Failures Mapping for Aircraft Electrical Actuation System Health Management



Published Jun 29, 2022
Chengwei Wang Ip-Shing Fan Stephen King


This paper presents the different types of failure that may occur in flight control electrical actuation systems. Within an aircraft, actuation systems are essential to deliver physical actions. Large actuators operate the landing gears and small actuators adjust passenger seats. As developing, aircraft systems have become more electrical to reduce the weight and complexity of hydraulic circuits, which could improve fuel efficiency and lower NOx emissions. Electrical Actuation (EA) are one of those newly electrified systems. It can be categorized into two types, Electro-Hydraulic Actuation (EHA) and Electro-Mechanical Actuation (EMA) systems. Emerging electric and hydrogen fuel aircraft will rely on all-electric actuation. While electrical actuation seems simpler than hydraulic at the systems level, the subsystems and components are more varied and complex. The aim of the overall project is to develop a highly representative Digital Twin (DT) for predictive maintenance of electrical flight control systems. A comprehensive understanding of actuation system failure characteristics is fundamental for effective design and maintenance. This research focuses on the flight control systems including the ailerons, rudders, flaps, spoilers, and related systems. The study uses the Cranfield University Boeing 737 as the basis to elaborate the different types of actuators in the flight control system. The Aircraft Maintenance Manual (AMM) provides a baseline for current maintenance practices, effort, and costs. Equivalent EHA and EMA to replace the 737 systems are evaluated. In this paper, the components and their failure characteristics are elaborated in a matrix. The approach to model these characteristics in DT for aircraft flight control system health management is discussed. This paper contributes to the design, operation and support of aircraft systems.

How to Cite

Wang, C. ., Fan, I.-S., & King, S. (2022). Failures Mapping for Aircraft Electrical Actuation System Health Management. PHM Society European Conference, 7(1), 509–520.
Abstract 168 | PDF Downloads 65



Failure, Electrical Actuation, Aircraft, Health Management, Digital Twin

Technical Papers