With the increasing complexity of aircraft, the number of instrumentation systems in an aircraft is growing. Any instrumentation system helps the pilot fly the aircraft, be it with navigational information, or engine operating information.
All systems feature a back and forth relationship between a sensor and an indicator. Information is read by the sensor and is conveyed via an electric, hydraulic, or pneumatic system to the display. An analog system features both the sensor and the indicator. A pilot will need to interpret the data and make any necessary adjustments. Digital systems differ in that the display isn’t directly connected to the sensor. Digital data buses are increasingly used to manage the various electronic instrument systems in an aircraft. Wires share message carrying from many instruments by digitally encoding the signal for each. The various instruments can be classified in terms of the data they supply. Flight navigational instruments and engine instruments are two of the main classifications of instruments.
Flight instruments are located inside the cockpit of an aircraft and can be separated into two categories which are pitot-static and gyroscopic. A pitot static system utilizes the static air pressure and the dynamic pressure to the motion of the aircraft through the air. Airspeed indicators, vertical speed indicators, and altimeters are all analog systems that are connected to the pitot static system. Each of these devices rely on the pitot static system to intake air and duct it through various chambers. Without the pitot static system, these instruments would have no way to gauge changes in pressure levels in the aircraft. Three gyroscopic systems accompany the three pitot static systems in what is colloquially known as the 6-pack of instruments.
Aircraft engines are subject to numerous stresses that need to be constantly monitored by the pilot. The instruments in this category measure the operating parameters of an aircraft engine usually concerning the pressure, quantity, or temperature. Engine fuel levels and temperature are strong indicators of the health of the engine. It is no surprise therefore that various instruments such as an exhaust gas temperature gauge and oil and carburetor gauge are inserted in or around the engine.
To fully discuss the instrumentation parts and systems within an aircraft, the topic of digitization, particularly inside the cockpit, must be addressed. With advances in technology, aircraft are being fitted with glass cockpits rather than the analog instruments mentioned earlier. While this new system is praised for providing more accuracy and limiting the amount of information that a pilot must interpret, digital systems should be assessed in terms of the risk of an electrical fire.
Picture an aircraft: the wings, the tail, the cabin - visualize it flying overhead as it displays its prowess and heads for the open skies. Did the aircraft you imagined have straight wings? It is a common misconception that all aircraft wings that protrude straight out from the cabin, perpendicular from the plane itself. However, a swept wing is one that angles backwards from its root and points towards the tail of the aircraft.
Bernoulli’s principle of lift demonstrates how airflow over the top of a wing is faster than below. When an aircraft travels fast enough it can cause the airflow to become supersonic, which makes the air flow off the wing as opposed to sticking to it, lowering the amount of lift. This is called the critical Mach number. With straight wings, this speed is relatively low since all of the air flows over the wing. Swept wings utilize their shape to direct part of the airflow along the front edge of the wing, reducing the amount of air flowing over the wing. This ultimately increases the critical Mach number because less air is available to create a supersonic effect.
When a swept wing travels at high speeds, the airflow has a short amount of time to react to the oncoming force, which causes it to flow over the wing from front to back. At lower speeds, the air is able to react, and pushes the air across its length towards the wing tip. With increasing spanwise flow the boundary layers on the surface of the wing have a longer distance to travel, making them thicker and more susceptible to flow separation. The result is that wing components based towards the rear operate at increasingly higher angles of attack, creating a nose-up pressure on the aircraft. To combat this issue, a wing fence was added on the upper surface of the wing to direct the flow of air to the rear. Other modern solutions include adding leading edge slats and compound flaps. Fighter jets have added leading edge extensions that assist in maneuverability in high speed situations.
When designing high speed wings, engineers consider compressibility. This is the effect on a wing caused by passing through the speed barrier and entering different speeds. An aircraft can suffer negative effects of compressibility which leads to malfunctions. The next time you see a swept wing, consider its purpose and application.
