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SAIS – next generation of smart active inceptor for tilt rotor application

The SAIS project is funded under the European research and development program CleanSky2, it was realise to improve the collaboration of the European aviation industry, global leadership and competitiveness.

What is Clean Sky 2

Clean Sky 2 is the main European research program in the aeronautics sector financed, for the period 2014-2020, with € 1.75 billion from the EU under the European program for research and innovation Horizon 2020 and with 2.2 billion euros from the parties that adhere to the initiative, for a total investment of around 4 billion euros.

The objective of the Clean Sky 2 program is to develop innovative technologies to significantly limit the environmental impact caused by the use of aircraft and, more generally, attributed to air transport. For this reason, the Clean Sky program aims to accelerate the development of innovative technologies and reduce the time to market of new solutions tested on full-scale demonstrators.


The project responds to a need of Leonardo Helicopter Division to study active flight controls (active inceptor) with haptic feedback for the new generation of Tiltrotor. The investigation will be focused on the design of electromechanical actuators, haptic features and command logics with diagnostic capabilities to obtain flight safety certification for the system to carry out test activities.

The SAIS project is part of the development cycle of the Next Generation Civil Tiltrotor (NGCTR) demonstrator of Leonardo Helicopter Division as a development of the SMAR-TeR project, coordinated by Mare Engineering, as the specifications of these flight controls will also be the result of the work carried out in this project.

In this call, the MARE group participates with the historical skills of Mare Engineering SpA as project coordinator and responsible for communication and dissemination actions and with LIN-UP srl as a technological development partner with skills on ergonomic simulation using virtual reality. Also, part of the consortium are Umbria Aerospace Systems SpA (UAS) and CBL Electronics srl as a partner for the technical development of flight controls, and as a research body the Department of Information Engineering of the University of Perugia for the development of algorithms on haptic features and command logic with diagnostic capabilities.

The design will focus on the mechanical interfaces of the inceptors but, at the same time, studies on ergonomics, tactile capabilities and command logics including diagnostic capabilities will have considerable value. The project will culminate with the achievement of the SOF (Safety of Flight) qualification of the system in order to allow flight test activities, and with the delivery of an EFA ship to be installed on the final demonstrator.

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