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23 October 2006

SMITHS Aerospace, part of the global technology business Smiths Group, today announces that its capability to provide integrated digital and mechanical technologies has successfully supported the first flight of the Gulfstream Aerospace Corporation Advanced Flight Control (AFC) programme.

The development by Smiths of an electro-mechanical spoiler system supports the aim of evaluating a more electric actuation system for future aircraft.

Dr John Ferrie, President of Smiths Aerospace, said: By combining our digital and mechanical systems expertise, we were able to adapt the system to support both inboard and mid-spoiler stations to meet Gulfstreams first flight timescales.

There is real value in bringing these technologies together so we are able to develop greater capabilities for customer solutions.

The first flight of the Gulfstream test aircraft took place on 26 September 2006 with flight duration of 1 hour 59 minutes.

Smiths spoiler system comprises Remote Electronic Unit (REU), Rectification (ATRU), Motor Control Unit (MCU) and Electro-Mechanical Actuator (EMA). The development of the integrated system combines the efforts of Smiths Aerospace facilities in Wolverhampton and Cheltenham, UK and New Jersey, USA.


Gulfstream initiated the AFC research program in 2004 to examine the feasibility of the lighter and smaller electronically driven flight controls, focusing on the aircraft spoiler and elevator systems. By the end of 2005, Gulfstream integrated new AFC hardware and software components with existing aircraft systems in an integration test facility to conduct verification testing. By May of this year, Gulfstream had installed the hardware and software components on an actual static aircraft and succeeded in controlling the planes outboard, mid-board and inboard spoilers electronically. Gulfstream modified a GV test aircraft, replacing the traditional cable-controlled, hydro-mechanical spoiler components with electro-mechanical actuators. Flight testing of the modified GV began with the first flight September 26, 2006.

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