Primary Flight Control Actuation
project name

Primary Flight Control Actuation

For a Future Helicopter


Design, development and manufacturing of linear electromechanical actuator (EMA) as the rudder and elevator flight control actuators (FCA) for a future rotorcraft platform.

Problem Statement
This system, located in the helicopter tail, is extremely weight sensitive and requires aggressive dynamic performance greater than 10 Hz closed loop small amplitude frequency response. This requirement demanded a 28 VDC EMA solution capable of several hundreds of pounds of output force while operating at high speed, all while exposed to extreme environmental conditions. Budget constraints demanded minimizing development costs, requiring the development of a single actuation design capable of providing all functionality to the rudder and elevators to be utilized in four locations.

Ingenium Aerospace designed, developed, and manufactured a common linear EMA for use as the primary FCA for a recent helicopter platform which utilizes flight control surfaces for the elevator and rudder control.   The actuators and system architecture were created from a clean-sheet concept and evolved into delivered, fully-qualified, flight-ready hardware.  Working closely with the airframe manufacturer and flight control electronics provider, Ingenium optimized all aspects of the design to utilize minimum power, while providing maximum performance throughout the entire flight regime.  The Ingenium team, utilizing customer provided flight simulation data, was able to perform system modelling which provided worst-case duty cycle profiles at every instant during the flight. This was used as the basis for designing the common actuator desired by the customer. This product weighs approximately 3.0 pounds.

Results & Outcome
Ingenium Aerospace delivered a qualified, high-quality product for this vehicle. The units are flying successfully and a single actuator used in four locations, supporting all mission objectives for elevator and rudder control.   The product was successfully endurance tested to over four million cycles and is currently in low rate production.