In the realm of aviation, maintaining control and stability are paramount for safe and efficient flight. One essential instrument that aids pilots in achieving this is the turn coordinator. Acting as a gyroscopic aircraft instrument, the turn coordinator provides crucial information about the aircraft's turning behavior and helps pilots avoid slips and skids. In this article, we will delve into why turn coordinators are employed and how they can be effectively used to enhance flight precision.
There are a few common devices used to measure the temperature of different aircraft sections like the engine and cabin. An electrical resistance thermometer (ERT) is one such type of device, and it works on the principle of measuring resistance to a flow of electricity. ERTs are useful because they are highly sensitive, but they cannot withstand extreme temperatures. In contrast, thermocouples operate on a similar principle, but are able to work in a wider temperature range. As such, thermocouples are very often used in aircraft where temperatures can reach very high, like in the engine, as well as below freezing, like at high altitudes. Consequently, it is important to understand how these crucial components function on aircraft..
In the mid 1900s, aircraft cockpits were not equipped with electronic instrumentation and display systems. Apart from such advanced technology not existing, air transport operations did not necessitate modern systems like electronic flight displays. That being said, pilots often struggled to simultaneously manage hundreds of instruments during flight. These instruments would be displayed as gauges across the cockpit and were incredibly difficult to interpret during night flights because of the lack of illuminated components.
Resistors are passive two-terminal electrical components that incorporate electrical resistance as their circuit element. In electronic circuits, resistors are intended to reduce current flow, adjust signal levels, and divide voltages, among other tasks. There are a wide range of resistors, two of which include a potentiometer and a trimpot.
Wireless technology has greatly impacted how we can take advantage of devices, allowing for more portability without the need for a constant connection with a wall plug. Despite this, many wireless electronic devices operate on battery power, meaning that if they are not using a battery type that is directly replaceable, they will need to have their energy replenished on a regular basis by connecting them to an outlet. To do this, one will typically use a charger or adapter, both of which can supply power to a device. While chargers and adapters have a similar appearance and general role, their actual functionalities differ. While chargers charge devices such as batteries or supercapacitors that store energy, adapters supply power directly to a device such as a laptop. To help you better understand this difference, we will briefly discuss chargers and adapters in this piece.
Solenoid valves are units which can be used to control the flow of a liquid or gas through a pipeline. These valves are built to respond to electrical current, allowing engineers to control the flow automatically or from a distance. Used in nearly every industry, from air conditioning systems to oil refineries, solenoid valves allow for more control without the need to manually operate a valve.
The exhaust within aircraft has a major influence on the power, fuel efficiency, and performance of aircraft. As such, any plane owner should never compromise on the design, quality, and maintenance of the exhaust system. With this in mind, if you would like to increase the efficiency of your aircraft, you must tune your exhaust system. In aircraft piston engines, tuned exhaust systems improve overall operability. To better understand the function of exhaust systems, we must also cover the difference between a traditional and tuned engine.
Compressor blades are high-precision engineering components used in engines and turbines to generate the power that propels an aircraft forward. The rotating blades on the compressor disc add more density and pressure to intake air while decreasing its volume as it moves through the engine, thus generating the required energy for propulsion. The aerodynamic efficiency that compressor blades can provide is attributed primarily to their design, thickness, and precise blade alignment. Since the efficiency of both engines and aircraft is principally dependent on compressor performance, it is imperative to learn about their impact on the modern aviation industry.
Various types of connectors are required for the complex electrical systems of aircraft, such as RF (Radio Frequency) connectors, among others. Designed primarily for accommodating cables, RF connectors are electrical connectors that serve to carry radio frequencies, and they are commonly used in the telecommunications industry, aerospace communications, and more. In this blog, we will provide a brief overview of RF connectors and their common applications, allowing you to have a better understanding of such parts.
