In order to properly and safely operate an aircraft for flight, pilots rely on a number of systems and components such as brakes, landing gear, flight control surfaces, cargo doors, and much more. Oftentimes, these systems can be large, heavy, and extremely difficult to operate manually or mechanically, thus they require a system to efficiently operate them for the ease of the pilot. In most modern aircraft, the hydraulic system is what is used to drive machinery and systems, utilizing hydraulic fluid and mechanical components for operation.
Hydraulic fluid is extremely useful for actuation due to its incompressible characteristics, allowing for pressure to be exerted throughout the hydraulic system equally. As a result, hydraulic systems are highly reliable for their operations and capabilities as compared to their alternatives. While hydraulic systems may vary in complexity as the size and application of the aircraft changes, there are still basic components that are found in every system to provide standard functionality. With pumps, pressure can be created within the hydraulic system, as well as transported to where it needs to be for control actuation. At the site of each hydraulic system or flight surface, an actuating cylinder is installed so that an operation can be carried out according to the control inputs of the pilot. To maintain the correct pressure needed for actuation, a pressure relief valve regulates fluids, protecting systems from an excess of pressure. Additionally, a heat exchanger is also used throughout the system, adjusting the temperature of fluid to provide the proper heat needed for efficiency. With a reservoir assembly, fluids for the hydraulic system can be stored, ensuring that a reserve is ready to replenish any fluids that may be lost through evaporation or leaking. While these components each provide the basics of the hydraulic system, more complex aircraft designs may implement various subsystems in order to perform all needed tasks.
As stated before, the benefits of hydraulic fluid lies in the fact that it is almost entirely incompressible. When a pilot needs to operate a specific system or flight surface, they activate a control or switch which causes the pump to begin pressurizing the system. With this pressure, the actuating cylinder transfers the movement to the control surface or system, causing it to move or operate as needed. When the pilot needs to reverse the movement, pressure is released from the actuating cylinder, causing it to return to its previous state. Due to how hydraulic systems function, responses to inputs are conducted very rapidly and smoothly, allowing for precise control of the aircraft. As compared to alternatives of the hydraulic system, such as pneumatic systems, hydraulics are not affected by pressure and climate change, preventing operations from being impacted by atmospheric changes.
While the hydraulic system and its components are highly reliable, they still require periodic inspection and maintenance to ensure their functionality and the safety of the aircraft. When conducting maintenance procedures, one should always ensure that there are no blockages, leaks, or other issues that may cause a loss of pressure or the inability to actuate controls. When such problems arise, affected components should be immediately repaired or replaced before continued operation of the aircraft.
At ASAP Parts Services, we can help customers obtain all of the hydraulic components that they need to carry out their operations, including those such as reservoir assembly parts, heat exchanger components, pressure relief valves, and much more. ASAP Parts Services is a premier online distributor of aircraft parts, providing our customers access to over 2 billion new, used, and obsolete components. We invite you to explore our robust part catalogues at your leisure, and you may begin the purchasing process at any time by simply filling out and submitting a Request for Quote form as provided through our website.
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