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With the aerospace industry being one of the largest international sectors with supply chains that stretch across the world, there is constant collaboration and deadlines that create better need for ways to avoid obstacles and setbacks. Surprisingly enough, in the modern world of the aerospace industry, the biggest roadblock lies in digitalization.
Currently, many suppliers still primarily work through older methods such as email and telephone for means of business. While almost half of companies have begun to digitize their collaboration with customers, those who have avoided doing so have begun to run into more and more obstacles as they go, which can quickly cause things to fall apart, no matter how small of a part.
Contrary to belief with such a pressing issue, suppliers actually very much desire the ability to build a stronger relationship with their customers and believe that digitalization is extremely important in order to face the future challenges of the aerospace industry. The main problem comes into the fact that companies believe that they are currently not well equipped to be able to meet digitalization.
What is needed for the increase of digitalization lies in the ability of maintaining high degrees of data protection, practical costs of running, transparency, options for analysis, and finding investments that are more sustainable. Highly collaborative processes such as action tracking and on time delivery would see the greatest improvements from digitalization and currently are mostly being utilized for ordering and invoicing.
Other obstacles include a lack of pre-configured digital interfaces, as well as a lack of standards for processing and IT. To solve these problems, standards would have to be first set industry wide, and then the industry would have to implement and use them. As smaller suppliers also join in on digitalization, the supply chain would greatly benefit and would see more responsiveness and visibility. Just like overhauling aircraft on ground, it is time to rebuild the process of supply chain collaboration and move into digitalization.
At ASAP Aero Supplies, owned and operated by ASAP Semiconductor, we can help you find aviation parts you need, new or obsolete. As a premier supplier of 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, 24/7x365. For a quick and competitive quote, email us at email@example.com or call us at +1-708-387-7800.
The NATO Codification System (NCS) is used by all 28 NATO countries as a means of classifying components used within the military supply chains. All of the NATO armed forces each require a large amount of components that are easily sourced. The components themselves need to be manufactured to a high standard to pass the various safety checks. The NCS is the official program under which equipment and parts of the military supply systems are uniformly named, described, classified using a NATO stock number (NSN). Since there is a language barrier between all 28 countries, the NCS is a sort of supply chain language that is accessible to everyone. The aim of the program is to ensure that each military can source the correct parts they need.
A 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 preprogrammed flight paths embedded in their systems. They are designed with onboard sensors and GPS navigation which allow it to fly seamlessly.
Gearboxes can also be referred to as speed reducers, gear drives, or gearmotors. The main job of a gearbox is to increase torque, reduce or increase speed, reverse rotation, or change direction of the driveshaft. In this article, we will be talking about 6 different types of gear boxes.
The most advanced electronic devices in the world are useless without proper connections and cabling. While wireless transmissions may be all the rage for the convenience and mobility they offer, wires and cables still offer a more stable, consistent, and reliable connection. In this blog, we’ll break down some of the most common types of electric cables, their designs, and their common uses.
Early aircraft utilized a single braking system with no backup or failsafe. The system was simplistic in design and eventually deemed unsafe, causing the regulating authorities to incorporate robust overhauls. Airlines had to address the issue of potential loss of the primary hydraulic pump, which led to the implementation of electrically driven pumps that provided an alternate supply of hydraulic pressure. However, these solutions didn’t address the loss of fluid issue. Some manufacturers began incorporating a compressed air system for emergency braking, yet, there was only a limited amount of air the tanks could hold. This led to the concept of multiple, independent hydraulic systems backed up by accumulators. This system proved to be effective as it allows for several layers of failure without losing total control of the braking system; a concept that is still used today.
For something that has such an important job, the braking system on light aircraft is simple. These planes use a single-disc system that is operated by a toe brake mechanism. When you activate the brake, a master cylinder pushes hydraulic fluid through hoses to the brake unit housing that is attached to the landing gear strut. A piston within the housing is triggered by the pressure, which then pushes against a brake disc, causing the plane to slow.
Floating disc brakes are another type of braking system you can find on aircraft. In this design the caliper hugs the brake disc. It can have 3-6 cylinders that run through the housing depending on the application. Each cylinder has an actuating piston that consists of an automatic adjusting pin, a return spring, brake linings, and the piston itself. When the brakes are applied the pistons move from the cylinders toward the disc, enabling the brake linings to contact the disc and apply friction evenly on both sides. This slows the rotating motion of the wheel, ultimately causing the plane to slow down.
