While some may be familiar with flight simulation as those that run on personal computers and are controlled with a joystick, a full motion flight simulator used by the aerospace industry is much more robust and advanced. These simulators are for the training and maintaining of pilot skills, and they are designed to closely represent the aircraft that they are modeled after, even having a motion system and acoustic design to make the experience as genuine as possible. In this article, we will provide an overview of current flight simulator technology, and how it aids pilots in learning how to properly fly.

As a full flight simulator is to best prepare for real flying and the various encounters that pilots may come across, the motion system of the flight simulator mimics G force and acceleration through the use of electrically and hydraulically controlled stilts. Through the use of tilting, shaking, and other motion, various senses brought on by different operations can be near replicated. Of course, a full representation of the possible G force and phenomena that a pilot may encounter is not entirely feasible, but with the addition of motion, pilots can still be better prepared for the sensations that they will face during flight. The most popular forms of motion systems are ones that have 6-DOF (degrees of freedom) and those with vibration and/or dynamic seats.

The visual component to flight simulators is just as important as the capacity to recreate motion, as pilots must always be very aware of their entire surroundings during flight. As many full fledged simulators recreate a 1:1 rendition of the aircraft, training pilots get a full view during their simulated flight to learn how to be aware of various hazards such as mountains, hills, buildings, and other obstacles that may surround their destination. In some cases, simulators can also be used to train a pilot on how to land in more complicated airports, as entire areas can be recreated to help a pilot become more comfortable with an airstrip before taking on the landing in actual flight.

Altogether, the full flight simulator is an indispensable asset for the training of pilots. Having a simulation that is as close as possible to the real thing, pilots can spend more time training in a safe environment, saving money and removing any safety or financial risk of training with real flying. Flight simulators have also been known to reduce the amount of time it takes for a pilot to become fully trained, and pilots can become a type rated pilot without ever having flown the real aircraft.

When searching for parts for your full motion flight simulator, look no further than NSN Components. With over six billion aircraft components in our inventory, we can help you source all you need, quick and easy. Our expert staff works tirelessly to provide you with quick lead-times on hard to find items, and our dedicated account managers are on hand to answer any questions that you have regarding the purchasing process. With supply chains locations stretching across the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom, we can provide you with expedited shipping on your items.

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From small passenger planes to military helicopters, there are many powered flying machines we utilize, all relying on various fuel systems for operation. While different vehicles and manufacturers may differ in their installed engine fuel system components, all have the same goal of powering an engine with fuel for sustained flight. In this blog, we will provide a basic overview of some of the common aviation fueling systems present across vehicles.

Within a small single engine aircraft fuel system, installation may differ depending on whether a carburetor or fuel injection pipe is used. Gravity feed systems are used in high wing aircraft where the tanks are placed above the engine, and fuel is transported to a carburetor through the force of gravity. High wing aircraft may sometimes feature a fuel injection system in lieu of a carburetor, and fuel is sprayed into the engine intake or cylinders. Pump feed systems are used when the tanks are not above the engine. Through the use of engine driven fuel pumps, the fuel is pumped from the tank and into the carburetor.

Within modern large aircraft, complex fuel systems work to manage fuel loads, Fuel Injection Pipe and are often similar to each other across manufacturers. Tanks may be placed in both wings, as well as the fuselage, and can hold thousands of pounds of fuel. Venting systems are always in place to get rid of produced exhaust, and pumps and valves work together to transport fuel to the engine. Due to their complexity, large aircraft may have a variety of indicators to monitor the fueling system and ensure pilots are made aware of any issue so that they may be addressed accordingly.

Helicopter fuel systems often vary in their complexity, and manufacturers may set specification and recommendations within their manuals. Helicopters often have one or two tanks that are near the fuselage and are either gravity, pressure, or pump fed. Within heavier and more complex helicopters, fuel systems similar to large aircraft fuel systems are often present.

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Runway surface friction is expressed as the coefficient of friction; that is the ratio of the friction force (F) between two surfaces that make contact and the normal force (N) which exists between an object resting on the surface -- and the surface itself i.e. F/N. Many factors can affect this ratio such as the physical characteristics of two surfaces, the prevailing temperature at the point of contact, aircraft wheel and brake systems, and the speed of movement of the object (tire) over the surface.

One physical characteristic that plays a major role in F/N ratios is the texture of a runway surface, more specifically when a runway is wet. Macrotexture runway surfaces have a visible roughness that allows water to escape from beneath the tires preventing aquaplaning on water loomed runway strips. Microtexture runway surfaces have a fine scale roughness more detectable by touch than appearance and this surface allows aircraft tires to break through the residual water that remains after the bulk of water has dispersed. A runway that has a grooving texture is also vital in enhancing surface friction. Runway grooves aid more rapid water dispersal and allow for better tire traction. Normal grooving parameters are 6mm deep and 6mm wide spaced at 38mm apart.

