Few components are as important as aircraft bearings in the aerospace industry. Bearings, as their name implies, bear weight and friction, allowing components in the aircraft to turn and rotate in a controlled manner. Bearings can take several different forms, but for this article we will focus on roller bearings.
Rolling-element bearings, regardless of their purpose, share similar design elements between them. Firstly, they feature an out and inner ring called races, and a set of rolling elements between the two races. Ball bearings are called such because they use ball bearings as the rolling element, for instance. Roller bearings typically use small cylinders that are slightly longer than they are wider as the rolling element.
While the design of the roller bearing dates back to at least 40 BCE, modern aircraft roller bearings are precisely tooled and manufactured for their purpose and made from high-quality chrome steel or hardened stainless steel depending on their needs and the stresses they will endure. Heat and corrosion are both major concerns in the aerospace industry, so bearings need to be able to endure such stresses. The starting material for the bearing is developed through heat treatment, hardened, and then ground down into the proper shape. Once manufacturing is complete, the rollers are closely inspected to make sure they are up to quality standards and ensure their measurements are correct. If the roller is improperly manufactured, it will not align properly within the bearing, and its bearing capacity will drop. Misalignment can also occur due to mechanical stresses and vibration (some types of roller bearings, such as spherical rollers, are able to re-align themselves).
When they function properly however, bearings are able to distribute the outer load from one roller to the next, with fewer than half of the rollers carrying a significant portion of the load at any time.
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Believe it or not, building an aircraft is a complicated process. It is one thing to design the aircraft on paper or more likely, on the computer, but it is another thing to piece it together. Specialized tools and hardware are required to fix the various aircraft components in place and allow for any mechanical movement to occur. Bearings are small pieces of hardware that house linear or rotational movement. As the name suggests, bearings bear weight within a piece of machinery, and are particularly useful in reducing the amount of friction within a machine. The moving parts have a smaller surface area than two rigid components moving past one another. By decreasing the amount of friction inside a machine, you are effectively increasing the lifespan of the machine. Bearings are widely used across the aviation, marine, and defense industries. There are numerous types of bearings including the popularrod end bearing.
Often referred to as the help joint or rose joint, the rod end bearing is a mechanical joint used on the end of control rods in both the automotive and aviation industries. Bearing some resemblance to a rose, rod end bearings consist of a shaft, head, and a ball bearing between the head and the inner ring. An opening is centered in the middle of the joint through which a bolt or other attaching hardware can be linked. Due to the high stress situations in which they are used, rod end bearings need to be made out of a corrosion resistant, strong metal such as steel or stainless steel. Aluminum is a popular material used in aircraft as it is lightweight and durable.
Rod end bearings can be categorized into male and female bearings. Male bearings are threaded on the exterior, whereas female rod end bearings are characterized by interior threading. Female rod bearings are able to handle unique applications that aren’t possible with male rod end bearings. Helicopters require the use of female rod end bearings to adjust the direction of a propeller blade. In fact, mechanics can use a female rod end bearing to fine tune or make precise adjustments to various instruments. Special attention should be taken to ensure the bearing is correctly aligned to the component before fittings as damage could be caused through friction or wear and tear.
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An aircraft adheres to similar principles of flight that birds do — it must overcome gravitational forces to achieve lift. In its simplest definition, the wings of an airplane curve the flow of air around them in order to generate lift.
Isaac Newton created three laws of motion that are applicable to all moving objects — even aircraft. The first law states that objects remain at rest or uniform motion unless they are compelled to change by an external force. The second law states that force is equal to the change in momentum per the change in time (F=ma). The last law states that for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. These scientific laws are important in understanding how and why aircraft can fly.
Lift is created mostly around the wings because the air flows over the top of the wing and directs the air downwards. This is why wings are designed to tilt from the horizontal plane of the aircraft. This is commonly referred to as the path of flight. Once an airplane is going fast enough, the downward air-flow starts produces enough pressure or force to overcome the weight and gravity that is holding the airplane to the ground. An airplane can achieve flight when enough force is produced to overcome weight and gravity.
The most important variable in generating lift is the tilt angle, or angle of attack. A pilot adjusts the angle of attack to control lift: too high of an angle of attack will stall the airplane— this is called the critical angle of attack. It is the difference between pitch angle and flight path angle when the flight path angle is referenced to the atmosphere. An airplane can reach a high angle of attack even with the nose below the horizon, when the flight path angle is a steep descent.
