologies Limited

External Power
External power may only be used with the aircraft on the
This system utilizes a Ground Power Unit (GPU) to provide AC
power through an external plug on the nose of the aircraft
GPUs may be either portable or stationary units

2010 Infosys Technologies Limited

Electric Equipment Placement in Aircraft

Primary Power
Distribution Panels

Secondary Power
Distribution Panels

Main Generator

Static Inverter

APU Starter Converter

APU Generator


APU Battery

Control Units

Transformer Rectifier Units

Main Generator
Ram Air Turbine

Component Installations on a Generic Airplane

2010 Infosys Technologies Limited

Secondary Power
Distribution Panels

Type of aircraft voltages









Reason to Use

Converter (AC-AC) Lower distribution

Ram Air Turbine
Inverter (DC-AC)
Many loads use this
AC Generator
Saves cost of
Ram Air Turbine
conversion from
generation source
Reliable supply
Converter (AC-DC
Safer voltage level

or DC-DC)


DC Generator
Lower distribution
Ram Air Turbine
Converter (AC-DC)

All systems use multiple power sources for redundancy!!

2010 Infosys Technologies Limited

Stages of electric power

Generation +

2010 Infosys Technologies Limited

Variable Speed


Embedded Bus
Circuit Breakers
Solid State
Power Controls

Bus Power
Control (BPCU)
Control Unit
Electrical Load
Control (ELCU)

Motor Controls

Ram Air Turbine

Some aircraft are equipped with Ram Air Turbines, or RATs
These may be used, in the case of a generator or APU failure,
as an emergency power source
When necessary, the RAT may be deployed to be used as an
AC power source

2010 Infosys Technologies Limited

Aircraft Batteries
The aircrafts nickel cadmium battery is final source of backup
The battery provides 28 VDC
It is also possible to change the 28 VDC into 115 VAC 400Hz
with the use of a static inverter
When using the battery, power usage is limited by the short life
of the battery

2010 Infosys Technologies Limited

Electrical Power System Components

AC Generator
Constant Speed Drive
Integrated Drive Generator
Transformer Rectifier Unit
Generator Control Unit

2010 Infosys Technologies Limited

Constant Speed Drive

The purpose of the Constant Speed Drive (CSD) is to take
rotational power from the engine and, no matter the
engine speed, turn the generator at a constant speed
This is necessary because the generator output must be
CSD Operation
The engine turns the CSD which uses a differential assembly and
hydraulic pumps to turn the generator

2010 Infosys Technologies Limited

Integrated Drive Generator

Another method of regulating the generator speed is with the
use of an Integrated Drive Generator (IDG)
An IDG is simply a CSD and generator combined into one unit
There are two ways to mount the IDG:

2010 Infosys Technologies Limited

Transformer Rectifier Unit

Transformer Rectifier Units (TRUs) are utilized to 115
VAC, 400Hz into 28 VDC
A transformer is used to reduce the voltage from 115 volts
to 28 volts
At this point the 28 volts is still AC current
To change the current from AC to DC, a rectifier is used
Each aircraft AC bus feeds a TRU which feeds a DC bus

2010 Infosys Technologies Limited

Other Generator Controls and Monitoring

A Generator Control Unit (GCU), or voltage
regulator, is used to control generator output
Generator circuit protection monitors electrical
system parameters
Differential Fault

2010 Infosys Technologies Limited

Other Generator Controls and Monitoring Devices

Load controls sense real system load to provide a signal to the
CSD for frequency control
Current transformers are used for current load sensing and
differential fault protection
The electrical system control panel may be found either on the
pilots overhead panel or on the flight engineers panel

2010 Infosys Technologies Limited

Function of System Components

The basic functions of the electrical systems components are

Generate Power
Control Electrical Power
Protect the Electrical System
Distribute Electrical Power Throughout the Aircraft

2010 Infosys Technologies Limited

Aircraft Lighting system

Wing tip lights indicates direction of flight

2010 Infosys Technologies Limited



2010 Infosys Technologies Limited


Thank you

The contents of this document are proprietary and confidential to Infosys Technologies Ltd. and may not be disclosed in
whole or in part at any time, to any third party without the prior written consent of Infosys Technologies Ltd.
2010 Infosys Technologies Ltd. All rights reserved. Copyright in the whole and any part of this document belongs to
Infosys Technologies Ltd. This work may not be used, sold, transferred, adapted, abridged, copied or reproduced in whole
or in part, in any manner or form, or in any media, without the prior written consent of Infosys Technologies Ltd.

2010 Infosys Technologies Limited

2010 Infosys Technologies Limited