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Successful aeronautics project nominated for award (SAFAR)

This year, the EU-funded SAFAR project has been nominated for the FlightGlobal Achievement Awards, in the category of ‘Innovator of the Year’.

Tags: Air
The SAFAR concept. ©SAFAR
The SAFAR concept.
©SAFAR

The Flightglobal Achievement Awards bring together aviation and aerospace executives to welcome new innovations with the potential to change the way the aviation industry operates.

The ‘Innovator of the Year’ category recognises people, teams or companies that have demonstrated new technologies, products or even ways of doing business that were developed or have come to market in the past year.

The new system

Running from 2009 to 2012, SAFAR (Small Aircraft Future Avionics Architecture ) focussed on the development of a future avionics architecture for easy and safe control of small aircraft . By significantly reducing pilot workload, the new system increases safety during all phases of flight and ground operations, including take-off and landing.

In order to achieve this, SAFAR provides the aircraft with easy handling characteristics and flight envelope protection at all times. The pilot can fly the aircraft mainly via a stick controller and throttle lever. Switching between flight control and flight guidance modes is performed automatically by the system, while still allowing the pilot to follow all operations.

SAFAR will also allow pilots and aircraft to take full advantage of the outcomes of the Single European Sky initiative (SESAR). Advanced ATC and even ATM will be supported so as to maximum on-board automation.

After being checked by the pilot via display, SAFAR will enable automatic execution of flight vectoring (flight trajectories) after engagement by the pilot. Additionally, the possibility of autonomous emergency flight procedures in cases of sudden pilot incapacitation or loss of engine power is also envisaged.

The new SAFAR system comprises computing resources, an innovative human-machine interface, a mainly satellite-based, fault-tolerant attitude/navigation system, and a safety-critical electric power supply with all-electric actuators.

EU Project Officer Dietrich Knoerzer explains, “Under the co-ordinator Cassidian, flight tests for a fly-by-wire system suitable for an automatic pilot system were performed on a twin-engine, four-seater aircraft built by Austria’s Diamond Aircraft.”

Garnering interest

The project has already been reported on by Euronews TV. You can watch a short video produced by Euronews hereexternal link.

“Competition for this year’s Innovator of the Year Award will be tough,” says Knoerzer. “SAFAR will be going up against the famous Boeing aircraft designer Bob Liebeck, father of the US experimental flight demonstrator Boeing BWB X-48 in Blended Wing Body configuration.”

Anyone who likes this project can vote for it now on the FlightGlobal websiteexternal link.

The winner will be announced at the Paris Air Show on 18 June 2013.

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