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LVDT Applications in Flight Control Actuators: Spotlight on Aileron Systems

Friday, October 20, 2023


Linear Variable Differential Transformers (LVDTs) have found extensive applications in various industrial and technological sectors. Their reliable, precise, and robust nature makes them particularly suited for mission-critical systems. One such application where LVDTs shine is in the domain of aerospace, specifically in flight control actuators for aileron systems. This blog article aims to explore how LVDTs contribute to the accuracy and reliability of aileron control, thus ensuring safe and efficient flights.

What is an LVDT?

Before diving into the specifics of aileron control, it’s crucial to understand what an LVDT is. The Linear Variable Differential Transformer is an electromechanical transducer that converts linear motion into electrical signals. LVDTs are highly accurate, offer excellent repeatability, and are robust against environmental factors like temperature and pressure, making them ideal for aerospace applications.

What is an Aileron?

An aileron is a hinged flight control surface usually forming part of the trailing edge of each wing of a fixed-wing aircraft. Ailerons work in pairs and move in opposite directions, rotating an airplane around its longitudinal axis (or roll). They are pivotal for lateral control, enabling the aircraft to bank and make turns.

The Role of Actuators in Aileron Control

Actuators are the muscle behind the aileron's movement. Traditionally, these actuators were mechanically operated, but modern flight control systems rely on electromechanical or hydraulic actuators. The actuator moves the aileron up or down based on the pilot's inputs or automated control algorithms.

Where LVDTs Come In

Given the importance of aileron control in an aircraft's flight characteristics, the actuation system must be extremely reliable and accurate. This is where LVDTs come into play. These devices are used to provide feedback on the aileron's position, thus ensuring that the control surfaces are in the precise orientation commanded by the pilot or autopilot system.

Advantages of Using LVDTs in Aileron Control Systems

High Accuracy: LVDTs offer high resolution and accuracy, critical for flight safety.

Robustness: The technology is highly reliable and can withstand the harsh environmental conditions encountered during flight, such as temperature fluctuations and vibration.

Longevity: LVDTs typically have a long operational life with minimal wear and tear, ideal for long-term aerospace applications.

No Electrical Contact: Since they don't require electrical contact between moving parts, LVDTs are less susceptible to failure due to wear, enhancing reliability.


The application of LVDTs in aileron control systems is a testament to the transformational role that precise and reliable sensors play in modern aerospace technology. With the continued advancement of LVDT technologies and their integration into increasingly sophisticated systems, we can expect even more robust and dependable flight control systems in the future. Flight safety relies heavily on the precise control of various aircraft systems. By providing accurate, reliable, and durable solutions for aileron actuation, LVDTs have become an invaluable component in modern aviation.

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