Aircraft systems

Ultra is a world leader in high integrity electronic systems for military and civil aerospace applications.


Ultra’s products range from airframe control systems, landing gear control systemsand active noise cancellation and vibration control systems through to pioneeringelectro-thermal ice protection systems for the wing leading edge and engine intakeof civil and military aircraft. Ultra supplies systems for the detection and monitoring of structural anomalies, including cracks, and supplies a wide selection of highreliability temperature sensors.

Aircraft systems capabilities & products

Landing gear, steering, door and hydraulic control systems
Landing gear, steering, door and hydraulic control systems Image

When part of an aircraft moves from one position to another, such as landing gear extending and retracting or passenger doors opening and closing, the movement needs to be reliably and accurately monitored and controlled. Ultra is able to help aircraft manufacturers or larger system suppliers define their requirements and then to design, develop, manufacture and support position sensing and control technologies for both military and civil aircraft. Ultra supplies landing gear control units, steering, door and hydraulic position sensing and control products to a wide range of aircraft including: Airbus A330/340 families; Boeing 787 Dreamliner; Gulfstream G650; Gulfstream G500/600; Airbus A400M; Eurofighter Typhoon; Mitsubishi Regional Jet; Embraer KC-390.

Structural integrity monitoring
Structural integrity monitoring Image

asis, Ultra’s new structural health monitoring system, has been developed to enable the early detection of cracks within the metal structure of military aircraft. Earlier, easier detection of cracks reduces maintenance costs, increases safety and could extend the life of aircraft which might otherwise be grounded.

Ultra’s asis provides the operator with useful and specific information about the presence and location of potential cracks. It provides this information between normal inspection intervals. This allows maintenance to be efficiently planned and results in increased airframe availability. The data remains under the control of the operator and is presented in such a way that expert analysis is not required.

Pressurisation systems
Pressurisation systems Image

Ultra is the leading manufacturer of compact on-board gas solutions, including compact gas compressors (HiPPAG™), for the defence industry worldwide. Applications include cryogenic cooling systems, stores ejection/release systems and pneumatic systems. These capabilities, coupled with Ultra’s advanced filtration technology, have led to the development of a wide range of pure air and oxygen generating products. These products feature increased reliability, whilst reducing the logistics footprint by removing the need for the replacement of refillable gas canisters.

High integrity dynamic harnesses
High integrity dynamic harnesses Image

Ultra’s services range from providing a simple point-to-point power harness, through to full design support for more complex harness systems. Many harnesses are hand assembled, using high grade materials to ensure product reliability in the toughest of environments. Ultra specialises in dynamic harnesses, used for applications where harnesses must cross a moving interface, such as between the wing and the moving slats. These dynamic harnesses provide rugged and reliable connections that can be extended and retracted for the life of the aircraft without the need for maintenance. Harnessing solutions are provided for a large range of applications, from aircraft fuel system measurement and gauging to MIL-STD-1553 physical layer testing, CANbus, ARINC-429 and Ethernet data buses. In addition, harnesses for digital and analogue video, discrete signal, power and fibre optics can also be provided.

Electro-thermal ice protection
Electro-thermal ice protection Image

Ultra provides the innovative electrothermal ice protection system for the leading edge of Boeing’s new 787 composite aircraft wing. The system is designed to provide high availability and low cost of ownership and is a key enabler of the advanced wing design which contributes to the 787’s high fuel-efficiency. Ultra’s specialist capability has been further endorsed by selection to provide engine intake and lift fan (STOVL variant) ice protection for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) aircraft. This system also incorporates custom, rugged harnesses and connectors. Ultra provides ice protection systems for helicopter engine inlets, propellers and windshields which are designed to operate in either an anti-icing, de-icing or hybrid mode.

Propeller balance monitoring system (PBMS)
Propeller balance monitoring system (PBMS) Image

Ultra provides systems capable of monitoring the vibration caused by propeller imbalance. They monitor this during normal service flying. The PBMS can be installed in conjunction with active noise and vibration control, or as a stand-alone system. To add PBMS to the active noise control system requires the addition of a single accelerometer per engine. The operator determines the balance solution using an intuitive laptopbased user interface. As Ultra’s system uses flight data, it provides a superior balance solution to systems which rely on ground running for propeller balance. Up to four engines can be monitored simultaneously and there is no requirement for dedicated

Temperature sensors
Temperature sensors Image

Ultra is an innovative supplier of temperature instrumentation for the Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM), military/civil aerospace, process industry and nuclear power markets. Ultra has proven capabilities to not only design temperature sensing devices for extremely demanding applications, but also meet the unique requirements of its customers. Ultra has provided sensors to measure temperature in aircraft environmental control systems, wing de-icing, fluid immersion and engine test stands. The Group also has the capability to design and manufacture sensors for the demanding brake and surface temperature measurement market segments.

Active noise and vibration control
Active noise and vibration control Image

Ultra is the leading supplier of aircraft active noise and vibration control products with systems installed on more than 1300 aircraft worldwide including Bombardier’s Q-series, Beechcraft King Air, Saab 340 and 2000, and Lockheed C-130. Ultra’s systems are designed to reduce the cabin noise and vibration generated by the aircraft’s propellers. The system uses an array of sensors (both microphones and accelerometers) to measure the noise and vibration in the cabin and an array of actuators (either loudspeakers or vibration actuators) to cancel this noise. All system components are hidden behind the aircraft trim and provide noise control where it is needed, at the passenger’s head-height.

Propeller control
Propeller control Image

Ultra has a long history in the design, development and production of high integrity, safety-critical control systems. In many cases, these products are located in very harsh (high temperature and high vibration) environments, such as engine casings and nacelles. An example of this is the propeller electronic controller supplied to the Bombardier Q400 aircraft which provides the critical interface and control between the engine electronic controller and the pitch actuation system. It incorporates a dual-lane architecture featuring a number of interlocks to ensure safety, including propeller ‘autofeather’ function and is designed to Design Assurance Level A.

Fuel tank inerting
Fuel tank inerting Image

Ultra has developed a fuel inerting systems capability for civil and military aircraft. The capability is a natural progression from Ultra’s pneumatic systems work on the F-35, 5th Generation Fighter and other military gas separation projects for the US Army. Through its partnership, Ultra can offer the complete range of equipment and services from initial design studies up to delivery of qualified equipment and support through to certification.