Aircraft Braunschweig


The flight test bed VFW614/ATTAS is based on the two engine, short haul, 44-seats passenger jet VFW614, which was developed and built in the seventies in Bremen/Germany by the VFW-Fokker company (today EADS). Meanwhile it is the last flying aircraft of this type.


ATTAS differs from the standard – VFW 614 by following modifications:

  • Electro hydraulic, digital fly-by-wire control system. By means of electro hydraulic clutches the fly-by-wire actuators drive the mechanical control system, which is connected all the time. The safety pilot can immediately disengage the fly-by-wire control system by a pushbutton or by counteraction and can take control by using the mechanical control system. The fly-by-wire control system incorporates ailerons, elevator, rudder, horizontal stabilizer, engines, landing flaps and the
  • Direct-lift-control flaps at the rear part of the landing flaps. These fast moving flaps permit direct control of the aerodynamic lift and provide an additional degree of freedom in the longitudinal plain which is required for in-flight simulation.

Applied as research aircraft, test bed and in-flight simulator, ATTAS is equipped as follows:

  • Computer system for driving the fly-by-wire control system including a high-performance computer for experimental applications. By means of its simulation software and model following controller the flying behaviour of other (even not existing) aircraft can be reproduced. Due to the safety concept with the mechanical backup control system, certification of the experimental software is not required. The computer system also allows integration of additional customer computer equipment.
  • Experimental pilot’s cockpit (left side) with free programmable displays and optional side stick or control column/yoke.
  • Data acquisition system for displaying and recording of control surface positions, pilots controls, airflow and acceleration data, avionics and air data, data from the fly-by-wire control system, and additional data from the computer system.
  • High frequency air-to-ground data downlink and uplink for online data transfer.
  • Electrical und hydraulic experiment system supply independent from the basic aircraft systems.
  • Optional additional rear cockpit with large flat panel displays in the cabin, connected to the fly-by-wire control system. It provides all the flexibility to modify the cockpit layout and to investigate modern cockpit systems in order to conduct man machine interfacing research.

The ATTAS test facility also comprises a fixed base ground simulator providing full representation of all ATTAS functions and systems (hardware-in-the-loop), in which all flight test programs are verified before a flight.

Technische Daten

Length 20.60 m (24.39 m including nose boom)
Wing span 21,50 m
Height 7,84 m
Wing area 64,0 m²
Empty mass ca. 15 500 kg (including standard experimental equipment)
Max. TOM 20 800 kg
Engines 2 Rolls-Royce M45 H
Thrust je 32400 N
MMO 0,63
Max. Altitude 25000 ft (7600 m)

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