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.

Putting it simply, a circuit breaker is a safety device that can protect a circuit from various problems such as an overload, short circuit, or a fault. When these problems occur, the circuit breaker is able to automatically shut off the circuit so that there is little to no damage in the wire system. This also protects the building from possible fires or electrical dangers that can be caused by these overloads in the circuit.

When a circuit shuts itself off, or “breaks”, you can locate the circuit breaker panel in your building and the affected circuit will have its switch flipped to an off position. To reset the circuit breaker, all one has to do is flip the circuit back to the on position. When a circuit breaker constantly breaks or flips, there is most likely an issue in the circuit itself. This could be a variety of reasons, including having too many appliances plugged into a single outlet, dysfunctional appliance, or a damaged breaker. When you are not confident in the reasoning, you should always seek professional assistance as to not cause harm to yourself or further damage.

At Aerospace Aces, owned and operated by ASAP Semiconductor, we can help you find circuit breaker parts and steering toggles you need, new or obsolete.

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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.

Unlike commercial parts that may serve the same function, mil-spec components are held to a much higher degree regarding their physical attributes and performance capabilities. Manufacturers of mil-spec parts also have been designated by the U.S government for their allowance to produce such parts. While the rights to the design may belong to the government, various approved manufacturers can compete against each other in their production. Suppliers who have authorization to create and distribute such parts are listed on the Defense Logistics Agency’s Qualified Suppliers List for Manufacturers (QSLM). There also exists the difference in the rigorous requirements that mil-spec parts have to meet that commercial parts are exempt from, thus further separating the two.

When purchasing a mil-spec part or mil-spec fasteners, they should always come with a Certificate of Conformance (CoC) to prove that they meet the requirements set out to qualify their standard. If there is not a CoC available, there should be another form of record to ensure that the part has been manufactured to specific guidelines to qualify as a mil-spec component. The Defense Logistics Agency has various handbooks and guides that they provide on their website for buyers to search for certain parts that they need, or browse catalogs.

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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.

Fuel nozzles for a turboprop need to be cleaned roughly every 200 to 400 hours, and the best way to do that is with an ultrasonic wash that can ensure the nozzle is functioning properly and that there are no problems like blockages. While cleaning, be sure to check for leaks and flow irregularities like streaking, spitting, drooling, or other patterns that can cause damage to the hot section of the engine. Flow check fixtures and pressure check fixtures fitted over the nozzle can help identify tips that need cleaning or replacing.

Borescope kits are critical for performing inspections as well, as they are far quicker (and less expensive) than trying to open up the engine entirely. Inserting a borescope through the exhaust duct port and power turbine stage can reveal trailing edge cracks on compressor turbine blades, for instance. A borescope kit with a guiding can easily fulfill this need, and allow for an assessment of hot section components that might not be visible from a regular ground power check or flight data collection.

Oil filter maintenance is another task that needs to be fulfilled regularly, roughly every 100 hours. Because trying to open the oil filter check valve by hand can damage the check valve seal and cause static oil leakage, you should use an oil filter puller/pusher tool to do so.

Lastly, aircraft engines need to be washed periodically to remove salt and other contaminants, the frequency of which depends on the environment the aircraft operates in. Compressor wash rigs and turbine rinse tubes are essential for this. Some engines have a wash ring installed around the air intake, so all that needs to be done is to connect the compressor wash rig and start pumping water. After the compressor wash, the turbine rinse tube can be used to clean the turbine as well. For desalination, simple water will do, but you should check the water quality you are using, and make sure it is suitable for cleaning. Dirty water will simple add more problems than it solves, after all.

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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.

          High-wing aircraft with fuel tanks in each wing are a very common design. In such configurations, a simple gravity-feed system can be used to deliver fuel. In a gravity-feed system, the space above the liquid fuel within the tank is vented to maintain atmospheric pressure as the tank empties, and the two tanks are connected via valves to a selector. This selector can change the flow of fuel, shutting off from one tank or the other, closing both, or opening both.

