Grommets are a form of hardware component that may be found in countless everyday applications, present on jeans, boots, computers, cable housings, and much more. Commonly referred to as eyelets, grommets are simply pieces of material that can be placed within a precut hole. While fairly straightforward in design, grommets play a beneficial role in many applications, making it useful for one to have a basic understanding of what they are and how they might be used in various applications.
Aircraft are large and complex vehicles, and the fact that they can perform so optimally and safely while traversing the globe by air is a testament to their engineering. The various capabilities of aircraft are made possible through very careful design processes, those of which serve to balance numerous competing and demanding requirements to ensure that an aircraft meets all objectives related to strength, weight, cost, and more. While the design process of an airplane or helicopter may vary by type or model, we will discuss the basic process that most aircraft follow for your better understanding.
While aircraft have become a staple of worldwide travel which can be found across the globe, many still have little understanding of the true inner workings of these flying vehicles. For example, the engine is a very complex and powerful apparatus, allowing for enough thrust and power to be generated for heavy aircraft to remain airborne. Even in the aviation industry itself, there are often misconceptions about aircraft engines in terms of operational capabilities and hazards. As misconceptions are important to clear up for safety and proper operations, we will discuss the most common myths surrounding aircraft engines and why they are untrue.
Having adopted a multitude of alterations to improve their overall efficiency and power, aircraft have come a long way since the first stable flight by the Wright Brothers in 1903. Whereas early airplanes could support only a couple people, modern commercial airliners are substantial enough to carry hundreds. As such, you may have wondered at some point “how many parts are there in an aircraft?” For most of today’s commercial planes, the answer is in the millions. With safety and efficiency as a topmost priority in aircraft construction, each airplane is painstakingly assembled through various levels, such as wire and cable shop, paneling, wing assembly, and paint application. Though there are far too many parts to list individually, many of them can be categorized into five major areas, those of which are the fuselage, wings, engine, landing gear, and stabilizers.
From automobiles to aircraft, combustion is a powerful force for generating movement in a wide selection of vehicles. To harness enough force to propel a massive metal craft, airplanes rely on one of two types of engines: piston or prop. Though both are frequently used on similar aircraft, the two power sources can be compared for their relative differences in safety, cost, and performance. By knowing these differences along with the general working principles behind these devices, pilots and technicians alike can better understand how to best choose and/or maintain their engine.
Across aerospace, electronic, pharmaceutical, and countless other industries, linear actuators are employed to convert the rotational motion generated by an electric motor into linear motion. As terminology and applications for different types of linear actuators can become convoluted on the Internet, these parts are complex and versatile, so this blog will provide a simple overview of this popular part.
A pillow block bearing, often referred to as a plummer block, is a hardware component capable of supporting the functionalities of rotating shafts through its bearing surfaces and various accessories. Unlike a standard bearing, the pillow block bearing is an assembly that combines a bearing and a mounting block together. With a variety of bearings and mounting styles to choose from, such hardware proves useful for low-torque applications and provides an ease of adjustment for the benefit of the operator. In this blog, we will discuss the various types of bearings one may use for a pillow block bearing so that you can find the best solution for your needs.
The determination of an airplane's altitude by a pilot is paramount for several operational necessities, such as maintaining a safe distance from other in-flight aircraft, landing estimation, and terrain clearance. There are six types of altitude that are of navigational importance in this context, those of which include true altitude (TA), calibrated altitude (CA), density altitude (DA), pressure altitude (PA), indicated altitude, and absolute altitude.
The design of a fully-functional aircraft is incomplete without the presence of a robust grounding and bonding electrical system. This is because improper grounding can lead to several in-flight accidents from an over accumulation of electrostatic charge. Moreover, the subsequent discharge and voltage fluctuations of all connected devices can lead to the overall rise in the risk of shock hazards. However, that is not all; electromagnetic interference from the atmosphere and lightning strikes during stormy weather conditions pose additional threats. Therefore, this blog will shed some light on how electrical grounding in airplanes can be established to prevent such scenarios from emerging.