Ground support equipment is crucial for conducting various operations on a runway or around an airport, and there are various systems and apparatuses that perform different roles. Aircraft jacks are a staple of ground operations, allowing for operators to conduct inspections and repairs with ease. As aircraft jacks come in four different styles, each of which vary in their capabilities and compatibility with aircraft, it can be useful to have a basic understanding of the most common options and how they work.
Within the aviation realm, aircraft fuel gauges are instruments used to indicate the amount of fuel in a fuel tank. Such information is critical for the aircrew to acquire, allowing them to carry out standard flight operations with ease. As running out of fuel is the leading cause of engine failure, ensuring that fuel levels are accurately measured is critical.
Modern printed circuit boards (PCBs) implement several unique technologies to increase their performance and capabilities. One part of the PCB market that is rapidly developing is the use of radio frequency (RF) technology. With many well-known manufacturers scurrying to produce the best-in-class RF PCBs, their demand will likely continue to grow. In this blog, we will discuss what RF technology is and how it is being implemented on modern PCBs.
The exhaust system is a standard part of combustion engines, allowing for spent gasses to be expelled from the aircraft for the means of safety. Alongside preventing hazards such as carbon monoxide poisoning and the outbreak of fires, the expulsion of exhaust gas also has the potential benefit of increasing engine performance. In this blog, we will discuss the functionality of the aircraft exhaust system, allowing you to better understand the benefits that they bring to the engine.
There are a myriad of components and parts that are typically used in the aviation industry that are needed for the optimal functionality of aircraft. As the aviation industry is responsible for transporting millions of passengers from destination to destination each year, superior quality aircraft components are paramount. Aircraft are uniquely engineered to prioritize passenger safety and their parts are crafted to meet certain industry standards and operations.
Distance measuring equipment (DME) is radio navigation technology that gives you precise distance from a station, similar to GPS. This system is composed of aircraft-installed and ground-based equipment. The ground-based equipment consists of a VHF omnidirectional radio range (VOR), or in some instances, an instrument landing system (ILS). The DME is an integral part of standard aircraft safety operations, allowing pilots to safely descend and ascend. With this in mind, this blog will cover the DME’s importance in the aviation industry.
The architecture that allows an airplane to fly is an incredible feat of engineering and involves thousands of individual components working together in unison. An easily overlooked but vital component on the wings of the aircraft is the flaps. This article will discuss what the flaps are and their function during the different phases of a flight.
Bleed air is compressed air that is routed from the compressor stage of an aircraft gas turbine engine, taken prior to the fuel mixing and combustion process. Bleed air is important for a variety of operations, ranging in use from the heating of airframes for preventing the formation of ice to the pressurization of cabins for passenger safety and comfort. As a crucial aspect of many aircraft, having a basic understanding of the bleed air system, its functionality, and uses can be very beneficial.
The cockpit and cabin of an aircraft are two crucial parts of a standard commercial airliner, each of which plays an important role in typical flights. The cockpit, or flight deck, is the section of the aircraft in which pilots manage all aspects of an operation. Typically, the cockpit is placed at the front-end of the fuselage. The cabin, meanwhile, is the section of the fuselage where passengers travel, often being divided into various cabin sections containing seating, entertainment systems, and much more. In order to better understand the cabin and flight deck of an aircraft, we will discuss the common parts and systems present within each.
Oxygen comprises twenty-one percent of the air we breathe, but as you ascend into the atmosphere, air pressure and oxygen density decreases. This makes it difficult for your lungs to inhale an adequate amount of oxygen, posing various risks to humans. When it comes to constructing aircraft, many factors need to be considered. This includes the operating elevation of the vehicle and which oxygen system would best support its crew and passengers. Critical to the role of sustaining life at high altitudes, pressurized oxygen systems are implemented to supply those aboard an aircraft with sufficient breathable air. Within this blog, we will discuss the primary types of oxygen systems that are used for aircraft at various altitudes and how they each function.
