Thrust Management Systems for Aircraft


The thrust management system (TMS) is a part of the aircraft’s Flight Management System, and it allows for pilots to set computerized control over throttle. Similar to the cruise control systems commonly found in automobiles, such devices can increase the efficiency of flight operations for the benefit of pilots. Furthermore, such systems may also be advantageous for safety reasons as well, making them useful for pilots and aircraft. In this blog, we will discuss thrust management systems, allowing you to better understand how they are used and what functions they can provide.

While coming in various forms depending on the aircraft and the year that it received its systems, the TMS serves as an auto throttle and thrust director system that can take governance over throttle control. As a technology that has existed less than half a century, such systems have seen many significant changes over the years with new capabilities and system types. For instance, in some applications, a TMS may be considered a standalone drive or as a part of the autopilot system. When thrust management systems are integrated alongside other flight systems, their sensors tend to be shared and thus they will depend on system information provided by other devices.

For the automatic thrust control system to sufficiently provide thrust for various operations and maneuvers, they require a variety of information such as engine limitations, thrust settings, takeoff and landing settings, and more coupled together with conditional adjustments. To ensure that the aircraft is safe when relying on such systems and components, safety devices are typically put in place through automatic or manual means. In some aircraft, there may be the ability for automatic disconnection in the case of improper functionality or the inability to carry out a procedure. In such cases, a manual override may also be present for the pilot to reassume direct control.

To efficiently manage throttle, many modern systems will utilize an electronic engine control system to receive engine performance. As environmental conditions can change temporarily during flight, throttle operations may be automatically controlled with minimal operations for the comfort of passengers. With energy management control laws, a high degree of performance can be achieved while ensuring changes from the TMS are smooth.

With engine synchronization systems, operations may be an integral function of the auto throttle system or may be a standalone device. When an engine synchronization system is engaged, the RPM of the engine can be synchronized to a predetermined value during certain flight operations. While many modern thrust management systems are capable of adjusting the operating engine or turbine engine power, master engine and slaves, non-computerized sync systems, and other methods may also be used to achieve similar functionality.

When implementing a TMS into an aircraft or troubleshooting an installation, one should always be well aware of the specific capabilities and limitations of the system installed. With some systems, complete authority may be established over engine control, while others may be limited in their ability to adjust settings. This difference is crucial, as some systems may have set limits on the amount of change they can make to a value. As an example, if a system features a maximum RPM change for cruise operations, the device may force the aircraft into a pitch so that it does not reach a disallowed speed. When troubleshooting a TMS, it is always recommended that one works with the flight crew of the aircraft and refers to specific manufacturer documentation for instructions.

With thrust management systems, the efficiency and safety of flight can be improved for the benefit of pilots, operators, and passengers alike. At ASAP Buying, we are a leading online distributor of aviation parts and components that are new, used, and obsolete. With AS9120B, ISO 9001:2015, and FAA AC 00-56B certification and accreditation, we enact strict quality control standards and export compliance to ensure that our customers always receive the best possible items. Begin the purchasing process today and see why customers choose to rely on ASAP Buying for their aviation needs.


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April 20, 2021

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