Aircraft cables are a type of versatile wire rope that is flexible, thin, and extremely durable. They are often composed of galvanized or stainless steel wires stranded collectively (usually between 8-28 strands), lending an ideal combination of strength and flexibility to the cable. However, when it comes to being the most durable and versatile, galvanized aircraft cables (GAC) outperform their competition by a wide margin. As a result, GACs are widely used in zip lines, winches, and cable railings, among other applications, and they are popular in most commercial applications for their corrosion resistance and high tensile strength. With this in mind, a typical aircraft cable is seldomly wider than a diameter of fourteen inches, and must be strong enough to hold an airplane in its place.
Butterfly valves belong to the family of quarter-turn rotational motion valves that are found in pipelines to shut-off flow. In some cases, butterfly valves are utilized to regulate flow, though it is not recommended because it can damage the valve disk and have a negative effect on their sealing properties. Nonetheless, they are used for a variety of process media and industries, especially in water supply, collection, and distribution. Other uses include pumping stations and for flow isolation in the marine industry.
Winches are a common aspect of the marine industry and various industrial processes, coming in the form of simplistic mechanical devices that allow for the tension of a rope, wire rope, or cable to be governed. To do this, the winch consists of a spool or drum with a hand crank attached, and they pull in and let out the rope or cable during operation. Winches are a common pulling device, often being found on tow trucks, elevators, steam shovels, construction equipment, and more. Depending on the particular application and its requirements, winches may also range from simplistic, hand-operated assemblies to robust and advanced devices. To help you be more familiar with winches and their use, we will discuss the most common types of winches that are available on the market.
Gate valves are used in a number of industrial applications to control the flow of fluids. Used in conjunction with other flow-controlling components, gate valves are an essential element in thousands of above-ground and underground pipe systems. In this blog, we will discuss the definition, function, types, and applications of gate valves.
Switches are mechanical or electronic components that are commonplace in countless circuits, capable of interrupting or diverting current for the means of managing electricity. As binary components, switches can either be in an on or off state. There are also many types of switches that one may use, each differing in its capabilities, operations, and advantages. In this blog, we will discuss the vacuum switch in particular, those of which are commonly found in electric heaters, waste oil heating systems, residential boilers, and more.
Within the realm of mechanical engineering and lifting operations, sheaves are a small but crucial component that may be used alongside a rope, belt, or cable for the means of lifting objects with a crane. Shaves are wheel-like pieces with a groove situated on their circumference, allowing for a rope or cable to rotate along the exterior. One side of the cable is connected to the object that is to be moved, while the other side is connected to the base of the crane. As the cable glides across the sheave, the object can be moved with ease.
Bearings are common machine components found in countless assemblies featuring moving parts. With their implementation, relative motion can be constrained as desired, and friction is mitigated between moving surfaces for increased efficiency and part health. Bearings can come in many different forms, each of which differs in their characteristics and functionality to facilitate the operations of a particular assembly. Cup and cone bearings are common to assemblies such as bicycle wheels, ensuring that they are able to function as intended.
A type of control valve, gate valves operate by raising and lowering an internal gate to control how much of a medium enters and exits a system. With its primary feature consisting of an unobstructed passageway, gate valves generate minimal pressure loss when transferring a medium. As gate valves can be found in a myriad of sizes, materials, pressure ratings, gate designs, and bonnet designs.
In the realm of electrical and mechanical power, DC and AC equipment often serve as power sources for a number of systems, components, and machinery. While direct current is an electric charge that flows in a single direction, alternating current will change directions periodically and its voltage will periodically reverse as well. In some instances, there may be electronic equipment that requires either direct or alternating current in particular, thus there are times when one generator or motor type may be incapable of accommodating an application. With a rotary switch known as a commutator, however, DC and AC motor equipment can have their current guaranteed to flow in a single direction. Commonly coming in the form of slip rings and split rings, having an understanding of each can help one find the right choice for their motor or power source.
