Roll Stick Force Sensor

Technical Information

Catalogue No: C0214
Category: Flight Control
Object Type: Actuator
Object Name: Roll Stick Force Sensor
Part No: 15-011-01
Serial No: 138
Manufacturer: Elliott/Aeritalia
Division: Unknown
Platform(s): Tornado 
Year of Manufacture:
Width (mm):
Height (mm):
Depth (mm):
Weight (g):
Location: Archive Object Store

Roll Stick Force Sensor
Type No. 15-011-01
Serial No. 138
Spec. No. SP-P-970162
Ident. No.
NATO Stock No.
Modification Record
Mfd by Marconi-Elliott Avionic System Ltd.


As manned aircraft have grown larger and flown faster, forces necessary to control their attitudes have become successively greater. To relieve the pilot of the increased physical effort thus required, the Stick Force Sensor was developed. This senses the force the pilot deflects the stick with and feeds this input to AFCS (Automatic Flight Control System). It does not mean that the stick senses only deflection force and does not move in itself (like in an F-16) - it can be moved around in the space available between the knees of the pilot. Stick deflection translates to electronical signals for the AFCS and by moving the stick the pilot mechanically moves parts (linkages, rods, cables, etc.) which lead to the control surfaces as well. Thus the Tornado has double steering control: if the AFCS fails, the aircraft still can be steered mechanically and vice versa, if the mechanical steering system fails, AFCS is still there to control the jet. In normal operation they work together for a smooth, fully optimized flying experience. The Stick Force Sensor system provides both boost of the control -force system of the airplane and a sensation of the reaction of the airplane to the pilot.
These units are for Roll but there would be similar equipment for Pitch and Yaw. The unit has two 1m long cables with connectors at the free end.
The Tornado was developed and built by Panavia Aircraft GmbH, a tri-national consortium consisting of British Aerospace (now BAE Systems)), MBB of West Germany, and Aeritalia of Italy. The consortium bot work shared and collaborated on the airframe, engines and avionics and the Roll Stick Force Sensor was an Elliott Aeritalia collaboration. Because of the Tornado's variable wings enabling the aircraft to drastically alter its flight envelope, the stick force sensor system is vital and the artificial responses adjust automatically to wing profile changes and other changes to flight attitude. As a large variety of munitions and stores can be outfitted, the resulting changes to the aircraft's flight dynamics are routinely compensated for by the flight stability system.

The unit has two 1m long cables with connectors at the free end.

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