State-of-the-art solutions for pilot training, aircraft simulation and flight test applications
Stirling’s family of active controls are feature-rich, highly reconfigurable and suitable for single or dual (linked) cockpit configurations. Our range of active products includes side sticks, throttles, collectives, cyclics and pedals. These controls are extremely compact, fully active and benefit from low-acquisition and through-life costs.
We have pioneered active control technology since the early 1990s and are proud to hold many industry and technology firsts, which includes supplying the controls for the first ever, fully-active fly-by-wire helicopter flight. Today, we supply the active stick and throttles for the new F-35 pilot training simulators and continue to break new ground in cockpit control technology.
Key features and benefits of Active Controls
What are Active Controls?
Active controls replace the traditional springs and dampers of a passive control system with motors and gearboxes, which are then commanded by real-time software to provide bespoke feel characteristics as selected by the user.
These feel characteristics can be programmed to change dynamically during a simulation or test flight in response to any chosen stimulus. Examples include: reducing pilot workload through tactile cues; alerting the pilot to a potential hazard through a stick-shaker; or simulating a mechanical jam by temporarily locking one axis of movement.
This technology also provides the common awareness benefits of linked mechanical controls but without the associated high weight and maintenance costs. Users can instantly feel one another’s inputs while maintaining constant awareness of who is in control of the simulator or aircraft. These characteristics have the potential to reduce training times in simulators and increase safety on test-bed aircraft where controls were not previously linked.
Our Product Line
Dual Rotary Throttle
|Configurable Feel, Force and Dynamic Characteristics||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Software Linked Dual Cockpit Controls||No||Yes||No||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Custom or Mil-Spec Grip||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Ethernet (UDP) Interface||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
(1) Separate Inceptor Controller Unit required when electronics are not integrated.
Applicable for any platform
Stirling’s active controls have been used extensively in both fixed and rotary wing configurations. Our solutions include platform-specific fast-jet and rotary wing configurations for current and future aircraft, underpinned by highly-configurable hardware and software package that provides simulator integrators with unique benefits.
UH-60 and CH-47 Helicopter Active Controls for SGB Enterprises
SGB and Stirling have been working together since 2014, when they developed the first UH-60M Cockpit Avionics Procedural Tool, which was first showcased at the I/ITSEC 2014 trade show.
The F-35 Programme and Stirling Dynamics
At Stirling, we have been closely engaged with the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter Programme for many years, and our involvement dates to the 1980s with a joint US-UK study into ASTOVL (Advanced Short Take Off and Vertical Landing) aircraft. We were selected to provide the flight controller for the rear seat of the VAAC Harrier; an experimental aircraft designed by the MoD to look at active control technology for the ASTOVL programme.