One shared experience for people who’ve taken off on a plane or landed to a destination in the nighttime hours is seeing all the various lights that there are at the airport and on the runway. From flashing beams of red, yellow and other colors, the runway acts as a guideline for the pilot flying your plane. There are a total of nine different color combinations mapped out on airport runways, according to the FAA’s most up to date airfield’s Standards publications.  If you’re on your way to work in the aviation industry or are simply curious about what all these lights mean, see below for a basic outline of the different aircraft lights and their significances.

Runway Centerline Lighting and Color

The runway centerline lights are fifty feet apart and are similar to runway centerline markings in that they help aircraft perfect landings in the evening hours and prevent the vessel from floating too far. The line of runway centerline lights may be uniformly offset laterally to the same side of the physical runway centerline by a maximum of 2.5 feet. When viewed from the landing threshold, runway centerline lights are white until the last 3,000 feet. Where they start to alternate red and white for 2,000 feet and eventually solid red for the final 1,000 feet.

Approach Lighting

Approach lights can help an aircraft line up and identify at nighttime. They also help instrument pilots transition from Instrument Meteorological Conditions (IMC) to Visual Meteorological Conditions (VMC). When pilots fly with IMC and see the white approach lights, they can start their descent to 100′ above touchdown zone elevation, regardless of the kind of approach you’re flying (even if it’s a non-precision approach).

At ASAP Aviation Hub, owned and operated by ASAP Semiconductor, we can help you find all the unique parts for the aviation, civil aerospace, and defense industries. 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, email us at or call us at +1-2692644495.

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All but the most rudimentary aircraft require batteries to run their various electrical systems, such as lighting, avionics, communications equipment, and more. Batteries are mostly used in the preflight sequence before takeoff, to power the aircraft’s electrical system and start the engines and auxiliary power unit (APU). Once the aircraft is in flight, the APU will typically take over powering electrical circuits as well as recharge the batteries for the adapter emergency lighting for flight.

           Batteries universally consist of several components:

  • A voltaic cell: An electrochemical cell that derives chemical energy from spontaneous redox (reduction-oxidation) reactions taking place within the cell.
  • An anode: A positive electrode in the voltaic cell, the electrode at which oxidation reactions take place resulting in a loss of electrons.
  • A cathode: a negative electrode in a voltaic cell, at which reduction reactions take place resulting in a gain of electrons.
  • Electrolytes: chemical compounds that, when fused or dissolved in certain solvents such as water, conduct electric current. Electrolytes in a fused state or solution produce ions which conduct electrical currents.

Batteries consist of one or more voltaic cells connected in series. Each cell contains one anode and one cathode, and a conductive electrolyte solution between them. When electrodes are connected to the electrolyte, a chemical reaction called reduction-oxidation, or redox, occurs. This electromotive force within the cell produces the electrical charge used to power devices connected to the battery.

Batteries used in aviation applications are either single-use or rechargeable. Aviation batteries must have a high energy density, be lightweight and reliable, require little maintenance, and be capable of operating over a wide range of environmental conditions. Common battery types include:

  • Lead Acid: Consisting of a lead oxide anode, a lead cathode, and an electrolyte solution of sulfuric acid, these batteries have good energy storage, but are heavy and have low energy density. Lead acid batteries are often used as the main batteries in an aircraft.
  • Nickel Cadmium: These batteries feature an anode of cadmium hydroxide, a cathode of nickel hydroxide, and an electrolyte solution of potassium, sodium, and lithium hydroxides. Nickel cadmium batteries are low-maintenance, reliable, and capable of operating in a wide range of temperatures.
  • Nickel-Metal Hydride: Featuring an anode of metal alloys capable of absorbing and releasing hydrogen, a cathode of nickel hydroxide, and an electrolyte solution of lithium, sodium, and potassium hydroxides, nickel-metal hydride batteries are small-capacity and maintenance free. They require precise charge-level monitoring to control gaseous exchanges and minimize heating, and in aviation are mostly used to power emergency systems such as doors and floor escape path lighting.

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Every industry tends to have its own set of acronyms and jargon to classify specific items in their fields. The aviation and aerospace industry is no different. In this industry, there are thousands of items under thousands of classifications, with hundreds more sets of rules and certifications. By having these acronyms and classifications, people working in the industry will have a smoother process of referencing such items and regulations. Below you’ll find a brief glossary of acronyms, many of which are used to categorize the standards of parts.

