Despite being able to work effectively with very little maintenance between flights, it is still important to keep a careful eye on your propeller for signs of wear. This can include visible dents, scratches, oil leaks, and more, which are all signs that something is amiss. Though they may seem insignificant at their onset, small issues can quickly become a major cause for worry. As such, we have compiled a list of some important signs to look out for in your propeller aircraft to avoid disaster in the long run.
Decades ago, when sailing was the most prominent form of long-distance travel, boat operators quickly learned the dangers that came with navigating the seas at night. But rather than foregoing midnight trips on the ocean, they learned to use lighting in inventive ways to find their destination in the dark and communicate with other ships. While modern-day aircraft do not use lighthouses, they do use a similar set of external lighting to tackle the same issues during night flights. First, there are those that illuminate areas directly ahead of the vehicle that pilots need to see. Then, there are lights which make the aircraft more visible to oncoming air traffic or airport personnel within their vicinity, signaling to other pilots and crew of its whereabouts. Below is a quick introduction to each type of external lighting used on aircraft today.
Once an airplane is parked, there always exists a risk of the vehicle shifting out of place on the airfield, which would threaten the safety of the plane itself along with the safety of surrounding aircraft. Every time an airplane is parked, quality aircraft parking equipment should be employed to ensure the safety of the vehicle and the surrounding airfield. These pieces of equipment are essential at airports. The possibility of the vehicle acquiring damage itself or causing damage to other airplanes is removed when proper parking equipment is utilized. Even when the engine is turned off and the plane is situated, it is still crucial to use several different pieces of equipment, those of which are addressed in detail in the following document to help you follow proper parking procedures.
The idea of a medical emergency occurring in flight is a concerning thought for many passengers, as medical equipment is limited and hospitals are inaccessible. This being said, most aircraft are equipped with first aid kits that are adequate for dealing with most in-flight emergencies. Still, for passengers who worry about their safety, packing a personal first-aid kit might be of comfort, so it is helpful to know which items to include. With safety concerns, there are a number of items that passengers are banned from bringing on commercial flights, so this blog will offer an overview of some approved first-aid equipment you may bring with you on your next flight.
As commercial air travel has increased in popularity over recent years due to a growing middle class, airlines should understand the importance of proper aircraft life cycle management to ensure their planes operate at maximum performance. According to The Oliver Wyman study Global Fleet & MRO Market Forecast Commentary 2019-2029, it is estimated that the global fleet will reach nearly 40,000 aircraft in the next ten years, so it is wise for those involved in the commercial aviation industry to take all measures possible to maintain a competitive edge. As such, this blog will examine some practical strategies and rules of thumb for maintenance, repair, and operating (MRO) practices. We will also briefly examine the costs and practices associated with aircraft at three overarching stages of the life cycle: fleet introduction, service life, and retirement.
In the 1930s, American entrepreneur and founder of the Garrett AiResearch company Cliff Garrett devised a solution to one of the biggest challenges for long-range military aircraft. Garrett’s company invented the world’s first cabin pressurization system for the B-29 Superfortress. The invention by AiResearch, which now goes by Honeywell, became the foundation for cabin pressurization systems on modern aircraft today.
When an aircraft is removed from service for an extended period of time, it faces unique, environmental challenges. Upon first removing the aircraft from service, it must be prepped for storage and down time. Additionally, aircraft must go through certain processes prior to returning to flight. Whether the aircraft is parked for a brief period of time or out of service for an extended period of time determines the procedures that must be taken before the aircraft is once again deemed airworthy. This blog will cover the specific challenges and maintenance procedures involved in returning aircraft from storage.
Propellers are one of the two principal methods of producing thrust in aircraft. These devices, which have been found on aircraft since their advent, come in a variety of designs, each of which is chosen based on the application's performance requirements and weight. It is essential for anybody interested in aviation to have a basic understanding of the operating theory and design of the most common propeller types since these are installed on thousands of planes in service today. In this blog, we will discuss everything you need to know about the three most common propeller types found on modern aircraft.
There are several types of aircraft braking systems, those of which consist of single disc brakes, duel-disc brakes, multiple-disc brakes, segmented rotor-disc brakes, and carbon brakes. In most cases, aircraft braking control is achieved through toe-brakes or a single brake lever, and a parking brake that can be applied via a switch. Furthermore, aircraft also have wing spoilers, but their main braking mechanism includes disc brakes.
