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.
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:
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.
“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.
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”.
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.
Boeing company just recently increased its already large investment in additive manufacturing. Additive manufacturing, also known as 3D printing, is becoming the future of manufacturing. 3D printing is a process in which materials are meshed together using a computer software and then printed creating a three-dimensional object. 3D printing is being used in many different fields to lower the cost of production and shorten lead times. Boeing is showing a huge interest in Morf3D, a 3D printing company with a focus in the metal-based engineering field. Morf3D has technology that has allowed them to create stronger and lighter aircraft components. The company has a mission to provide innovative solutions to sustain eco-systems while solving complex design and manufacturing challenges that fully benefit today’s world. Morf3D has already created many products for Boeing which include aluminum and titanium components for helicopters and satellites.
After uploading a picture this past March on Twitter, Boeing revealed the first Section 41 (Boeing’s internal designation for both the nose and forward fuselage) had entered their Everett factory’s 40-27 bay. The first 777-9 version of the 777X family line that enters fuselage assembly will be utilized to static ground testing. Inside the 40-27 bay, Section 41 will connect to both the center and aft fuselage sections. A new process will be used, which was first introduced almost 2 years ago on the 777-300ER and 777-200LR programs. Choosing not to load the assemblies into a rotating tool fixture, Boeing instead has chosen to pair the 777X by utilizing the fuselage automated upgrade build process, or FAUB. During this process, sections are placed into moveable cradles and paired together by robots for drilling and fastening.
The Aerospace industry is a very competitive and large industry. This keeps manufacturers fighting to be on top by increasing productivity and constantly making improvements. Aircrafts are very intricate and are very reliable on products, especially fasteners which hold the planes together, to keep passengers safe always. A single aircraft has usually around 2 million fasteners, placed in small and cramped spaces. This makes it difficult for manufacturers to tighten these fasteners to the needed amount. That is where these custom fastener heads come in huge. They allow the manufacturer to tighten these fasteners in a simpler manner, which in turn creates a more efficient production allowing more aircrafts to be made with the highest level of reliability and safety.
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