The latest advances in electric and electronic aircraft technologies from the point of view of an "all-electric" aircraft are presented herein. Specifically, we describe the concept of a "more electric aircraft" (MEA), which involves removing the need for on-engine hydraulic power generation and bleed air off-takes, and the increasing use of power electronics in the starter/generation system of the main engine. Removal of the engine hydraulic pumps requires fully-operative electrical power actuators and mastery of the flight control architecture. The paper presents a general overview of the electrical power generation system and electric drives for the MEA, with special regard to the flight controls. Some discussion regarding the interconnection of nodes and safety of buses and protocols in distributed systems is also presented.
Harry Rowe Mimno Award for the March 2007 AESS Magazine Paper: “Moving Towards A More Electric Aircraft”