Technology and Expertise in Aerospace HIL Testing

OPAL-RT’s first real-time simulator customer came from the aerospace field. Nearly two decades later, the company has developed top-level technical and commercial relationships with the industry’s most innovative players. OPAL-RT has succeeded in integrating the entire aerospace project management structure into its leading-edge processes, becoming a prime partner for the HIL testing in the Aerospace and Defence industries.

OPAL-RT’s turnkey test benches use purpose-built I/Os and communications protocols specifically designed to address the precise requirements of real-time verification, validation, and certification of aerospace control systems.  They have been validated through hundreds of hours of proof-testing. OPAL-RT systems are in continuous service around the globe, with consistent and reliable testing for any type of Line-Replaceable Unit (LRU) involved in commercial or defence aircraft, as well as complete iron bird configuration.

Features and Benefits

Flexible Turnkey Test Benches

OPAL-RT’s turnkey test bench solutions provide validation and verification for the most complex and sophisticated onboard controllers in the aerospace industry. Years of research and development have resulted in the most affordable, customizable and scalable solutions for APU control, air management system control, FADEC, and more.

Future-Ready Systems

OPAL-RT’s technologies, protocols and algorithms specifically developed for onboard power systems, together with masterful integration with SimScape Power System for real-time applications, make the company the right choice for testing and validation tools for today’s more electrical aircraft (MEA).

Aerospace HIL Testing Success Story Electrifying Flight

Success Story

On December 10, 2019, electric motor manufacturer magniX and Harbour Air Seaplanes made history in Vancouver with the first commercial electric airplane flight test. The historic seaplane consisted of a modified de Havilland DHC-2 Beaver, powered by a 560kW electric propulsion system from magniX. On May 28, 2020, less than six months after the historic eBeaver flight, magniX built on their earlier success, this time test flying an electrically-propelled Cessna 208B Grand Caravan, a considerably larger plane than the DHC-2.

Learn how magniX used an OPAL-RT real-time simulator for both the eBeaver and eCaravan projects to rapidly test the electric propulsion controller software in preparation for the test flights. Both motor and inverter hardware were simulated, so that the control software running on the prototype controller module could be integrated and validated.

OPAL-RT’s Key Aerospace Products

Learn more about how OPAL-RT products and tools can help accelerate the validation of prototypes, reduce development time, and decrease the overall time-to-market of new technologies in the aerospace sector.

Turnkey Test Benches

OPAL-RT’s Turnkey Test Benches are tailor-made for the most demanding aerospace applications. Coaching services in HIL technology and project management are also available. Download handout >


RT-LAB is an advanced simulation control platform capable of converting the most complete and demanding Simulink aerospace models.

Aerospace Protocols

OPAL-RT provides a comprehensive collection of communication protocols specifically designed for Aerospace and Defence HIL applications.

Aerospace HIL Testing - Real-time simulation of MEA

Onboard Power Systems

Real-time simulation of MEA has been used to ensure compliance with a wide variety of avionics test standards. Read more about using real-time simulation on the Bombardier Global Express for Avionics standard validation.  

Customer Success Stories

The Department of National Defence Canada has given OPAL-RT the mandate to develop simulation technologies that will enhance their Warfare simulation capabilities and subsequently deliver systems, which integrate the developed technologies.

Liebherr selected OPAL-RT’s Real-Time simulator to test and validate the integrated air management system control and the test integration with the avionics. More than 5 different Liebherr air management programs are currently using OPAL-RT’s simulators for tests and validation all around the world.

The development of the EMB-170 Jet has benefited from an expanded modeling and simulation capability provided by OPAL-RT. OPAL-RT’s unique expertise allowed EMBRAER to accelerate product development time by matching the structure of the Simulink model and flight test data.

Related Resources