MEET SERVOFLY, THE DEVICE THAT ALLOWS PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES TO FLY
AIDRO, a hydraulic equipment producer based in Lombardy, Italy, has used metal 3D printing to allow a disabled pilot to fly once again.
Under the ServoFly project, a group of Italian designers developed a device that adjusts the throttle control bar of a plane engine as well as an aircraft cockpit “plug-and-fly” flight control system, named “ServoFly T4/1”. The personalized system was realized through selective laser sintering (SLS).
The recipient, Mattia Negusanti, lost mobility in one of his hands due to an accident during his time in the Italian military. The ServoFly T4/1 allows Negusanti to control an aircraft despite this injury.
3D Printing allows dreams to come true
The first idea of the ServoFly project comes from the designer Paolo Picchi, of 4D-Outpost, who, in collaboration with Alberto Tacconelli and Valeria Tirelli of Aidro srl, designed a device to adjust the throttle control bar of the engine and realized it using Additive Manufacturing technology, that offers the freedom to design innovative solutions.
With the metal 3D printers of Aidro srl, a custom-made device was produced to allow a person with disabilities to pilot a plane. Without any structural modification, the aircraft cockpit was integrated with a “plug-and-fly” flight control system, made of aluminum using powder-bed laser fusion technology (LPBF or SLM). This tool was named “ServoFly T4/1“, and allows Mattia to fly an ultra-light aircraft with only one hand.
The electronic system was developed by Tecno Elettra Impianti S.r.l., one of the leading Italian companies in electrical wiring.
The mechanical tests were carried out by AeroClub experts from the Fano (italy) airport and Mattia’s training was followed by the Eagles Aviation Academy instructors