Factors that hinder runway surface friction include rubber tire deposits and areas of runway that are painted with pilot markers that are inevitably more slippery than normal surface areas. Rubber deposits occur after every average aircraft landing. A thin layer of about 1.4 lb of rubber is left on the runway and can result in a loss of surface friction when accumulation is not removed periodically. In addition, painted markings create slippery surfaces that are remedied by adding small amounts of silica sand or glass beads to marker paint mix.

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Like all other powered aircraft, helicopters rely on engines to generate the power they use to achieve flight. Helicopters use two different types of engines, reciprocating and turbine, to do so. Reciprocating engines, or piston engines, are typically used in smaller helicopters, such as trainers, because they are relatively simple to operate and inexpensive to maintain. Turbine engines are used in a wider variety of helicopters, and are more powerful. However, they are also more expensive to operate. In this blog, we’ll explore just how these two types of engines work.

Reciprocating engines consist of a series of pistons connected to a rotating crankshaft. As the pistons move up and down, the crankshaft rotates, which gives the engine its name. Most helicopter reciprocating engines are four-stroke engines, which refers to the four different cycles the engine goes through to produce power. When the piston moves away from the cylinder head on the intake stroke, the intake valve opens and a mixture of fuel and air is allowed into the combustion chamber. As the cylinder moves back to the cylinder head, the intake valve closes, and the fuel-air mixture is compressed.

When compression is almost complete, the spark plug fires and the compressed mixture is ignited to begin the power stroke. These burning and rapidly expanding gasses from the controlled burning of the fuel-air mixture drive the piston away from the cylinder head, and provide power to rotate the crankshaft. The piston then moves back toward the cylinder head on the exhaust stroke where the burned gases are expelled through the open exhaust valve, completing the cycle. This four-stroke cycle occurs hundreds of times every minute even at low power operations, and provides the energy to the helicopter’s main and tail rotors.

Turbine engines are made up of a compressor, combustion chamber, turbine, and gearbox assembly. The compressor compresses air as it enters the engine, which is then fed to the combustion chamber where it mixes with the injected fuel. This fuel-air mixture is ignited and expands, then is forced through a series of turbine wheels to make them turn. These turbine wheels provide power to the engine compressor and the main rotor system through and output shaft, and is then expelled via an exhaust outlet.

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Lubricant plays an important role in preventing unnecessary wear and tear of important aircraft components. In machinery as complex as aircraft engines, friction between moving parts can quickly become detrimental. Lubricant’s role is to form an oil film over metal surfaces so that metallic friction is replaced by fluid friction of the lubricant. Oil is pumped throughout the engine to any area where friction occurs. The process of moving oil around takes energy and creates hear, but the reduction of friction resulting from the process is beneficial to the engine overall.

Engines are exposed to many types of friction. When one surface slides over another, it is referred to as sliding friction, and is a result of the use of plain bearings. Sliding friction is caused by microscopic imperfections on the surfaces. A perfectly smooth surface would not create friction, even without lubricant. Another type of friction, rolling friction, is the result of a roller or spherical figure rolling over another surface, as happens with ball bearings or roller bearings. A third type of friction, wiping friction, occurs between the teeth of gears. Pressure caused by this type of friction can be very light or very extreme, so lubrication is crucial to withstand the force.

Just as important as friction reduction is maintaining a cool engine. Excessive heat will hinder both reciprocating and turbine engines, so an engine cooling system must be put in place. Aircraft cooling systems are designed to reduce and control the temperature of the engine, and do so through a variety of means such as air cooling, cowl flaps, liquid cooling, and radiators. Air cooling is as simple as it sounds. Many engines have their cylinders exposed to the airflow creating an even temperature distribution. Airflow is sometimes controlled by cowl flaps, flaps that open and close to control the amount of air entering the engine. Liquid cooling adds weight, but also provides the advantage of more even temperature throughout each of the engine cylinders. 

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Reciprocating engines, or aircraft piston engines, are one of the most important parts of aircraft for their general functionality. Often, these engines are mounted to the aircraft using welded steel tubing mount structures and incorporate engine mount rings, v-struts, and fittings for attachment of the mount to the nacelle by means of steel bolts that are heat treated.

These steel bolts are extremely significant to engine mounting, as they support the entirety of the stresses caused by the propeller during flight. While the upper bolts alone are able to withstand the weight of engines while aircraft are grounded, flight causes torsional stress that affects all bolts. Dynamic engine mounts are housed in each of the four positioned fittings and attachment points of the engine mount ring.

The engine mount ring is where the engine is attached to the aircraft and is constructed of steel tubing with a large, circular diameter. This shape is important as it allows the engine mount ring to surround the engine near the point of balance. Meanwhile, the engine is attached to the mount by means of dynafocal mounts which are forward of the mount ring’s point of balance.

