A malfunctioning engine is never a pleasant experience for anyone no matter the vehicle. They can often create downtime to inspect and fix the problem, and this can be a much longer and harder process when the vehicle in question is an aircraft. Therefore, identifying and solving the problem of an aircraft engine that fails to start as quickly and efficiently as possible is always best.

Troubleshooting a problem is to conduct a systematic search on a machine to identify symptoms, pinpoint the problematic sector, and optimally solve it. An easy way to identify a turbine engine ignition system that is in need of troubleshooting is if the power plant is operating and performing poorly. If you have maintained records of your aircraft engine performance, it can be easier to identify a problem when comparing current performance to past records. If you do not have any, you can also compare your performance to that of the same aircraft or a similar engine set up to your own.

When an ignition system begins to backfire, that could indicate a cracked distributor, or there may be a high tension leak between ignition heads. Common reasons that engines fail also range from a lack of fuel to defective spark plugs. Checking the fuel system, clearing particles and build up, as well as replacing components can often be the solution to a variety of problems once the problematic sector is identified.

Nevertheless, the most efficient way to avoid engine start-up failures and the need for troubleshooting altogether is through conducting regular maintenance and inspection of your aircraft engine. Engines often include a manufacturer’s recommended maintenance interval time to help you ensure that your engine is regularly checked for parts that need to be serviced or replaced. A well maintained engine should guarantee a much lower chance of malfunctions and other complications that may arise with normal use.

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From the first bamboo flying toys of China in 400 BC to the modern aircraft we rely on today, the understanding of flight and propulsion has been a constant journey that we have been improving all the time. Vertical flight through aircraft propellers has been a somewhat understood concept for thousands of years, but it was not until the Wright brothers that we truly understood and put to their capabilities to the test for horizontal flight. Just like a similarly designed wing’s ability to create lift, propellers can be used to drive an aircraft forward, creating the wonders of flight that we use all around the world. In this blog, we will discuss how propellers are designed so that they may create flight.

According to Newton’s third law of motion, a push backwards is needed for any object to move forward. Propellers achieve this by acting as spinning wings, pushing air behind them and creating thrust that moves the aircraft forward. Propellers are angled, often referred to as their pitch, and the angle can decide how much force is needed for propulsion. Like a screw’s angled thread that drives it forward into a material, the angled propeller causes a forward movement through the air as it is spun. All propellers like spinner propellers & parts kit propeller are twisted in such a way that the outermost part travels further than the inner part of the blade. Through this twisted design, the angle of attack is uniform and ensures there is not too much stress put on the blades and other components.

Propellers & its parts are manufactured from a variety of materials including magnesium alloys, aluminum, hollow steel, composites, and laminates. Due to their design and functionality, they are built for speeds that do not exceed around 480 mph. If they were to surpass this speed, the propellers would begin to create high amounts of drag, noise, and cause structural problems. Along with an engine, propellers help achieve flight that many have studied and dreamed of for millenia.

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The function of a turbine engine inlet is to provide airflow free of distortion to the inlet of a compressor. Most engines feature inlet guide vanes to straighten the airflow and assist in directing it to the first stages of the compressor. Controlled airflow is key to avoiding compressor stalling, in which the airflow stops or direction of flow is reversed. Gas turbines consume much more air than, for example, reciprocating engines. To account for this, the entrance passage of turbine inlets are considerably larger. Additionally, the inlet has an important role in the aircraft’s performance, as failures of the inlet duct can result in significant performance deficiencies throughout other components of the engine.

The two most common types of engine inlets are divided-entrance ducts and variable-geometry duct. Divided-entrance ducts, generally found on high-speed, military grade aircraft, take in air from either side of the fuselage. This presents the aircraft designer with a problem since the duct has to be able to obtain sufficient air without creating too much drag. The two entrances are placed as far forward on the fuselage to attempt to replicate the characteristics of a single-entrance duct. A series of vanes is sometimes present in the ducts to help straighten the incoming airflow, reducing turbulence.

The other type of inlet, the variable-geometry duct, is used to control the amount of air entering the engine inlet. This is because aircraft using turbojet or low bypass turbofan engines have a maximum airflow of less than Mach 1. Therefore, during flight, the velocity of the airflow entering the inlet must be reduced to a more easily-controlled speeds before it can enter the compressor. To account for this, this type of duct is designed to also function as a diffuser, a part which enhances an aircraft’s aerodynamic properties by lowering the velocity of the airflow around the aircraft.