Another famous contributor to the laws of aerodynamics was Bernoulli; he stated that pressure is reduced as air increases in velocity. As air flow comes into contact with the leadingedge of a wing, it splits into two, flowing along the upper and lower surfaces. Because a typical aircraft has a cambered wing, the air will flow faster over the top and slower on the bottom; this means that there is higher pressure on the bottom surface of the wing. As the airplane gathers speed, the amount of lift increases.
Another important component of wing design is aircraft ailerons. This structure is a hinged section close to the trailing edge of the wing that allows pilots to bank the aircraft left or right. They work in opposition with one another; as moves upward, the other moves down. This creates an unbalanced side force component which causes the aircraft’s flight path to curve. With greater downward deflection of the airflow, the lift will increase upward.
One last important force is drag, the aerodynamic force that creates resistance against the forward motion of a plane. Thrust is generated by the engines to overcome drag and is supplemented by the aerodynamic shape of an aircraft. It’s important to remember that an aircraft is designed to balance out contradictory forces. All components contribute to the flight cycle— whether it be the engines, the wings, the empennage, etc. The next time you see an aircraft, take a moment to admire the brilliance of its wings.
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Aviation parts are strictly regulated by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), whom are involved in all parts of manufacturing and distribution. Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) or manufacturers with a Parts Manufacturing Approval (PMA) may produce aircraft parts.
After an OEM manufactures a part, the FAA uses an FAA approved method called Test & Analysis, or Test & Computations, to deconstruct the part and create their own production drawing to produce a PMA replacement part. The parts function, application, and criticality are studied, and the result will display the necessary dimensions, features, and characteristics of the part. PMAs can be considered a FAA manufacturing license that conveys the airworthiness of an aircraft part.
The FAA emphasizes the importance of safety and instills safety standards to protect the lives carried aboard an aircraft. So, it’s not enough to just produce a part that mimics the original part, it must also meet FAA standards that shows its function and durability. A PMA part has a requirement to disclose to the FAA where the part will be used on the aircraft.
A, FAA airworthiness approval for a part can also come in the form of a Technical Standard Order (TSO). To obtain a TSO it is only required to follow minimum FAA mandated standards and requirements. In order to obtain an FAA PMA approval, the applicant must prove that their part is equal to or better than the original part.
Because parts are highly regulated by the FAA, it is safe to use parts other than the OEMs. However, it’s important to pay attention to the parts history and airworthiness to make sure it was produced according to the proper FAA standards. Parts should have appropriate documentation and labels that disclose this information.
At Aerospace Purchasing, owned and operated by ASAP Semiconductor, we can help you find all the aircraft 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 email@example.com or call us at 1-412-212-0606.
Airports are one of those types of places that don’t make any sense, or, at least, to the untrained eye they don’t. For all the chaos that happens in the terminals, especially around security screening and luggage claims, the chaos of the tarmac seems so much worse. In fact, the chaotic nature of the tarmac isn’t just worse, it’s incredibly expensive and has now become a bit of a priority to address.
From the landing and departing planes, the shuttles carrying passengers to and fro, and the hustle and bustle of the various different ground support crew and their equipment, there’s a lot happening on the airport tarmac. Especially with the ground support crew and their equipment. Ground support equipment, or GSE, is a broad range of equipment used to service and support aircraft operations, especially used near the terminals when the aircraft is on the ground between flights. They involve everything, including ground power operations, aircraft mobility, cargo/passenger handling and loading, catering, security, and more. Which is why accidents are dangerous and aplenty.
According to a 24-month long study from 2014 to 2015 with 80 aviation departments and fixed-base operators (FBOs) conducted by business aviation consulting group VanAllen, GSEs are incredibly problematic and happen far too often. The study concluded with a total of 64 accidents totaling $12.3 million. The resulting projected cost per accident for 2016 was estimated to be about $586K per accident at about 21 predicted accidents. And, off these accidents, 33% were towing accidents that were otherwise completely avoidable.
These numbers are alarming, so, it’s rather obvious why GSE accident prevention is such a priority. Airliners and airports want to reduce and prevent accidents as much as possible because efficient GSE operations ensure that schedules are being maintained and bottom lines are secured. The average cost of a GSE accident was nearly $400,000 back in 1998, taking only into consideration potential aircraft damage and lost revenue. Accidents also don’t just cost time and money, they are dangerous; it could be potentially life-threatening if ground support crew or passengers are involved in the accident.