Low and mid-wing aircraft cannot use gravity-feed systems, as the fuel tanks are located at the same level or below the engines. Therefore, pumps are used to move fuel from the tanks to the engine or engines. In a pump-feed system, fuel tanks are not connected to each other.

           Some high-wing high-performance aircraft will use fuel injection systems rather than carburetors. Fuel injection systems spray pressurized fuel into the engine intake or directly into the cylinders.

           On larger commercial aircraft like the Boeing 777 and Airbus A320, fuel systems are far more complex. These aircraft incorporate multiple redundancy systems and more options for how fuel is drawn from various tanks throughout the fuselage and wings. They also connect to components like the auxiliary power unit (or APU), single point pressure refueling, and fuel jettison systems that are not found in smaller aircraft. These fuel tanks can carry thousands of pounds of fuel, and require venting similar to those that fuel reciprocating engines. A series of vent tubing and channels are built, connected the fuel tanks to the surge tanks, or to vent overboard in emergency circumstances.

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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.

As with new releases, computer memory generations are updated with increased memory bus and speed capabilities of the RAM module format, leading to increased performance. It is important to consider the capabilities of your motherboard. For example, if your motherboard has a DDR3 slot, it won’t work with the newer DDR4 nor the older DDR2. It is also important to remember that laptop RAM and desktop RAM are not one of the same.

Memory capacity is described in terms of “sticks” and “kits”. A stick of memory is equivalent to one module of memory. A kit of memory amounts to 2 or more modules of memory. Similar to earlier, you must consider the capabilities of your motherboard before choosing your memory capacity. If your motherboard has 2 slots, it follows that you can only install 2 modules of memory. Likewise, the GB per module limit must be taken into account. Generally speaking, you need at least 4GB of RAM to run a computer. This amount of memory is not ideal however, which is why most recommend 8GB of RAM for a new computer. .

The performance of your computer memory can be assessed in terms of speed and timing, The speed rating of your RAM module is an expression of its data transfer rate. The faster the number, the faster your computer can store and retrieve the data stored in local memory. Timing is expressed as a series of four numbers such as 8-8-8-24. Essentially, memory timing is centered around the period of latency. This is how fast the RAM module can access its own hardware. Lower latency means faster data access, therefore faster operation of your computer overall. Though it may be tempting to go for the lowest latency, you should take into account that the overall performance differences are slight.

Overall, before making any decision on memory, you should begin by researching the capabilities of your computer motherboard as this will tell you the scope that you’re working within. From there, you can choose your memory according to your speed preferences. Consider your overall usage of your computer to determine how important the various memory specifications are to you.

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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.

There are huge discrepancies between the most and least efficient airlines. The least efficient operators used fifty one percent more fuel per passenger kilometer than the most efficient operators on Trans-Atlantic paths.

The most common factors affecting airplane fuel efficiency are actually outside of the airline’s control. These include size and shape of the aircraft, age and overall efficiency of the aircraft engine, number of passengers, aircraft’s overall weight, and external factors such as wind and temperature. These may be out of the pilot or airlines hands but the small changes that can be made to fuel economy can save millions.

One method to decrease fuel loss is by flying a more efficient route. Pilots can take advantage of shortcuts and requesting takeoff and landing trajectories to save fuel. Another method is knowing the layout of the airport and requesting the best way to fly in and out, a taxi from the runway to the terminal, or flying a holding pattern will make for less fuel using time. Learning different strategies to maximize the amount of fuel onboard and minimize tardy flights is the best money saving strategy pilots can implement.

In our highly technological world, there are data analytic technologies to do the hard calculations to maximize fuel efficiency without compromising on time performance. GoDirect Flight Efficiency helps integrate these fuel efficiency motives into tips and tricks. GoDirect provides historical flight paths, information on airports, and flight plans based on winds and temperature trends that may all help save time and in return fuel. This application is an essential tool to help all pilots be proactive on fuel economy. GoDirect has helped airlines save 5% when using these tools as opposed to not.