Engine inlets play an important role in ensuring the proper function of an aircraft. At Sourcing Streamlined, owned and operated by ASAP Semiconductor, we can help you find all the engine 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@sourcingstreamlined.com or call us at 1-763-401-8616.

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Believe it or not, flight simulators have been around for nearly 100 years. The first flight simulator was invented in 1927 by pilot and flight instructor Ed Link to imitate the feeling of flight in order to practice instrument skills while safely on the ground. Since the invention of his machine, the Link Trainer, flight simulators have markedly improved. Modern simulators are hyper-realistic, ranging from fully enclosed devices to smartphone apps to virtual reality. There has never been a better time for flight simulation technology, and here are five reasons why every pilot, novice or expert, should be taking advantage of it.

Enhanced Training:

Flight simulations allows pilots to learn both basic and advanced skills. The diversity found in the applications of modern flight simulators mean that both inexperienced and seasoned pilots can learn a lot. A new pilot can learn the basic skills and requirements of flight while an experienced aviator can fine tune their aviation prowess and learn more advanced techniques.

Maintain Proficiency:

Flight simulators allow pilots to practice both routine and uncommon flight. Rustiness can be dangerous when you’re in the air, and flight simulators can ensure that a pilot will maintain his or her skills in between flights. Flight simulation also allows the user to customize the experience creating a scenario more tailored to whatever skills they want to practice.

Improve Navigation:

Simulators can help pilots improve both their VFR and IFR navigation skills. VFR and IFR are the two sets of regulations governing navigation of civil aircraft. Simulation allows a pilot to practice navigating a route as well as practice executing instrument procedures.

Mitigate Risk:

A great benefit of flight simulators is the ability to practice reacting to in-flight emergencies without any real danger. This can provide skills and knowledge that might one day save your life in a low-stress environment.

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Auxiliary power units are engines, motors, and power units that provide vehicles with energy for functions other than propulsion. They are used in larger vehicles, such as aircraft, marine vessels, and some larger land vehicles to perform tasks such as starting main engines, heating motor blocks, and charging batteries. They can provide power in electric, pneumatic, and hydraulic forms.

In aircraft, APUs assist in starting the primary engine or engines, generate power for the aircraft during pre-flight checks, and energize cabin amenities such as lights and heating while the engines are off. APUs come in various different types, serving different purposes, and draw power from multiple kinds of sources, including batteries, hydraulic accumulators, and combustion engines.

APUs consist of three basic sections. The first is the power section, which is typically a gas generator for producing the device’s shaft power. Next is the load compressor, a shaft-mounted compressor that provides pneumatic power (some APUs extract bleed air from the power section compressor). Lastly is the gearbox section, which transfers power from the main shaft of the engine to a generator for electrical power. Power is transferred from the gearbox to the fuel control units, lubrication modules, and cooling fans.

Auxiliary power units in commercial airliners take the form of a small turbine engine, usually mounted in the tail. The APU functions just like the turbine engines that provide thrust for the jet, but unlike them, the APU does not provide thrust to the aircraft. The engine drives a generator, which in turn powers the electrical systems onboard like lights and heating while the aircraft is on the ground. In flight, power for these systems is provided by the main engines, and the APU is shut off to save on fuel.

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While functionally and chemically similar to the gas used in automobiles, aviation fuel is  different in several important ways. Like gasoline, aviation fuel used by aircraft is made up of numerous different hydrocarbons. The longer the hydrocarbons are and the higher the molecular weight of these compounds, the more chemical parameters such as melting point or smoke point differ. Gasoline, for instance, typically has seven to eleven carbon atoms with hydrogen atoms attached, while aviation fuel ranges from twelve to fifteen carbon atoms with attached hydrogen atoms. These chemical parameters can have an enormous influence on the quality of the fuel, with one of the most important for quality control being the viscosity.

Fuel purity is of course vitally important for the aviation industry. If the fuel is contaminated by water, ice can form in the fuel tanks and fuel lines while flying at high altitudes, which can disrupt the flow of fuel to the turbines and cause them to shut down. To prevent this from happening, the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) develops and publishes standards for fuel purity based on viscosity. These standards are recognized and used around the world and cataloged in ASTM D1655 and ASTM D7566.