When an aircraft designer is choosing a wing, they not only have to take into consideration the aerodynamic factors but also the cost of manufacturing, weight, and maintainability. Manufacturers have assorted budgets and design aircraft with different operating requirements, so they have to weigh the pros and cons of opposing factors. For example, a defense aircraft will focus more on speed and maneuverability, while airliners will focus more on range, comfort, and efficiency. Airliners can utilize higher aspect ratios— span divided by the mean chord— to increase lift and support higher loads; however, fighters will have lower aspect ratios to reduce drag and increase maneuverability. As such, when choosing the optimal aircraft wing, an engineer must consider a few factors such as airfoil selection, wing planform, and wing configuration.
An airfoil is the cross section of a wing— it’s what you would see if the wing was cut in half— and it affects aircraft performance. Because there is less drag when the aircraft fuselage is aligned with the wind, the wing is attached to the fuselage at a fixed effective angle of attack, otherwise known as an incident angle. The main determinant for lift is the angle of attack. Thick wings have a structural advantage because they don't require external bracing— however, both produce different forms of drag. The chord is an imaginary line connecting the leading and trailing edge of a wing. The camber of the wing defines the difference between the curvature of the upper and lower surfaces— it affects when and how a wing stalls. Positively cambered wings produce more lift before stalling and have higher load capacities, while a sharper wing produces less lift before stalling and supports lower loads. The benefit of a sharper wing is maneuverability, higher speed capacity, and less drag; as a result, they are often used for fighter aircraft.
The wing planform is what you see if you look at an aircraft from above. It's determined by wing loading, aspect ratio, sweep, taper, and twist. Wing loading is the ratio of the wing area to the weight of the plane, which determines speed capacity, runway requirements, and power requirements. Commercial aircraft have higher wing loading than a trainer. Swept wings reduce drag at high speeds and are more stable. A wing is tapered when the chord is shorter at the tip than the root— it adjusts the load and minimizes drag— but it's more complex to manufacture. Wings twist at the top because it allows the root to stall first— which helps the pilot get out of a spin before losing complete control.
Wing configuration is the view of the wing from the front of an aircraft. A dihedral is a V-shape and adds stability to the aircraft. An anhedral is the opposite, it's destabilizing and increases maneuverability. Wings can be mounted on the fuselage at a high point, low point, or right in the middle. The position is often chosen based on sightlines and cargo loading. Winglets may also be added to increase efficiency without increasing the wingspan. Increasing the span can be more complicated, add more weight, and make the wingspan too long to fit at airport gates.
Aircraft can be categorized based on a wide variety of factors; weight, size, shape, model, etc. The FAA offers class ratings which allow pilots to fly a certain group of aircraft that require similar training. There are seven categories of aircraft under the FAA’s class ratings. The different categories are airplane, rotorcraft, powered lift, glider, lighter than air, powered parachute, and weight-shift-control aircraft. One of the simplest categorizations is the difference between fixed and rotary wing aircraft.
Fixed wing aircraft generate forward thrust. Wings generate lift as the result of the aircraft’s speed and the shape of the wing. The wings are not always static, and the aircraft is not always flown by a pilot. Some examples of unmanned fixed wing aircraft include kites and gliders, and examples of manned fixed wing aircraft are an airplane and a seaplane. Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) are offered in both configurations. The airframe of a fixed wing aircraft often consists of horizontal wings, a fuselage, a vertical stabilizer, a horizontal stabilizer, and aircraft landing gear components. There are several different aircraft designs that do not include some of these components. Flying wing aircraft have no tail or definite fuselage. Blended wing bodies have wings that blend into the fuselage which produces more lift and less drag. A lifting body aircraft is the opposite of a flying wing aircraft in that it includes a fuselage that generates lift and the flying wing is basically a large wing with no fuselage.
Rotary wing aircraft generate vertical thrust. The blades of the rotor are like rotating wings. They create lift by diverting the air downwards. Examples of a rotary wing aircraft, or rotorcraft, are helicopters, autogyros, gyrodynes, and rotor kites. Helicopter rotors are driven by the engine and often require an anti-torque device. Autogyros have an engine-powered propeller to generate thrust and an unpowered rotor which is driven by autorotation. Gyrodyne rotors are powered by the engine for takeoff and landing but they use propellers that are mounted on small wings to generate forward flight. The propellers act as anti-torque devices against the rotary blades. A rotor kite is similar to a glider because it is not powered by an engine and therefore has to be dropped from another aircraft— a glider is towed. Once dropped, it then uses autorotation to keep aloft.