Another common type of aircraft brake is the fixed-disc brake. The disc is bolted to the wheel and allows the brake caliper/linings to float laterally when pressure is applied. This design allows the caliper to adjust position in relation to the disc. When the system is activated, the caliper and linings center on the disc via a sliding action of the anchor bolts. Equal pressure is applied to both sides of the disc, slowing its rotation.
Other methods of braking exist outside of the actual brake component. Reverse thrust is used in conjunction with these systems to ensure proper stoppage. This consists of reversing the engine flow to counteract the natural forward direction of an aircraft in motion. Parachutes are used in military aircraft to assist in stopping due to their natural high-speed capabilities. On aircraft carriers, catapults are used.
An accessory drive in an aircraft is a gearbox that forms part of a gas turbine engine. It drives the engine’s accessories including the fuel pump, generators, hydraulic pumps, engine starter, etc. They can handle between 400-500 horsepower (hp). The shaft that links the turbine and compressor also powers the accessory drive. This setup requires an internal gearbox that has a radial drive shaft that powers the external gearbox.
Internal gearboxes are difficult to design because there is a small and hot space in which the drive shaft can be connected. They’re often located between the compressor outlet and the combustor but may be placed ahead of the compressor for designs that include centrifugal compressors. The outer, shorter, shaft catches speed quicker when the engine is started, and the accessory drive is often taken from it. Drive and accessory gearboxes may be split into two in order to distribute the loads. Engine critical systems are arranged on the shorter, high-pressure shaft while the aircraft systems are located on the longer, low-pressure shaft. Allowing for thermal expansion, the drive from the main shaft may be taken from the direct drive, the stub shaft drive, or the idler shaft drive.
External gearboxes are located near the engine. The drive within the external gearbox casing is provided by a train of spur gears that run-in roller bearings. Idler gears are commonly used to increase the spacing between accessories. And helical gears are used for high-torque drives because they provide smoother running, but they generate end-thrust and require complicated thrust bearings for further support.
Bleed air and mechanical shaft drive may also be used to provide power for the accessories. If a source of compressed air is needed, this design may be useful; this may be for pressurized cabin air or to provide a cool air supply to various components. Another important use for bleed air is to cross start other engines within a multi-engine aircraft.
The Boeing 747-400 is made up of 6 million parts— of those, half are fasteners. If you’ve never seen an aircraft up close and in person, you probably can’t imagine why of 6 million parts, 3 million are aviation fasteners. Well, that’s because fasteners are any piece of hardware used to mechanically join or affix two or more objects together. So, it makes sense that half of the 747’s part list is fasteners; what wouldn’t make sense is if all 3 million fasteners were of the same type.
Fasteners are actually a very broad category. They can be grouped based on the type of head, the threading, whether or not they use a nut or a washer, what kind of drive they have, whether they have points or not, etc. One example is the hex bolt, a bolt with a hexagonal head and threads for use with a nut or tapped hole, and its variation, the heavy hex head bolt.
Heavy hex bolts are bolts that have larger and thicker than head than the standard. They are available in different lengths and diameters or different threading, but they are all marked by their hex head and the fact they have larger than standard heads. They are also all designed to be used with hex nuts for a more secure fit. Typically made from metals such as stainless steel, hex bolts can be customized via zinc, cadmium, or hot-dip galvanized plating.
Like other fasteners, heavy hex bolts are made based on a number of different ASTM specifications. ASTM International, formerly known as the American Society for Testing and Materials, is an international standards organization that develops and publishes technical standards for a variety of materials, products, services, and systems. So, while heavy hex bolts can vary in size, material, and plating, they are manufactured in order to meet certain standards in regard to grades, mechanical properties, and chemical properties. For example, the A193 standard calls for heavy hex bolts and nuts that can withstand high heat conditions, A320 standard calls for heavy hex bolts and nuts that can withstand extremely low heat conditions, and A490 and A325 standards call for heavy hex bolts with shorter threads.
