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AQuArEL PROJECT (PMD3) - AVIONICS FOR ELECTRIC AIRCRAFT

The AQuArEl project is a collaboration between MTLS aerostructure and Thales Canada Avionics. The objective of the project is to develop essential electronical components for the LCA60T (Large Capacity Airship 60 Tons) aircraft of Flying Whales LCA60T. To equip electric aircrafts, in the first phase of the project, Thales and MTLS wish to develop:  

  • An electric flight control system to assure the control of the LCA60T's surfaces and engines;  

  • An avionics suite integrated around two touch screens for visual flight rules (VFR) operations;  

  • A virtual assistant to facilitate the airship's missions. 

 

Electric flight control system  

To ensure the control of the aircraft, the control of payload transfers, the management of ballasts and the general balance of the airship, an electric flight control system must be installed. These architecture and specification activities for electric flight control systems address the needs of electric aircrafts. The development of these systems by Thales Canada will result in the design of computers (electronics and software) and of associated tools.  

Electric propulsion allows to reduce the environmental footprint of operations and to optimize energy consumption.  

Touch screens for visual flight operations  

Thales Canada develops avionics suite systems for aircraft operating in visual flight conditions. A "mirror" test bench is used to mimic the operation of the avionics suite on commercial equipment and initiate avionics activities. The test bench is subcontracted to a Quebec-based SME that manufactures the prototypes.  

After validating the avionics suite specifications, Thales Canada and MTLS developed two software programs to serve as an interface between two commercial tools and Thales avionics suite configuration tools.  

Virtual assistant  

A virtual assistant is developed to facilitate the use of the airship, to increase the safety of operations performed by the team, to suggest the types of procedures by operation and to put in context the information provided to the crew.  

In conclusion  

With the electrification of air transport and the development of new software, the collaboration of MTLS and Thales Canada allows the development of flight controls prototype modules, a tactile avionics suite and a virtual assistant adapted to electric aircraft. All the work for the AQUAREL project will contribute to the improvement of the positioning of these companies in the aerospace market and to the satisfaction of present and future customers in Quebec and elsewhere in the world.