Electromechanical switches are important elements of many systems, allowing for a user to actuate certain processes through the control of contacts. While coming in the form of diverse switch types, electromechanical switches are notable for their use of electromechanical operations to make, break, and change the routing of current within a circuit. As electromechanical switches may range in use from the buttons of calculators to the management systems of large industrial machinery, recognizing the common types and their uses can be beneficial when designing or repairing a system.
Bearings are mechanical components that are present within countless applications in order to mitigate the friction between moving parts as well as restrict motion to specific movements. As components that are paramount to the efficient functionality of machinery and equipment, bearings can come in a variety of forms to accommodate different needs. There are multiple ways in which bearing types are classified, often being based on whether they are radial or thrust types, their body type, the number of rows they have for rolling elements, whether parts can be separated, and more. In order to make the search for the right fit easier, we will provide a brief overview of the most common bearing types that are used for many applications.
Motor controllers and drives are electrical or electronic devices that regulate the speed, torque, and position outputs of a motor. There are four basic types of motor controller and drives, each with an input power modified to the desired output function of its intended applications. The four types are AC, DC, servo, and stepper. In this blog, we will discuss each one and its unique characteristics.
An electrical connector is an electromechanical device used to join wires, cables or other components of an electrical circuit. The connector serves to create a continuous path for the electric current to flow throughout the connection or circuit. Electrical connectors come with either a male-end plug or female-end jack and, based on your needs, can form a permanent or temporary connection. Connectors help facilitate the manufacturing, assembly, and installation of electrical devices by minimizing labor, time, and effort, and are used in electronic devices, household appliances, telecommunication equipment, industrial machinery, computers, and automobiles. In this blog, we will discuss the basic composition of connectors and their important features.
Electrical connectors are electromechanical devices used to join two or more electrical conductors to complete an electrical circuit. Most electrical connectors are gendered, meaning they feature a male component (plug) or a female component (socket) that combine to form a temporary or permanent connection. Connectors have a broad scope of uses, and therefore come in many types. This blog will cover some of the most common connector types.
For a computer to provide the various capabilities and uses that we rely on in our day-to-day lives, they require different forms of memory. Regarding electronic applications, memory refers to any device that may store data and information for a computer system to use. Computer memory also ranges in its form and application, as memory and data storage may be volatile or non-volatile in its operation and use. Due to the immense importance that computers now serve in modern societies, having a general understanding of the common types of computer memory devices that are used can be useful for anyone operating or owning such systems.
A valve is a mechanical or electromechanical device used to control the movement of liquids, gases, powders, and more, through pipes or tubes or from tanks or other containers. In most applications, valves rely on a plate, ball, diaphragm, or some other type or mechanical barrier that can be inserted to or removed from the flow stream of the material flowing through. Some valves are strictly of the on/off variety, while others allow the user to control the flow rate of the media traveling through it. The type of material a valve is made from also plays an important role in distinguishing valves and ensuring the compatibility of the wetted parts of the valve with the fluid passing through it. Furthermore, sizing is determined by the pipe or tubing diameter, flow rate, and in pipeline valves being installed as replacements, the width between flanges.
In the aircraft construction and repair industry, fasteners are critical tools needed to assemble detailed parts and combine them with other parts to form assemblies. These assemblies are in turn combined to form installations which eventually make up a complete aircraft. Fasteners are found throughout all parts of an aircraft. For instance, there are approximately six million parts used to fabricate a Boeing 747, over half of which are fasteners. Fasteners are used to connect parts in primary and secondary structural areas, pressurized and unpressurized applications, as well as to transfer loads from one part to another in production and repair applications. This blog will provide a thorough look at aircraft fasteners and their uses, types, codes, designs, and more.
When owning or operating a private aircraft, it is crucial that one has easy access to storage, fueling, inspection, maintenance, and other services to ensure that their aircraft are well taken care of. While airports and major MRO service providers serve well for commercial aircraft, private aircraft operators often rely on fixed base operators (FBO). Fixed base operators are organizations that provide a variety of aeronautical services to customers across the globe, and they are widely used by private jet owners, passengers, and operators.
