Aircraft Component Calculation: A Greater Sum Than Parts

June 6, 2024

POWERED FLIGHT SAFETY BEGINS WITH ELECTRICITY AND ENDS WITH MUSCLE

Unlike many things we depend on but take for granted, our ability to take to the sky and return safely depends on how well we maintain a top performing aircraft. Every fixed- and rotor-wing aircraft is a specific equation of complex systems of various origin, age, and range of flight-ready status. All critical components and systems must work together harmoniously every moment of our takeoff, flight, and landing.

Landing Gear Overhaul
Landing Gear Overhaul

Batteries: Heart of Electrical Systems

Fully maintained batteries are required for powering essential systems, especially when the engine isn’t running or during emergencies. High density batteries power a range of critical systems, including emergency lighting, avionics, and communication equipment. Battery reliability and performance play significant roles in passenger safety and the operation of electrical systems.

Starter Generators: Powering Flight

Starter generators are dual-function devices. First, they use electrical power from the battery to start the engine. Once the engine is running, starters become generators, supplying electrical power to aircraft systems. This dual functionality not only saves space and weight, it also improves efficiency. Starter generators must handle high loads and operate reliably under extreme conditions.

Wheels and Brakes: Safety on the Ground

The operational condition of wheels and brakes on fixed-wing aircraft directly affects the safety of takeoff, landing, and ground operations. Aircraft wheels must withstand tremendous forces during landing, including high speeds and heavy loads.

Aircraft brakes use hydraulic or electric systems to apply pressure to brake discs, creating friction that slows the aircraft. The efficiency and reliability of braking systems are critical for landing and taxiing.

Landing Gear: The Foundation

Supporting the entire weight of an aircraft during takeoff, landing, and ground operations, landing gear is comprised of several components, including wheels, shock absorbers, and retraction mechanisms. Hydraulic systems typically power landing gear retraction and extension, ensuring smooth and reliable operation.

Hydraulics: Muscle Behind the Machine

Hydraulic systems are the backbone of many aircraft functions, providing the muscle needed to operate various mechanical systems. Pressurized fluid transmits force and operates components such as landing gear, brakes, flight control surfaces, and cargo doors. Hydraulic systems must be highly reliable and capable of withstanding extreme pressures and temperatures. Regular maintenance and rigorous testing ensure these systems can perform flawlessly.

In the world of aviation, the precise integration of key systems is necessary for every flight to be as safe and efficient as possible. Whether you’re an aviation enthusiast, a professional in the field, or simply curious about how aircraft systems work, understanding the importance of properly maintained components promotes respect for flight safety, and the people dedicated to keeping them in the air.

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At PAG, employees get the exchange of talent, experiences, and resources of multiple companies all while working for one. With 22 Repair Stations, and over 900,000-square-feet of sales and service facilities in the United States, Canada, Australia, Singapore, and Brazil – PAG’s 24 locations and customer-focused business model serve aviation customers through Supply Chain and Inventory Supported Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul (ISMRO®) services. PAG is one of only 11 companies, outside of OEMs, to collectively hold all FAA certifications.

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