Thales announces its unique Rudder Flight Control electronics system will fly on the Cessna Citation Longitude, unveiled yesterday at the NBAA Show in Las Vegas. This innovative use of “Rudder-by-wire” is the culmination of efforts by Thales teams in developing new and better flight controls for business jets. It fulfills some of the key driving trends in the market, including weight reduction, improving safety and the comfort of passengers. Thales teams came up with a unique solution based around a pair of Thales Smart Electronic Control Units (SECUs).
These use electrical signals to augment pilot inputs from rudder pedals, and enhance the stability of the aircraft, making the flight trim smoother and allowing the pilot to better control the plane. The use of electrical impulses allows for the complete elimination of the heavy cables and pulleys of a conventional rudder control system, thus reducing weight. The innovative use of a paired set of SECUs, serves as a self-checking mechanism allowing for better control integrity. It also makes the system more streamlined, thus optimizing production, and providing superior availability, reliability and integrity to the OEM. Thales Canadian team, at the Montreal Centre of Excellence in flight control electronics, will develop system engineering and software based on Control Laws supplied by Cessna Aircraft Company, a subsidiary of Textron Aviation Inc.