Thales Selected by Gulfstream to develop Flight Control Computer System
March 13, 2008, Montreal, QC and Savannah, GA – Thales has been selected by Gulfstream Aerospace Corp. to develop the full three-axis fly-by-wire flight control computer system for the new ultra-long-range Gulfstream G650 business jet.
March 13, 2008 By Carey Fredericks
March 13, 2008, Montreal, QC and Savannah, GA – Thales today announced that it has
been selected by Gulfstream Aerospace Corporation to develop the full three-axis fly-by-wire
(FBW) flight control computer system for the new ultra-long-range Gulfstream G650 business
jet. The contract has a potential value of over US$100 million over the next 10 years. The
aircraft is scheduled to enter service in 2012.
Thales’ fly-by-wire solution for Gulfstream’s G650 aircraft consists of supplying two digital
flight control computers and one backup flight control unit. Thales uses the latest evolution of
its Quad-Dual Flight Control Computer architecture along with modular packaging design to
ensure that all stringent safety, certification and operational dispatch requirements are met
using four channels packaged into two cabinets.
Gulfstream has been at the forefront of business jet aviation for the past 50 years, their stateof-the-art Research and Development Center in Savannah Georgia will be home of the joint development phase, while aircraft manufacturing will take place in the recently completed
308,000-square-foot manufacturing facility. The system level engineering and software
development for Thales’ FBW flight control computers and backup flight control unit will take
place in Thales’ center of excellence in Montreal while the hardware will be developed by Thales’ airborne computer unit located in France.
Mr. Alain Boursier, Senior Vice President and General Manager of Thales’ aerospace
business in Canada commented, “We look forward to a long-standing relationship with
Gulfstream and are committed to the success of the G650 program by participating in the
development, production and support for the next generation of fly-by-wire flight control
computers and backup flight control unit. Thales is a recognized leader in fly-by-wire flight
control technology in the business and regional aircraft market, in addition to the commercial
transport market, and we anticipate continued expansion over the next several years in this
Thales’ commitment to Gulfstream in the FBW flight controls technology domain initiated in
2004 with the Advanced Flight Controls Research Study which today still serves as a
successful demonstrator aircraft and risk-mitigation tool for the new G650.
Located in Montreal, is the Thales head office for regional and business aircraft and the
Center of Excellence in electrical flight controls. Thales’ expertise in flight controls and
partnerships with major aircraft manufacturers around the world ensure a product offering
that includes complete system design and integration as well as flexible system architecture.
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