Feeds

Wireless links to be trialled in Gulfstream flight controls

Fly-by-wireWiFi not just sky-pie?

Boost IT visibility and business value

Future generations of jet aircraft might use short-range wireless technology to connect cockpit controls to ailerons, elevators or rudders.

Flight International reports that the new fly-by-wireless concept will soon be trialled by biz-jet maker Gulfstream, using an unspecified radio technology to control a spoiler on a company testbed plane.

Traditional aeroplane controls still maintain a mechanical linkage directly from the pilot's hands and feet to the the various surfaces used to manoeuvre the aircraft in flight. As larger aircraft and power-assisted controls have developed, in many cases the direct link no longer exists - leading to so-called "fly-by-wire" control systems, nowadays commonplace.

In turn, as aircraft wiring has become more complex, use is being made of fibre-optic cables to carry more information around the airframe, which is sometimes called "fly-by-light". Gulfstream are also working on this.

However, Pres Henne, engineering chief at Gulfstream, told Flight that in some cases wireless - commonly perceived as flaky and unreliable compared to any kind of hard link - could be better for his purposes.

In particular, it seems that Gulfstream engineers are plagued by the need to deal with a particular scenario in designing their controls, where a rotor bursts in one of the plane's jets. This could theoretically throw high-velocity debris through most parts of the tail, potentially cutting multiple control cables.

Henne and Gulfstream are looking at a wireless system as an emergency mode which could cope with such as situation, rather than as the primary link - "at least in the near term", according to Flight.

We may be waiting a while yet to see fly-by-WiFi, however. Quite apart from all the obvious issues, it seems that powering the receivers, transmitters and actuators is something of an issue in the lost-engine-power scenarios that Gulfstream are looking at. ®

Gartner critical capabilities for enterprise endpoint backup

More from The Register

next story
LOHAN packs bags for SPACEPORT AMERICA!
Spanish launch goes titsup, we're off to the US of A
Gigantic toothless 'DRAGONS' dominated Earth's early skies
Gummy pterosaurs outlived toothy competitors
'Leccy racer whacks petrols in Oz race
ELMOFO rakes in two wins in sanctioned race
TRANSMUTATION claims US LENR company
Ten points of stuff out of a five pound bag
Boffins ID freakish spine-smothered prehistoric critter: The CLAW gave it away
Bizarre-looking creature actually related to velvet worms
CRR-CRRRK, beep, beep: Mars space truck backs out of slippery sand trap
Curiosity finds new drilling target after course correction
BAT-GOBBLING urban SPIDER QUEENS swell to ENORMOUS SIZE
But they'd lose a deathmatch against the coming Humvee-sized, armoured Arctic ones
Astronomers scramble for obs on new comet
Amateur gets fifth confirmed discovery
Boffins build CYBORG-MOTHRA but not for evil: For search & rescue
This tiny bio-bot will chew through your clothes then save your life
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
7 Elements of Radically Simple OS Migration
Avoid the typical headaches of OS migration during your next project by learning about 7 elements of radically simple OS migration.
BYOD's dark side: Data protection
An endpoint data protection solution that adds value to the user and the organization so it can protect itself from data loss as well as leverage corporate data.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?