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Active Side Stick Flight Control Device

July 10, 2023 Side Stick Unit Aerospace Ultra EC BLDC
Flight Control Stick

Aircraft cockpit controls are designed to assist pilots with effortlessly controlling all aspects of the aircraft. As part of the flight control system, the side stick unit (SSU) controls the aircraft’s pitch and roll; active side stick controls also provide haptic feedback to warn the pilot of movements that would cause the plane to deviate from the safe flight envelope. This tactile feedback of the flight control stick is paramount to ensure the optimum safety of the aircraft.

A recognized leader in flight control equipment for commercial aviation and military aircraft approached Portescap to develop a new concept for flight control applications. The client required a lightweight, reliable, and precise motor that produced specific electrical characteristics and featured zero cogging to minimize torque ripple. Portescap identified the 22ECT Ultra ECTM BLDC motor as a COTS solution that not only closely matched the requirements of the application, but achieved the tight tolerances required for consistent feedback. The 22ECT was also an ideal choice to use as an alternator with connected motor phases that both dampened the rotation of the control stick and provided a natural haptic response.

The Portescap solution delivered the reliable and cost-effective motor features required to create the tactile response of the side stick control device. By utilizing a COTS solution, the speed to market for the flight control system was also greatly reduced.

22ECT Motor

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  • No cogging torque to minimize torque ripple
  • High dynamic response for natural haptic response
  • Repeatable torque constant with tight tolerances
  • Precise resistance with tight tolerances