Shock mounts, or rubber and steel engine suspensions, were created in response to aircraft engines continuously growing larger through time. This helped alleviate the amount of vibration by absorption and also restricts multidirectional engine movement. Most shock mounts often have rubber and metal parts with the rubber supporting the engine and metal snubbers to limit movement that is excessive. Vibration isolators are also often important units to aid with directional support of the aircraft engines.

Vibration isolators play an important role on aircraft mounts in the fact that they support the power plants by forward and aft isolator mounts that work to isolate the structure from harmful engine vibrations. Both the forward and aft isolators allow for thermal expansion of the aircraft engine while continuing to take on the load and are comprised of resilient materials that are enclosed in a case of metal. These resilient materials do allow for slight deformation in order to minimize vibrations before they can reach the aircraft. Even with the failure of the materials, the isolators will still support the aircraft engine.

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Jet pilots are exposed to many stresses when in the cockpit seat from things like hypoxia or cabin pressure when they take flight. With each risk, manufacturers and engineers have constructed solutions to combat these risks and mitigate discomfort caused by them. Thermal stress in the cockpit is one of the most predominant issues. While the aircraft does have an environmental control system, temperatures, especially in tropical areas can still rise inside the cockpit, and have been recorded to exceed 113 F.

Such high temperatures, coupled with humidity and the aerodynamic heating of the aircraft's external surfaces can result in physical strain and mental degradation to the point that pilots can begin to lose focus. Similarly, low temperatures can also affect the pilot, especially during low speed flights and high altitudes. Rapidly decreasing temperatures can make the pilot experience mild to severe cold stress.

One such study conducted by Janardhana Shetty, Craig P Lawson, and Amir Z Shahneh of Cranfield University has determined that there may be a way to better control temperatures. In this study, scientists have reiterated that the cockpit thermal balance is influenced largely by heat sources dominated by the speed of the aircraft, ambient temperature, altitudes, and the structural geometry of the cockpit. The solution for this they proposed is to maintain cockpit pressure and temperature for the entirety of the flight. In a case study, they saw that the right temperature was achieved as long as the right amount of pressurized air was being pulled from the engine compressor.

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There are several working parts to an aircraft, each of which play an important role in making the plane operational. One of the more complex and interesting of these is the rudder parts. Used and found in submarines, ships, hovercrafts and aircrafts, the rudder serves the primary purpose of controlling curving movement through fluid mediums like air or water. 

The rudder is located at the very rear of the aircraft right below the rear fin (vertical stabilizer). Right under this, the rudder appears as an attachment of small moving hinges. While the role of the vertical stabilizer is to keep the plane stable and to prevent it from straying from side to side, the rudder’s job is to control the oscillation or yawing motion of the plane. In other words, the rudder controls the nose direction of the aircraft and prevents it from moving too far left and too far right.

The rudder works in tandem with the vertical stabilizer and the ailerons of the plane. The ailerons are the small hinged parts located on the outboard section of each wing. The ailerons are used to turn the airplanes by way of “banking” the aircraft. When banked, or when one wing tip moves down while the opposite moves up, an unbalanced side force is created and from this force, the plane can start turning. This is when the rudder plays its part in controlling the curve and preventing a drag or even an increased yaw. Without the rudder playing this vital role, the plane could potentially accelerate further off the intended flight path.

To understand this further, we have to dissect the physics involved in this. During a plane’s flight, a side force is generated due to the airfoil of the wings. For those not familiar with such jargon, airfoil simply refers to the pressure above and below the plane's wings which causes lfit. The orientation of this airfoil is what causes the plane to experience side forces from the left and right. The rudder helps to deflect these forces which in turn creates a torque in the aircraft’s center of gravity. Simply put, this will cause the aircraft to rotate or wobble at its center and enable the pilot to guide the vehicle towards its destination.

For those still getting acquainted to the aircraft's rudder as well as to other important parts in its makeup, it may help to have the consultation of experts, especially when acquiring such parts. NSN Components can be a great resource for those seeking such knowledge, so if you are in the business of acquiring or needing to know more information on NSN parts or military parts, feel free to call us at 1-480-504-1299 or email us at sales@nsncomponents.com. You can also find more information by browsing our CAGE Code lookup. 

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Internal combustion engines naturally generate heat in the cylinders as part of the combustion process. Most of that heat escapes the cylinders in the form of hot exhaust gas, but some also escapes through conduction across its walls. Most metal conducts this heat to radiate out into the atmosphere, but there is a limit to how much a metal can radiate heat based on its surface area. If the heat radiated outside the cylinder is much less than what is left inside, the engine can overheat. Overheating can result in uneven thermal expansion of parts, corrosion, and thermal stress, all of which can lead to mechanical failure.

Therefore, engine designs implement cooling systems. The main work of a cooling system is to reduce the excess heat generated in the cylinder. It should not reduce the waste heat too much, as this can negatively affect the engine’s performance. Generally, engine cooling systems should reduce excess waste heat by about 30%.