AS: Aerospace Standards; Created by the Society of Automotive Engineers, many military standards for aviation parts were replaced by AS standards. 

AN: Army Navy; This refers to a specification series that started in the early 1940s as a way of standardizing military items for World War II. This method was cancelled in the 1950s, but a few items with AN standardization have survived. 

MS: Military Standard; This standard started in the 1950s and has replaced the AN hardware series. In 1994, the Secretary of Defense canceled the MS series at the request of contractors needing to financially salvage parts, and yet many of the commercial companies continue to use MS standard hardware for all their products.  The cancellation caused the aerospace community many problems, and there was a rush to create new standards to replace the MS ones. 

NAS: National Aerospace Standards; This standard was put in use starting in 1941 and is handled by aerospace company, the Aerospace Industries Association. The NAS series is best known for its state-of-the-art, high strength, precision fasteners. In addition to all types of screws, nuts, and rivets, NAS standards define high pressure hose, electrical connectors, splices and terminations, rod end bearings, and many other types of hardware and components.

NASM: There are about 500 military standards that were converted by the NAS group to commercial specifications, but still retain the original MS part number. The spec that defines the part is NASM and then the numerical portion of the MS number. An example of this is the MS20426 rivet spec which went to NASM 20426, but part number stayed MS20426. 

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The U.S. National Hurricane Center recognizes hurricane season as June 1st to November 30th. With the season spanning half of the year, it’s important for aircraft owners to know how to protect their inventory. Unpredictable weather can wreak detrimental havoc with little warning, but having a hurricane plan at the ready can limit damage or eliminate it altogether. Here are a few ways you can prepare your aircraft for a hurricane:


Assuming your aircraft is airworthy, the best way to guarantee your plane’s safety is to take it to another airport outside of the endangered area. If you choose this option, you’ll want to get in touch with the airport as soon as possible. There will be many other aircraft owners with the same plan and acting immediately will ensure there is a spot for you. It might also be a good idea to contact an evacuation pilot in the event that the weather is too extreme for you to fly in.


If you don’t typically store your aircraft in a hangar, it would be wise to find one to keep your aircraft in while you wait out the storm. Remember to consider the state of the hangar before leaving your plane there. If the hangar isn't strong or well-built you risk it collapsing on your aircraft during the storm, causing much more damage than the hurricane would.

Tie Down

Keep in mind that this option is to be used only as a last resort. You should only employ this tactic if your plane is not airworthy. If tying down your aircraft is the best option available, here are some ways you can protect it from damage caused by the hurricane:

  • Your first action should be to speak with your FBO (Fixed Base Operator). They will most likely have hurricane procedures prepared.
  • If given an option, tie down your aircraft upwind from other aircraft. Be aware that hurricanes are unpredictable and wind directions can change rapidly.
  • Beware of Foreign Object Debris (FOD). The tiniest of FOD can be very dangerous to aircraft during a storm. Scan your aircraft’s surrounding area and remove anything that could become a projectile.
  • Set the parking brake and chock & deflate your tires. These might not seem like significant precautions, but could ultimately prevent major damage.

While some of these options are better than others, any of them can protect your aircraft in a hurricane. No matter what option you select, the most important thing is to act quickly. Hurricanes are near impossible to predict and giving yourself time to prepare will minimize damage. We at ASAP Aviation Hub believe in taking the utmost care of your aircraft. Carrying a variety of aircraft parts and components, we are a comprehensive purchasing platform designed to streamline your experience. To learn more, visit our site at or each out to us at (269)264-4495 and

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Aircraft and airports come equipped with a myriad of lights that are designed to perform different functions, whether it be navigation, safety, improving visibility, or signaling, the lights on an aircraft are essential to its communications. An aircraft’s external lighting includes navigation lights, anti-collision lights, landing lights, taxi lights, and wing lights.

Navigation lights signal your location and relative direction of travel to other aircraft flying close by. When another pilot sees a green light, they know that the other aircraft is flying in front of them and to the right. A red light also signifies that the other aircraft is located in front of them, but they are flying to the left. If a pilot sees white lights, that signifies being behind the aircraft. Navigation lights must be utilized between sunset and sunrise, during all hours within that window. Poor weather is another condition that requires the pilot to turn on the navigation lights.

Anti-collision lights come in two variations: red beacons and white strobes. These are mandatory to use at night and recommended to use during the day. The red beacon is a warning to other pilots that the engine will soon be activated. High intensity white strobes serve the purpose of increasing a plane’s visibility. These lights can adversely affect another pilot’s vision, so they should only be used when entering and exiting the runway.

