Gulfstream Aerospace test pilots and flight-test engineers recently flew a Gulfstream G650 flight-test aircraft for the first time using only an electrically powered, fly-by-wire backup flight-control actuation system.
The flight was made in late December. Test pilots Jake Howard and Gary Freeman, along with flight-test engineers Bill Osborne and Nathaniel Rutland, evaluated the fly-by-wire system in electric backup actuation mode for more than two hours, performing five landings with the backup system engaged.
“The system performed flawlessly,” said Pres Henne, senior vice president of programs, engineering and test. “There was no difference in handling qualities between the electrically and hydraulically powered modes.”
“It flew so well that unless pilots were told they were in backup actuation mode I don’t think they would notice,” said Freeman.