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Aircraft Actuating Cylinders


aircraft actuating cylinders

One of the most important parts of an aircraft is the actuator or actuating cylinder. Actuating cylinders transform energy in the form of fluid pressure into mechanical force, imparting powered linear motion to some movable object or mechanism.

 Actuating cylinders are typically a cylinder housing, one or more pistons and piston rods, and some seals. The cylinder housing has a polished bore where the piston operates, and one or more other ports allowing fluid to enter and exit the bore. The piston and rod form an assembly where the piston moves forward and back within the bore while the rod moves in and out of an opening in the housing. And seals are used in various places to prevent leakages.   

 There are two main types of actuating cylinders, single-action (one directional) and double-action (two directional). In single-action cylinders, pressurized fluid enters the port from the left and pushes against the face of the piston to the right. As the piston moves, air is forced out of the spring chamber, compressing the spring such that when the pressure on the fluid is released, the spring pushes the piston left and forces the fluid out the port and air in through a vent. Single-action actuating cylinder normally use three-way control valves.

Double-action actuating cylinders are controlled by a four-way selector valve. When the valve is on, fluid can enter under pressure to the left chamber of the actuating cylinder, moving the piston to the right and thereby pushing return fluid out the right chamber and through the selector valve to the reservoir.  When the selector valve is closed, fluid pressure enters the right chamber, forcing the piston left, pushing return fluid out of the left chamber and through the valve to the reservoir. In addition to being able to move a load into position, double-acting cylinders also have the ability to hold a load in position.

At Aviation Sourcing Solutions, owned and operated by ASAP Semiconductor and a premier online supplier of aviation parts and components, we know how important actuators are. And in order to meet our client’s MRO and AOG requirements, we make sure that we stock our inventory with everything they could need, new or obsolete and hard-to-find. For more information or a quote, visit us at www.aviationsourcingsolutions.com, or call us at +1-714-705-4780. Our staff is always available and ready to help 24/7x365.


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