Airbus's 3x0 series designs have often been criticized following incidents and accidents over the relative lack of haptic feedback on the control sticks. Dual input conditions give a visual (and aural?) indication, but no physical indication, unlike on aircraft with mechanically linked yokes. This is believed to have played a role in the crash of Air France 447, for instance.

When Bombardier designed the C-Series 300, which is now manufactured and sold as the Airbus A220, did they match Airbus's practice, or add additional physical feedback that would make it different from the rest of Airbus's product line?


1 Answer 1


enter image description hereA220 cockpit Image source

enter image description hereA320Neo cockpit Image source

The Airbus A220 started life as the Bombardier C-series, with the two companies starting a partnership in 2018. An article about the C-series flight controls mentions the following:

Flight control

C Series is a Fly By Wire (FBW) aircraft with a passive side stick controller, very much like an Airbus. As discovered during my A350 flight, this is OK. Active feedback sidesticks would have been better, but they were not available to the C Series project.

The throttles are like Boeing throttles; they are back-driven, i.e., one can see and feel when the auto throttle is working, which is good. This is typical of the C Series.

Passive side sticks, same concept as that of the Airbus designed A>320 families. Passive meaning: the stick can be deflected by hand forces only, and when doing so only the feedback spring forces can be felt. And indeed it would give intuitive feedback of what the other pilot is doing if the sticks were mechanically coupled, or if each stick would contain a back-drive electromotor that feeds from the position input of the other stick. As mentioned in this earlier answer:

The Airbus side stick is ... a stick loaded by a passive spring force sending back position signals. It had to be that way in the 90s when the sticks were designed, although we were already running digital force loops in real time @ 5000 Hz on a Motorola 68020, and had the technology to couple two (active) sticks in software. Did it for Mercedes and for quite a few simulators, but sadly not for Airbus.

So how it could for instance be implemented for the A320 side stick: program the passive forces that are there now for normal operation but always couple the sticks, program a stick pusher for when in alternate law and stalling, and leave the current override button solution in for when the Control Loading System fails. We were part of an aircraft company then and making the system airworthy would not have been a problem.


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