In order to carry out their complex and demanding tasks, aircraft mechanics need general mechanical aptitude and knowledge as well as the unique skills required to do their jobs properly. Similarly, the equipment these mechanics use must also be specialized and able to perform specific and sometimes intricate repairs. Many professional mechanics have access to shop tools including drill presses and other large machines in a shop or hangar, but for basic maintenance, many mechanics are required to use their own tools. The most common tools used in aircraft maintenance are speed handles, torque wrenches, safety wire pliers, metal working tools, magnets, and mirrors. In this blog, we will discuss each of them.
Generally speaking, flight line maintenance workers do not have a lot of time to troubleshoot and repair problems. This lack of time is made even more complex by the fact that aircraft are full of service panels secured by many screws or bolts. To help with this, mechanics use speed handles. A speed handle is essentially a long screwdriver with the middle of its shaft offset. It is used as a handle that can be spun very quickly with one hand, leaving the mechanic’s other hand, or entire body, available to use for leverage. Speed handles can be equipped with sockets too.
Many types of aircraft fasteners must be installed to a specific tightness or torque. In order to reliably tighten a screw, nut, or bolt to its required torque, the mechanic uses a calibrated torque wrench. Torque wrenches are designed to be set at various torque specifications. Once the wrench tightens the fastener to the specified torque, the wrench clicks to notify the mechanic that they have reached the desired torque.
Although fasteners are torqued to strict safety specifications, methods are still employed to prevent fasteners from loosening. One of the most common methods of doing this is through the use of safety wires. Safety wire pliers spin aluminum wire into a strong braid that is used to join nuts and bolts together such that loosening of the nut or bolt would increase toughness on the strand of safety wire, thereby preventing further loosening.
Metal Working Tools
Airframe mechanics work on the actual metal structures of the aircraft. To do this, they need tools that can cut, bend, grind, and fasten metal. To install the rivets that hold aircraft skins together, drills and rivet guns are essential. Die grinders are also commonly used to cut or grind aluminum, steel, and titanium. For some tasks, mechanics also use larger, less mobile tools like electric band saws and sheet metal rollers.
Magnets & Mirrors
Finally, many mechanics carry magnets and mirrors with them in case they are needed. Small metallic parts or stray tools can cause major problems if they make their way into the engine or another critical part of the aircraft. A long, extendable magnet is extremely helpful in retrieving these items from difficult-to-access areas. Mirrors help in scenarios where mechanics don’t have a direct line of sight to the parts they are inspecting/repairing. The use of a mirror prevents the mechanic from having to install or remove parts by touch alone.
As you can see, these basic tools can help in even the most complex jobs. For aircraft repair parts of all types and much more, look no further than ASAP Part Services, a trusted supplier of parts for a wide range of industries. Owned and operated by ASAP Semiconductor, we are an online distributor of aircraft parts as well as parts pertaining to the aerospace, civil aviation, defense, electronics, and IT hardware markets. We’re always available and ready to help you find all the parts and equipment you need, 24/7-365. For a quick and competitive quote, call us at 1-702-919-1616 or email us at email@example.com.
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