Engines get digital transformation

  • 30-Jun-2008 07:00 EDT
EIU Image.jpg

ASB Avionics used rack-mounted Ametek engine interface units (EIUs) in its Avionics Modernization Program for the L382G. The EIUs collect multiple analog signals from the engines and convert them to digital format.

ASB Avionics uses dual Ametek engine interface units (EIUs) to transform analog engine sensor data into a digital format for its engine instrument display (EID) system, approved by the FAA for the L382G (civilian version of the C-130H) cargo aircraft. The EID system provides digital engine display capability to a Honeywell CDS/R electronic flight instrument system and replaces 32 traditional 2-in round indicators with a single 8- x 10-in flat panel.

The rack-mounted EIU collects multiple analog signals from the aircraft engines and converts them to digital format. The EIU outputs the data over an industry-standard ARINC 429 data bus that interfaces directly with the cockpit’s multi-functional display (MFD). Each of the EIUs has dual-channel redundancy and is transferable from the EID to either pilot’s MFD in the event of a display default. Data also is output directly to the flight data recorder via analog and ARINC 429 signals. In addition, the EIU is able to store a host of engine parameter data to aid in trend monitoring and exceedence tracking.

In other Ametek news, Clifford Development has incorporated the company’s Sentinel II instrument display system as part of its Supplemental Type Certification (STC) program for the Cessna Citation II and their recently announced Citation SII. The program re-engines the Citation aircraft with high-efficiency Williams International FJ44-3 turbofan engines. Clifford expects to achieve significant performance improvements from the retrofitted Citations, including increased range, cruising speed, and fuel efficiency.

“Clifford’s goal is to achieve best-in-class performance by marrying the latest in aircraft engine and avionics technology aboard [the] business jets,” said Wes Hardin, Senior Vice President and General Manager, Ametek Aerospace & Defense.

“The 3000-lb thrust Williams FJ44-3 engine utilizes full authority digital electronic control (FADEC) providing pilots with advanced engine diagnostics and monitoring, while our fully digital Sentinel II with its dual redundant AMLCDs (active-matrix LCDs) accepts all standard aircraft input and output signals without requiring a major aircraft systems retrofit.”

The Sentinel is fully redundant. “Should a failure occur in either its data processing or its AMLCD, the other system is instantly ready to display all input parameters,” said Hardin.

“The SENTINEL II system is the perfect replacement for the original vertical tape engine instruments. Pilots will appreciate the range of easy-to-interpret engine data that the SENTINEL II draws from the Williams FJ44-3 FADEC system. This is just one of the more than 30 systems improvements made as part of this STC,” said Jim Clifford, CEO, Clifford Development.

The Williams J44-3 engine that powers the Citation IIs is the first FAA-certified engine of less than 6400 lb thrust to incorporate dual channel FADEC and the smallest and lightest turbofan engine to have passed all of the rigorous FAA certification tests, according to Clifford. Ametek developed a combined total temperature/total pressure probe specifically for the engine.

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