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.
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 popular rod end bearing.
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.
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