Since the first powered flight conducted in 1902 by the Wright brothers, aviation operations have come a long way in terms of safety. Across inventions and regulations, one of the most pivotal changes for safety came in the form of the flight recorder, that of which is commonly known as a “black box.” However, there is a common misconception that all aircraft, including light aircraft, feature black boxes. In this blog, we will discuss black boxes and whether or not they are featured on smaller models, allowing you to have a better understanding of the safety features present on such aircraft.
Heli-Coil inserts are uniquely designed to protect and strengthen tapped threads in any material, and they offer many benefits, many of which will be discussed in the following blog. One benefit of using Heli-Coil inserts is that they create stronger assemblies due to the fact that they are inherently flexible, which helps strengthen tapped threads and provide a more balanced distribution of dynamic and static loads throughout the length of thread engagement. Their flexibility also compensates for variations in lead and angle error which allows each coil to carry its portion of the load. Another benefit of using Heli-Coil inserts is that they resist corrosion by minimizing galvanic action within a threaded assembly. Additionally, five insert lengths are available in every thread size so that bolt tensile strength may be balanced against parent material shear strength, assuring the bolt will fail before the parent material experiences damage.
A pressure transmitter, also called a pressure transducer, is a pressure sensing device that converts pressure measurements from gasses or liquids into analog electrical signals. There are a wide range of pressure transmitter types on the market to suit a myriad of applications. Generally, each pressure transmitter is designed with differing aspects that impact how it works and the applications it is best suited for.
Any experienced pilot is familiar with the E6B flight computer and has a strong opinion about its usefulness. Serving as an early aviation tool, some pilots standy by its utility, while others think it is a simple relic of the past. Regardless, licensed pilots are expected to know how to use an E6B computer.
As navigating flight requires great attention and the ability to focus on many complex tasks at a time, the last thing a pilot needs is additional distractions. With such a challenging job, having a functioning headset with certain features allows for safer flight. As it is vital that pilots have uninterrupted communication with Air Traffic Control (ATC) free from unwanted cockpit noise, this blog will briefly explore some important factors to consider when procuring your pilot headset.
With lavatories, kitchenettes, and various other fluid systems now being very common on countless aircraft models, there is an ever-increasing need to manage fluids while up in the air. Once fluids are used by any means, they need to be drained out of the system in which they are present, and this is done with the use of a drain valve. From the removal of oil from an aircraft to the draining of lavatory water, drain valves ensure an easy and clean solution for all fluid removal from systems. In this blog, we will discuss how drain valves work and their overall purpose in varying applications, allowing you to better understand their importance.
No matter which airplane you operate, all rely on the power of thrust to travel in the air. Thrust functions to push the plane forward and it is generated by the engine(s). Although the term thrust may be familiar, this blog will explain what exactly this force is and how it works to make air travel possible.
The aerospace market is incredibly vast, mainly owing to the complexity of modern aircraft. For example, a typical commercial airliner has over 5 million components. Even regional or personal aircraft require a multitude of unique parts in order to function properly. Aerospace items are also tightly regulated by several governmental and professional organizations, namely the FAA. As a high-reliability organization, the aviation industry places an increased value on component quality, standardization, and interoperability. To aid customers in acquisition, distributors will usually separate their inventory into several practical categories, such as airframe parts, gears, flight control systems, and engines, among others. In this blog, we will discuss several of these categories and highlight which components may be found in each.
Bolts are a type of mechanical fastener with a threaded shaft. There are countless fastener types, but bolts, in particular, necessitate a nut for installation. While the head and nut provide the clamping force needed to prevent axial movement, the shaft is responsible for preventing radial movement. Typically, a bolt is inserted through surfaces or objects with unthreaded holes.
Hose clamps are used to cover the ends of hoses of varying lengths and materials to prevent leakage. They also work to secure a hose to any number of objects, ensuring it stays in place and doesn't fall out of place. While applying such measures to a hose may seem excessive, when transporting harmful materials such as gas and oil, it is entirely necessary to prevent any leaks or displacement of the assembly. In this blog, we will discuss several of the many hose clamp designs and in which applications each may be used.
Sealants provide secure holds for countless aircraft components, offering increased safety for pilots and passengers. Without aircraft sealants, the service life of airplanes would be reduced, generating unnecessary, additional costs for the repair and replacement of parts. With this in mind, this blog will cover different types of aircraft sealants, their uses, and their importance.
Teflon is a brand name of PTFE-based compositions, those of which are more formally known as Polytetrafluoroethylene. As a type of hydrophobic fluorocarbon solid, Teflon prevents a surface from becoming wet through low friction coefficients and high electronegativity. Teflon and PTFE compositions have found countless uses in both home and industrial settings, serving as non-stick coatings for reducing friction, wear, energy consumption, and the chance of moisture sticking. In this blog, we will be focusing on the role of Teflon within the aviation realm, allowing you to have a better understanding of the composition’s benefits for diverse applications.
If you work in any field that frequently uses fasteners, you have likely heard about or worked with a Helicoil threaded insert. These state-of-the-art fasteners are becoming a popular choice for a variety of applications, especially those involving soft alloy components such as steel. If you have ever wondered what makes Helicoil inserts so unique, this blog will break it down for you.
