What Are the Different Types of Aerospace Components?

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.

Structural components generally consist of the fuselage, wings, empennage, as well as the fastening devices that hold them together. The fuselage provides a structural connection for the wings and empennage while also supporting the weight of the passengers and cargo. Most light aircraft feature a truss fuselage design, while larger commercial planes generally employ a tubular monocoque configuration. Wings may come in a wide variety of sizes and shapes, but they all fulfill the same purpose of providing lift. Depending on the size of the aircraft, the wings may be found centered on the fuselage vertical axis or closer to the top or bottom. The empennage contains other critical flight surfaces, including the horizontal stabilizer, vertical stabilizer, rudder, trim tabs, and elevator. While the first two elements are fixed, the rest may be actuated using hydraulics or cables.

The engine is, without a doubt, one of the most complex pieces of aircraft architecture. These devices are responsible for delivering an enormous amount of power while also maintaining fuel efficiency and reliability. Since a list of all engine components in their entirety would be exhaustive, we will only cover the principal elements and what role they play in the engine cycle. The inlet collects atmospheric air, which will later be combined with fuel and ignited to produce thrust. After entering the engine assembly, air passes through the compressor, a large fan-like structure used to increase the air's pressure and temperature. The combustion chamber is a specialized engine compartment where the fuel/gas mixture is ignited. Finally, the exhaust from the combustion chamber exits from the nozzle, which facilitates thrust.

The term "avionics" encompasses all electronic systems used on aircraft, including the various displays, communication, and navigation systems. Most communication is facilitated through VHF broadcasting in the particular airband 118.000 MHz-136.975. Since accurate and continuous navigation is necessary for all aircraft, they will typically employ several methods to ensure redundancy. For example, a commercial airliner may be equipped with a GPS unit, inertial navigation system, and radio navigation module simultaneously. More advanced systems, such as airborne early warning platforms or mission-specific military modules, also comprise the avionics category. However, the precision components associated with these systems should only be procured through thoroughly vetted distributors.

Flight control systems contain a number of electrical and mechanical parts that work together to actuate the plane's various control surfaces. The most basic configuration is a manually operated control system, in which the pilot's controls are mechanically linked to flight surfaces via a series of pulleys, counterweights, and tension cables. While mechanical actuation is sufficient for many lightweight aircraft, they are ineffective when exposed to greater aerodynamic loads. Later, hydraulic actuators allowed engineers to push the envelope with aircraft design. These systems relied less on the pilot's muscular strength while still providing feedback from aerodynamic loads. The latest actuation approach is the fly-by-wire (FBW) system, replacing manual flight control with an electronic interface that sends signals to actuate surfaces with precision and speed.

Regardless of your aerospace component needs, ASAP Aviation Hub has you covered with rapid lead times and significant cost savings. Our inventory of over 2 billion ready-to-purchase items contains a wide variety of components serving the civil and defense aviation industries, and we would be happy to provide you with a rapid quote for any item you are interested in. To begin, simply complete an instant RFQ form with as much information as possible and click submit. After receiving your request, our team of account managers will immediately begin formulating a quote that best reflects your individual needs.


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