Business & GA

Gulfstream Tests ‘Fly-by-Wireless’ System

By Tish Drake | October 17, 2008
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Gulfstream Aerospace demonstrated aircraft control using “Fly-By-Wireless” technology. The flight, which took place Sept. 18, is the first known application of wireless signaling for a primary flight-control surface in a civilian or military aircraft, according to Gulfstream. During a two-hour flight over Savannah, Ga., four signal types transferred input from the pilot to the lateral controls on the Gulfstream GV test aircraft. A mechanical system controlled the ailerons; a Fly-By-Wire system manipulated the outboard spoilers; the Fly-By-Wireless system handled the mid-spoilers; and a fiber-optic Fly-By-Light system moved the inboard spoilers. “After developing the Fly-By-Wire system, the next goal for Gulfstream was to reduce the complexity and weight of that system without sacrificing safety or reliability,” said Pres Henne, senior vice president, Programs, Engineering and Test, Gulfstream. “This Fly-By-Wireless flight proved we achieved that goal. There was no difference in signal quality or strength among Fly-By-Wireless, Fly-By-Light or Fly-By-Wire. That benefit, combined with the streamlined profile of Fly-By-Wireless, makes it a potential backup for other flight-control systems.”

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