UTC Aerospace Systems is introducing the world’s first active side-stick controller for large commercial aircraft. UTC Aerospace Systems’ Actuation & Propeller business unit is supplying the active side-sticks for the cockpit of the new Irkut MC-21 single aisle aircraft. The MC-21 family of aircraft will include two versions ranging from 150 to 212 seats. The MC-21-300 is scheduled to achieve its first flight next year and enter into service in 2018. Active side-sticks provide pilots with a tactile and visual feedback of the aircraft behavior. Featuring an electrical cross coupling (with override capability) and a grip backdrive in auto-pilot mode, the active controllers have been designed to provide pilots with a heightened awareness of the aircraft’s situation. Active side-sticks, which are already in use in aviation industry, are a new development for large commercial aircraft. “The development of the active technology for large commercial aircraft constitutes an engineering breakthrough offering new features to pilots and wider opportunities for the aerospace industry,” said Arnaud Delpeuch, program manager for Actuation & Propeller Systems. The performance of the new active side-sticks was well-received by Irkut test pilots during a series of trial runs in Figeac, France.