Active Stick technology will give civilian pilots tactile feedback to aircraft

BAE Systems' Active Stick civil aircraft technology was initially certified by the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). It was only then that it found practical application on the Gulfstream G500 business jet, where it provides tactile feedback from the pilot to the airliner systems. The Active Stick gives him the ability to literally physically feel his car, instead of relying on gauge readings alone.

Fly-By-Wire (FBW) - a system that replaces the previous manual (mechanical) aircraft control loop with an electronic one - one of the wonders of modern aerospace technology. Aircraft of the previous generation were controlled using a gigantic amount of ropes, cables, pulleys and hydraulics, which made the aircraft significantly heavier.

Everything changed with the introduction of FBW. Bulky electromechanics were replaced by digital technologies, which took over the function of transmitting control commands, after which the planes "grew thin" and "built". Thanks to FBW, the pilot has a kind of partner who closely monitors the operation of the onboard systems.

And yet Fly-By-Wire is not without its drawbacks. According to experts, the use of a computer joystick reduces the real perception of flight to the level of a video game. There was nothing of the kind with the "mechanics". Then the pilots literally felt themselves and their car as a single whole and understood how well they were driving it.

The BAE Systems Active Control Stick combines the advantages of electromechanical systems and FBW. It was originally developed for combat aircraft, in particular for the F-35. Now even the slightest deviations in the operation of the systems of even a civilian aircraft are transmitted to the joystick, and the pilot feels it.

The Active Stick has won the 2017 Laser Week Technology Award and will be installed on all Gulfstream G500 aircraft.