Airbus to switch from mechanical rudders to electronic rudders on the A320 family aircraft
Airbus will be replacing mechanical rudder controls with electronic rudder control on the A320neo-family aircraft by 2024. The E-rudder will save up to 40kg in weight by enabling the removal of several fixtures and three computer units.
The E-rudder system will include a new rudder-pedal unit in the cockpit, new rudder-position sensors, and a backup control module.
The E-rudder will become standard on the A319neo, A320neo, and A321neo. However this modification will not be available for the conventional A320 family aircraft.
The E-rudder will be controlled through the two elevator-aileron computers, for normal law, and the two remaining spoiler-elevator computers, plus the back-up module.
Present-day A320neo uses fly-by-wire, seven computers, two flight-augmentation computers, two elevator-aileron computers, and three spoiler-elevator computers to handle the flight-control surfaces.
The rudder system on the aircraft has the mechanical linkage between the pedals in the cockpit and the hydraulic rudder actuators even though the flight-augmentation computers provide input for yaw damping, rudder travel limit, and trim.
In addition to weight saving, E-rudder will provide fuel saving, Ol reduction, Maintenance cost reduction, and the rudder trim failure would no longer impact Auto-Pilot availability.