COSTAR (Compact innOvativeSmarT Actuators for next generation Rotorcraft) Project is part of the Fast RotorCraft (FRC) IADP program of Clean Sky 2.

The Project aims at developing the actuation system of the primary and secondary flight controls, targeting the final goal to accomplish in-flight demonstration of the RACER prototype.

In order to contribute to achieve this goal, the COSTAR Consortium plans to design, manufacture, and qualify a new concept of modular actuation, which employs the same type of mechanical and electronic components, scaled according to the specific requirements, for all the actuations assuring the compliance to the safety and performance requirements.

  • Topic ManagerAirbus Helicopter
  • Financing ProgrammeClean Sky 2
  • PeriodDecember 2016 - February 2121

The Project

The project ambition is to demonstrate the capability to actuate eight different control surfaces and the primary control command lines using two different types of actuators and one type of control electronics. This latter one will implement control SW able to recognise which type of actuator has to be commanded and its function, according to the pin programming logic. This high level of commonality for so different types of actuation represents a challenging target of the project.

In detail, primary flight controls actuators are employed to optimize the controls in roll, yaw, and pitch of the main rotor of the FRC, while the secondary ones are used to control the movable surfaces of the wings, the horizontal and vertical stabilizers. The actuation system are controlled by the Autopilot Flight Control System, to improve the rotorcraft manoeuvrability, especially during the transition phases between high and low speed, and to optimize the drag at high speed to reduce the fuel consumption improving the environmental sustainability.

Archieved Project Milestones

Kick-off Meeting

Partners meet at Airbus Helicopter permises in Donauworth, Germany, in order to define the formal starting of the conceptual design activities.

Specification Review Meeting

At Airbus Helicopters premises of Marignane (France), partners meet in order validate the preliminary requirements of the progest.

Preliminary Design Review

At Triumph Integrated Systems premises located in Deeside (Great Britain), Partnershaving present to Airbus Helicopters the preliminary design of flap actuators for the FRC secondary flight controls.

Autopilot Actuators Preliminary Design Review

The design of the Kinematics Actuators employed for the Autopilot enhancing control of the primary flight control actuators will take benefits from the Flap Actuators design, employing the same type of components, with the exception of specific components. Both the actuators will be controlled by means of the same pin programming electronics, achieving the maximum possible commonality between linear and rotative actuators.

Critical Design Review

Its target is to freeze the design solutions to start the manufacturing phase.

Avionic Integration Test

The first prototype of the actuators to be available to perform the Avionic Integration Test and then to be installed on the first prototype of the rotorcraft.

Preliminary Qualification

In this phase phase all the activities leading to get the pDDP will be carried out. The pDDP is necessary in order complete the request of permit to fly for the beginning of 2020. Then COSTAR will proceed with the fatigue tests to get the complete qualification (DDP).

The Consortium

The Consortium is made by Protom Group SpA and Triumph Integrated System Ltd. Protom has the role of Project Coordinator and has the responsibility to perform the safety assessments. Triumph is in charge to design, manufacture, verify by test and qualify all the actuators with the related electronics box.

The Consortium as whole is in charge to provide all the necessary support to Airbus Helicopters to integrate the actuators on the prototype, to get the prototype permit to fly, and to support the flight test campaign. The consortium allows both Protom and Triumph to acquire new know how in the field of the modular electromechanical actuation development, increasing the capability to compete in the aeronautical market.

Project Kit

Related Projects

The COSTAR project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No. 727122

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