Have you ever thought about how a passenger plane flies at an altitude of approximately 3000 km at such a fast rate? To discover how aircraft utilize modern technology to manage their speed while turning, during takeoff, and while landing, you have come to the right source!
Within the aviation realm, high-temperature materials are critical to both internal and external structures in aircraft. As aircraft engines can surpass temperatures of 2000 degrees Celsius, and vehicles at high altitudes face extreme temperature fluctuations, high-temperature materials ensure the safe and reliable operation of such apparatuses. With this in mind, we will cover the most widely used materials, all of which are chosen for their high pressure and temperature qualities as well as their corrosion and vibration resistant characteristics.
Many aircraft today rely on the use of propellers for motion. Although modern piston-powered aircraft have advanced propellers made with more powerful materials, they still feature a surprising resemblance to the earliest types of propellers. Fixed-pitch and ground-adjustable propellers are the simplest types, but there are multiple variations and classes beyond these examples. Here, you will learn about some of the characteristics of several types of propellers.
Pressure switches are common components that are often found in fluid systems, managing the operation of pumps. When certain predetermined pressure thresholds are met, the pressure switch is capable of activating and deactivating pumps as necessary. Additionally, such devices may also serve process control systems, allowing for steady pneumatic or mechanical pressure to be held. To find the best solution for your particular needs, it is best to have a basic understanding of the functionality of pressure switches, the various types that exist, and their common applications.
Aircraft operate on the principles of aerodynamics and flow, relying on the way in which air moves across their airfoil surfaces to maintain lift for flight. While engines, wings, stabilizers, and other major aircraft parts are essential for flight, the finer maneuvering that enables increased flight management is made possible through the use of flight control surfaces. Flight control surfaces are adjustable areas of an aircraft, all of which are governed by the pilot in the cockpit for affecting speed, trajectory, or altitude.
An alternator is a common form of electrical generator, capable of transforming mechanical energy into electrical energy in the form of alternating current. While such equipment may vary in design between models, most rely on a fixed armature and a rotating magnetic field for the means of producing power. Alternators find use in a diverse set of applications, commonly assisting the operations of power plants, aircraft, marine vessels, automobiles, and much more. For aircraft and other vehicles in particular, alternators typically serve for charging batteries and powering systems, making them extremely important for standard operations. When issues arise, it is important that one knows basic troubleshooting so that they may potentially identify and remedy situations.
While electric power has greatly revolutionized our daily lives with the introduction of countless advanced technologies, electricity remains a volatile force that can be very destructive if uncontrolled. Overload conditions are an occurrence within circuitry where an excess amount of current is drawn from the supply. Well surpassing the needs of system electronics, overload current can easily cause damage to sensitive components and appliances. Circuit breakers are a type of circuit protection device that are commonly found within buildings and homes, preventing excess current from damaging components with their ability to interrupt current.
Hydraulic systems are extremely important for many aircraft, ensuring that they have sufficient power to deploy landing gear, extend flight surfaces, operate cargo doors, and carry out other such processes that require high amounts of strength. In order for the hydraulic system to conduct such actions, they rely on numerous hydraulic actuators which serve to transform the energy of fluid pressure into a mechanical force. In this blog, we will provide a brief overview of hydraulic system actuators, allowing you to become familiar with the most common types and their roles.
The function of a computer relies on the combined operation of both software and hardware. Software refers to the entire set of programs, procedures, and routines associated with the operation of a computer system, while hardware refers to the actual physical components that carry out the actions dictated by the software. Software is useless without hardware and vice versa. Though they are both critical segments of any computer system, this blog will focus on the types of computer hardware components and devices. There are four main classifications of computer hardware devices: input devices, processing devices, output devices, and memory/storage devices. Let’s take a look at each one.
The 21st century has seen the aviation industry take incredible technological strides. These advancements have contributed to aircraft speed, environmental friendliness, comfort, and safety. A prime example of the advances in safety is the Dassault EASy II, the advanced flight deck on the Dassault Falcon. This blog will cover the EASy II in detail, as well as a few of the many sub-components within the system that offer safer flight.
