Modern aircraft are made of numerous metal components, and those components obviously need to be held together. The body panels must be attached to the skeleton, the wings to the fuselage connector, and so on. There are several different methods for holding metal parts together, such as riveting, bolting, brazing, and welding. The purpose of all of these processes is to produce a union that is as strong as the parts that are joined.
Aluminum and its alloys, the primary materials for aircraft construction, are difficult to solder. To make a good union and a strong joint, aluminum components can either be welded, bolted, or riveted together. Riveting fulfills the requirements of strength and neatness and is far easier to do than welding. Therefore, riveting is the most common method for fastening aluminum alloys in aircraft construction and repair.
A rivet is a mechanical fastener used to hold two or more metal sheets, plates, or pieces of metal together. A head is formed on one end when the rivet is manufactured, while the rest of the rivet is known as the shank. During the riveting process, the shank of the rivet is placed through matched holes in two pieces of material, and the tip is then upset to form a second head to clamp the two pieces securely together. This typically takes the form of a pneumatically driven rivet gun hammering one end while a tool called a bucking bar holds the other end in place. The end result is a second head called a shop head.
The shop head functions just like how a nut does for a bolt and holds the pieces of metal together between it and the manufacturer’s head. Rivets are generally used to hold rib sections in place, join spar sections, secure fittings to parts of the aircraft among other usages. There are two main kinds of rivets used in an aircraft- solid shank type, which needs to be operated by using a bucking bar and another is special blind rivets, which are used where it is impossible to use a bucking bar.
Solid shank rivets are identified by the material they are made from; their head type, size of shank, and temper condition. They are almost always made from aluminum alloy, strengthened and tempered to different specifications dependent on their usage, but alternative metals like copper can be used as well. However, it is important to not mix metals in riveting, such as using a copper rivet on aluminum structure. This is because all metals possess a small electrical potential, and when dissimilar metals are in contact with each other in the presence of moisture, a small electrical current flows between them. This creates chemical byproducts and causes the metals to deteriorate.
At Aerospace Aviation 360, owned and operated by ASAP Semiconductor, we can help you find all the rivets 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, 24/7-365. For a quick and competitive quote, email us at email@example.com or call us at 1-412-212-0606.
Bearings are, by definition, parts of a machine that bear friction between a rotating part and its housing. Ball bearings are the most common type of bearing, and as their name implies, use bearings to maintain the separation between the inner races. Ball bearings are most often used between cantilever and rotary shafts to transfer axial or radial load and need to be retained in all three directions (radial, axial, and circumferential) in relation to their housings and shafts. In this blog, we’ll use some examples of bearings in machinery, and their retaining methods to explain how they work.
In an idler pulley, which regulates the idler in an automobile engine, the pulley is mounted with a cantilever pin, while a bearing retaining collar is used to fix the idler pulley bearing. A washer between the bearing and the collar provides access to the collar’s tightening screw. The washer’s outer diameter needs to match the outer diameter of the bearing’s access ring.
Multiple retaining methods can be used in conjunction with one another. Bearings mounted on two t-shaped bearing holders have three retaining methods placed upon them. First, a metal washer is used on the tightening side of the cantilever pin, holding it against the inner ring of a radial bearing. Secondly, a bearing spacer is placed between the link arm and a bearing to support the link’s rotation motion. Finally, a bearing on the opposite end is fixed to the cantilever pin shaft by its inner ring with a bearing end cap.
Rotating shafts are retained by bearing holder sets and bearing nuts by anti-loosening set screws or bearing lock nuts. Loosening the bearing nut is prevented by using a set screw and a set piece made of copper. The copper set piece is first inserted into a screw hole, and the screw is tightened to crush the soft copper alloy on the soft thread to prevent the bearing nut from loosening. Bearing holding pins, also called bearing shaft screws, can also be used. A bearing pin holds against the inner ring’s outer diameter from the end side, and a collar from the inside is pressed against the inner ring’s outer diameter to fix the bearing to the shaft.
Engine failure is not uncommon in airplanes and is no stranger to piston engine aircraft. These engines use one or more reciprocating pistons to convert pressure into a rotational motion and operate on the same basic principles as automobile engines. Piston engine aircraft utilize dual ignition systems to improve redundancy and air cooling to reduce weight. Despite this, these aircraft are susceptible to mechanical failure including spark failure, fuel issues, and airflow deficiencies.