A wing is a type of fin used to produce lift while moving through air or another type of fluid. Wings feature streamlined cross-sections that are subject to aerodynamic forces and act as airfoils. The aerodynamic efficiency of a wing is expressed through its lift-to-drag-ratio. The lift generated by a wing at a given angle of attack can be one to two orders of magnitude larger than the total drag on the wing. If a wing produces a high lift-to-drag ratio, a significantly smaller amount of thrust is required to propel the wings through the air at sufficient lift.
The USB drive is a very popular device that is used in everyday work life, even for those working outside of a typical nine to five office administrative job. While many people know how to use a USB drive, not many people are aware of how the USB drive functions. To fully understand, it’s best to start from the beginning. The USB drive stands for universal serial bus, and has been an industry standard since it was first adopted in the mid 1990s.
A propulsion system is an apparatus that converts mechanical power into a propulsive force, pushing or pulling an object to drive it forward. Within the realm of aerospace, the aircraft propulsion system often consists of an aircraft engine to produce thrust, allowing it to achieve sustained, heavier-than-air flight. Depending on the type of aircraft, various propulsion systems may be implemented to achieve flight, and each utilizes varying components and properties for their operation. In this blog, we will discuss two of the most common propulsion system types, as well as some of their various subtypes.
Within the realm of aviation, aircraft tugs and safety equipment are extremely beneficial for flight operations, allowing for aircraft of all sizes to be safely moved around a runway. While many aircraft have the ability of moving themselves backwards through the use of reverse thrust, this poses a number of logistical problems and dangers. With the power produced from thrust, gateways could be damaged, surrounding personnel harmed, and engines may be damaged from debris that is sucked in. Because of this, tugs are widely used for aircraft ranging from light personal planes to jumbo airliners.
A filter element is the central component of any filter, where the actual process of filtration takes place. Generally speaking, filter elements are divided into two classes: surface and depth. Surface filters are made from closely woven fabric or treated paper and feature uniform pore sizes. Fluid flows through the pores of the filter while debris and contaminants are stopped at the filter surface. Surface filters are designed to prevent the passage of a high percentage of solids of a given size.
Ruthenium is a chemical element from the periodic cable, existing in the form of a rare transition metal that belongs to the platinum group. Ruthenium is considered chemically inert, meaning that it does not undergo any reactions when it comes into contact with most chemicals, whether in nature or during the manufacturing process. While tarnish may not result from ruthenium being in a room temperature environment, it may be explosive from oxidation, and may be attacked by hydroxides and halogenics. Ruthenium was discovered in Kazan, Russia in 1844, and it is most often found as a part of platinum ores. Ruthenium may present use across a variety of applications ranging from benefitting chemical process catalysts to combining with platinum and palladium to manufacture electrical contacts. They are also very useful for a number of aerospace and aircraft manufacturing, due in part to their high melting point and robustness among other properties.
A CAGE code, or Commercial and Government Entity code, is a unique 5 character alphanumeric code that can be given to a business as a unique identifier. CAGE codes are important as they are the way that an entity is able to do business with the United States government and identify themselves. In this blog, we will discuss the various facets of CAGE codes and why they are important for an entity to have.
Aircraft cabin air systems are key in the reduction of dust, fibers, bacteria, and other microorganisms that would otherwise be present in an aircraft fuselage. They also play an important role in the simple act of breathing itself. At 35,000 feet, a fairly average cruising altitude, air pressure is low enough that even breathing pure oxygen would not provide your body with a sufficient amount of air. For this reason, all airline cabins are pressurized and require an intricate air system to pump in breathable air for passengers and all others aboard.
In our modern society, electricity has become nothing less than a necessity for both the functionality of our businesses and our homes. Nevertheless, electricity can still be somewhat unpredictable and needs to have protections put in place so that accidents, risks, and dangers can be avoided. Within a majority of homes and businesses, there are a variety of systems that have been put in place to further this containment and protection. The most common form, the circuit breaker, is a device that everyone should be familiar with for the safety of their building, home, or even apartment.