Landing lights are used to illuminate runways. These are high powered lights that increase aircraft visibility and improve safety. They typically generate a substantial amount of heat and are easily damaged; using them for prolonged periods of time can shorten their longevity. A commercial pilot typically activates the landing lights on takeoff and when they are preparing to land (below 10,000 feet).

Taxi lights share a strong similarity to landing lights, minus the power requirement. When a plane is maneuvering through an airport, the taxi lights should always be illuminated. Some smaller planes are constructed with a single landing light, which doubles as a taxi light. Runway turnoff lights support the functions of taxi lights in that they illuminate runway turnoffs. On departure, they’re used for taxiing. On arrival, they’re turned on to supplement the landing lights.

Wing lights are designed to outline the edges of each wing. Some airports require them to be turned on when pilots are entering the runway for better visibility of the plane. Pilots can also use wing lights to signal other aircraft.

At ASAP Aviation Hub, owned and operated by ASAP Semiconductor, we can help you find all your aircraft lights position lights, or anti-collision lights for the aerospace, civil aviation, and defense industries. 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, email us at or call us at +1-269-264-4495.

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Aircraft engines are large, complex components that cannot simply be stored under a hood or stowed away in the fuselage.  The engine must be fitted to the aircraft in a specific way to meet two parameters:  first, to ensure the engine will not come loose in any way, and second, to isolate the engine from the passengers and crew onboard. The answer to these two requirements is to either mount the engine under the wings, or near the rear of the aircraft. Each design has its advantages and disadvantages depending on the type of aircraft.

Commercial aircraft usually have an engine that is located under the aircraft wings. Since they are heavy, high functioning components, engines are fitted to the airframe or fuselage using different engine mounts. The weight of the engine needs to be distributed evenly and the vibration and torque emitted from the engine should be dissipated and absorbed by the mount. Most mounts are made out of a durable and lightweight material such as steel alloy tubing that is welded together. The two key types of mounts are the conical mount and the dynafocal mount. The conical mount is the easiest to construct and features 4 key mounting points.  A downside of this mount is that it does not dampen vibrations or engine torque as much as the dynafocal mount. Generally, the dynafocal mount is viewed to be the better mount as they are consistent at reducing vibration, engine noise, and torque. Typically, a dynafocal mount is the less cost-efficient option.

Compared to engine situated at the rear of the aircraft, under wing engines are easier to access and maintain. They do not require as much structural work and they are safer in the event of fire. Pylons connect the engine mount to the wing of the aircraft. An advantage of a pylon connection is that the engine can be removed without the need to take the whole wing off. Pylons allow for different engines to be fitted to the aircraft. Although the engine mount is still in place, pylons should also be manufactured to withstand high levels of stress and vibration emitted from the engine.

Aircraft Pylons also help to ease the structural requirements of mounting an engine. Another advantage of having the engine located under the wing is that the engine is easier to access and maintain. From a safety point of view, the location is better as the engine is the furthest away from the passengers on board. A downside of this engine placement is that the engine is more susceptible to debris. The noise level is also higher.

In comparison, the rear mounted engine is usually found on smaller aircraft. The engine noise is quieter from inside the cabin and debris is not as likely to fall into the engine. The downside of this engine mounting is that it is harder to access and requires a more complex structural fitting than the pylon used in the wing engine mount.

In either case, the engine on an aircraft is an integral part of the aircraft that requires its own particular style of mounting. If the engine is mounted at an awkward angle or in the wrong location, the aircraft’s center of gravity will be thrown off. Whether it wing or rear mounted, dynafocal or conical mounted, with or without pylons, the engine placement needs to be exact.

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It is an inevitable maxim that what goes up, must inevitably come back down. No aircraft can sustain flight indefinitely until now, perhaps. The Swiss private project Solar Impulse has developed an aircraft by the same name that can theoretically stay in the air indefinitely, with its only limitations being those of the pilot’s body and mind.

