Aircraft turbine jet engines are a very complex and powerful machine, enabling humans to achieve the rapid worldwide flight that we had only dreamed of for most of our history. While the first aircraft was made in 1903, it was not until the 1930’s and 1940’s that countries like the United States, England, and Germany were able to design, manufacture, and implement the jet engine. In this blog, we will discuss how jet engines are developed and manufactured in the modern day.

When designing and testing a proposed jet engine, it can take up to five years due to the high complexity and plethora of parts that come together to make the engine. After development, it can take another two or so years to then manufacture it. After a design is thoroughly researched, designed, and tested, it comes time to finally create the engine.

With manufacturing, the engine is created in subassemblies that are all put together at the end. The fan blades, for instance, are created through shaping and welding titanium together. Then, compressor discs are engineered without error, as to avoid any fractures that may occur during their heavy use. In recent times, the process to manufacture them involves powder metallurgy, which solidifies molten metal quickly enough to avoid contamination. After the metallic powder is created, it is placed in a forming case and vacuum in which high pressure and heat work together to fuse the powder into a disc that is attached to the fan blades. Compressor blades are created through ceramic casting and machining to form their shape.

While turbine discs follow the same process as the compressor disc, the turbine blades differ from compressor blades in that they use a wax duplicate to create their shape. These wax blades are encased in ceramic slurry which is heated to harden the ceramics while the wax is removed. Metal is then poured into the ceramics to replace the wax, and metal grains are carefully attached as to further protect the blades from the stressors they endure. After all this is done, the blades are then shaped, and cooling passageways are formed.

Combustion chambers are manufactured with the use of alloyed titanium which is poured into molds before they are mounted on the engine. With titanium and kevlar, the inner and outer ducts are created respectively. After all components are made, the engine is then assembled. During the engine assembly, components are placed together and machines can aid in the process for precision. When the engine is finalized, it is sent to the manufacturer for the rest of the components to be attached.


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Since the first flight of the Wright brothers in 1903, aircraft technology and capabilities have come a long way. The speed, power, and maneuverability of aircraft has redefined how we fly, but has also created a demand and need for accurate flight readings for safety. Conventional mechanical instruments did not always have accurate indications, and they often faced various problems and risk of failure the more they were pushed. Luckily, the solution to these problems came in the air data computer which revolutionized aircraft readings.

Air data computers work to collect and analyze various data that is received from the pitot and static pressure sensors and other inputs. Utilizing this data, the various types of air data computers can determine pertinent trend data such as true airspeed, altitude, angle of attack, temperature, Mach, air density ratios, and more. Air data computers can be found in almost every modern aircraft, and they can also benefit other vehicles such as helicopters and space shuttles. Depending on the vehicle, the system may differ in its functionality and readings.

Through the measurement of pressure, velocity and altitude readings can be obtained. As the aircraft moves through the air at high speeds, pressure builds up in front of the vehicle. This pressure is then directed into a pitot tube which is used to calculate the speed of the vehicle. The static port of the aircraft is connected to a pressure sensor of the air data computer, and together the port and sensor measures the changes in air pressure as the aircraft ascends. As air molecules become progressively less dense farther away from sea level, the static port can use this change to discern the elevation of the aircraft.


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Shims and washers are two of the most basic tools in use in the aerospace and aviation industries. However, they both play an important role in any piece of machinery they’re found in. Both shims and washers are used to guarantee a part will fit properly, aid in flexibility, and improve the overall performance of a given part in a given application. Despite their similarities, shims and washers differ in function and application.

Shims are constructed in the shape of a wedge, tapered to easily fit into gaps between adjacent surfaces. Their chief purpose is to create a level surface or better support. The base material used to manufacture shims is called shim stock. The type of stock used is dependant on the planned application of the item. The materials commonly used to create shims include plastic, rubber, wood, stone, metals, layered paper and layered aluminum foil. Though these are the most common types of shims, there are many more specialized types such as laminated shims, calibration foil shims, and certified plastic shims.

Laminated stock is advantageous because it provides users with the ability to remove layers of the shim until the optimal size is found. Calibration foil shims are used to create a precise plastic coating thickness on an item, surface, or substrate, and come either single foil or layered. Certified plastic shims are a cost-effective alternative to metal shims when the application doesn’t necessitate the strength of metal shims.

Washers are made from many materials such as metal, plastic and rubber, and come in a huge variety of sizes. They are commonly in a disk-like shape with a hole in the middle for a screw or other fastener to be inserted. They improve function of machinery by acting as spacers, fitting, locking devices, vibration reducers, and wear pads. The three most common types of washers are plain washers, spring washers, and lock washers.

Plain washers are used to distribute weight, protect joined surfaces, and protect materials from corroding. Spring washers and lock washers have very similar functions, namely preventing connections from weakening or slipping apart. They put up with factors like weight change, pressure, movement, friction and vibration and are designed to be resistant to rotation. Lock washers are sometimes manufactured with teeth-like grips to further help prevent movement.