Small engines with relatively low power output tend to have air-cooled engines. These are seen in motorcycles, small tractors, scooters, and propeller aircraft. These engines are cheap, easy to construct, and lightweight. Air cooling systems work off of air velocity and surface area on heat transfer between two mediums or bodies. When two mediums are contact, heat is transferred from the one with high temperature to the one with low temperature. Therefore, in an engine, heat is first transferred from a cylinder to its walls, and then is taken away from the walls by air by means of natural convection. The walls of the cylinder heat the surrounding air, and the hot air rises to make space for cool air to take its place and continue the cooling process. To speed this process, some engines will mount a fan in the engine shaft to speed up the cooling air’s movement. Some engines also mount larger cooling surfaces like fins to provide more surface area and increase the rate of the cooling process.

A large number of automobile and industrial engines are water-cooled. These engines include a radiator (a type of heat exchanger), an expansion tank, cooling fan, water pump, thermostat, bypass valve, cylinder jacket, and pressure cap. In a water-cooled engine, water flows from bottom to top in a cylinder jacket, with water flowing in series to the cylinder heads. This means that some of the hot water created by cooling the cylinder cycles back to the cylinders and exhaust valve by design. This is done to prevent thermal shock and stress to the cylinder head. Water is used to cool solid parts like the head and cylinder, while moving parts like the piston rely on lubrication oil for cooling.

The biggest problem with water-cooling systems is that water expands exponentially when it freezes into ice, a serious concern in cold-weather regions. When water freezes and expands, this can cause fractures and damage to the pipes and valves of the cooling system. To counter this, antifreeze chemicals are mixed in with the water to lower the water’s freezing temperature, with ethylene glycol and polypropylene glycol being the most common choices.

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There’s always that friend who claims that they have an expert sense of direction. Luckily, not all pilots need to have an intuitive sense of north and south, to fly an aircraft to its destination. There are a series of protocols and navigational instruments that help the pilot pinpoint the aircraft’s exact destination, and their progress along the flight path.

There are two main visual techniques that pilots are trained on before flying an aircraft. Pilotage is the sole use of visual ground references to navigate the plane. For example, if a pilot was flying over London, they will probably use the O2, tower bridge, the Gherkin, and Buckingham Palace as visual references. Dead reckoning is similar to pilotage; however, the pilot calculates the distance between each visual reference. So, the pilot would use distance, airspeed, and wind calculations to determine how long it takes to fly over the 02 and then Buckingham  Palace. Additionally, flight computers help the pilot with the math and typically the pilot keeps track of the calculations during flight.

While these two techniques are all good and well in prime flying conditions, they are not suitable for days when adverse weather conditions, which can leave the pilot with little to no visibility. Most technically advanced aircraft are fitted with radio navigation aids (NAVAIDS) that help aircraft navigation. The basic concept of NAVAIDS is this: the pilot steers the aircraft more or less in a straight line to a designated point on the ground, an airport for example. From there, they can align with their next point and so on.

VHF Omnidirectional Range (VOR) is the second most commonly used NAVAID system on an aircraft. Again, the pilot uses stationary bases on the ground to help pinpoint the aircraft’s position. Aircraft instruments measure the time between each signal, and the reading is displayed on the horizontal situation indicator inside the cockpit. The reading is usually referenced in terms of the radial position. With the radial reading of the aircraft, the pilot can determine whether they are flying to or away from the stationary base.

As you may have guessed, Global Positioning System (GPS) is the most popular NAVAID used within an aircraft. Instead of using fixed points on the ground, GPS uses the opposite - fixed points in space. 24 U.S Department of Defense satellites are used to triangulate the aircraft’s exact position over Earth. To be accurate, the aircraft must gather data from at least three satellites for 2-D positioning, and 4 satellites for 3-D positioning. The advantage of GPS over VOR or any other NAVAID is that there is little, or no electrical interference and it works pretty much anywhere in the world.

A pilot has various options for how they feel would be best to navigate the aircraft. In some cases, they may not get a choice - during a meteorological event for instance, the radio frequencies are disturbed, therefore the only way to navigate is by pilotage. The growing trend for technically advanced aircraft, however, is GPS or VOR. Pilots must therefore learn to use interpret various cockpit instruments to successfully navigate an aircraft. The FAA states that to be employed as a commercial pilot, a person must be able to use aeronautical charts and a magnetic compass for pilotage and dead reckoning, however as of yet, additional training in GPS systems is optional.

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Automotive aftermarket parts refer to the secondary market of the automotive industry. This includes the manufacturing, distribution, retailing, and installation of vehicle parts, chemicals, equipment, and accessories after the sale of the automobile by the original equipment manufacturer (or OEM) to the consumer. These parts and accessories may not be manufactured by the OEM.

