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LVDT Applications in Flight Control Actuators: A Focus on Spoilers

Friday, October 20, 2023


Linear Variable Differential Transformers (LVDTs) have emerged as indispensable components in various technological domains, thanks to their high precision and reliability. One such vital domain is aviation, specifically in the control of spoilers through flight control actuators. Spoilers are essential for multiple flight phases, from enhancing descent rates to slowing down the aircraft upon landing. In this blog article, we delve into the importance of LVDTs in the operation of spoilers, detailing how this technology contributes to flight safety and efficiency.

A Primer on LVDTs

A Linear Variable Differential Transformer (LVDT) is a type of electromechanical transducer that converts linear displacement into an electrical signal. Known for their high accuracy, repeatability, and robustness in varying environmental conditions, LVDTs are ideal for critical aerospace applications.

What Are Spoilers?

Spoilers are flight control surfaces mounted on an aircraft's wing, designed to reduce lift and increase drag. They "spoil" the smooth flow of air over the wing, hence the name. Spoilers are used during different flight phases, including descent and landing, and they can also assist in turning the aircraft when used asymmetrically.

Actuators and Spoiler Control

Actuators serve as the driving force behind spoiler movement. They are either electromechanical or hydraulic systems that execute the commands from the cockpit or an automated flight control system. The actuator extends or retracts the spoiler panels to their appropriate positions, based on the flight conditions or pilot inputs.

The Role of LVDTs in Spoiler Control Systems

The importance of spoiler positioning can't be overstated. Incorrect spoiler deployment can drastically affect an aircraft's aerodynamics, potentially leading to unsafe conditions. LVDTs are often integrated into the actuator systems to provide precise position feedback, ensuring that the spoilers are in the correct orientation.

Advantages of LVDTs in Spoiler Control

High Precision: Accurate spoiler control is vital for maintaining the aircraft’s stability and course, and LVDTs provide the high level of accuracy required.

Environmental Resistance: LVDTs can withstand significant temperature variations, vibrations, and other harsh conditions encountered in flight, making them highly reliable.

Long Operational Life: With no electrical contact between moving parts, LVDTs have a long lifespan, which is beneficial for aerospace applications where long-term reliability is crucial.

Real-Time Feedback: LVDTs offer continuous position monitoring, ensuring real-time feedback that is integral for automated control systems and manual overrides.


LVDTs play a significant role in the accurate and reliable control of spoilers, enhancing both flight safety and operational efficiency. By delivering precise position feedback, they form an integral part of modern aviation technology. As LVDT technology continues to evolve, its application in critical systems like spoilers is only expected to expand, promising more advanced and reliable solutions for the aerospace industry.

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