Diamond Aircraft successfully tested the first fly-by-wire system for General Aviation on the twin-engine DA42.
The system enables flight envelope protection which protects the pilot from unintentional flight manoeuvres that could lead to structural or aerodynamical overstressing of the aircraft. Furthermore the aircraft should be able to land automatically in case of incapacity of the pilot in a single pilot operation. Fly-by-wire is already part of every big airliner like Airbus or Boeing and Diamond Aircraft expects a big increase in safety.
The tests take place within the EU project SAFAR (Small Aircraft Future Avionics Architecture) with partners from Austria, Germany, The Netherlands, Czech Republic, Spain and Belgium.
In the long run the company is working on fully automatic take-off, flight and landing for every DA42 and other aircraft models.
Euronews has produced an interesting documentary on this project that can be watched online:
<link http: www.euronews.com small-aircraft-smart-safety>www.euronews.com/2012/11/28/small-aircraft-smart-safety
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