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.

  • Funding ProgrammeClean Sky 2
  • DateDec 1, 2016 - Dec 31, 2022
  • Topic LeaderAirbus Helicopters


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.

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.

Primary Flight control actuators Preliminary Design Review

It will take benefits from the analysis performed for the flap actuators as the kinematics actuators will employ the same type of components of the flap actuators, even if with some important specific components like the actuator screw and the relevant nut. The actuator electronics will be exactly the same of the flap actuators assuring the goal to achieve the maximum possible commonality between the 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 COSTAR 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 Coordinator for COSTAR, Protom has developed an extensive experience in design & project management. It has developed an extensive know-how in aerospace strictures & system, being able to carry on the entire process from the overall design of a product or sub-assembly to the specific design of detail parts.

Triumph Integrated Systems provides a full range of integrated solutions for aircraft manufactures around the globe. Triumph Integrated Systems partners with key manufacturers to produce crucial components, systems and subsystems required to help maintain a competitive and technological advantage.

Umbra Group is a leader in the design and production of high precision mechanical and mechatronic components that stand out for their strength, performance and safety for the different applications of the aerospace market.

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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