When cutting holes into fabrics and materials for the means of passing components through, it can be very useful to protect the rough edges of the hole. With a component known as a grommet, ring, or edge strip, the fabric hole can be guarded from wear and tear caused by objects moving through the material. Typically constructed from metal, plastic, or rubber and being flared or collared on each side, such components are regularly found in a wide variety of applications such as for protecting shoelace holes, shower curtains, electrical wires, surgical devices, and much more.
Screw jacks are a common tool found wherever there is a need to lift, position, align, or hold a load. Their reliability and synchronization makes them applicable to a broad range of uses that alternative methods of handling are unable to accomplish. Their applications span across markets such as steel works equipment, water processing, pharmaceutical, medical and laboratory equipment, packaging equipment, nuclear, aerospace, and general mechanical handling. Screw jacks are also finding new uses as alternatives to traditional pneumatic and hydraulic systems. In this blog, we will cover screw jacks, their working principles, and types.
Aircraft lighting is important for safety during flight, and it allows for illumination to be provided in both the interior of an aircraft and the exterior. While illumination within the aircraft may be for the ease and comfort of crew members, passengers, and pilots, the exterior lighting systems serve a much more important role in ensuring flight safety in regard to collision avoidance and navigation.
For the transportation of fluids for hydraulics and other fluid assemblies, hoses are a crucial component that are widely used. As flexible and hollow tubing that may be used to transport fluids, hoses are useful for many fluid applications as they can be designed with high strength while remaining bendable for less constrictive installation. While the hose itself is important for transferring fluids, the hose coupling is paramount as it is what serves to connect the hose to pumps, taps, and even other hoses. As the coupling is the point of connection where fluids must pass through without facing leaking or pressure loss, it is paramount that the hose coupling is designed with high performance characteristics.
A flight bag, sometimes called a pilot bag, is a piece of luggage used by pilots to store their extra gear. Like most types of luggage, flight bags are equipped with an array of organizers and exterior pockets for storing devices and smaller items. Though a pilot could easily use a standard carry-on bag, flight bags are frequently designed specifically to store pieces of flight-related gear. Many flight bags have compartments for items such as headsets, radios, fuel testers, and other flight equipment. They also commonly feature extra padding to prevent these items from being damaged.
During the winter months, in the blink of an eye, your airfield and any aircraft on it can quickly become victimized by inclement weather. Without a proper plan of action, weather can have detrimental effects. However, there are specific steps you can take to ensure your aircraft is prepared for the elements. This blog will provide a rundown of these steps. While the following list is not comprehensive, and you should always consult the aircraft manufacturer for instructions on weatherization procedures, they could prove to be a big help in protecting your aircraft from the elements.
For a pilot to efficiently and safely operate an aircraft during flight operations, they will utilize a number of flight instruments that are located within the cockpit. Flight instruments are devices that relay to the pilot important information and data that is paramount to conducting operations. With such information, a pilot can better maintain level flight, make safe turns, have information regarding their positioning as compared to the horizon, and more. Due to their capabilities and use, flight instruments are mandated by a number of regulations set forth by governing bodies. In this blog, we will provide an overview of some of the common flight instruments that may be present within an aircraft cockpit, allowing you to better understand their functionalities and how to utilize their data.
An actuator is a mechanical or electromechanical that provides controlled and limited movements or positioning which are operated electrically, manually, or by various fluids including air, hydraulics, and more. Actuators carry out one of two motions: linear or rotary. Linear actuators convert energy into straight line motions, frequently in positioning applications, and feature a push and pull function. While rare, certain linear actuators are operated manually through the use of a rotating knob or hand wheel. Rotary actuators convert energy into rotary motion and are commonly used in ball valves, butterfly valves, and other types of valves. Depending on their application, both types of actuators have distinct advantages and disadvantages and come in various power configurations, sizes, and styles.
