If you’re in the aviation industry, you may have heard the term “shroud.” The term alone refers to an object that obscures something from view. In the aeronautical industry, there are different types of shrouds that can be utilized for different functions, such as exhaust shrouds for carbon heat and cabin heat in light planes. But in this piece, we’ll discuss briefly the definition and functions of the most commonly used shroud in aircraft.
Whether an aircraft’s cockpit utilizes a steam gauge or is a modern glass panel, the functionality and principles of the airspeed indicator mostly remains the same. Airspeed indicators are critical to the operation of a flight, enabling pilots to maintain safe operating speeds through speed measurements. In this article, we will discuss how airspeed indicators function and how readings are made.
For aircraft construction, bearings and seals are almost always utilized in rotating or rolling components. Bearings are utilized to constrain movement to specific motions and axes, and work to reduce the friction between moving components. Bearings can also work to disperse stress of the component loads. Seals on the other hand, help prevent contamination, such as dirt, from entering the bearing gaps, as well as encases bearing lubricant inside. So what are some examples of the types of bearings and seals that can be used?
Turbojet engines are truly fascinating pieces of machinery. An array of tiny, individual pieces combine to form something greater than the sum of its parts. While it would be irresponsible to imply that they are simple machines, when you break down a turbojet engine, they are surprisingly easy to understand. Turbojet engines consist of just five primary components. These are the intake, compressor, combustion chamber, turbine, and exhaust.
How does an aircraft maintain stability? What instruments and equipment are crucial for performing a controlled flight? These questions can be answered with a few pieces of technological equipment: the pitot-static system, airspeed indicator, and vertical speed indicator. These components are capable of providing the aircraft airspeed, altitude, and Mach number of a plane in flight, and relay this information to the pilots in the cockpit. Each one contributes to the overall safety and proper functioning of an aircraft.
For all their complexity, the principles that guide an aircraft’s design are fairly simple to understand. All aircraft, no matter how esoteric they may seem, are designed around three basic principles: lift, thrust, and control.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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