Passive fly-by-wire inceptor for eVTOLs

Passive fly-by-wire inceptor for eVTOLs

New Products |
By Jean-Pierre Joosting

Sensata Technologies has announced it has developed a new fly-by-wire inceptor for electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) aircraft and has provided prototypes to several advanced air mobility manufacturers.

A passive inceptor is a cockpit control device through which pilot inputs are collected and transmitted to actuators via the fly-by-wire system on the vehicle. Inceptors typically use position sensors like RVDTs to provide the inceptor stick’s actual positions to output to the flight control system.

Sensata combines its world class position sensors, multi-axis controllers and expertise in other cockpit controls to provide inceptors that adhere to the strict safety and reliability design requirements in order to achieve airworthiness certification and are ideal for advanced air mobility, urban air mobility, trainers and other electric aircraft applications. The passive inceptor is available in 1, 2 or 3 axis movement designs, with each axis utilizing at least three rotary variable differential transformers (RVDTs) for precise position output.

The single axis inceptor provides self-centering for forward and aft movement with up to 4 channel RVDT signal output and customized operating force. The Ttwo axis designs add roll and pitch.

The most common use of the 3-axis inceptor is to control the pitch, roll and yaw of the vehicle and features self-centering and independently customizable operating force in each axis. The grips that the pilot interfaces with can be tailored to each vehicle’s operational requirements, including integrated switch functionality.

“Our decades of expertise in the aerospace sector, together with our wide range of sensing and power solutions that enable electrification, uniquely positions Sensata as a leading supplier in the advanced air mobility space,” explains Stuart Parker, Aerospace General Manager at Sensata Technologies.

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