Primary Flight Control

Additive Manufacture Flight Control Actuator

Domin Fluid Power set out to design, manufacture and test the concept of a light, low cost and efficient integrated dual hydraulic valve control module within a helicopter primary flight control. Domin designed an in-line tandem jack primary flight control actuator with an integral jam redundant hydraulic control valve with quadraplex electrical and duplex hydraulic redundancy. The actuator has optional mechanical or electrical feedback through a mechanical linkage or LVDT.

Through the use of Creo Parametric and Creo Simulate Domin were able to carry out design from initial specification through to prototype in house and through an Innovate UK funded project were able to carry out complete conceptual analysis and test. Subsequently Domin were able to build and test a full working prototype of the flight control and tested in both mechanical and electrical feedback mode.

Through the transformative use of Metal Additive Manufacturing Domin were able to design a compact, light-weight actuator with a max force of 4,600 kg-f, a stroke of 140mm and a unit weight of 5.1kg.

Metal AM has allowed Domin to rethink the design of a Primary Flight Control from first principles. It is only with a holistic approach to design that Domin have been able to achieve significant improvements to the design of a Primary Flight Control.

Domin have built and tested a prototype of the design in order to prove the concept. Good test results mean that there is the option to continue a development programme and look to the future of metal additive manufacturing taking a leading role in the design, and manufacturing of primary flight controls within aerospace. Whilst there is significant work to be done on the qualification of metal AM for flight this design shows promise that investing in metal AM is a good bet. Domin continue to develop their capability in the design of complex fluid power products.