DN Staff

July 10, 2001

1 Min Read
F-16s tested with electric actuation

Thursday, November 30, 2000

Engineers at Lockheed-Martin are always looking for ways to make their fighter planes safer and more efficient. By switching from hydraulic to electric actuation, they believe they've accomplished both in recent test flights conducted on an F-16 flown at the Wright Patterson Air Force Base in Dayton, Ohio.

The switch from hydraulic to electric actuation translates into a 15% reduction in the fighter plane's vulnerable area, a 5% reduction n aircraft procurement costs, a 6% reduction in gross take-off weight, and a 13% reduction in life cycle cost compared to current F-16s.

"Electric actuation is an enabler technology," says Dennis Eicke, a mechanical engineer and the program manager for the F-16 project at Lockheed Martin. "It simplifies the whole power generation, distribution, and emergency power challenge."

For the purpose of the test, some hydraulic components remained in the F-16, according to Dick Kotalik, an electrical engineer and technical team leader at Parker Hannifin's Control System Div., the company that supplied the electro-hydrostatic actuators (EHAs) for the test aircraft. Five EHAs replaced the conventional hydraulic actuators to control the flaperons, horizontal tail, and rudder during the tests. Tests on the F-16 validate the approach of using electric actuation for use on Joint Strike Fighter aircraft.

For information about the electro-hydrostatic actuators, contact Kotalik at [email protected].

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