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Modern aircraft have many vital components that allow them to perform amazing feats. And without the aircraft landing gear, nothing would be possible. The landing gear is the structure that supports the entire aircraft when on the ground. This means it requires very strong materials. Which is surprising, considering the fact that the first airplane the Wright Brothers made didn’t have wheels, but skids, and yet they took off and landed rather easily and safely. We’ve come a long way from skids though— with pontoons to land in water and skis to land snow or icy weather.
The concept of landing gears really gained traction in the 1950s when the U.S Air Force experimented with landing gears that resembled tank tracks. These experiments were vital to the advancement of aviation technology and has paved the way for further innovations.
Typically, two types of landing gear arrangements are used. The first is the conventional undercarriage. The conventional undercarriage has two front wheels and one smaller tail wheel or skid style gear. These are usually used on older prop-powered airplanes and can be identified by the back-skid wheel. The second arrangement is the tricycle undercarriage, which is when the smaller wheel is in the front of the aircraft. This is what most modern aircraft use; it’s a very efficient and effective land gear.
There are many variations of these arrangements as landing gear technology continues to improve. They can be retractable or fixed with the retractable landing gear being commonly used than the fixed landing gear as a result of aerodynamics. There’s less drag in flight with the wheels system hidden in the undercarriage. These are especially used in modern military aircraft that require the most versatility, speed, and maneuverability.
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Microminiature connectors offer high performance and reliability with remarkable versatility on par with their “standard” counterparts. They’re used in the aerospace, computer systems, defense, medical, and network industries and come in different configurations such as rectangular, circular, and strip. ITT Cannon, a leading manufacturer of microminiature connectors, boasts the broadest selections of micro interconnect solutions, beginning with the MDM, MDM PCB, MDMH, TMDM, MJS, MIK, and MIKQ.
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Fasteners are pretty standard and common pieces of hardware, used in almost every aerospace and aviation application possible. However, because of the delicate and critical nature of these industries, sometimes fasteners, as they are, aren’t enough. Heat-treating allows manufacturers to alter fasteners in order to achieve the desired level of rigidity, smoothness, malleability, and strength to suit their client’s needs. So, it’s important to keep a few things in mind when heat-treating fasteners.
The chemistry of the elements involved in the heat-treating process is very important. For example, boron is a common hardening agent used to affect the formability and machinability, but an excess of 0.003% can ruin the fasteners strength. Paying attention to the chemistry of all the elements involved can make the difference between achieving the desired results and effectively destroying them.
Contaminants and impurities may seem trivial on something like a screw, but when it comes to mission-critical applications like aerospace and aviation, the smallest imperfection of aviation industry fasteners can be disastrous. Proper cleaning and drying is a simple way to make them last longer.
Mishandling is another thing to worry about. Mishandling can lead to damaged threads or bends in the fastener, which can also be disastrous when the fastener ends up in a mission-critical application. Any damage to the thread can cause the fastener to not be as secure as it should be. It’s easy to inspect the handling process and making sure that the fasteners are not unnecessarily jostled.
Annealing is an important part of heat-treating that allows for the formability of the steel. It’s also a step where the fastener can easily be compromised if manufacturers are not careful. Taking control of the annealing operation and making sure that all goes well can ensure that the fasteners do not end up with cracks.
Fasteners are, despite their appearances, a very critical part of a lot of applications. So, it’s important to have the right fasteners heat-treated to the right parameters. When manufacturers take control of the entire heat-treating process and do it right, their customers don’t have to worry. You also don’t have to worry when you’re in need of fasteners for your next project. We, at ASAP Part Services, owned and operated by ASAP Semiconductor, are one of the leading suppliers of fasteners and aviation components, and we can help you find the parts you need. Just email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to get started.
There are diverse types of fasteners obtainable for practical use in countless industries and they vary in dimension, longevity, robustness, pull out strength, shear capacity and numerous other factors that go into manufacturing a specific type of fastener for certain equipment. The aviation industry makes use of parts that meet the safety quality level proposed by the relevant body, and in order to position those parts firmly to endure a large amount of stress, the fasteners such as aircraft nuts and bolts are essential.