Thrust washers are a type of mechanical hardware component that are found in a vast number of assemblies such as appliances, power tools, machines, vehicles, and much more. While thrust washers are called washers by name and have a similar appearance, they are actually a type of bearing. In this blog, we will provide an overview of the thrust washer, allowing you to better understand its construction, functionality, and applications.
When you are operating or maintaining a reciprocating engine aircraft, one important component to be knowledgeable about is the connecting rod. The connecting rod is a component that is placed between the piston and crankshaft of the engine, allowing for forces to be transmitted between them. To operate efficiently, connecting rods need to have high strength so that they can withstand the loads that they are subjected to, as well as be light enough to mitigate inertia forces that result from the stopping of the rod and piston, the starting and ending of each stroke, and changing direction.
There are currently many safety precautions and mechanisms embedded in flight, from the very procedures to the quality assurance policies and right down to the nitty gritty tech that enables flight for an aircraft. However, there are ways to potentially better the systems that are already in place and ensure that for an even safer and more efficient way of flying. Some airlines like Airbus and many others have expressed interests in the utilization of new and smarter tech for flying as well as for training purposes. For a further discussion on this, read the article below.
While the use of glass fibers traces back centuries to Egyptian and Phoenician decoratives, it was not until the early 20th century that a scientific accident led to the creation of modern fiberglass that we know and use today. In 1932, Scientist Dale Kleist attempted to create an airtight seal by welding together two blocks of glass. While bombarding the molten glass with a jet of compressed air, a shower of glass fibers were created that could be used to form fiberglass, resulting in an easy method of production. Through the years, this method of creating fiberglass has steadily improved, and such materials have demonstrated their benefits for a number of industries and applications.
In any space or sector, communication is one of the most important key elements to ensuring a smooth and efficient operation. From improving logistics in a military operation to bettering the private relationships people have in their daily lives, it is certainly a truth that communication is key to having the best possible outcome in your goals. The same then can be said in an aviation setting. Communication between the pilot and the ground crew is absolutely important, and some may argue that it is even more crucial here than in other areas. This is why many different types of communication methods and avenues have been created in aviation, so as to ensure the safety of both flight crew, surrounding people, and its passengers.
Just as with automobiles, Aircraft rely on their wheels and brakes for safely slowing down during operation. Aircraft are intensely heavy vehicles, averaging around 175,000 pounds due to the structural weight and fuel. Because of this, wheels and brakes are important to mitigate the impact forces of landing, safely slow down or stop the aircraft, as well as allow for taxiing and ground operations. In this blog, we will discuss the types of aircraft brake systems, as well as how they are operated.
With the advent of advanced computerized technologies and software capability, it has become much easier and more feasible to train pilots outside of the aircraft. With the use of flight training devices (FTD) and flight simulators, pilots can become familiar with different flight techniques, awareness, and abilities to improve their piloting skills. With an advanced full motion flight simulator, some pilots may even be able to achieve type rating without ever having flown an aircraft. In this blog, we will discuss the differences between flight training devices and flight simulators, as well as some of the best flight simulator components to procure for your next project.
Since the advent of aircraft, the materials that make them up have undergone constant change. Early aircraft frames were built from wooden planks, and those designs were rendered obsolete when aluminum proved to be much more viable. Now, aircraft manufacturers are slowly integrating plastic and fiberglass trim and fairings due to the high strength to weight ratio of composites. Even the manufacturer Boeing has designed their 787 Dreamliner with 50% of the total materials being composites. Although this trend has been around since the 1950’s, the amount used within a single aircraft is ever growing with new technology and capabilities. With attention slowly turning away from aluminum, could composite parts prove to be the future of aircraft manufacturing?
Workplaces are often dynamic, fluid environments. When items like equipment and their corresponding wiring are moved or changed in any way, confusion is inevitable. To minimize this confusion, proper labeling, documentation, and management of wires is key. A properly-labeled cable system is a huge help in solving any technical issues. This blog will serve to explain the many benefits of organizing your cables, and how you can go about doing that.
