Autothrottle Offered For Citations And Phenoms

Credit: Textron Aviation

Versions of an aftermarket autothrottle system developed by Innovative Solutions & Support (IS&S) for Textron Aviation Beechcraft King Airs and the Pilatus PC-12 will be offered for retrofit on the Cessna Citation CJ series starting in 2022, with follow-on availability on the Embraer Phenom 100/300 family.

The IS&S autothrottle, dubbed the ThrustSense system, is a mechanical actuator-based device which is integrated with the existing throttle quadrant to provide enhanced safety from takeoff to landing, including go-arounds. Based on the original system certified in 2011 on the Eclipse 500 twinjet, the autothrottle has since been retrofitted on single and twin turboprops.

“We started with a twinjet and now we are going to go back to it,” says IS&S President Shahram Askarpour. “The actuator we invented lends itself to mechanizing the throttle quadrant of Citation jets and Embraer Phenoms that don’t have autothrottles,” he adds.

IS&S says the ThrustSense system reduces crew workload, increases situational awareness and provides envelope protection–including speed limit and VMCA (minimum control speed) protection. In the event of a loss of power on one engine, the autothrottle dynamically adjusts power on the remaining engine to help the crew maintain control of the aircraft. 

“It’s a very easy adaptation of the King Air system for these platforms, which have full-authority digital engine controlled (FADEC) engines. So it is a subset of that, and we don’t have to worry about things like temperature control, but we will be providing thrust and speed control,” says Askarpour.

The company is working with the FAA on certification issues, but has not yet begun installation work. “We are very close to doing that,” says Askarpour who notes the prime target aircraft for the modification include the Citation II, Citation III, CJ3+, CJ4 and Citation M2 outfitted with Pro Line 21, Pro Line Fusion, and Garmin avionics. The system will subsequently be offered for installation on Embraer’s Phenom 100 and 300 light jets.

The IS&S ThrustSense autothrottle is standard equipment on the King Air 260 and 360 and is available for retrofit on the King Air 200 and 300 as well as the Pilatus PC-12.

Guy Norris

Guy is a Senior Editor for Aviation Week, covering technology and propulsion. He is based in Colorado Springs.