In order for a heavier-than-air, fixed-wing aircraft to fly, it relies on the principle of lift. Lift refers to the force that works to oppose the weight of an aircraft while in flight, holding it up in the air. Lift can be produced by all parts of a standard commercial airliner, though a majority is generated by its wings. Lift is directly tied to the movement of an aircraft as it traverses the atmosphere, serving as a mechanical aerodynamic force. As a result, lift exhibits both a magnitude and a magnitude direction, such characteristics being affected by various factors. In this blog, we will provide an overview of lift in regard to aircraft, allowing you to better understand the aerodynamics of powered flight.
Since the beginning of air travel, aircraft designers have looked to increase the efficiency and reliability of the engine system. An airplane's engine can be accurately described as its heart, as it needs to run regardless of the operating conditions, and the aircraft would not function for very long in the event of failure. The technology in engine systems has increased significantly over the years, but many of the basic principles of operation remain the same. This blog will discuss the five most common types of engine systems used in modern aircraft and their applications.
Screws are hardware components that are used to conjoin two or more parts, featuring external threading that allows for materials to be fastened and held together with ease. Capable of self-threading, the screw will cut its own thread into a component when driven, pulling materials together to prevent the chance of the fastener being pulled out. Depending on the type of materials that are being worked on, alongside other factors, there are a few common types of screw threads that may be chosen from. To ensure that you choose the right screw thread for your needs, we will discuss some of the most widely used variations.
Used to convert the pressure measurements of a gas or liquid into an electrical signal, pressure sensors have evolved over time to suit a myriad of applications and industries. As such, various sensor types have been created to measure specific parameters of flow, speed, water level, and altitude variables. Diverse among electrical networks, pressure sensors can often be found in systems using alarms, robotics, automation, industrial hydraulics, off-road construction tools, refrigerated systems, water-level identification devices, and more. Often referred to as pressure transducers, transmitters, or indicators, pressure sensors grew to take root within aviation, aerospace, automotive, marine, biomedical, manufacturing, and various other industries. Without the integration of a well-fitted pressure sensor, you risk jeopardizing part precision and accuracy, inevitably reducing production quality. While we may unknowingly use pressure sensors during our daily activities, because they are independently calibrated for different measurements, it is imperative to know how different sensors function and how they can be applied.
A natural occurring object or manmade device, valves are simple structures that control or direct the flow of a fluid. In order to manage gases, liquids, fluidized solids, and slurries, valves can open, close, and partially obstruct flow. This allows a fluid to flow in the direction from higher pressure to lower pressure when necessary. A simple yet ancient fitting utilized by man, valves have evolved to suit numerous applications with their wide array of variations and types. Used in residential, commercial, and industrial settings, modern valves are an essential tool that vary in design to cater towards an individual purpose.
With there being a various array of cables that may serve numerous applications, it can be a daunting task trying to find the one that best suits your requirements. For a solution that is not only reliable, but considerably lower in cost, fiber optics may present a solution beneficial for your needs. Amidst the introduction of fiber optic cables as a more advanced solution over traditional metal wiring, we will introduce the reasoning as to why fiber optic parts are on the incline and how they can best be implemented in your applications.
Anyone who has used both packing and mechanical seals can speak to the benefits mechanical seals bring to your system. The main advantage of mechanical seals is the drastic reduction of leakage, which ultimately saves valuable time and money. Mechanical seals are devices that seal machines between rotating parts and stationary parts, such as shafts and housing, and are an integral component of a pump. Their primary job is to prevent the product being pumped from leaking into the environment. Two types of mechanical seals exist: single and double. In this blog, we will look at both types and their differences.
A two-stroke engine is a type of internal combustion engine that completes a power cycle with two strokes of the piston during a single revolution of the crankshaft. This differs from a four-stroke engine, wherein four strokes of the piston are needed to complete a power cycle during two crankshaft revolutions. In a two-stroke engine, the end of the combustion stroke and the beginning of the compression stroke occur simultaneously, with the intake and exhaust functions happening at the same time.
Nylon fasteners are steadily growing in popularity in many industries for their diversity of uses and applications. Among the most commonly used products for nylon hardware are polyvinyl chloride (PVC), acetal, and polypropylene. Nylon fasteners offer many advantages to manufacturers of electronics and other industries. One such advantage is that it has great insulating properties as well as being highly resistant to corrosion. They are also approximately half the weight of aluminum while still providing excellent wear and tear resistance. Despite the many advantages of nylon fasteners, there are also important things to consider when using them.
For many years, conventional screws and nuts have been used throughout the computer and telecommunications markets where they are popular for attaching electronic equipment from panels to racks. However, more recently, captive screws have taken over and become more favorable than traditional nuts, screws, and bolts. In this blog, we will discuss four advantages that captive screws have over traditional fasteners.