So, there’s an incentive to train ground support crew and personnel on safety, how to move about the tarmac, how to handle accidents and emergencies, and so on. However, There are challenges to this too. In order to train ground support crew effectively, they will have to be subjected to hazards and dangerous situations on the field, instead of in the classroom. They need to be able to develop decision-making skills and response times with ample practice; the learning environment is difficult to model and simulate. But, it should all be worth it in the end. Afterall, investing money into better GSE training solutions is significantly better than losing an unknown amount of money to GSE accidents.
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All aircraft are fitted with some form of a direct current electrical system (DC) which generates, transmits, distributes, and stores electrical energy. These systems usually operate at 14- or 28-volts. Aircraft electrical systems are an integral component to an aircraft because they provide it with power. Most of these systems consist of the below components:
Supply electric current to the electrical system
Maintain charge in the battery
Produce alternating current (AC) and convert to direct current (DC)
Provides a source of power
Used to start the engine and backup the generator
Controls electrical power to the aircraft
Split into two functions: left switch controls the alternator and the right switch controls the battery
Allows the pilot to eliminate the alternator from the electrical system
Used in the event that the alternator goes into failure
Bus bar/Fuses/Circuit breakers Bus bar – used as a terminal that connects the main system to the equipment; provides a common point for voltage to distribute throughout the electrical system
Fuses –Protect from electrical overload; replaced once they are burnt out
Circuit Breakers–Also protect from electrical overload; Can be manually reset instead of replaced
Ammeter/Loadmeter Ammeter –Indicates condition of charging system; A negative indicator reflects more current being drawn from the battery, a positive indicator means there’s a regulator malfunction
Loadmeter –Reflects percentage of load that is placed on the generating capacity of electrical accessories and the battery; When all other electrical components are off, it shows the amount of charging current required by the battery
Indicates discharge in system
Any movement of current between the battery and alternator will cause the light to power on.
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One of the hardest things to do in the aviation industry is to deal with parts. An aircraft’s life can be long, but the same can’t be said for all of its parts. Some parts have to be replaced more frequently than others. And sometimes, you may need to replace these parts only to find out that they are no longer being manufactured. Luckily, there are procedures and authorizations in place that allow you to get the parts you need. To start, you can look at the original manufacturer part numbers, alternates, and PMA parts. Alternatively, you can look into alternate part numbers that have one-way or two-way interchangeability.
Parts Manufacturer Approval (PMA) is a direct authorization to a manufacturer from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to produce aircraft parts although they may not be the Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM). PMA is a combination of a design approval and production approval by the FAA to a manufacturer. In layman's terms, PMA parts are FAA approved parts.
A majority of the time the PMA parts will have alternate part numbers yet still have the same functionality as the OEM part. Approval for the PMA requires the FAA’s thorough analysis, maintaining airworthiness and identical design. It is especially common when the OEM is no longer manufacturing a part or no longer in business.
Alternatively, Supplemental Type Certificate (STC) is a design approval by the FAA to modify the current design of a part. STCs are typically used when there are no alternative parts or replacements available. STC involves an elaborate certification process in which the materials are tested, engineering is analyzed, and a prototype is manufactured and tested for compliance and conformance. Each design change and variation from the OEM part is listed and documented. The STC is useful when there are additional modifications needed to be made to a part. But, it’s a design approval only and has no inherent production approval like a PMA does.
Aerospace Purchasing, owned and operated by ASAP Semiconductor, should always be your first and only stop for all your aircraft parts related needs. Aerospace Purchasing is a premier supplier of OEM and PMA aircraft parts, whether new or obsolete. We’re available and ready to help 24/7x365. If you’re interested in a quote, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us at +1-412-212-0606.
“Turbo”. It sounds like some fake concept that Hollywood made up for the Fast and Furious franchise, but it’s not. It’s a real thing. “Turbo” is actually short for “turbocharger” a real engine component for cars. Turbochargers, in a nutshell, is a supercharger driven by a turbine powered by the engine’s exhaust gases.
Aircraft turbochargers make it so that an aircraft’s engine is able to work at the same capacity at higher elevations of around 18,000 ft. the same way that it would at sea level. At higher altitudes, because there is less air, the engine is no longer able to work at full capacity. The addition of a supercharger that compresses air allows the engine to go back to full capacity.
Turbochargers are made of two main parts, the turbine and the compressor. The turbine and the compressor are also made of two parts, a wheel and a housing for each. Generally, what happens is that exhaust gas is introduced to the system and guided by the turbine housing into the turbine wheel. The compressor wheel is connected to the turbine and turned by way of the forged steel shaft. The turning of the compressor wheel draws in air and compresses it. Air is passed to the compressor housing that converts the high-velocity, low-pressure air stream into a low-velocity, high-pressure stream, and then the air is pushed into the engine, forcing it to burn more fuel to produce more power.