While aftermarket parts are most frequently used in repairs and replacements, there are good reasons to use aftermarket parts for other uses as well, especially in trucks. In this blog, we’ll break down a few reasons why you might want to consider aftermarket parts for your truck.

Firstly, aftermarket parts are typically much less expensive than OEM parts. Part of this is because an aftermarket maker doesn’t need to protect a brand name with higher prices. Aftermarket producers also typically handle manufacturing overseas, and with less stringent guidelines, both of which help lower costs.

Even though they don’t have to adhere to the same guidelines and standards as the OEM, aftermarket producers can still make high quality parts. A lot of aftermarket companies will simply reverse engineer a part from the original manufacturer. Doing so lets them learn about the problems that the brand maker wasn’t aware of at the time of production and lets them solve these weaknesses in their own production.

Aftermarket parts inherently come with more options for the truck owner as well. Rather than one OEM making one part for one role, several different companies can make the same type of product, giving the consumer greater variety in choices and how they fulfill their needs.

However, purchasing aftermarket parts comes with drawbacks as well. Unscrupulous manufacturers can cut corners in production resulting in substandard parts and trying to source parts from companies other than the OEM can be frustrating and confusing. Working with a trusted distributor who sources only from reputable companies can easily erase these headaches, however.

At NSN Components, owned and operated by ASAP Semiconductor, we can help you find all the aftermarket truck 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@nsncomponents.com.

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When it comes to aviation, a six-pack doesn’t refer to a pack of beer cans, or a ripped set of abs. In an aircraft, the six pack is the six primary flight instruments in the aircraft’s cockpit that relay the most critical pieces of information about flight characteristics. The six pack is broken into two categories: three instruments that rely on pitot static systems, and three gyroscopic systems.

The airspeed indicator is the first pitot static system instrument and measures the speed that the aircraft is traveling through the air, or to be more precise, the speed at which air is flowing over the aircraft. Airspeed is measured in knots, or nautical miles; however, the airspeed on the indicator is only the indicated airspeed. Small windows at the top and bottom of the indicator are used to determine the aircraft’s true airspeed.

The altimeter measures the altitude of the aircraft, or its height above sea level. It is important to remember that ground elevation can vary greatly, so the pilot must be aware of that variable to be able to calculate the aircraft’s distance from the ground. Altimeters have three hands, each of which moves at a different rate. The fastest hand reads for hundreds of feet, the second in thousands of feet, and the slowest hand reads in tens of thousands of feet.

Last of the pitot-static systems is the vertical speed indicator (VSI). The vertical speed indicator measures the aircraft’s rate of climb or descent in hundreds of feet, or FPM. The faster the speed, the greater the aircraft’s change in altitude. The VSI can also indicate if there is a steady loss or gain of altitude, allowing the pilot to adjust accordingly.

First of the gyroscopic instruments is the attitude indicator, also called the artificial horizon or gyro horizon. This instrument depicts the aircraft’s position in relation to the horizon. It communicates if the aircraft is flying level or if its wings are at an angle, if it is climbing or descending, or if it is flying in a straight path. Attitude indicators have a pair of wings to represent the attitude of the aircraft, and behind that a ball. The top of the ball is painted blue to represent the sky, and the bottom half painted brown or black to represent the ground. As the aircraft maneuvers and turns, the wings on the indicator represent the degree of bank and pitch attitude.

Next is the heading indicator. Sometimes called the directional gyro or heading gyro, it is the primary direction instrument used in flight. The heading indicator is gyroscopically stabilized, not a magnetic compass. However, the heading indicator is set according to the indication of the magnetic compass before takeoff and is regularly updated to match the compass during flight while the aircraft is steady and level. On the indicator itself, an outline of an aircraft is placed over a 360-degree scale with markings for north, south, east, and west, with markings between each cardinal direction at five- and ten-degree intervals.

Finally, the turn indicator is the last of the gyroscopic instruments, and the last of the six pack. The turn indicator gives information about the rate and direction of a turn. At the bottom of the instrument is a ball (or inclinometer) that will indicate if a turn is slipping or skidding during a turn.

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A gyroscope flight instrument is a disk, or wheel, mounted on an instrument that is designed to measure angular velocity by utilizing the principle of gyroscopic inertia. Once the wheel has been accelerated, its inertia keeps the disc stable about its axis of rotation. When the instrument is level in flight, a deviation in flight path will move the gyroscopic wheel in its gimbal mount. This movement is then translated to a needle, or card, on the instruments face. Pilots use a gyroscopic attitude indicator, a directional gyroscope, and turn indicators for navigation purposes.

A gyroscopic attitude indicator displays the rotation about the longitudinal axis to indicate the degree of bank, and about the lateral axis to indicate pitch. It uses the rigidity characteristic of the gyroscope to function. When the attitude indicator is in operation, gyroscopic rigidity maintains the horizon bar parallel to the natural horizon. When the aircraft changes pitch or bank, the miniature aircraft on display in the instrument moves with it.