When fuel’s viscosity is too high, the injection nozzles in the turbines will struggle to spray it. This effectively shortens the working lifespan of the nozzles, which leads to higher maintenance costs and makes re-ignition more difficult if the engine fails mid-flight. The viscosity also affects the pressure drop in the fuel lines, with the greater the viscosity the higher the pressure drops. The fuel pump then has to work harder to ensure a constant flow rate so that the turbines can continue to function. On the other hand, when the viscosity is too low, the lack of lubrication in the system can lead to a total engine failure.

Fortunately, instruments called viscometers can easily check the viscosity and density of aviation fuel to ensure the fuel is within proper parameters before it is pumped into the aircraft, and numerous procedures are taken throughout storage and fueling to prevent water contamination.

At Sourcing Streamlined, owned and operated by ASAP Semiconductor, we can help you find all the fueling equipment 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@sourcingstreamlined.com or call us at 1-763-401-8616.

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The FAA is responsible for noise reduction policies. The FAA program, The Continuous Lower Energy Emissions and Noise (CLEEN) encourages the creation of aircraft noise reducing equipment. The program aims to achieve environmentally friendly goals for newer aircraft models, and also encourages the retrofitting of older aircraft.  

Due to rising complaints and concerns involving loud aircraft noise, in February 2013, the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) introduced a new global noise reduction standard.  Chapter 14- which applies to jet and propeller driven planes- is a more stringent standard compared to the previous standard, Chapter 4. The standard applies to newly designed aircraft operating after 2017.

The ICAO introduced a set of stages to help implement the new noise reduction standard. For an aircraft to be airworthy, an aircraft manufacturer must be compliant with the stage in which their aircraft is classified into. There are four sound stages for civil aircraft, with 1 being the loudest and 4 being the quietest. To move up a category, therefore reducing noise, an aircraft can be retrofitted with noise reduction technology. Two examples of aircraft noise cancelling systems are flap side edge liners and landing gear door liners.  Good time to introduce what those technologies are then transition into descriptions

Acoustic liners are essentially a buffeting system. As an aircraft comes into landing, the level of noise increases due to the engine running on full throttle during descent. This sparks complaints from surrounding civilian communities who live around the airport or under a flightpath.  NASA has developed two new acoustic liner systems that can be fitted to noisier aircraft that are not part of the NextGen of aircraft.

Flap side edge liners are perforated attachments that capture the noise generated by the interrupted airflow. The surface of the flap side edge liners trap the air and channel it through various vessels. The vessels are of differing lengths, therefore forcing the sound to bounce off the channels. The flap side liners can be outfitted with a stuffing such as foam, which can be tailored to absorb the sound. In a similar design to the flap side edge liners, landing gear door liners are porous in design. The liners are constructed of numerous spaces that entrap the noise generated from the air disturbance. In an added design benefit, both the flap side edge liners and the landing gear door liners adjust the boundary conditions. In doing so, the reduction liners also reduce the amount of noise being produced.

With the introduction of the ICAO standard, noise reducing technology will become more standard. In turn, the number of people who are affected by loud aircraft noise will be reduced.

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When frigid cold weather occurs, most headlines suggest that below freezing temperatures result in grounded flights. You might be surprised to hear that aircraft actually run more efficiently in relatively cold weather—here’s why.

Most commercial aircraft are designed to withstand varying temperature changes in their flight cycle. At 35,000 feet in the air, the temperature can range anywhere from -40 to -70 ?. Jet fuel freezes at about -40 ?, but redundancies on an aircraft are designed to keep all components running smoothly. As long as the aircraft systems are kept heated at minimum temperature specifications, they have no problem operating in extremely cold weather.

An aircraft engine system is also more efficient in lower temperatures. This is because the air is denser and less humid. There are more oxygen molecules readily available in a given space than during warm or hot weather. The engine is able to utilize a larger mass of air and fuel mixture, giving it more horsepower, shorter and faster take offs, and better overall performance. On hotter days, less fuel can be burned because the air is less dense and therefore not as readily available for use, therefore causing the engine to burn inefficiently and potentially cause unnecessary engine wear and tear.

Instead, the cause of flight cancellations during cold weather is often due to the presence of ice or snow on the aircraft, and at the airport itself. Ice and snow can change the pattern of airflow over the surface of an airplane, and this is especially harmful to the aerodynamics of an aircraft wing. This causes longer take off rolls and a higher stall speed in flight. Lastly, the methods needed per aircraft during icing conditions are time consuming and expensive.

