/Aircraft Electrical Systems
   /Electrical Systems

Vertical Power

Power Distribution System

Most aircraft require some form of electrical power to operate navigation-, taxi-, landing-, strobe lights, one or more COM and NAV radio's, transponder, intercom and other advanced electronic system of your choice.

The electrical system consist of a battery and an alternator (you will find a generator on older type aircraft) to power the system and recharge the battery. You will also find fuses and switches and lights for indication purposes. A volt and/or ammeter is used for monitoring.

Connecting the battery, alternator, starter motor and relays with their switches is usually done with discrete components, wiring and fuses. But its 2020+ and with solid state components its nowadays possible to build an electronic 'black box' controlling these parts and have a modern, compact and reliable solution.

Astronics Vertical Power

Vertical Power (est. 2006 in Albuquerque, NM) produced electronic circuit breakers for experimental and LSA aircraft, released their VP-X product in 2010. They were acquired by Astronics (1968) in 2013 and continued to develop the Primary Power System (PPS) in 2019.

The system consists basically of two (2) modules: the PPS and either the VP-X Pro or VP-X Sport. With this system your aircraft wiring is substantially simplified and your panel cleared from all those fuses / circuit breakers.


Vertical Power VP-XVertical Power VP-X

The heart of the system. A micro-processor controlled device able to distribute power to all connected loads in the aircraft. It replaces the traditional power bus (mostly a copper bar connected to switches and circuit breakers) with automatic breakers of several sizes, system monitoring is also provided. You will still have switches (off course) to control your radio's, lights, EFIS and what ever you desire or need in your aircraft.

Pro / Sport

The VP-X is available in two versions: the Pro model has among other things more current capability and an extra processor on board, compared to the Sport model. See the full feature comparison on the Vertical Power website.


Vertical Power PPSVertical Power PPS

The PPS is a new power distribution component that handles your aircraft's high-current power. It controls the flow of power from the battery to the starter and supplies power to the Vertical Power VP-X (or a traditional bus) for your electrical system loads. The PPS also supports the charging circuit by completing the B-lead connection to the alternator (a basic system diagram is provided below).


This schematic shows exactly where and how the PPS and VP-X fits into your electrical system.

Vertical Power Overview

As you can see, this simplifies and makes the system easier to maintain and build. For more detailed information we refer you to the website of Vertical Power.

We also have a detailed document from VPS on how to avoid the most common wiring mistakes people make when building and installing electrical systems, click the next link on aircraft wiring mistakes.

Company information

Astronics Corporation can be contacted at the following addresses:

Astronics (The home of Vertical Power Products)
12950 Willows Road NE
Kirkland, WA 98034 USA
+1 425 328 1658
[email protected]

Text and images used with permission (pending) of Astronics.

Written by EAI.

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