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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.

When selecting a hydraulic lubricant, consider the viscosity, base stock, additive package, and seal compatibility. Three common hydraulic fluids are petroleum-based, water-based, and synthetic blends. Petroleum-based fluids are the most widely used in modern hydraulic systems. The properties of this fluid depend mainly on the additives used, the quality of the original crude oil, and the refining process that was performed. Additives include rust and oxidation inhibitors, anti-corrosion agents, demulsifiers, and extreme pressure agents. Petroleum-based fluids are perfect for situations that require low cost, high quality, and a readily available inventory.

Water-based fluids are typically used for fire resistant scenarios because of their high-water content. These fluids can provide suitable lubrication characteristics; however, they need to be closely supervised to avoid malfunctions. Elevated temperatures cause the water in the fluids to naturally evaporate, causing the viscosity to rise. You can add distilled water to the system to correct the imbalance of the fluid and offset any issues. When these fluids are used, be sure to check for compatibility with your pumps, filters, plumbing, fittings, and seals. Water-based fluids are bit more costly than petroleum-based fluids and have lower wear resistance.

Synthetic fluids are usually man-made and offer astounding lubrication characteristics in high pressure, high temperature environments. These advantages include fire-resistance, lower friction, a natural detergency, and thermal stability. The disadvantage to these types of fluid include being more expensive than traditional fluids, they are slightly more toxic, and are often incompatible with standard materials.

Hydraulic fluids help lubricate your hydraulic system and ensure a long lifespan. Be sure to perform regular inspections on your fluid levels to avoid costly repairs.

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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.

Exhaust may be in the form of a gas, liquid, or plasma and before the chemical reaction, it may be a solid, liquid, or gel. But most propellants are either solid or liquid because they have a useful density for storage. Aircraft most often use a high-pressure air from the compressor, mix it with fuel, and burn it in the combustion chamber to produce the exhaust.

Oxidizers are required to burn fuel. Most of the time, something may be burned with oxygen (an oxidizer) but because there isn’t any in space, they have to carry their own oxidizers. Oxygen, hydrogen peroxide, and halogens are the most common oxidizing agents. Oxidizers speed up the development and intensity of fire, cause material that cannot be burned in air easily to burn rapidly, and can cause certain materials to combust spontaneously without an obvious ignition source. Because of their innate properties, oxidizing materials need to be handled with the utmost care to prevent any severe fires or explosions. The National Fire Protection Association has classified the oxidizers chemical from Class 1- Class 4; the higher the classification, the more sensitive the material is to spontaneous combustion and increased burning rates.

Propellants are commonly associated with transportation applications; however, they are also utilized in firearms, artillery, rockets, and the least intimidating application in aerosols. No matter what their application is, they need to be handled properly and all safety procedures need to be followed to prevent the risk of fires and explosions.

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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.

An aircraft is a visible identifier for an airline. As a result, most of the decisions made about paint are based on marketing factors. While some airliners prefer bright, engaging colors and patterns, others go for the sleeker industrial look of the bare aluminum airframe. Either way, airliners want their aircraft to maintain a look that creates the perception that they are new, and therefore safe.

And this is where aircraft polish really comes into play. Polish is used on painted and unpainted aircrafts, both. Some airlines choose to keep the aluminum airframe exposed, i.e.: Cathay Airways Silver Bullet freighters. These aircraft will only utilize paint for critical aircraft fixtures, (all airlines use light grey paint to designate these features) and branding. If the aluminum airframe is unpainted and exposed to oxygen, it goes through an oxidation process. While not harmful, this process makes the aluminum look dull and weathered or even rust. In order to remedy this, an aircraft of this nature needs to be re-polished and buffed up to 3 times a year and is also washed twice as often as a painted plane to remove oxidation build up.