The attitude indicator functions as a vacuum pneumatic system. Air enters through the filter of the gyroscope where passages usher it towards the rear pivot and inner gimbal ring. The air then flows into the housing, where it is directed to the rotor vanes through two openings located on opposite sides of the rotor. It then makes its way through four equally spaced ports in the lower part of the rotor housing and exits through a venturi tube. The chamber that houses the ports is the signaling device that returns the spin axis to its vertical alignment when friction displaces the rotor from the horizontal axis. The increase in air volume through the opening port exerts a force on the rotor housing, mobilizing the gyro. This causes the pendulous vanes to return to a balanced condition.

The directional gyroscope is also vacuum driven and is similar in appearance to a  compass. It is used in determining the angles of yaw and rotation of an aircraft, as well provide course indications. When the gyroscope is spinning it remains rigid in space, creating a stable head reference. The heading indicator that is used has no direction-seeking qualities; thus, it must be calibrated alongside a magnetic compass. This process should take place before flight or in level, unaccelerated flight, when magnetic compass indications are steady. The directional gyro functions with air that is sucked through the rear of the instrument case. Air pressure passes through the filtering system, then through an air bearing, and finally reaches the vertical gimbal ring.

Turn indicators operate on the principle of precession. This is the characteristic of a gyroscope that causes an applied force to produce movement— typically at a point that is 90 degrees from the point of contact in the direction of rotation. A turn indicator consists of a small gyro which can be spun by air or by an electric motor. The gyro is mounted on a single gimbal, with its spin axis parallel to the lateral axis of the aircraft. The axis of the gimbal is parallel with the longitudinal axis.

At NSN Components, owned and operated by ASAP Semiconductor, we can help you find all the aircraft instruments and avionics 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@nsncomponents.com or call us at +1-480-504-1299.

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There are several basic flight instruments located in the cockpit - they may be traditional physical instruments, or digitized. When a pilot gets their Instrument Flight Rules (IFR) rating, they are required to pilot the aircraft based on the information displayed on these instruments. Some of the indispensable instruments are the airspeed indicator, altimeter, attitude indicator, heading indicator, turn coordinator, and vertical speed indicator. They can be categorized based on corresponding systems that relay proper information to the instruments: the pitot-static system, the vacuum system, gyroscopic instruments, and the magnetic compass.

The International Standard Atmosphere (ISA) is a set of established “typical” atmospheric conditions which are used to standardize aircraft instruments - however, the reality is that atmospheric conditions vary greatly. As described by the ISA, as altitude increases, pressure and temperature decrease. With a decrease in altitude, the resulting effects are the opposite. It is pertinent to understand differences in these conditions and how to make the proper corrections - otherwise the pilot may think they’re at an altitude that they are not, or an airspeed that they are not.

The pitot-static system utilizes the static air pressure and dynamic pressure due to the motion of the aircraft through the air. The pressures are used to relay information to the airspeed indicator (ASI), altimeter, and the vertical speed indicator (VSI). An ASI utilizes both the static and pitot system in order to display the airspeed. Because the airspeed is measured based on the air density, the indicated airspeed may be false and need to be corrected. The altimeter displays the altitude, which is determined by measuring the air pressure outside the aircraft. Due to variations, corrections are made so that the altimeter displays an accurate reading. The VSI, also referred to as a vertical velocity indicator (VVI), shows the rate of climb or descent, which is displayed in feet per minute (fpm). If this instrument is calibrated properly, then it will be zero during level flight.

Gyroscopic instruments include the turn coordinator, heading indicator, and the attitude indicator. There are two types of turn indicators: the slip-and-slip indicator and the turn coordinator. The turn coordinator is the most common turn indicator used in training aircraft. It displays the rate and direction of a turn. The miniature aircraft printed on the instrument should meet the turn index because it indicates that the aircraft is following the standard-rate turn— 3° per second— and is used to avoid banking at steep angles.  A magnetic compass is accurate when the aircraft is still, but it becomes very difficult to read during flight. The heading indicator is used during flight because it’s not affected by the same forces as a magnetic compass during flight. It should be adjusted to match the magnetic compass before the aircraft starts moving. An attitude indicator contains a miniature aircraft and a horizon line— it shows the relationship between the aircraft's position relative to the horizon.

At NSN Components, owned and operated by ASAP Semiconductor, we can help you find all the flight instruments 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 sales@nsncomponents.com or call us at 1-480-504-1299.

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Sitting in the cockpit of an aircraft can be intimidating to a newbie. There are a ton of instruments and communication equipment and one might wonder where to start. Most pilots start off by learning about the six basic flight instruments that are in every aircraft: the airspeed indicator, attitude indicator, altimeter, turn coordinator, direction indicator, and the vertical speed indicator.