Thanks to their stronger durability, heavy hex bolts are typically used in a variety of industrial sectors. While they’re incredibly useful, you won’t find a heavy hex bolt among the 3 million fasteners on a Boeing 747-400— their characteristically larger and thicker than average hex heads make them less than ideal for applications where excess weight matters. Instead, common uses include steel fabrication, railroad system construction, pump and water treatment, modular building construction, and renewable and alternative energy.
At ASAP Aero Supplies, owned and operated by ASAP Semiconductor, we can help you find all the hex bolts and aircraft parts you need, new or obsolete. As a premier supplier of parts for the aerospace, aviation, and defense industries, we’re always available and ready to help you find all the parts and equipment you need, 24/7x365. For a quick and competitive quote, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us at +1-708-387-7800.
In keeping with the Army’s broad strategic aim for the Bradley, they’ve decided to arm the Bradley Inc's Fighting Vehicles with Stinger heat-seeking missiles. This will aid with the infantry’s ability to monitor air threats and eradicate them. Presently, most Bradleys are equipped with tube-launched, optically-tracked, wire-guided (TOW) anti-tank missiles. These missiles are land weapons used to attack vehicles and bunkers.
Unfortunately, TOW missiles cannot be used for air threats such as drones, helicopters, or aircrafts. But with the addition of Stinger missiles, the Bradleys will be capable of better protection from threats from the ground and from the air.
Stinger missiles are “infrared-guided surface-to-air” weapons. These missiles have twice the range that TOW missiles do. While TOW missiles can hit targets more than four kilometers away, Stinger missiles can hit targets up to eight kilometers away. The Stinger missiles’ ability to use long-range, high-tech sensors allow the infantry to better locate enemy targets.
Introducing Stinger missiles onto Bradley vehicles is part of the Army’s short-range air defense strategy (SHORAD). Their main goal is to enforce air defense weapons in the infantry. For instance, both China and Russia have helicopters armed with weapons that pose major threats to infantry troops. The concept of SHORAD is to eliminate these targets prior to a greater attack.
Bradleys not only need weapons to protect themselves from attacks on ground, but weapons to protect from attacks in air as well, especially because of easy access to drone attack technology. Bradley vehicles are important in infantry because infantry troops do not have the same weaponry or ground mobility that these vehicles do.
ASAP Aero Supplies, owned and operated by ASAP Semiconductor, should always be your first and only stop for all your hard-to-find or urgent aviation and defense parts. ASAP Aero Supplies is the premier supplier of aviation parts, Stingers, and NSN part types, whether new or obsolete. ASAP Aero Supplies has a wide selection of parts to choose from and is fully equipped with a friendly staff always available and ready to help you find all the parts you need, 24/7x365. If you’re interested in a quote, email us at email@example.com or call us at +1-708-387-7800.
In the early days of aviation, there were no brake systems to slow and stop the aircraft while it was on the ground. Instead, slow speeds, soft airfield surfaces, and friction caused by the tail skid were used to reduce speed during ground operations. Fortunately, that’s no longer the case and all modern aircraft have brakes.
1. For most aircraft, each of the main wheels is equipped with a brake unit utilizing mechanical and/or hydraulic linkages connected to rudder pedals allowing the pilot to control the brakes. The kinetic energy of pressing on the rudder pedals causes friction to be applied on the wheels, turning into heat energy which can cause damage to the brake system components. As a result, proper adjustment, inspection, and maintenance for all brake system components is crucial.
2. Aircraft brakes are usually disc brakes, where the disc rotates with the turning wheel assembly while a stationary caliper resists the rotation by causing friction against the disk when the brakes are applied. While smaller and lighter aircraft can suffice with single disc brakes, there are also dual and multiple disc brakes used depending on the type of aircraft. For larger aircraft, there are segmented rotor brakes.
3. In addition to brake assemblies, there are other components to be worried about. Brake actuating systems are how the required hydraulic fluid pressure is delivered to the brake assemblies. There are three basic types of actuating systems: 1) an independent system not part of the aircraft’s main hydraulic system; 2) a booster system that uses the main hydraulics intermittently; and 3) a power brake system that primarily uses the main hydraulics. There are also emergency brake systems and anti-skid systems, both of which have their own laundry list of parts and components requiring regular maintenance and repair.
Because of the nature of braking, things like overheating and dragging are common ways in which brake systems can be damaged. As a result, it’s important to check every part of the brake system, from the seals and lining to the housing and discs.
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