Stall speed is the slowest speed a plane can fly and maintain level flight. When a plane slows down, it produces less lift. If the plane tilts its wings up, thereby increasing its angle of attack, it can compensate for any lift lost. However, if it tilts its wings too far, the air pulls away from the top of the wing and the plane loses lift. This is known as a stall. Stall speed can be reached by increasing the angle of attack as close to stall as possible and slowing down until weight and lift balance out. Stall speed increases as weight increases, as wings need to fly at a higher angle of attack to generate enough lift for a given airspeed.
Most, if not all, electrical devices on an aircraft derive their power from the aircraft electrical system. These devices are connected with suitable wires. As any current going into a device must also come out, at least two wires are needed to connect these devices. Therefore, every electrical system has a power and a ground wire. Metal aircraft use shielding to protect the wiring, but this is not a suitable option for many of the sophisticated electronic devices within modern aircraft. Shielding in a modern aircraft would result in stray electric currents causing noise and issues throughout the entire electrical system. Ground return lines, or grounding, reduce the risk of stray currents from entering the airframe where they can cause issues with the intercom system, radio communication system, or navigational system...
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Exterior lighting on an aircraft is carely coordinated and planned, contrary to what some people might think when gazing up at planes flying in the night sky. Each plane has a certain amount of exterior lighting, each with its own purpose in guiding and facilitating the plane. These lights are deliberately positioned across various segments of the plane to give pilots perceivability and direction while exploring through the sky. While there are also various other interior and exterior lights on a business aircraft, this article is going to concentrate on just a few of the most imperative lights that can be found on planes.
The term planespotting refers to the act of tracking an airplane. While there are certainly some aviation fanatics who do this as a hobby, trainspotting is an important tool to have as the act has helped significant discoveries in investigative work. Over the years, trainspotting has helped people see suspicious trips being made by Russian oligarchs to Africa and the Middle East, jet making suspicious trips to the Middle East and Africa, helped politicians make important points on private planes being used by the Hungarian president and other world leaders, exposed rendition flights by the Turkish government, followed the travels of government officials, aided in the discovery of military operations, analyze aircraft incidents, kept track of corporate executive movements so as to keep them accountable and more. Here in this article, we will go through the basics of planespotting and how they work...
In the realm of radio engineering, an antenna is described simply as an interface that converts transmitter voltages into radio signals to both send and receive transmissions. Antennas can range from fairly simple to very powerful, such as radio antennas and satellite antennas. Waveguide antennas in particular are a specific antenna type, allowing for RF energy to be channeled from an air medium and transformed into a waveguide, as well as the reverse process. In this blog, we will discuss more on what waveguide antennas are, as well as the various types of waveguide antennas that are presently used and their properties.
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Aviation is an industry that never rests. With 8,000 to 12,000 aircraft in flight at any moment and 4.3 billion passengers flying a year, aircraft are constantly in operation. Despite being very advanced, just like all other machines, they face eventual wear, tear, and failure. Because of this, it is vital that they are constantly maintained to verify the airworthiness and integrity of each and every component. Within the services of aircraft maintenance, there is both scheduled and unscheduled maintenance. In this blog, we will discuss what both scheduled and unscheduled maintenance is, various types of each, and what they entail....
In any workspace, you always want to err on the side of caution, and if there’s just one environment that you want to follow this rule, then it’s in the aviation space. Whether you are working as a flight crew or simply on board as a passenger, it’s advisable to do your best to listen closely to instructions and rules on what to do in case of an emergency. Here in this article, we will stress the importance of keeping up to safety and health standards and how one can go about doing so....
Pressurization of the aircraft cabin is an integral part of any commercial flight. Without it, the simple act of breathing would not be possible. At sea level, humans are exposed to just under 15 pounds of pressure from the air (14.7 psi). However, as your altitude increases, the amount of air pressure decreases quickly. The pressure decreases because the air molecules are spreading father apart. As a result of this, when you breathe, your lungs take in less air and oxygen....
No matter what technological advance we make or new methodology we utilize, corrosion of metals and decomposition is impossible to stop. As aircraft and their components are often primarily metal, these parts too will face nature’s whims. While we can’t forstall corrosion forever, it is possible to slow it down, mitigate it’s damage, and generally be more aware of when it is time to repair or replace components as to maintain the integrity and airworthiness of an aircraft.