An airspeed indicator displays the indicated airspeed knots and, less commonly, miles per hour. There are different colors on this instrument used to let the pilot know whether their flying at safe speeds. The green band indicates that the aircraft is operating at safe speeds. The white band indicates a safe speed to fly with deployed wing flaps. The yellow band is cautionary: it tells the pilot that they are flying faster than the speed the aircraft is designed for. The red bar should never be exceeded because it is beyond the maximum safe speed the aircraft was designed to operate at.

The attitude indicator, or artificial horizon, is useful when flying in low visibility conditions or practicing instrument flying. It displays the position that the aircraft is flying relative to the horizon. Because pilots can become disoriented during flight, this instrument should always be trusted over personal senses. During low visibility, the marks around the edge of the indicator can be used to reference the angle of bank during a turn.

The altimeter displays an aircraft's altitude. The large hand indicates hundreds of feet and the small hand indicates thousands of feet. This instrument also includes a pressure setting, which should be adjusted according to the area the aircrafts flying through. Doing this is important to ensure that the aircraft is maintaining separation from other aircraft.

The turn coordinator shows the level of bank of the wings. The turn coordinator also includes a small white box with a balance ball in the center. It shows whether the aircraft is in balance or whether it’s slipping or skidding in a turn. The ball should be kept in the center. It’s simple to do this using the rudder pedals. If the ball is swinging to the right, press on the right rudder pedal, and vice versa.

The direction indicator shows the current heading. It is like a compass but doesn’t suffer from the same external forces. It is, however, prone to getting out of sync. Therefore, there is a knob underneath the instrument that is used to realign it with the correct heading using the compass. It’s important to do this when the compass is completely accurate, so it should be done during straight and level flight, or before takeoff.

The vertical speed indicator needle displays how many feet per minute in a climb or descent. It can be used during a controlled descent or when trimming the aircraft for straight and level flight.

When initially introduced to a cockpit, it can be overwhelming to try and understand what each instrument is for. Start off by learning about the six basic flight instruments that are in every aircraft: the airspeed indicator, attitude indicator, altimeter, turn coordinator, direction indicator, and the vertical speed indicator. Understanding these instruments is imperative during flight, especially under instrument flight rules (IFR) conditions.

At NSN Components, owned and operated by ASAP Semiconductor, we can help you find all the flight instruments 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, 24/7x365. For a quick and competitive quote, email us at sales@nsncomponents.com or call us at 1-480-504-1299.

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It’s a little surprising, but the more civil aviation becomes to GPS navigation, the more national security has to “degrade” GPS signals to prepare the military to meet new threats. The competing objectives of civil aviation and national security have, consequently, led to a decrease in flight safety.

GPS, or Global Positioning System, is a satellite-based radio navigation system that provides geolocation and time information to a receiver anywhere on where there is an unobstructed line of sight to four or more GPS satellites. With the first satellite launched in 1974 by the US Department of Defense for military use, it was allowed for civilian use in the 1983. And ever since, it’s become an integral part of any navigational system. Which leads us the current problem— the military is increasingly performing intentional GPS interference exercises more often, for longer periods of time, and in more locations.

The US Department of Defense is conducting these exercises in order to counter emerging security risks posed by unmanned aircraft systems (UAS), otherwise known as drones. On the other hand, the US Department of Defense also uses drones, which rely on GPS navigation, for military and security operations.

GPS interference is a problem because it means that civil aviation, which is now almost exclusively dependent on GPS for navigation, is at risk. For example, a GPS degrading exercise done in the Los Angeles Air Route Traffic Control Center’s airspace led to more than 20 aircraft losing GPS navigation in only one hour. And, during such events, many aircraft have been document has going off course; with about 9,000 planes flying at any given time, this is incredibly unsafe.

The solution? Currently, the only solution is the wait for the FAA’s analysis of recommendations issued by a government-and-industry committee of RTCA (Radio Technical Commission for Aeronautics). The FAA has to discuss with the Department of Defense how to move forward and ensure that future GPS interference exercises keep everyone safe.

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Aircraft Altimeters are one of the six basic cockpit instruments that a pilot references during flight. Simple and basic, the altimeter’s purpose is to inform the pilot what altitude the aircraft is flying at. While newer altimeters are computerized and use high-tech sensors to detect the altitude, traditional altimeters measure the altitude by analyzing atmospheric pressure and comparing it to a preset value that the pilot or engineer has previously inputted.