As aircraft are continuously used and subjected to extreme forces and environments, they can slowly begin to wear and tear over time. With many aircraft relying on metals for their construction, corrosion is a possible threat that can eat away at parts and spread rapidly if not treated immediately. When corrosion is allowed to take hold of an aircraft, it can cause structures to become weakened and fatigued, creating a safety hazard for flight. Due to the immense damage that corrosion poses, it is important to understand what types there are to look out for, as well as how to prevent it.
An electrolytic capacitor is a type of capacitor that uses an electrolyte to achieve greater capacitance capabilities than other types of capacitors. An electrolyte is a gel or fluid with a high concentration of ions. There are three types of electrolytic capacitors: aluminum capacitors, tantalum capacitors, and niobium capacitors. Nearly all electrolytic capacitors are polarized, meaning the voltage of anode must be always greater than that of the cathode. The large capacitance of electrolytic capacitors makes them highly useful for sending low-frequency signals. They have many applications, though they are most frequently used for noise filtering or decoupling in power supplies.
An azimuth refers to the angular measurements that are used in a system that follows a spherical coordinate system. Generally, the azimuth is measured in terms of degrees, which is a measurement that is often applies in astronomy, engineering, mapping, mining, ballistics, and navigation. This means that the vector goes to a point of interest from an observer and is projected perpendicularly onto a reference plane. The azimuth is located when the angle between the projected vector is linked to a reference vector on the reference plane. For a brief overview of what an azimuth is and what you can do with it, read the article below.
There is a lot of information being spread around the topic of masks. This article can help you see through the muddle of information and clear the facts. You may have seen some information stating that masks do not work against catching or spreading illnesses or that masks somehow infringe on your freedoms. To summarize briefly before going into the benefits of wearing a mask, masks are not 100% fool proof in preventing one from catching illness, but if worn properly, they significantly reduce your risk of catching or spreading an illness. Masks are helpful and in this article we will discuss the benefits of using N95 respirator masks.
Fuel cells are an electrochemical cell that utilize the chemical energy of hydrogen in order to produce electricity through a pair of redox reactions. With their output, fuel cells provide energy for a diverse set of applications including transportation, emergency backup power, power stations, marine applications, and much more. While fuel cells can be comparable to batteries and other devices, their unique method of electricity production sets them apart with their capabilities. In this blog, we will discuss what fuel cells are in detail, as well as how they function.
A spinner is an aircraft component fitted over a propeller hub or at the center of a turbofan engine. Spinners make the aircraft more streamlined, reduce aerodynamic drag, and smooth the airflow so it enters the air intake more efficiently. An added benefit is that spinners offer mechanics protection through control of the propeller blades. Despite their convenience, spinners are not without problems. An important issue to be aware of is tension cracks. These can develop where the spinner is mounted on the base plate, so the spinner should always be checked before flight. These cracks can lead to imbalance of the spinner, creating vibrations and significantly hindering the aircraft’s performance.
Aircraft cables are stranded wires found throughout an aircraft in a variety of important applications. They are used for harnesses for electrical wiring, tie downs, stabilizers, safety fasteners, and a wide range of other functions. Aside from use in the aircraft itself, the same cables are used to lift jet engines, wings, and other components into place during assembly or repair. Additionally, these cables are used as an arresting gear to stop aircraft landing on limited spaces (like aircraft carriers or short runways) by engaging the tail-hook and transferring the kinetic energy.
A sensor connector is like an electronic connector in that they can have both male and female connectors. There are many advantages and benefits to having a sensor connector as opposed to an electronic connector. For more information on the sensor connector and its advantages, read the article below.
The jet engine is built up on many different parts, which are placed together in an intricate system that can take hours for maintenance workers to put together to pull apart. These parts consist of but are not limited to air intakes, subsonic inlets, supersonic inlets, turbines, compressors, fuel systems, propellant pumps, turbopumps, ignition, lubrication systems, and more. In this article, we will go over a brief outline on some of the major parts, all the parts of which you can find in stock at ASAP Aviation Hub.
When designing, manufacturing, and operating electrical systems and electronics, controlling electricity and mitigating its effects is just as important as supplying it. Electric insulator parts are extremely beneficial for preventing unwanted voltage from spreading throughout a system, as misdirected voltage can cause short circuits, ground faults, or result in other unwanted system issues and damage. In this blog, we will discuss the differences between insulators and conductors, and why insulators are important to electronic systems.
If you are having issues with system noise, or any digital noise interrupting your power and signal lines, you can put a stop to that problem with a decoupling capacitor. This is a type of capacitor that can help “de-couple” or isolate local circuits from noise emitting from other devices on shared power. Decoupling capacitors are usually placed around power sources so as to supply a localized current source. Once applied, they can also isolate the local circuit from power noise coming from other areas.
When lightning strikes, aircraft electrical devices and electrical equipment in general must be protected. This protection is achieved through the use of lightning arresters, or surge protectors as they are called for smaller versions . These devices divert lightning surges either to the ground or away from electrical components by providing a path of which high-voltage lightning currents can bypass connected equipment. This is achieved by spark gaps or blocks made of semiconducting material -- such as silicon carbide or zinc oxide -- connected to lines entering volt-sensitive electrical devices and equipment.
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.
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.
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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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