Sensata Technologies develops passive inceptor for eVTOL aircraft


Sensata Technologies has developed a new fly-by-wire inceptor (sidesticks or centersticks used to direct and maneuver aircraft) for electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) aircraft and has provided prototypes to several advanced air mobility manufacturers. A passive inceptor is a cockpit control device through which pilot inputs are collected and transmitted to actuators via the fly-by-wire system on the vehicle.

Inceptors typically use position sensors such as rotary variable differential transformers (RVDTs) to provide the inceptor stick’s actual positions to output to the flight control system.


Sensata combines its position sensors, multi-axis controllers and expertise in other cockpit controls to provide inceptor solutions that adhere to the strict safety and reliability design requirements in order to achieve airworthiness certification and are suited for advanced air mobility, urban air mobility, trainers and other electric aircraft applications.

Sensata’s passive inceptor is available in 1-, 2- or 3-axis movement designs, with each axis utilizing at least three RVDTs for precise position output.

The most common use of the 3-axis inceptor is to control the pitch, roll and yaw of the vehicle and features self-centering and independently customizable operating force in each axis. The grips that the pilot interfaces with can be tailored to each vehicle’s operational requirements, including integrated switch functionality.

Sensata will showcase the new passive inceptor and its solutions for advanced air mobility and electric aircraft at the Farnborough International Airshow from 18-22 July.


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