Inside the instrument, altimeters typically have three aneroid wafers that can expand, and contract sealed within a casing. There aneroid wafers are calibrated at 29.92” Hg, sea level. And while there are many variations in appearance, the most common is the 3-Point Altimeter with a background that looks like a clock with numbers from 0 to 9 and three needles. The three needles show different altitude values. The short, wider needle shows altitude in 10,000 ft increments, the slightly longer one shows the 1,000 ft increments, and the longest needle shows the 100 ft increments. The three-needle system makes it easy for pilots to immediately know the altitude at first glance with just a bit of training. The display is the most integral part of the altimeter. Most altimeters today use the Kollsman window. This is an adjustable dial that makes it possible for the pilot to input the local pressure values for the flight. These inputs can be much more accurate depending where you are in the world.

Although the altimeter is an amazing flight instrument part, it does have its weaknesses. Disturbed airflow in static ports can lead to erroneous readings. Overtime, the expansion and contraction of the aneroid wafers can lead to metal fatigue and therefore also cause erroneous readings. The weather, pilot mistakes/misuse, and normal wear and tear can all cause incorrect readings. And yet, altimeters are still one of the most vital components in a pilot’s repertoire.

But, no matter what, an instrument is only good if it works. For all your altimeter parts and replacements, see us at NSN Components. We’re be able to provide you the best altimeters on the market fast and for a very competitive price. Our dedicated staff will be able to get you everything you need so that you can be ready to fly again. Just call us at +1-480-504-1299 or email us at sales@nsncomponents.com to get started on a quote. 

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Engines, whether for automobiles or for aircraft, are powerful but delicate pieces of machinery. They have to be properly supported and attached securely to the frame of the vehicle. In the case of both automobiles and aircraft, the engines are supported by engine mounts.

Engine mounts are structures made of welded steel tubing that secure the engine to the frame of the vehicle and absorb engine vibrations. In aircraft, the mounts are constructed in one or more sections that incorporate the engine mount ring, bracing members, and fittings for attaching the mount to the wing nacelle. They’re also secured with specially heat-treated steel bolts that support the weight of the engine and the stresses imposed by the engine and propeller during flight.  

The section of the engine mount where the engine is attached is the engine mount ring. Typically made of steel tubing in a large circular shape, the mount ring surrounds the engine. Dynafocal mounts, angled towards the engine’s center of gravity, attach the engine to the mount ring. The dynafocal mounts also serve as vibration isolators and give directional support to the engines.

Engine mounts also include rubber and steel suspension units called shock mounts. Because aircraft engines have been getting bigger to be more efficient and produce more power, the vibrations they produce have also become stronger. This led to the development of shock mounts, they restrict engine movement in all directions to limit the vibrations which can damage the aircraft if left unchecked and unrestrained. Shock mounts are usually arranged such that, under normal conditions, the engine is solely supported by the rubber.

In addition to shock mounts, aircraft engines also have other vibration isolators made of a resilient material enclosed in a metal case. When the engine vibrates, the resilient material absorbs the vibration and deforms slightly, dampening the vibrations before they reach or damage the rest of the airplane structure.

At NSN Components, owned and operated by ASAP Semiconductor, we strive to be your first and only choice in aircraft and aviation components. As a premier supplier of aircraft instruments, system components, parts, and spares, we want to make it easier for you to find the parts you need. If you’re interested in a quote or would like more information, visit us at www.nsncomponents.com or call us at +1-480-504-1299.

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The mechanics of flight are fascinating. To get a several hundred ton metal structure in the air and remain airborne, all you need is to go fast enough to get sufficient airflow over and under the wings to generate lift. To initiate a turn, you bank or roll at an angle one direction or the other. And to climb or descend, you have to change the pitch.

The pitch is the up-down motion of the aircraft nose. In order to fly straight, the pitch is generally stabilized with the help of the horizontal stabilizer, a fixed-wing section that usually creates downward force to balance the nose down moment created by the wing lift force. However, because horizontal stabilizer is fixed, it does not play an active role in controlling the pitch. The elevator is.

The elevator is a small moving section at the rear of the stabilizer attached by hinges. There are two elevators, one on each side of the fuselage such that they can work together to keep the balance of the plane. They control the position of the nose of the aircraft and the angle of attack of the wing by changing the effective shape of the airfoil of the horizontal stabilizer. When the angle of deflection at the rear of an airfoil changes, the amount of lift generated by the foil changes. So, when the elevator is up, there is an increased downward force and the tail is forced down and the nose up. Similarly, when the elevator is down, there is a decreased downward force so the tail goes up and the nose goes down.

Elevators are also useful during banked turns. Elevator inputs can increase the lift and cause a tighter turn, which is why elevators are so important for military fighter aircraft. For many fighter planes, in order to meet their high-maneuvering requirements, the horizontal stabilizer and elevator are combined into what is called a stabilator, a fully movable stabilizer that functions just like the elevator.

At NSN Components, owned and operated by ASAP Semiconductor, we’re a premier distributor of aircraft instruments, system components, spares, and other aircraft parts. We want to be your one-stop-shop for all your aircraft and aviation needs, so, our staff are always ready to help. For more information or a quote, visit us at www.nsncomponents.com.

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