- Country Profiles
- About TRIP
The aim of this project (GRD1-2000-25261) was to bring the proven benefits that accrue from the introduction of digital fly-by-wire technologies to the small commercial aircraft market. This required the application of innovative architectures and techniques in order to reduce the cost to an affordable level.
The name ADFCS stands for Affordable Digital Flight Control Systems. It is not a phonetic acronym that is easily pronounced but it does clearly explain the simple goal of the project, and clarity is one of the key requirements to attaining certification clearance for safety critical applications. The project was a partnership between industry, research organisations and universities from Greece, Israel, Italy, Poland, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom. The project started in 1998 and, through a contiguous second phase, was completed in 2004 with a total duration of 6 years.
This project followed-on from ADFCS (Brite/Euram Project BE97-4098), which set out to develop an architecture and design methodology that would reduce the cost of ownership (development, acquisition, operation, and maintenance) of Fly By Wire (FBW) technology and make it affordable to small commercial aircraft applications. The goal of the second phase was to provide; a mix of new tools; new methodologies; clear design requirements; and new system architectures to provide a cost-effective platform for the designs.
Digital Fly-by-Wire technology has become state-of-the-art for all modern large commercial aircraft. The additional initial cost of acquisition has been proven to be cost effective in terms of airframe design and manufacture costs, through life maintenance costs, and increased reliability resulting in an overall reduction in the through life cost of ownership.
As the aircraft size is reduced, the Digital Flight Control System (DFCS) technology component remains substantially unchanged whilst the airframe related component costs reduce with aircraft scale. The DFCS therefore becomes an increasing proportion of the total cost until there is no longer a supportable reduction in the through life cost of ownership. At this stage DFCS becomes a cost penalty despite its proven operational and safety benefits.
The objective of this project was to investigate and review current techniques and technologies, architectures, and processes with a view to identifying cost effective solutions that would make DFCS technology more affordable, and within the budget of smaller commercial aircraft.
The work was conducted using a combination of simulation and rig evaluation activities.
Multi-partner simulations were integrated using a synthetic environment (SE) simulation tool that was developed during the first phase of the project and evolved and expanded during the second phase.
One objective of ADFCS-II was to improve the utility of the tool by taking into account the industrial partner’s needs, which are summarised as:
This modular approach, based on equipment item level components, encouraged reuse and allowed system level models to be rapidly assembled and assessed, thus allowing designs to be validated early in the design cycle. The use of a common simulation tool throughout the design and development phase, hardware testing, and the final equipment qualification cycle precluded the need to validate and maintain separate models for different applications.
European Commission, Directorate-General for Research (DG Research)
The project achieved most of its objectives, as summarised in the Final Technical Report, and supported by detailed technical reports on individual topics.
Three levels of dissemination and intentions of use are applicable to the project:
Fairchild Dornier GmBH
University of Patras
Israel Aircraft Industries; Israel Institute of Technology
Alenia Aeronautica; Centro Italiano Ricerche Aerospaziali; University of Naples
Warsaw University of Technology
National Aerospace Laboratory; Delft University of Technology
Mr. Robin Davies
Tel: (+44) 1634 20 50 47
TRIP is funded by the European Commission's Directorate General for Mobility and Transport under the Seventh Framework Programme for Research and Technological Development (FP7).