Mechanical failures can be attributed to overheating, corrosion, or a lack of lubrication. An oil pump failure usually results in a seized piston, rendering the engine inoperable. Cracked cylinders, broken valves, and failed oil pans are typically caused by a combination of corrosion and overheating. Poor engine management is also a common reason for engine malfunctions. A cracked or broken propeller can deteriorate an engine over time and ruin the mounts holding the engine in place. Be sure to do regular maintenance checks on your aircraft to avoid mechanical failures.
Another common challenge that can occur with piston engine aircraft failure is a lack of spark. There are multiple reasons a spark plug might fail. One is due to lead fouling that accrues around the plug, leading to the deposit of metallic lead within the spark plug housing. Although each cylinder has two plugs, routine inspection is necessary to ensure that you aren’t running the engine on one plug. Spark plug cables are also prone to failure, especially if the plane operates in hotter climates.
Fuel issues also contribute to mechanical malfunctions. Contaminants in fuel, specifically water, can disrupt a successful flight. Water is denser than fuel and will be drawn to the engine quicker. Water that is dissolved in the fuel can also cause it to freeze. A fuel pump also has the possibility of failure; however, most aircraft have an electrical backup to circumvent this issue.
Piston engines can also fail due to a lack of air. Ice can impede the airflow in an aircraft, specifically if the intake filters freeze. Ice can also accumulate on the carburetor, blocking airflow to the engine as ice accumulates in the carb venturi. This problem is solved by adding engine heat to the frozen areas.
At Aerospace Aviation 360, owned and operated by ASAP Semiconductor, we can help you find all the engine 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, 24/7-365. For a quick and competitive quote, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us at +1-412-212-0606.
Aircraft data plates are Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) approved identifications for an aircraft. The plates are often metal and are etched with vital registration information about the aircraft. It includes the date of manufacture, model number, serial number, and registration number. All aircraft— from military grade to amateur built— are required by the FAA to display a data plate.
Title 14 CFR Part 45 lists the identification and registration marking requirements for an aircraft. The FAA states that the plates must be secured to the exterior of the aircraft. It must be legible to someone on the ground and not placed in a location where it will be defaced or removed during normal service. The plate must also be attached to the aircraft in a way that will prevent it from being lost or destroyed in case of an accident. It cannot be placed on removable surfaces, such as the door, it has to be located on the fuselage.
Metal photo photosensitive anodized aluminum is the best option for data plates because they resist corrosion caused by extreme environmental conditions. They are durable, lightweight, and resistant to extreme temperatures, sunlight, chemicals, etc. These plates have proven to be durable for more than 20 years.
The aircraft data plate is required to obtain a standard airworthiness certificate. If the plate is lost, stolen, or damaged the operator should seek a replacement from the original manufacturer. If, for some reason, obtaining it through them is impossible, the operator should contact their local Flight Safety Standards District Office or Manufacturing Inspection District Office and they will assist them in finding an approved replacement. Ordering them online is risky due to the inability to prove that they were produced by the manufacturer or an FAA approved alternative source.
You’d be hard-pressed to find someone who likes abrupt stops. It’s relatively normal on a bike, worrisome in a car, and just plain old dangerous on a plane. But, surprisingly, airplanes didn’t always have brakes. In the early days of aviation, when the Wright Brothers had just stunned the world with their first sustained flight in a heavier-than-air contraption, there were no brake systems; slower speeds and skidding to a gradual stop were the norm. Fortunately, that’s the no longer the case due to the advancements in aviation made during WWI.
In general, aircraft brake systems have mechanical and/or hydraulic linkages connected to the rudder pedals, allowing the pilot to control the brakes. Pushing the right rudder pedal activates the right main wheel brake, while the left rudder pedal activates the left main wheel brake. The entire process converts kinetic energy of motion into heat energy via friction. Common aircraft brakes include the single disc, floating disc, and fixed disc brakes.
Most brakes, like the ones described above, use hydraulic power to operate, so they require brake actuating systems to deliver the required hydraulic fluid pressure to the brake assemblies. There are three basic brake actuating systems: an independent system separate from the aircraft’s main hydraulic system; a booster system that uses the aircraft’s main hydraulic system when necessary; and a power brake system that uses only the aircraft’s main hydraulic system. While they vary from model to model, they all operate based on the same principles.
Emergency and anti-skid brakes are another common concept that we can’t imagine living without today but didn’t exist until recently. These are used as added assurance that an aircraft comes to a stop when need be. These generally come with their own backup power supply and actuating system.
And of course, for even more added safety, aircraft brake systems and assemblies are subject to rather frequent and rigorous inspection, maintenance, and repair schedules. Because brake assemblies are typically composed of many different rotables, consumables, and expendables, each with different lifespans, everything needs to be checked properly and on-time.