Faulty wiring or wiring that is exposed may not be an uncommon thing to see in warehouses and other workforce environments, but the danger that faulty wiring poses is a serious one. Faulty or old wiring has the risk of igniting a fire and prompting electrical outbursts. These risks are why it is so crucial for wiring to have a skin to cover it. Leaving it exposed could lead to situations where an unconcealed wire could come into contact with combustible materials. In order to mitigate these risks, you can take steps to prevent any such hazards. Looking out for these risks is the first step for that. Below you can see some signs to look out for.
Electrical transformers are often a commonplace sight in many residential or commercial areas. They work to either increase or reduce a current for an electrical circuit, or convert alternating currents to direct currents for use. Nevertheless, these electrical machines are often known to create an electric hum, which can often be somewhat of a disturbance to others. Despite there being no actual moving parts in the transformer, there are still noises caused by the transformer’s functions.
Like all mechanical components, bearings need to be protected from environmental interference and regularly inspected to ensure that they work properly. However, poor work practices can also harm bearing performance. To preserve their geometrical tolerances, ball bearings, especially miniature and instrument series, need to be treated gently. Many bearing failures end up being due to improper handling techniques, rather than manufacturing defects.
Most people, unless they’ve been a part of an aircraft’s cabin crew, are unaware of the hours spent in safety training that flight attendants have undergone in order to be properly prepared for an emergency. The most that the average citizen sees of these flight attendants is during boarding time and during the air safety instructionals that are given prior to flying. But behind the scenes, these flight attendants not only train for providing safety instructions, but on how to prevent injuries, predict potential threats, and handle emergency situations.
Aircraft flying at lower altitudes need to be aware of nearby obstructions and buildings, for the obvious reason of ensuring that they don’t accidentally collide with them. During the night, warning lights and signals are used on both temporary and permanent structures that could be a hazard for aircraft passing nearby. Also called obstruction lights, these systems come in several different colors, shapes, and intensities to prevent a collision from happening.
Putting an inexperienced trainee pilot in the air can be a dangerous prospect. Even with an experienced instructor at the controls, it is far better that a trainee get experience with the aircraft before they ever take to the skies. Flight simulators, capable of replicating the experience of flying an aircraft, are therefore an excellent way to introduce trainees without putting them in the air. In this blog, we will review a brief history of the flight simulator.
Like all machinery, aircraft need spare parts for when their components fail and break down. A major part of stocking spare parts revolves around dealing with unexpected breakdowns. The mean time between unscheduled removals (MTBUR) is the average interval between breakdowns, but in smaller fleets of aircraft that have a smaller sample size, the actual interval can vary wildly. Therefore, airlines typically follow schedules that plan for the “sooner” half of “sooner or later.” Even then, the variance in breakdown intervals can mean that owning a large stock of spare parts is too expensive to be feasible.
“Drone” is a common term that is used to refer to an unmanned aircraft. In military terminology it is referred to as an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), or an unmanned aircraft system (UAS). It is a machine that can be maneuvered with a remote control or fly autonomously through pre-programmed flight paths embedded in their systems. Drones are designed with onboard sensors and GPS navigation which allow it to fly seamlessly.
The Amazon Prime service has changed the way consumers around the world shop. With the capacity to offer product delivery at wicked fast turnarounds, it’s not surprising that Amazon has invested in an aircraft freighter fleet of its own. In just three years, Amazon Prime Air, now coined Amazon Air, has expanded to a fleet of 40 leased aircraft in operation— with plans to grow their fleet to a total of 50 in the next two years.
Aircraft Camera System Parts have helped tremendously in assuring safety and quality during in-flight operations, and, as of recently, have been an effective way to expand the aviation industry to a larger demographic. However, under current Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) guidelines, there is a distinct lack of regulation regarding window camera, such as Go-Pro attachments, on approved aircrafts. This lack of specific wordage regarding camera attachments leads to confusion on whether or not these are acceptable modifications to aircrafts under Federal Aviation Regulations (FAR).
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