This brings in the element of the overall cost. Operators will need to consider overall cost due to maintenance and corrosion protection when considering what paint and polishing method to use. Both methods have different associated maintenance requirements. Most airliners repaint their aircraft every 4 years, during a scheduled C-check or D-check. Costs involved with repainting include labor, primer, aircraft wax products, and more. Painted aircraft must also be checked for cracks or chips which can collect dirt and moisture. Worm corrosion is a particular worry— hydrogen is released between the metallic surface and the paint, creating extensive lifting of a paint layer.

 If an aircraft is polished, this involves the added costs of the polish itself, mechanical buffers, more frequent washing, and labor. Areas of oxidation will also on occasion need to be buffed out to prevent further corrosion, which adds to their overall cost. Some argue that aircraft that are simply polished, and not painted at all, are more fuel efficient. This is due to the overall reduction in weight, as paint can add 300 - 600 lbs. of additional load. However, this has been debated across the aviation industry as paint has also shown to reduce drag by providing a smoother surface. Some aircraft will account for potential excess weight by not painting the underbelly of the fuselage.

 Overall, the net operating cost of polished aircraft slightly exceeds that of a painted aircraft due to the frequency of maintenance. Most airliners utilize a combination of both paint and polish methods to maintain the look and efficiency of an aircraft.

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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.

The fuel is necessary for aircraft to achieve flight consists of repeating chains of carbon and hydrogen. Combustion of these chains breaks the bonds between carbon and hydrogen, releasing the energy needed to propel the aircraft. However, byproducts of this reaction include carbon dioxide and water vapor. The presence of water and carbon dioxide leads to the oxidation of metals such as iron into rust. Water vapor created in the combustion of fuel is trapped inside of the crankcase without any exit to escape, thus filling the area that is most sensitive to damage. As temperature of the engine decreases, the water vapor condenses into liquid, coating the engine, oxidizing any metals present, and causing irreparable engine damage. It is estimated that at 98% humidity in a two cubic feet volume case, with a temperature change from 150? to 35?, there will be roughly one-quarter cup of water formed. Corrosion will happen regardless of whether or not a preheater is used. Atmospheric water is unavoidable, so in order to maintain engine health we need to take the appropriate measures.

The oil spray seems to be the only solution for this problem. Oil, which is hydrophobic by nature, repels water, thus protecting metals from corrosion. However, as an industry standard, it is accepted that oil has a very limited window for optimum effectiveness as an anti-corrosive agent. If the lubrication, as needed is not reapplied frequently, corrosion is guaranteed. One of the best and most suggested method for preventing engine damage is to recoat the engine after every flight. This can be adjusted according to the needs of the aviator. Aircrafts that fly in dry environments have less contact with water and thus would be less impacted by oxidation. Depending on the needs of the aircraft in question, different oils with varying properties like durability and effectiveness are recommended. 

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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. 

The greatest protection against failure is knowledge.  If the pilot is well aware of the workings of the fuel system, they would be able to troubleshoot any discrepancies if and when they happen.  It’s imperative that the crew, especially the pilot, fully understand the workings of the fuel system and its many intricacies such as the type of aircraft fuel used, the size of the tank, the different load capacities, and the valves used. Afterall, thorough training to help familiarize the crew with the basic parts and procedures is the best way to prepare them for any scenario.

There are a few fuel systems basics you should know.  When the engine no longer has fuel there are two possible scenarios.  Scenario one is exhaustion, when there is absolutely no fuel on board.  Scenario two is starvation, when there is fuel, but it is not being effectively transferred to the engine.  Starvation can mean that the fuel is being diverted because of a leak or closed off due to a shut valve or blockage.  If there’s an unusual spike in consumption midflight, you may be experiencing one of these two scenarios.  Diligent observation of cockpit gauges can keep you informed of how the fuel system is operating and prevent such scenarios.

Dirty fuel can also diminish the operation of your aircraft’s engine.  Contamination of particulates, can clog valves, causing abnormal readings on your cockpit instruments.  Really dirty fuel can even completely leave the engine starved of fuel.  Be sure to schedule and follow through with proper fuel inspections and adhere to a regular maintenance and repair schedule. 

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