For airports, cold weather can be extremely detrimental to daily operations. Flight crew and maintenance workers can only stay outside in low temperatures for a short amount of time. While the aircraft is equipped to keep itself warm, aircraft maintenance equipment is not, and can freeze easily. Ice on the tarmac results in dangerous conditions for both the airport staff and for standard takeoff and landings.

Overall, it’s not cold temperatures that cause flight cancellations. The associated dangers of icing conditions and the necessary changes in airport operations are the main contributors flight complications faced during cold weather.

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The atmospheric conditions at the typical cruising altitude of an airliner are not at all suitable for humans. Cabins are pressurized to regulate air density at those altitudes, but what protects us from the cold? At 30,000 ft., the air temperature may be approximately -47.83 ?. Imagine flying through the sky at that temperature without a cabin or a heating system. It would not work out well. There are several systems utilized by an aircraft that provide heat to the cabin.

Fuel fired heaters are mounted or portable space-heaters that obtain fuel through piping from a fuel tank, or by tapping into an aircraft’s fuel system. There are two fans in a fuel fired heater; the first fan blows air into the combustion chamber to be ignited and the second fan blows warm air into tubing directed towards the inside of an aircraft. Fuel fired heaters require electricity and are compatible with 12-volt and 24-volt electrical systems. Gas heaters need to be vented in order to prevent them from leaking dangerous gases into the cabin.

Exhaust systems may be used as a heat source for the cabin and carburetor, and are used on most light aircraft. However, defective exhaust heating systems have a few associated risks such as carbon monoxide poisoning, a decrease in engine performance, and an increased risk of a fire. Maintenance personnel need to carefully inspect the various components of this system in order to reduce the risk of the assorted dangers.

Combustion heaters are commonly used to heat cabins in larger, more expensive aircraft. Fuel is ignited in a combustion chamber or tube and the air flowing around the tube is heated and directed to the cabin. Carbon monoxide then exits the aircraft through the heater exhaust pipe. It is unlikely for carbon monoxide poisoning to occur in this type of heater. There are safety redundancies that also stop this heater from creating other dangerous situations.

Bleed air heating systems are used on turbine-engine aircraft. Compressor bleed air is transferred to a chamber and is mixed with ambient or recirculated air— the air cools off and is then routed to the cabin for heating. There are many safety features involved in this system including temperature sensors, check valves, and engine sensors.

It’s crucial to follow any original equipment manufacturer (OEM) specifications on maintaining heating systems since they can cause various dangerous situations. The safest heating systems are combustion heaters and bleed air heating systems because of their safety components.

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Though it seems inherent to include human factors in cockpit design, this notion has changed considerably since--. Today’s pilot is familiar with the presence of adjustable seats, reach envelopes, control locations, and other crucial amenities within a cockpit. This was not, however, always the case. From the U.S. Air Force to commercial jets, aircraft design was not always based on human safety and comfort.

At the dawn of its designs, cockpit layouts and infrastructure were considered incredibly unsafe. In the 1940’s, United States Air Force pilot fatalities while manning an aircraft were at a record high. At the time, and for decades to follow, the statistics used in cockpit design included only the physical measurements of a few hundred male pilots. This was also during a scientific period where personality traits were considered to be linked with physical attributes— a notion no longer deemed valid.

It wasn’t until the 1950’s, that a more reflective demographic of the pilot community was measured by the Aero Medical Laboratory at Wright Air Force Base. The results marked a new era in cockpit design and history. The findings helped advance design parameters to those used today, which are based between the 5th and 95th percentile of the average human build. These advancements have led to the inclusion of anthropometry, the science of measuring human individuals, in aviation cockpit design. It essentially includes measurements of the body when it is in movement and when it is still. The science is now a fundamental part of ergonomic design within an aircraft.

Another important human motivated innovation in cockpit design is Eye Datum, or Design Eye Reference Point (DERP). The FAA defines this as the ability to view all main cockpit instruments while maintaining a reasonable view of the outside world with minimal head movement. Identifying a design eye position is one of the first steps in the procedures used in cockpit. The modern flight deck is designed around this indispensable detail.

With these advancements in design, the modern cockpit uses a “human centered” mentality. The layout is specifically modeled on safety, comfort and organization. From display screens, to shapes and colors used, most mechanical details and parts now cater to the pilot, whomever they may be.

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