It comes as no surprise that inclement weather such as gusting wind, harsh rain, and lightning can be a major hindrance to the performance of aircraft. However, extreme heat can be just as detrimental. If the temperature is too high, commercial airlines are required to ground flights for safety reasons. While it doesn’t happen too frequently, it is a problem that airlines and passengers alike will face from time to time....
For smaller aircraft, a magneto ignition system can prove to be an extremely self-reliant and compact method of fuel ignition without the use of a battery. Magneto ignitions are also used for tools and equipment that use gas such as lawn mowers, chain saws, trimmers, and more. In this blog, we will discuss how magneto ignition systems create ignition for smaller aircraft......
The primary tool for controlling an aircraft is the flight stick, also called a control yoke. The control yoke is typically situated between the pilot’s legs in front of their seat, rising up from the floor, and is mechanically linked via pulleys and cables. The alternative is a side-stick, situated to the side of the pilot, and is typically placed on or near the armrest of the pilot’s chair. Both side-sticks and control yokes have various advantages and disadvantages associated with them.....
In the same way that a civilian will utilize a jack, or a mechanism used as a heavy lifting device, aircraft maintenance crews will use an aircraft jack to lift up an aircraft in need of inspection or repair. The aircraft jack is an important tool because it can prevent accidents or injuries as well as damages to the aircraft. But in order to use it effectively, it’s important to know things like the basic safety operations, how to properly level items, and where the proper jacking points are located...
Improving aircraft performance can mean several different things. It can mean getting to your destination faster but it can also mean making your flights more efficient and less cost inducing. Depending on the kind of aircraft you are dealing with, whether commercial or private, measuring improvements can be implemented through various methods. Below you can read some basic but common ways commercial and private pilots have used to enhance their flight performance.
Global warming and carbon emissions are a hot-button issue for many industries around the world, and aviation is no different. While the aviation industry is responsible for just 2% of all greenhouse gas emissions, there is a growing environmental concern: since 1990, the industry has seen an 83% increase in emission levels, the primary factor being the increasing number of fossil fuel-powered aircraft in the skies. Gas emissions are not the only contributor however: water vapor emissions at high altitudes create contrails, residual plumes that contribute to global warming by trapping heat emanating from the Earth’s surface within the atmosphere rather than letting it radiate out into space.
The first job of an aircraft mechanic is to service and repair aircraft and all components and systems onboard. Once any maintenance or inspection has been done, the Code of Federal Regulations 43.9 and 43.11 require that the mechanic “make an entry in the maintenance record of that equipment.” That typically means writing down what was done to the aircraft in the aircraft’s log books.
Modern commercial aircraft typically cruise at altitudes tens of thousands of feet above sea level. Two reasons drive this choice, the first being that aircraft can save on fuel, and therefore operating costs, because an aircraft can fly more efficiently at higher altitudes. Secondly, by climbing to higher altitudes, bad weather and turbulence can simply be flown right over. To fly at these altitudes however, an aircraft’s cabin must be pressurized to ensure the comfort and easy breathing of the occupants...
When determining what cabling to use on an aircraft, engineers have a difficult decision to make—fiber or copper cables? In the 80’s and 90’s, copper cabling accounted for 90% of all aircraft wiring. With the 21st century global tech boom, airlines have sought higher data rates and greater bandwidth end-to-end, increasing the demand for fiber optic systems...
Fiber optics are considered the future of aircraft cable technology. The high-speed fiber cable is more lightweight than standard steel wiring and is extremely secure since it doesn’t use electromagnetic radiation to communicate information. In addition, harsh environment fiber optics are durable enough to handle the difficult stressors presented in a flight cycle. Coupled with its affordability, fiber optic cable is starting to be incorporated into newer aircraft cable systems...
A machine or piece of equipment can only last as long as it can be supported. Without the proper tools to service and maintain the equipment the viability and life of the machine can quickly deteriorate. This problem is especially pervasive for the military and in the defense industry. With new programs being high demand but very limited in supply, the rate at which branches of the military acquire new aircrafts has significantly decreased. They are, instead, relying on legacy systems staying in service longer than they were built to last. Older aircrafts are further reaching a point of obsolescence because of they are unable to meet the changing requirements of current avionic standards. These have culminated into creating the perfect environment for a growing market in Automatic Testing Equipment (ATE) in order to prolong the service viability of older aircrafts....
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