Solar Impulse I and Solar Impulse II are driven by four propeller engines, each one powered by its own lithium ion battery. These engines each put out roughly ten horsepower, making them roughly as powerful as the Wright Flyer’s engine! With a top speed of roughly 43 miles per hour, the Solar Impulse aims for endurance, not outright velocity. This is because Solar Impulse’s batteries are fed energy from the 17,000 solar cells covering the top of the aircraft’s wingspan, which reaches over 208 feet from tip to tip

Solar Impulse has a crew of one, situated inside a cockpit holding enough provisions to allow the pilot to live for a whole week onboard without needing to land. The cockpit, however, is unpressurized and unheated. This means that the pilot must wear an oxygen mask at high altitudes, and protective clothing to ward against the extreme temperatures Solar Impulse can encounter during flight, ranging from -40 to +40 degrees Celsius. During the average flight day, the aircraft climbs to 28,000 feet to harvest as much sunlight as possible, then descends to 3,000 feet during the night to conserve energy. The pilot must also sleep in 20-minute bursts to maintain awareness and control of the aircraft.

The most innovative aspect of Solar Impulse, however, is the four lithium-ion batteries that provide the engines with power. Each of these batteries contains 70 lithium-polymer cells, housed in a soft, thin, and flexible material custom-built for the aircraft. Produced by the Korean manufacturer Kokam, the batteries have also been treated with monofluoroethylene carbonate solvent to improve their energy density. Because batteries can lose efficiency when in extreme temperatures, the batteries are kept heated to 25 degrees Celsius to maintain performance.

At ASAP Aviation Hub, owned and operated by ASAP Semiconductor, we can help you find all the aircraft battery systems and parts for the aerospace, civil aviation, and defense industries. 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, email us at or call us at 1-269-264-4495.

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Aircraft ground handling plays a vital part in ensuring the proper functioning of aircraft. A key component in ground handling is the use of aircraft jacks in lifting the plane for maintenance. The two most common aircraft jack types found on airport runways are the axle jack and the tripod jack. Each one performs a different service depending on the application.

An axle jack is a freestanding hydraulic jack built with a portable design. It can maneuver around an airport with ease and can be manually operated. This jack is constructed with three rams as well as an outer cylinder; in addition, it contains a built-in reservoir for fluid on the base of the jack. These types of jacks are mainly used in brake repair or service, tire replacement, and other applications involving lifting the nose of the plane. In order to accomplish the heavy task of lifting an area of the plane, the axle jack should be placed and operated directly under aircraft landing gear.

Tripod jacks are designed with three core components: a steel tripod structure with caster wheels, a hydraulic pump assembly, and a hydraulic cylinder. These jacks are also manually operated and have wheels to assist in maneuverability. The tripod jack provides more muscle than the axle jack in that it can raise the tail, wing, fuselage, or nose of an aircraft. The hydraulic pump activates the cylinder, causing it to raise. If enough tripod jacks are present the whole aircraft can be lifted for maintenance. These work best in stationary positions; if any movement is required while the jack is lifted, it may malfunction. Ensure that your jack is functioning properly to avoid any mishaps.

Always follow the proper rules and regulations when operating either jack. In Aerospace, safety should always be the main priority. It is recommended to follow the manufacturer's guidelines for proper operation of an aircraft jack. There are a few considerations you will want to make in the maintenance and care of an aircraft jack. Be sure to examine the condition of the locknuts to confirm they aren’t damaged. You will also want to double check other hardware for any missing or malfunctioning components. In addition, it is important to analyze the welded joints and keep an eye out for fatigue at all fastened locations; inspect the lugs and other components to spot any cracks or stress fractures. Another important tip is to monitor the fluid levels and refill according to manufacturer specifications. Routine maintenance can help avoid costly repairs on your axle or tripod jack. Always remember- safety first! Once you’ve determined the safety of the aircraft jack, be sure to remain abreast of required safety procedures during operation.

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One of my most memorable moments on a commercial flight took place just after takeoff from Chicago O’Hare International Airport. It was mid-July, and a summer thunderstorm had the airport struggling to get flights out of the city before the weather worsened. Shortly after takeoff, I peered to the right and my eyes fell to a window just above the wing— dark, swollen clouds sat in the near-distance and lightning bolts illuminated the sky in grey and purple hues. The pilot calmly announced that due to weather we were cleared for an emergency landing in Minneapolis. As frightening as this event might be to everyday passengers, aircraft components are designed to be resistant to lightning damage, strikes to an aircraft are actually quite common, and aviation professionals are well prepared for events of this nature.