Turbochargers are fascinating. They’re a feat of engineering that goes unnoticed by the average person. And perhaps that’s a good sign. People feel safe and secure flying and knowing that airliners are using quality parts to repair and maintain their aircraft engines to fly people hundreds of miles at altitudes of 18,000 ft. Here at Aerospace Purchasing, owned and operated by ASAP Semiconductor, we are the premier supplier of aerospace and aviation parts. Whether it’s a part for a turbocharged diesel engine or for a traditionally aspirated gasoline engine, we have it all. If you would like more information or to request a quote for a part, you can call us at +1-412-212-0606 or email us at email@example.com.
Turbochargers, despite what some may think, are not a figment of fanciful Hollywood imaginations. They’re a real engine component, generally geared more for use on aircraft, used on vehicles to make them more efficient. And they work in one of two ways, “turbocharging” and “turbonormalizing”.
Turbocharging is a “forced induction” that increases intake manifold pressure above that at sea-level. It uses a gas compressor to force more air into the engine’s combustion chamber than normally possible with a naturally aspirated engine, allowing the engine to maintain sea-level manifold pressure as altitude increases.
Turbonormalizing is a similar process in which an exhaust gas turbine drives a compressor to increase the engine’s intake manifold pressure. The manifold pressure is automatically limited to that of sea level at all altitudes up to the system critical level. After the critical altitude, the manifold pressure and, consequently, the power, decreases.
These two processes, as you can see, are very similar. They both involve compressing air and making it available so that the engine can make more power, drive a centrifugal compressor at high speeds as high as 120,000 RPM, and can use the same turbo components. The key, and only meaningful, difference is that the typical turbocharger uses around 32.5 “Hg of manifold pressure and the typical turbonormalizer uses around 30 “Hg of manifold pressure to make the same 285 horsepower at sea level, making turbonormalizing slightly more efficient.
These are important engine components, especially for aircraft, since they compress the air and feed it to the naturally aspirated engine so that it can create more power and fly at higher altitudes. Turbocharged or turbonormalized, all engine parts and engine components are subject to wear and tear, and therefore need to be repaired and maintained. Fortunately, if you need any turbocharger parts, you can depend on us at Aerospace Purchasing. Aerospace Purchasing, owned and operated by ASAP Semiconductor, is a leading supplier of aviation and aerospace parts and components. We have a vast inventory of parts new and obsolete and an experiences and friendly team ready to help you 24/7, 365 days a year. For a quote, or more information, call us at +1-412-212-0606, or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
A Parts Manufacturer Approval (PMA), is an alternate replacement part approved by the FAA. PMA parts are used in maintenance for type-certificated aircraft and engines. Approval for PMAs are granted based on a combination of design, production, and installation in one single document. PMA has a long history dating back almost 60 years to World War 2. After the war, there was a big supply of surplus military aircrafts. During this time, most OEMs who manufactured aircraft parts and aviation hardware components during the war went back to their regular production of automobiles and appliances. This made securing aircraft parts difficult. To assist this growing market, the FAA introduced PMA regulations to assist in the availability of aircraft replacement parts.
There are three PMA certification processes. The first is identicality with a license agreement. The Original Equipment Manufacturers licenses a supplier to produce a part and permits the supplier to sell directly in the aftermarket. The second process is identicality without a license agreement. This means a PMA company has access to information such as drawings, to demonstrate the company can produce a part that is identical to the OEM part. This happens without approval from the OEM. The last process is test and computation, which is the most common of the three. During this process, a PMA specialist utilizes test data to evidence the part as equivalent to the OEM part.
OEM and PMA suppliers follow the same rules. The FAA views PMA parts as equivalent to the OEM part. The use of PMA allows for a big saving in funds over an OEM product and has an extensive availability. PMA parts provide good solutions to the aviation market such as using the most up to date technology regarding design software and also providing in-house CCM capabilities.
Aerospace Purchasing, owned and operated by ASAP Semiconductor, is a sourcing and purchasing website dedicated towards aerospace requirements. Check out our complete aircraft parts manufacturers list. Customers can be directly connected to ASAP Semiconductor for fast quotes that are guaranteed to be answered within 15 minutes. With 5 locations in the USA, same day delivery or next day will meet customer requirements, especially fulfilling AOG situations faster than most competitors. By utilizing the many capabilities of Aerospace Purchasing, customer’s will not be disappointed in working with the company.