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Aircraft Electrical & Electronic Systems

K.N.S Acharya

2010 Infosys Technologies Limited


2010 Infosys Technologies Limited

Agenda:
Aircraft systems
1. Avionic Systems

Navigation System,
Flight deck and cockpit systems
Communication System

2. Flight Control System,


3. Aircraft Electrical System

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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
aircraft.
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
airlines).

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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
management,
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.

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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 /
Reference
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

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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
NAVIGATION.
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.

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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
course.

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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.
.
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DR Ground Speed estimation

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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

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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
globe.

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Presenting information to Crew - Display system Purpose &


Functions
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
awareness,
Engines Torque, Np, Ng, ITT (Turbine inlet temperatures) , Oil
Pressure, Oil Temperature, Fuel Pressure, Fuel Flow, Fuel Qty (different
tanks)
Aircraft Utility System
Pressurization/ air conditioning
Hydraulic Power
Auxiliary Power unit

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A Typical Flight Deck A380 Flight deck

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Boeing 777 Flight Deck

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DISPLAY FORMATS WHY PFD , ND ?


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

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Flight deck

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EFIS
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
common.

Olden Days
Electromechanical
Displays Glass
Tube display

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Basic Flight instruments

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PFD/ND Format

PFD - Basic T

MACH
Airspeed
Tape

Attitude Indicator
Horz. Situation Ind.

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Vert.
Altitude
Speed
Tape
Tape

ND - VOR

EFIS Format

Basic T

Mach/Airspeed Ind.
Radio Dist. Mag. Ind.
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Attitude Indicator
Horz. Situation Ind.

NAV Display

Altimeter
Vertical Speed Ind.

Pitot instruments

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Vertical Speed Indicator

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Navigation Systems -Methods


Terrestrial or

Pilotage

Satellite

Radio Navigation

Navigation

Dead Reckoning
Inertial
Navigation
System (INS)

Celestial Navigation

ADF
VOR

ILS
MLS

DME
TACAN

Hyperbolic
Navigation

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LORAN
OMEGA

Precision
Landing Aids

Self contained

GPS
GLONAS

ADF & VORs


ADF Provides Aircraft bearing with respect to a Ground station called
NDB

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

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DME
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

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RMI Indicator Showing VOR, HDG and ADF

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

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Over/Under Engine Format


Center Upper Display Unit

Primary Engine Display


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Center Lower Display Unit

Secondary Engine Display

Navigation Aids
Air navigation needs
1.

Earth model for reference

2.

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

3.

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

2.

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

3.

National borders

Magnetic compass

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Aeronautical Map / Chart

Understanding
Aeronautical MapsVideo

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Ex: Symbols Navigational Aids


VOR, short for VHF omnidirectional radio range

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Airspace Structure

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Airspace

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Class C & Class D

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Class E & G

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CNSA Systems
Navigation
Helps in en route navigation

Communication
Infrastructure providing
connectivity between AirGround and Ground-Ground
systems

Surveillance
Helps gathering weather
reports, collision detection
etc.

ATM
Managing Air Traffic
Integrated CNS Architecture
to improve ATM

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Aircraft Communication Systems

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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

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

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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
SATCOM

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Fundamentals Of Modulation
To Transmit Information Over Long Distances High Frequency
Carriers Are Required
Higher the Frequency, Smaller the Wavelength & Smaller the Antenna
Dimensions
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
Communications
Air/Ground Comm. Frequency Band is 118 MHz to 137 MHz.

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Analog Communications Overview


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

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Surveillance Systems

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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
away.

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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

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Air Traffic Management

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Air Traffic Management


1.

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

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Flight Profile

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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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
Standard
Complete initial info

Abbreviated
Updates to standards

Outlook
Forecast information
Emergency Assistance
Aircraft loses its way
Emergency Landing

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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 )

2.

Clearance Delivery controller ( Pre flight )

3.

Is responsible for the ground movement of aircraft taxiing or vehicles


operating on taxiways or inactive runways

Local controller ( Take off and Approach)

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Responsible for obtaining and relaying departure clearances to pilots

Ground Controller ( Preflight Taxiing)

4.

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


Control)

Bay Area Class B airspace

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TRACON controllers direct


aircraft during descent and
departure
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
directs
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

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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

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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
phase
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

5
3

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4

Flight Control Systems

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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.

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Basic Object Motions

1. Translation
2. Rotation

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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)

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Basic Object Motion Translation and Rotation

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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.