Of all reported lightning strikes to an aircraft, 96% occur within a cloud structure between 5,000 ft. and 15,000 ft. (1,524 to 4,572 meters). 70% occur during the presence of rain, and 42% of reported strikes occur with no visible thunderstorms in the area. This is because of the energy storage availability created during precipitation, which can affect aircraft up to 5 miles away from the electrical center of a cloud. Lightning attachment is most common on the wing tips, nose, and rudder, or the aircraft’s leading edges because the air around the edges ionizes and creates a strike opportunity during rainy weather. Airports will analyze these factors and more to determine whether aircraft will be able to clear these parameters and reach a safe altitude and to formulate emergency landing procedures.

In production, there are three main factors that OEMs consider when incorporating lightning redundancy in aircraft components. These include the energy level of a potential strike, vulnerable attachment and exit locations on an aircraft, and the duration of a potential strike. The metal structure of an aircraft is the first defense against a lightning strike. It is designed to resist lightning strikes and provide initial protection from current; it prevents electromagnetic energy from interfering with the array of electrical wiring in an aircraft. Other lightning protection components include wire bundle shields, ground straps, aluminum flame spray coating, coated glass fabric, and more. Operational test procedures and subsequent inspections are conducted on vulnerable components to ensure that an aircraft is equipped for a lightning strike event.

Lighting inspection procedures, both before flight and post-flight, are utilized by technicians. The guidelines referenced for inspection include those set by aircraft maintenance manuals (AMMs) and SAE Aerospace Recommended Practices (ARP) 5414, which outlines vulnerable lightning zones on an aircraft. A technician must have a thorough understanding of how lightning damage might manifest on an aircraft. Because of the various lightning protection measures on an aircraft, a pilot may not be aware that their aircraft experienced a lightning strike, and therefore might not report it on the flight log. If it is known that an aircraft has encountered a lightning strike, a conditional inspection will take place. This inspection is performed to identify lightning strike attachment and exit points and to examine any affected systems.

At ASAP Aviation Hub, owned and operated by ASAP Semiconductor, we can help you find all the airport lightning components you need, new or obsolete. As a premier supplier of parts for the aerospace, civil aviation, and defense industries, we’re always available and ready to help you find all the parts and equipment you need, 24/7x365. For a quick and competitive quote, email us at or call us at +1-269-264-4495.

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Preparation is key to any operation and depending on the size of the operation there are more requirements that must be met in order to ensure safety and quality of service. International flight is on a scale so grand that there a multitude of things to consider before flying. Here’s a list of things that can help simplify preparations for your next international flight.

Ground Support Equipment (GSE) is the collection of tools and equipment needed to service an aircraft while it’s docked at a terminal between flights. This can range from fuel additives to airlifts, so it’s critical to ensure that airports in different countries meet the appropriate standards for service.

Possible GSE items can be as glaringly obvious as fuel but can creep into more obscure territory such as a de-icing liquid. At certain airports, hydrant fuel may not be available, forcing you to resort to bringing in off-airport fuel, which can cost significantly more than typical prices. Meanwhile, at some airports, it may be impossible to have fuel brought in. Plan your flights accordingly to how much fuel will be available between layovers, especially at airports that may not have fuel available. This applies to all GSE requirements.

In addition to equipment for servicing the aircraft, it is also recommended that flight destinations have the correct facilities in order to meet the needs of handlers and on-flight personnel. Things like laundry, shower facilities, and refrigeration for food and beverages ensure that the passenger flight experience is optimized for comfort and quality.

Some countries have certain guidelines and restrictions that further complicate flights and must be accounted for. In order to confirm aircraft parking, some countries require that there be a towbar present; while some airports in India and Africa may require disinfection and insecticide be sprayed in the cabin before the aircraft doors even open. Some things, like a towbar, are easier to account for compared to things like disinfectant spray, but it’s always better to be over prepared than underprepared.

 As a general rule of thumb, you don’t have to get ready if you stay ready. But with the various different requirements that must be met at each airport, it may be impossible to make sure all of the flight arrangements are accounted for at home base. It is recommended that all GSE requirements be researched at least two weeks prior to take-off. This allows any and all deficiencies to be dealt with in an adequate time-frame, allowing for appropriate corrective actions to be made and approved. 

At ASAP Aviation Hub, owned and operated by ASAP Semiconductor, we can help you find all the ground support equipment and parts you need, new or obsolete. As a premier supplier of parts for the aerospace, civil aviation, and defense industries, we’re always available and ready to help you find all the parts and equipment you need, 24/7x365. For a quick and competitive quote, email us at or call us at +1-269-264-4495.

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