Eurosatory 2016

First electric helicopter landing gear [ES2016D3]

15 June 2016

With the ever-growing pressure to reduce carbon emissions, industries worldwide are looking for alternatives. US-based Ametek Airtechnology Group (Hall 6, Stand F498) has been considering alternatives to the tried and tested hydraulics in aircraft.

One concept that has great appeal is the ‘more electric’ alternatives, mainly because of low weight, low maintenance and the added benefit of ‘plug and play’ improvements as a post-delivery option.

Having designed and manufactured electric motion control products for the aerospace and defence industry for almost 100 years, Ametek is very familiar with the electric motor. It has now progressed well, with the aid of the UK-funded Electric Landing Gear Extension and Retraction programme, to achieve EASA certification in 2015 of a helicopter electric landing gear system.

Widely understood to be the first of its type to be qualified on a helicopter, the system consists of six electromechanical actuators and a central synchronising controller.

Ametek is hopeful the technology will apply equally to fixed-wing aircraft and the growing UAV market. Because Ametek supplies intelligent actuation for missile air/fuel control and thrust-vector control, the market could expand to actuation for more complicated primary flight control surfaces.

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