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

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

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The Wright 1902 Glider- Flight control

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Control surfaces and aircraft six degrees of freedom

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Vertical Stabilizer

Horizontal
Stabilizer

Rudder
Elevator

Airbrake /
Spoilers

Aileron

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Airplane Parts - Control Surfaces

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Flight Control System


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

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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
limits.
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
landing).
Lifecycle: Same as lifecycle of the plane, which is somewhere around 2030years.

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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.
Advantages
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.
Issues
Pilot(s) work load is more
Non-optimized handling qualities
Maintenance costs are high.
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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

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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.

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Hydraulic System For Flight Control On Boeing 727 Aircraft

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Control surfaces & Cockpit controls connectivity

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Control surfaces & Cockpit controls connectivity

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Flight Controls
Pitch Trim
Pointer
Pitch Trim Digital
Readout
Stabilizer
Position Display

Pitch Trim
Scale
Left Elevator
Position

Right Elevator
Position

Rudder Position
Right Ground
Spoiler Position

Left Ground Spoiler


Position

Right Flight Spoiler


Position

Left Flight Spoiler


Position

Right Aileron
Position

Left Aileron
Position

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
Annunciation

Left WOW Status


Annunciation

Nose Tire Graphic

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Combined WOW Status


Annunciation

Nose WOW Status


Annunciation

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

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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
unstable.
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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.

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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
pilots.

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
aircraft.

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

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of weight

Aircraft control surface servo model

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Aircraft control surface servo model

Hydraulic actuator
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Autopilot
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. .

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Autopilot Loop
Flight Path
Deviation
Commanded
Flight Path

Autopilot
-

Flight
Control Loop

Flight Path
Kinematics

Sensors

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
kinematics.
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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.

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Autopilot modes
Height Control
Heading Control
ILS/MLS Coupled autopilot

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Autopilot

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Aircraft Electrical System

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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

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Electrical Power Uses


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

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Aircraft Electric Power


Aircraft
AircraftElectric
Electric
Power
Power

Power
Power
Generation
Generation

AC
AC
Generation
Generation

DC
DC
Generation
Generation

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Power
Power
Distribution
Distribution

External
External
Power
Power

Standby
Standby
Power
Power
Distribution
Distribution

Primary
Primary
Power
Power
Distribution
Distribution

Secondary
Secondary
Power
Power
Distribution
Distribution

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

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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

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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

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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

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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
source

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External Power
External power may only be used with the aircraft on the
ground
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

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Electric Equipment Placement in Aircraft


Primary Power
Distribution Panels

Secondary Power
Distribution Panels

Main Generator

Static Inverter

APU Starter Converter

Standby
Power
Distribution
Panel
APU Generator

Battery

APU Battery

Generator
Control Units

Transformer Rectifier Units


Main Generator
Ram Air Turbine

Component Installations on a Generic Airplane


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Secondary Power
Distribution Panels

Type of aircraft voltages


Type

Description

115Vac,
400Hz

Sources

400Hz

115Vac,
Variable
Frequency
28Vdc

350-800Hz

v
t

Reason to Use

Converter (AC-AC) Lower distribution


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

or DC-DC)

270Vdc

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

All systems use multiple power sources for redundancy!!

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Stages of electric power

Generation +
AC
Generators
DC
Generators
RAT
Turbo
Generators
EPU
Battery

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Conversion
Variable Speed
Constant
Frequency
DC-DC
AC-DC
DC-AC
Starter
Generator
Converter

Distribution

Power
Distribution
Units
Embedded Bus
Smart
Contactors
Remote
Contactors
Circuit Breakers
Solid State
Power Controls
(SSPC)

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

Utilization
Motors
Motor Controls
Actuation

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

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Aircraft Batteries
The aircrafts nickel cadmium battery is final source of backup
power
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

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Electrical Power System Components


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

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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
400Hz
CSD Operation
The engine turns the CSD which uses a differential assembly and
hydraulic pumps to turn the generator

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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:
Co-axially
Side-by-side

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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

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Other Generator Controls and Monitoring


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

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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

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Function of System Components


The basic functions of the electrical systems components are
to:

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

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Aircraft Lighting system

Wing tip lights indicates direction of flight


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115

References
1.
2.
3.
4.

http://www.navfltsm.addr.com/basic-nav-general.htm
http://www.luizmonteiro.com/Index.aspx
http://www.thaitechnics.com/nav/nav_intro.html
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electronic_Flight_Instrument_System

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116

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