Mil-spec, sometimes referred to as MIL-STD, refers to any component that the U.S. Department of Defense utilizes for their military equipment. These mil-spec parts are components that have been manufactured to meet comprehensive requirements that have been set out by the Department of Defense in an effort to create standardization and interchangeability of parts. Mil-spec components are often denoted by a prefix (i.e. AN, MS, NAS, or NASM) before a part number.
All aircraft engines require regular maintenance to ensure safe and healthy performance, and proper maintenance requires having the proper tools. If you have a turboprop engine like a Pratt and Whitney PT6A, this list of essential tools will help you keep it running healthy for its full lifespan.
Powered aircraft obviously require fuel to achieve flight, and these systems must be both safe and efficient in how they transfer fuel from the tanks to the engines. The design and complexity of these systems, however, largely depends on the aircraft itself, with the size and layout being the most critical factors. A high-wing aircraft will use a different fuel system from a low-wing aircraft, for instance, and engines with carburetors will have different requirements compared to those with fuel injection.
Computer memory can be an overwhelming topic especially when faced with the seemingly never-ending list of acronyms such as RAM, ROM, DRAM, SRAM, DDR, SDRAM etc. The easiest way to decide which computer memory is right for you, is to think about your own basic requirements. For most, the basic considerations are the standard of memory, the capabilities of their computer’s motherboard, and the speed of memory they require.
No matter their design or model, all aircraft require airplane fuel to achieve flight. This makes fuel an extreme necessity, but the price of fuel is not a fixed point. Prices increased twenty two percent over the course of 2018 and accounted for 20% of air companies overall operating cost. Airlines can do their best to avoid these hefty prices by becoming more fuel efficient. However, there needs to be a balance between fuel economy and consistent on-time operations.
One way to maximize the lifespan of hydraulic components is the ensure the internal sliding parts are sufficiently lubricated to minimize friction and corrosion. Due to the cost of repair or maintenance, some parts are considered more vital to the overall functioning more so than others; pumps and valves are critical components. Hydraulic fluids serve multiple purposes. The major function is to provide energy transmission throughout the system which enables motion to be accomplished; however, hydraulic fluids are also responsible for lubrication, heat transfer, and contamination control. Which type of lubricant you decide to use is significant as well.
Propellants are used in the production of pressurized gas or energy. The gas or energy is then used to propel a vehicle, projectile, or other objects. The most common propellant is fuel, whether it be gasoline, jet fuel, rocket fuel, etc. When propellants are decomposed or burned, they release the propellant gas. Some propellants are liquids that can be vaporized. Propellant gas, or exhaust, propels object forward by using a chemical reaction or combustion which increases its pressure.
The colors and symbols used on an aircraft are instantly recognizable. At this moment, even mentioning the name of American Airlines, Mango Airlines, or Southwest airlines brings an assortment of imagery and colors to my mind. The design elements on an aircraft can take an airliner from common to iconic in an instant. As such, when making the decision whether to use paint, polish, or both, airliners must consider marketing, maintenance, and overall cost.
Corrosion and oxidation of metals into rust can result in the complete destruction of aircraft parts. Rust and corrosion inside of an aircraft’s engine can means disaster for the longevity and life of an aircraft. A key perpetrator for the corrosion of engines is the accumulation of water. Water is an essential reactant in the chemical reaction for the oxidation of metals into rust. It was falsely believed that water enters the engine, and thus furthering the corrosion of an engine, as a result of using the engine preheaters. Corrosion and rusting are created through a series of chemical reactions that aircraft engines are especially prone to.
There are many ways to have accident in aviation; even the smallest mistakes can lead to disastrous results. So, it’s important to eliminate as many uncertainties and avoidable accidents and mistakes as possible. For example, fuel management, insufficient training and knowledge about the aircraft fuel system, lackadaisical fuel consumption awareness, and poor preflight planning are all avoidable mistakes with serious consequences.
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