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11 Jan 05. John Howarth, Merlin Programme Manager and Deputy Team Leader, at the UK Ministry of Defence (MoD), today officially switched on the EH101 Helicopter Electro-Mechanical Actuation Technology (HEAT) Integration Rig at AgustaWestland’s Yeovil facility in the UK. The event marked a major milestone in the development of this technology, which will lead to a flying demonstration programme on a Royal Navy EH101 Merlin helicopter.

The HEAT system provides, for the first time on a helicopter, an all-electric primary flight control system including electro-mechanical actuators. It also enables the primary and secondary hydraulic systems, accessory gearbox and much of the mechanical flight control system to be deleted from the helicopter, thereby simplifying the aircraft configuration. The benefits of the system include reduced weight and cost of ownership while increasing reliability, survivability and safety. HEAT will also facilitate embodiment of Advanced Control Technology capabilities, including use of active side-stick controllers, and represents a major step towards an “all-electric” rotorcraft.

At the rig switch-on, John Howarth said “This is a good example of industrial partners and the MoD working together to develop and demonstrate a world-leading technology to advance the capability of existing and future rotorcraft”.

Adrian Board, Engineering Director, Westland Helicopters, went on to say “The EH101 will be the first helicopter to demonstrate and put into service this technology, maintaining it as the most advanced helicopter in its class. The use of electrical actuators in-place of hydraulic actuators in a helicopter flight control system is the next major technological step for fly-by-wire systems on helicopters and AgustaWestland is leading the way.”

The HEAT system is being developed by an industrial consortium comprising AgustaWestland, BAE Systems and Claverham Ltd in partnership with the UK MoD Merlin Integrated Project Team. AgustaWestland are responsible for carrying out the overall definition, design, testing and integration of the HEAT system on the EH101 helicopter, while BAE Systems are responsible for providing the fly-by-wire system and Claverham, a division of Hamilton Sunstrand, the electrical actuators.

The key technology challenge associated with the project is electro-mechanical actuation, now made possible by the use of powerful DC brushless motors, high speed motor control and a quadruplex fly-by-wire primary flight control system. The application of a novel, flight-critical, technology in this challenging project demands particularly rigorous design and qualification processes. The system Integration Rig will undertake an extensive qualification and test programme of the HEAT system prior to it commencing its flight test programme.

The integration rig replicates an existing EH101 in order to fully validate and verify the HEAT system. The rig can be ‘flown’ from a replica cockpit, powered by a representative electrical & generation system and loaded to replicate flight loads based on flight test data.

13 Jan 05. SMART Technologies Inc. announces two new tools that enable people to use SMART Board(TM) interactive whiteboards with mobile and wireless devices. LinQ(TM) (pronounced “Link”) software connects a networked computer, such as a wireless laptop, to a SMART Board interactive whiteboard, making it easy to share any user’s desktop with an entire group. The SMART interactive slate enables users to control a SMART Board interactive whiteboard from anywhere in the room. These new tools help to create a truly collaborative learning environment and simplify integrating digital content into presentations and training materials. Using LinQ software, users can quickly connect any networked PC to the computer that is attached to a SMART Board interactive whiteboard. Once the information o

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