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The Aerospace & Defense (A&D) industry is currently experiencing a boom, and while growth is indicative of a thriving and successful market, it does bring about its own set of challenges. Growth, coupled with new technologies, continued consolidation, and emerging markets, can create newer problems and disruptions in supply chain. If A&D companies wish to continue seeing growth, then they must be able to adapt to such disruptions and develop preparative measures on working through them.

Disruptions in an aviation company’s supply chain process is not something to be taken lightly. If there is a disruption in the process, it can not only put a halt to business for both the client and suppliers, but it can equate to millions of dollars in losses. Disturbances in the process are, however, an inevitability, so it truly pays to be prepared. Here are just some examples of disruptions that you can anticipate.

1. Inventory Management

Inventory management is crucial to the supply chain process, and if a company hasn’t got total control and understanding of their inventory, then they will feel the consequences. The best way to manage inventory of manufacturer and prevent having too little or too much is through predictive analysis. Predictive analysis relies on data analytics to predict demand and can be used to help companies understand when they should stock up on supplies or reduce production on others. Too many supplies can result in having an excess of antiquated parts that become obsolete with new technologies, while too little inventory can result in delays in high expedited shipping costs.

2. Changes in Geopolitical and Environmental Climates

A successful supply chain company will anticipate ripples in the environmental and geopolitical climate of locations significant to them, including the areas where they have manufacturing warehouses or locations where they are to supply items. Such disruptions can include natural disasters such as fires, earthquakes, tsunamis and other phenomena that can affect supply. They can also include political and economic unrest that can result in labor strikes, or regulations that can halt supply and delivery. In this case, simply being aware of an area’s climate while also being cognizant of supply portfolio can greatly help mitigate disruptions.

3. Demanding Customer Base and Supplier Health

In this thriving market comes a rise in competitors who offer diverse choices for customers. With more competition comes a higher and more diverse demand from customers. A&D supply chain companies must recognize this reality and work to prepare for such demand by being on top of trends and being familiar with what competitors are offering. Additionally, they must also be cognizant of their on health and work to mitigate any issues (e.g., financial strain, reputation, etc.) that can disrupt their own supply chain process. For more information on A&D supply chain and the options offered, consult experts at Aviation Sourcing Solutions, the online distributor of hard to find aviation parts and MRO support services.


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The aircraft flight control system is made up of the primary aircraft flight control system and the secondary system. In the primary system, there are three components which includes the ailerons, the elevator, and the rudder. The second system consists of the wing flaps, spoilers, trim systems, and leading edge devices. These control systems are the method in which pilots can steer, and increase or decrease height. For a high level basic look at these systems, it helps to analyze the role and function of the three primary flight control surfaces.

Ailerons

The ailerons are flaps located on the outer ear edge of each wing. When the pilot moves the control stick to the right, the flap on the right wing turns up while the flap on the left wing turns down. This creates a difference in air pressure on each wing, with the right wing decreasing pressure below the wing, and thus decreasing lift. The opposite happens on the left wing with the wing gaining lift because the air pressure below the wing was increased. The overall effect: the aircraft is able to steer to the right.

Elevator

Known also as the stabilizer, the elevator is a hinge located on the horizontal tail fin. The elevator is designed to control the pitch of the aircraft, meaning it controls the up and down movement of the nose of the aircraft. They operate in the same manner that the ailerons operate, in that when the elevator is pointed up, the plane goes up. By moving the elevator up, there is less lift on the tail and vice versa

Rudder

The rudder is found on the vertical tail fin and is used with the aileron to turn the aircraft. The rudder swivels left or right, and in turn, causes the plane tail to turn in either direction. Its role is to counter the adverse yaw rotation of the plane, which is the movement on the yaw axis that moves the nose of the aircraft side to side.

If you need aileron parts, rudder assembly parts, elevator assembly parts, or other parts of the primary flight control systems, reach out to the team at Aviation Sourcing Solutions, the leading online distributor of hard to find aviation parts and MRO services.

At Aviation Sourcing Solutions, owned and operated by ASAP Semiconductor, we can help you find all the unique parts for the aerospace, civil aviation, and defense industries. For a quick and competitive quote, email us at sales@aviationsourcingsolutions.com or call us at + 1-714-705-4780.


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Even on small aircraft, a way to precisely locate structural components is essential for maintenance and repairs. Various numbering systems are used to locate specific wing frames, fuselage bulkheads, or other structural components on an aircraft, with most manufacturers using a system of station marking. For example, a nose may be designated “zero station,” and all other stations are located at measured distances in inches behind the zero station. When a blueprint reads fuselage frame 137, that station can be located 137 inches behind the nose of the aircraft.