Most of the times, the majority of industries use the low-cost fasteners, while there is the precise distinctive type of nuts and bolts manufactured specifically to meet the rigorous guideline while building an aircraft. The complete price of production can go high, given the requirement of constructing a sizeable structure, which is pressure tolerant and has load-bearing characteristics.
Nuts and bolts are underestimated valuable parts due to their size, but the quantity in which they are required can result in a significant increase in the inventory cost. This can be negated by initiating workable methods within the unit, to permit the right use of the resources. Vendor Managed Inventory (VMI) is one example of this type of program which helps to manage productions cost right from the parts of the engine to the nuts and alloy steel bolts. It takes out of consideration the chance of using it in the wrong way by applying lean techniques to the whole construction process. VMI protects the whole section of the manufacturing process to decrease disruption in the supply chain by keeping an eye on every level of production, from the beginning until the end
ASAP Part Services has a dedicated and wide array of aircraft nuts & bolts, aircraft fasteners. If you are interested in a quote, please contact our friendly sales staff at email@example.com or call +1-702-919-1616
Recently, Aerospace Manufacturing made the exciting announcement that they would be able to start supplying the public with fasteners made by companies found on the Qualified Suppliers List for Manufacturers. But what is the Qualified Suppliers List for Manufacturers?
The Qualified Suppliers List for Manufacturers, known as QSLM, is a comprehensive list of esteemed manufactures that the Defense Logistics Agency, has deemed trust worthy. Having your companies name on the QSLM list is incredibly prestigious. This shows that larger companies, that have millions of dollars at stake, can trust that you will provide them with a superior product.
If a company wants to get on the QSLM they must apply for the spot. There is a long list of circumstances that a manufacturer must pass in order to secure their spot. These qualifications change depending on the product being produced, but the standards are always set extremely high.
While it can seem intimidating, it is important to have a comprehensive list of registered and approved suppliers. If any company could sell to elite organizations, there could be million-dollar projects put at risk by faulty, quickly made products. When you break down companies by dependability it is easier to see, across the board, who you should and should not be trusting with precious aircraft parts.
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An engine produced by CFM International for Boeing’s new Mid-Market Airplane (NMA) could be the growth version of the Leap series turbofan. This would imply a balance between a “derivative and a clean-sheet design,” according to David Joyce, GE Aviation chief executive. Joyce also mentions that the engine will be “bigger” and an advancement of the Leap technology by half a generation.
CFM International was founded in 1974 as a partnership between GE Aviation and Safran Aviation. The joint venture was created to produce the single-motor CFM56. GE supplied the hot section while Safran supplied low-pressure modules. The business partners furthered their relationship ten years ago to manufacture the dual-roto Leap engine, including all propulsion applications between twenty-thousand to fifty-thousand trust per engine. The engine that Boeing hopes will power the new NMA is speculated to fall within this thrust range. Joyce states that the engine will most likely be made by CFM International.
Joyce continuously maintains CFM’s claim that a new version of the Leap engine for Boeing’s NMA will not need a fan drive gear system to stay competitive on the market. Pratt and Whitney and Rolls-Royce, both rival companies, have introduced engines for the NMA that incorporates a reduction gear in the space separating the fan and the low-pressure turbine. Some airline customers have voiced their opinion of Boeing offering the NMA with two engine choices.
GE’s Aviation chief executive notes that a dual-engine program needs a big enough market that will neutralize expenses. Joyce further explains that GE needs to sharpen the company to match the size of the market before committing to a program offering two engine options. Although GE is open to two engine options, they are rejecting any ideas of a choice of three.
As Boeing continuously assess options for the new Mid-Market engine, CFM International’s focus is meeting its commitments on Airbus and Boeing for the A32neo and 737 Max families. Unfortunately, the delivery of engines is behind by six weeks for both Airbus and Boeing, but CFM has the goal of catching up by the third quarter.
ASAP Part Services, which is owned and operated by ASAP Semiconductor, is a purchasing platform for customers to find national stock number parts. The website specializes in finding connectors and aircraft fasteners. The website was created based on customer feedback and focuses on delivering a simple, easy to navigate website that offers customers to search for millions of parts.