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Gulfstream Implements First Commercial Active Sticks

Active Control Side Sticks
Active side sticks get the “all clear,” for Gulfstream G500 and G600

Gulfstream Aerospace Corporation has selected BAE Systems to provide active control side sticks for its new G500 and G600 aircraft. This contract marks the first time that this innovative flight technology, which was once reserved for military aircraft, will be implemented on a commercial fleet of planes.

“BAE Systems is the world’s only provider of flight-worthy active sticks, with more than 25 years of design experience in active inceptor technology,” said Dr. Ehtisham Siddiqui, vice president and general manager of Commercial Aircraft Solutions at BAE Systems. “Our active sticks reduce cost and weight over conventional pilot controls, working with the fly-by-wire system to assist in aircraft control while still providing an equivalent level of awareness for the pilots.”

Active sticks provide force feedback directly to the pilot’s hand, in real time, depending on flight mode and aircraft condition. The force feedback is intuitive, programmed to help the pilot control the aircraft and maintain stable flight. It can also provide an indication to the pilot of any impending structural and aerodynamic operating limits — otherwise known as flight envelope limits — thereby improving the pilot’s awareness and ability to control the plane. Electronic linking of the two control sticks in the cockpit allows each pilot to feel the forces and see the displacements the other is causing.

BAE Systems is a leader in high-integrity flight and engine controls, and cabin and flight-deck systems. In fact, every second, a flight takes off enabled by the company’s flight critical systems. The active sticks were designed, and will be manufactured, at BAE Systems’ facility in Rochester, United Kingdom. 

Gulfstream Aerospace Corporation, a wholly owned subsidiary of General Dynamics, designs, develops, manufactures, markets, services, and supports the world’s most technologically advanced business-jet aircraft. Gulfstream has produced more than 2,200 aircraft for customers around the world since 1958.

Ref # 239/2014