To locate structures to the left or right of the center line of an aircraft, a similar method is employed. Most manufacturers consider the center line of the aircraft to be a zero station from which measurements can be taken to the left or right to locate an airframe member. This is most often used for the horizontal stabilizers and wings.

When trying to locate a structure member, always double-check a manufacturer’s numbering system, as they can differ from company to company. However, most use designations similar to one another.

  • Fuselage stations (Fus. Sta. or FS) are numbered in inches from a reference or zero point known as the reference datum. The reference datum is an imaginary vertical plane at or near the nose of the aircraft from which the fore and aft distances are measured. The distance to a given point is measured in inches parallel to a center line extending through the aircraft from the nose through the center of the tail cone. Some manufacturers also call the fuselage station the body station, or BS.
  • Buttock line or butt line is a vertical reference plane down the center of the aircraft from which measurements left or right can be made.
  • Waterline (WL) is the measurement of height in inches perpendicular from a horizontal plane usually located at the ground, cabin floor, or some other easily referenced location.
  • Aileron station (AS) is measured outboard from, and parallel to, the inboard edge of the aileron, perpendicular to the rear beam of the wing.
  • Flap station (KS) is measured perpendicular to the rear beam of the wing parallel to, and outboard from the inboard edge of the wing.
  • The nacelle station (NC or Nac. Sta.) is measured either forward or behind the front spar of the wing and perpendicular to a designated water line.

In addition to these, larger aircraft may also have horizontal stabilizer stations (HSS), vertical stabilizer stations (VSS), and powerplant stations (PSS). In every case, the manufacturer’s terminology should be consulted.

At Aviation Sourcing Solutions, owned and operated by ASAP Semiconductor, we can help you find all the aircraft fuselage parts for the aerospace, civil aviation, and defense industries. For a quick and competitive quote, email us at sales@aviationsourcingsolutions.com or call us at 1-714-705-4780.



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Smaller aircraft have relatively low flight control loads, and the pilot can operate the flight controls on hand without issue. However, as aircraft started to fly faster and get larger, hydraulic power boost systems were implemented to help maintain control. Power boost systems assist the pilot in overcoming high control forces, but the pilot can still actuate the flight controls by cable or push rod. In recent years, electric fly-by-wire systems unassisted by hydraulics have become more prevalent, such as on the F-16 Fighting Falcon and 787 Dreamliner, but many other models still rely on hydraulic systems.

In most aircraft, hydraulic power packs serve as the power boost systems. A hydraulic power pack is a small unit that consists of an electric pump, filters, a reservoir, and valves. The advantage of a power pack is that there is no need for a centralized hydraulic power supply system and long stretches of hydraulic lines, which reduces overall weight. Power packs can be driven by either the engine gear box or electric motor. By integrating all essential valves, filters, sensors, and transducers, packs reduce system weight, eliminate the opportunity for external leakage, and simplify troubleshooting. These power pack systems will have an integrated actuator which is used to control stabilizer trim, landing gear, or flight control surfaces directly.

Power pack systems follow the same principles and use the same types of parts as all hydraulic systems, starting with the reservoir. The reservoir is the tank in which an adequate supply of fluid for the system is stored. Fluid flows from the reservoir to the pump, gets forced through the system, and eventually returned to the reservoir. The reservoir supplies the operating needs of the system, and replenishes fluid lost to leakage. The reservoir also serves as an overflow basin for excess fluid forced out of the system by thermal expansion, the accumulators, and by piston and rod replacement.

All aircraft hydraulic systems have one or more power-driven pumps and may have a hand pump as an additional unit for emergency circumstances. Most power-driven hydraulic pumps are of variable delivery, compensator-controlled type.

Valves control the speed and/or fluid flow in the hydraulic system. They provide for the operation of various components when desired, and the speed at which the components operate at.

Filters are installed in the piping of hydraulic systems to, as their name implies, filter hydraulic fluid. This includes preventing air bubbles forming, and to straining out foreign contaminants.

At Aviation Sourcing Solutions, owned and operated by ASAP Semiconductor, we can help you find all the hydraulic systems and parts for the aerospace, civil aviation, and defense industries. For a quick and competitive quote, email us at sales@aviationsourcingsolutions.com or call us at 1-714-705-4780.



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A slip ring is an electrical connector component that is designed to carry a current from a wire into a rotating device. It can be used in any electromechanical system that requires rotation while it transmits power. Slip rings can simplify system operations, eliminate the need for freestanding wires, and improve overall mechanical performance. 

The composition of slip ring hardware consists of a graphite or metal contact brush which moves on the outside diameter of a rotating ring. As the ring turns, the electric current is conducted through the brush to the metal ring, establishing a connection. Slip rings typically operate with multiple rings that provide an even distribution and flow of electrical current to multiple portions of the device. The wires from the immobilized structure loop around the compartment which houses the electricity conducting rings. Power can be supplied to the slip ring by connecting wires to the brush wire, through the brush block. The electricity transfers from the brush wires to the metal rings, then makes its way to the outside slip ring, and ultimately ends up at the device. 

