Aircraft Engineering and Aerospace Technology, vol.94, no.10, pp.1671-1683, 2022 (SCI-Expanded)
© 2022, Emerald Publishing Limited.Purpose: In more than 100 years of aviation, significant progress has been made in flight control systems. The aircrafts that have entered service for the past ten years tend towards power-by-wire flight control with electrical actuators. The purpose of this study is to analyse the effects of electrical actuation on power consumption, weight and fuel consumption on a commercial transport aircraft. Design/methodology/approach: The Airbus A321-200 aircraft was chosen as a case study for analysing the effects of electrical actuation on the flight control actuation system (FCAS) architecture, and Pacelab SysArc software was used for design, modelling and analysis. As alternatives to the existing system, hybrid and all-electric models are built to a set of design guidelines with certain limitations. Findings: Compared to the existing FCAS architecture model, 80 kg weight savings in the hybrid FCAS architecture model and 171 kg weight savings in the all-electric FCAS architecture model were observed. In terms of fuel consumption, it has been observed that there is 0.25% fuel savings in the hybrid FCAS architecture model, and 0.48% fuel savings in the all-electric FCAS architecture model compared to the existing FCAS architecture model at 3200 NM. Practical implications: In line with the data obtained from this study, it is predicted that electrical actuation is more preferable in aircraft, considering its positive effects on weight and fuel consumption. Originality/value: In this study, three different models were created: the existing FCAS architecture of a commercial transport aircraft, the hybrid FCAS architecture and the all-electric FCAS architecture. Hybrid and all-electric models are built according to a set of design guidelines, with certain limitations. Then, similar flight missions consisting of the same flight conditions are defined to analyse the effects of power consumption, weight, and fuel consumption comparatively.