A Look at TSO-C173

Posted on October 28, 2020 James Williams A Look at TSO-C173

If you spend enough time in or around the world of aviation, you will eventually hear the term TSO used. In an industry with so many highly-specialized parts and practices, the many acronyms and abbreviations can become hard to remember. This blog will cover the TSO in general, as well as the specific TSO-C173.

TSO stands for technical standard order and refers to the minimum performance standards put forth by the United States Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) for specified materials, parts, processes, and appliances found throughout civil aircraft. Any part of an aircraft, regardless of its size or importance to the aircraft’s function, must have authorization that it meets the minimum standards necessary for operation. The most basic authorization is called a Type Certificate (TC). This is issued to the manufacturer of an aircraft or part after the FAA declares the part has sufficiently met performance standards. Another authorization, the Supplementary Type Certificate (STC), is given when an aircraft undergoes significant modification, addition, or repair. For instance, if a passenger aircraft is converted into a freight aircraft, an STC must be issued before it is able to fly.
Now that you have an understanding of TSOs, let’s look at a specific one: TSO-C173. TSO-C173 pertains to manufacturers of permanently installed rechargeable lead acid aircraft batteries, as well as nickel-cadmium aircraft batteries. This TSO applies to batteries that provide power for aircraft equipment, such as emergency and standby systems, as well as electrical power to start aircraft engines or auxiliary power units. TSO-C713 batteries can be installed on an aircraft only after proving they meet the airworthiness requirements of the specific aircraft model they are being used on. In some cases, a separate FAA approval may be needed before installing the battery.
There are several benefits of using a TSO-C173 authorized battery. For one, aircraft manufacturers seeking type certification for their aircraft will save time and money by using an already-authorized battery that meets FAA TSO-C173 standards and is considered airworthy. STC applicants will also see benefit for having an airworthy battery when seeking a Parts Manufacturer Approval (PMA). A PMA is similar to a TSO, but is application-specific rather than part-specific. This means the approval applies only to the specific aircraft models for which the battery is considered airworthy.
There are three requirements included in TSO-C173: electrical performance, safety, and environmental characteristics. To meet the electrical performance standards, the battery must show positive capacity and power ratings at various temperatures, charge and discharge characteristics, life-cycle testing, charge acceptance, charge retention, recovery from deep discharge, and shelf life. Safety standards include short circuit, induced destructive overcharge, and insulation resistance, as well as dielectric strength, explosion containment, and strength of component parts. Lastly, environmental characteristics refer to the battery’s ability to work in a wide range of conditions. This includes shock, vibration, altitude, temperature shock, humidity, salt spray, fluid contamination, and fungus resistance, as well as operational and crash safety. For TSO parts and much more, look no further than Aerospace Purchasing.
At Aerospace Purchasing, owned and operated by ASAP Semiconductor, we can help you find all types of TSO aircraft batteries for the aerospace, civil aviation, and defense industries. We are a top supplier of TSO authorized batteries under TSO-C173, TSO-C142A, and others. We’re always standing by to help you find all the parts and equipment you need, 24/7-365. As the only independent distributor with a no China sourcing pledge, we can guarantee that each part we sell will come from a trusted manufacturer. For a quick and competitive quote, email us at sales@aerospacepurchasing.com or call us at 1-412-212-0606.

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