Slip rings are used for power, electrical generators, alternators, ethernet signal transmission, proximity switches, and many other functions. They are available in a wide array of configurations, types, and materials to fit most applications. For low current signal circuits, gold on gold slip rings are recommended. In cases of higher current power circuits, silver on silver slip rings work best. Slip rings are often integrated into rotary unions and send power/data to and from rotating machinery with a single device. 

Slip rings can be organized into three classifications: shaft type, disk type, and differential slip. The ring surface of shaft type slip rings is distributed along the axial direction. These rings are isolated by insulating sheets and have high reliability/durability; they are also low cost and easy to maintain. Disk type slip rings utilize a series of concentric rings to load electric currents. The brushes are distributed on top of concentric rings and act as a stator. Differential slip rings have a complex structure and high manufacturing costs as they are composed of three parts: differential mechanism, ring core, and auxiliary components. They are mainly used in radar systems and military applications. Slip ring technology is impressively diverse and can be utilized in many industries.  

At Aviation Sourcing Solutions, owned and operated by ASAP Semiconductor, we can help you find all the slip ring 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 sales@aviationsourcingsolutions.com or call us at +1-714-705-4780.


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Engine ignition leads are used to power spark plugs for prominent commercial assemblies— the Rolls Royce Trent 1000 utilized by Boeing B787’s, Rolls-Royce Trent 900 engine integrated on the Airbus A380, and Pratt & Whitney PW2000 engines all incorporate some type of ignition leads. Spark plugs allow combustion within the ignition system but transferring current across a spark plug gap wouldn’t be possible without ignition leads.

In a piston engine assembly, a spark plug is attached to the magneto through means of ignition leads. The actuator component sends positive voltage across one lead, and negative voltage down the next lead. Current from the ignition leads form a conductive path between the ground and center electrodes of a spark plug. At this time, the plug is able to fire. 

The more capacitance a lead has, the more current it can generate across the spark plugs’ gap between its ground electrodes and its core. The distance between the core and electrodes is engineered to build up to a specified voltage before firing and discharge.

In a gas turbine engine, standard ignition leads, or high-tension ignition leads are utilized to provide voltage to ignitor plugs within a capacitor-type system. The functioning of leads in this capacity is similar in concept, but on a bigger scale. An igniter plug must handle higher energy current than a spark plug. Because an igniter plug also operates in an environment that has lower operating pressure but a higher voltage emission upon firing, it features a wider electrode gap than a spark plug.

For both piston engine and gas turbine engine applications, dual ignition systems are required by the Federal Aviation Association. This ensures that if the ignition system has a problem, the other components can act as a continuous ignition system until the issue can be resolved.

At Aviation Sourcing Solutions, owned and operated by ASAP Semiconductor, we can help you find ignition leads, spark plugs, and more. For a quick and competitive quote, email us at sales@aviationsourcingsolutions.com or call us at +1-714-705-4780.


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Most car owners know of spark plugs because they’re a common engine component that often needs to be replaced and are integral for an engine to work. Without them, the engine will not start. The electrical energy from the plugs is used to create a spark, which ignites the fuel-air mixture in the combustion chamber. 

Spark plugs are connected to high voltage— generated by an ignition coil or magneto. Current flows from the coil and a voltage develops between the central and side electrodes. But, fuel and air in the gap acts as an insulator and prevent an immediate fire. When the voltage exceeds the dielectric strength of the gases, the gases ionize— the gas then becomes a conductor, allowing the current to flow. The increase in the temperature of the spark channel causes the ionized gas to expand rapidly, which generates a small explosion.

The thermal performance of spark plugs indicates their heat range, or their ability to dissipate heat. On the firing end of a spark plug, the temperature must be high enough to prevent fouling but low enough to prevent pre-ignition. Cold spark plugs have a short heat flow path, which results in a quick rate of heat transfer; on the other hand, hot spark plugs have a longer heat transfer path, which results in a slower rate of heat transfer. It’s important to choose spark plugs that create optimal thermal performance. If the spark plug is too cold, it can cause carbon fouling and if it’s too hot, it can cause overheating.       

Although they are common components in an engine, they are not simple, and are made to be very precise. Their construction includes ribs, an insulator, the hex, shell, plating, gasket, threads, ground electrode, center electrode, spark park electrode gap, and an insulator nose.

At Aviation Sourcing Solutions, owned and operated by ASAP Semiconductor, we can help you find all the spark plugs and insulator parts you need, new or obsolete. For a quick and competitive quote, email us at sales@aviationsourcingsolutions.com or call us at 1-714-705-4780.


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