Engineers in Savannah took a different FBW design approach than other business jet manufacturers, assuring that the G650 has high redundancy with the minimum number of components. Two dual-channel primary flight control computers (FCCs) are supplied by . The FCCs host the high-level control laws. Each has two computing and two monitoring cards, eliminating the need for stand-alone monitoring computers.
Similar to's layout for the Legacy 450/500, the G650's dual primary flight control computers provide four dissimilar flight control command channels, any one of which can control all flight control surface actuators.
Unlike's and Embraer's FBW designs, Gulfstream elected to fit the aircraft with individual remote electronics units boxes, or ACEs, integrally mounted with each of the flight control surface actuators. The 16 hybrid REU/electrohydraulic system actuators (EHSAs) are also made by Parker.
The basic FBW design meets the 10-9 probability of failure required for certification, but Gulfstream wanted an additional level of redundancy to provide 10-10 probability of failure. So, the G650 has a fully autonomous, three-axis backup flight control system (BFCS) computer made by Thales that complements the dual primary flight control computers. It sends its commands to one of two REUs that signal the movement of the flight control surface actuators on the left and right ailerons, left and right outboard spoilers, left and right elevators and the rudder.
The G650 only has two hydraulic systems, rather than the three required for most FBW flight control systems. To meet the triplex power requirement, Gulfstream and Parker Aerospace teamed to create the aviation industry's first dual-mode flight control actuators.
These components are known as electric backup hydrostatic actuators, EBHAs for short. They function as conventional EHSAs if hydraulic power is available. However, in the event of hydraulic system failure, the actuators revert to a backup mode that uses tiny electrically powered hydraulic pumps mounted on the actuators. The actuator electric pumps generate the fluid power required to move the control surface. The design eliminates the need for a full-time, electrically powered third hydraulic system, thereby saving considerable system weight.
In the event of failure of both primary flight control computers and both hydraulic systems, the backup flight control unit sends commands directly to the EBHAs.
And if both engine-driven generators were to fail, the G650's 15 KVA ram air turbine (RAT) can be extended to generate emergency electrical power to supply the FBW system. Below 180 KIAS, 24 VDC emergency batteries take over from the RAT to assure an uninterruptable power supply to all electrical components in the FBW system.
Following's lead on the 777 and 787, Gulfstream elected to retain a conventional control yoke wheel for the G650 instead of fitting the aircraft with sidestick controllers. The yokes add weight, cost and complexity, but they are mechanically interconnected so that the pilot not flying can see and feel the pilot flying's control inputs. Gulfstream and Boeing engineers assert that the design promotes crew situational awareness and enhances crew resource management.
The G650's high-level Normal Laws, hosted by the dual primary flight control computers, are quite similar to those of the. The basic pitch law is similar to the 787's C*U design. C* means that fore/aft yoke movement commands pitch rate by means of a simple Direct Law mode on the ground and vertical acceleration, or g rate, in the air using several inputs to the FCCs. U means that the aircraft is speed stable, so the pilot must trim nose up or down with speed change.
Three-axis stability augmentation makes the aircraft easy to fly because it compensates for trim changes caused by control surface or landing gear extension or retraction. Similar to the 787, the G650's FBW system has a maneuver load alleviation function that progressively deflects the ailerons and outboard spoilers at 1.5 g's and above to reduce the lift produced by the outboard wing sections and thus the wing bending moment. Other high-level control functions include automatic retraction of the speed brakes under certain conditions, dynamic rudder travel limiting to prevent overstress of the vertical fin, and elevator split limiting to prevent overstress of the empennage.
Similar to Boeing and Embraer FBW designs, the G650 has no hard limits on pitch or roll angles. However, the system does have hard limit maximum AOA and high-speed flight envelope protections in the Normal Law mode.
If air data or IRS information is insufficient or not available, the FCCs revert to Alternate Law mode. The autopilot becomes inoperative and flight envelope protections are degraded. If all four channels of the primary FCCs are unavailable, the FBW system reverts to Direct Law mode in which the control surfaces respond directly and proportionately to cockpit flight control inputs.