At the very first glance, the cockpit of an aircraft may seem like complex or daunting technology. While an intricate system to control the aircraft’s rotation, center of gravity, and direction is certainly necessary, the system, when learned and written into muscle memory, is certainly manageable for pilots. The cockpit of each aircraft is made similarly enough so that when a pilot enters the cockpit of a new aircraft, they can recognize the basic and most important components. 

Ignition Control

Like with automobiles that need a key or key fob to start the ignition, most aircraft are in need of a certain trigger to ramp up the ignition control. Smaller aircraft differ from larger commercial aircraft in that the small aircraft usually need an actual “key”, while the latter can be done in the startup procedures with a series of switches capable of starting up the small APU aircraft cockpits, its design and integration model. detailed content on cockpit. Some older aircraft models will require the use of a lever during the ignition process.

Yoke and Side Stick

The steering wheel of the aircraft is called the yoke of the plane. The yoke is responsible for helping the pilot move the plane up, down, left, and right, and also for controlling the roll and pitch of the plane. Yokes are mostly seen on fixed wing aircraft. They can take the shape of either a U or W, though there have been a few variations with M or “ram-shaped” controls. Some aircraft utilize a side stick instead of a yoke. This placement allows for a larger instrument display and is more lightweight than a traditional yoke. Some pilots prefer them over more traditional forms of controls.

Flap Handle

Pilots can find a flap control switch on the instrument panel if they are operating a small airplane that was produced from the late 1970’s. Typically, it is colored white and placed horizontal to the cockpit, and sometimes it’s even shaped like a small flap. Placed next to the throttle, the flap handle allows the plot to increase lift as well as drag. The flap handle parts are mostly used during takeoff, approach, and landing.



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If you are intending to purchase a new aircraft, then it’s important that you know the parts essentials of maintaining it. One piece necessary for maintaining the part is multi-link towbar heads. A versatile tool, the Multi-link aircraft towbar is a device that is used to pull up the front landing gear on a small aircraft.

Used primarily for convenient ground maneuverability, the multi-link towbar heads can push or pull anything from a small single engine aircraft to air force fighter jets such as the F-16 and even small business jets weighing around 16,000 pounds.

When shopping around for the multi link towbar heads, you have to be aware of which brand and which type you need for your aircraft. Be sure to check the size specification on each towbar head, as they’ll differ and you will need to acquire the part that fits best with your aircraft. Another important factor to consider when shopping for towbar heads is the quality and workmanship. When buying one, you have to test to see if the device will hold up with regular use and offer durable and reliable service. To ensure this, you’ll have to make verify if it comes with a long term quality and workmanship guarantee.

As part of aircraft maintenance equipment, multi-link aircraft towbar heads need to be corrosion free to stay clear of any rust even with extended storage periods. In this regard, buyers should look for those made of aluminum. A high-quality paint job is also a must. The paint will keep rust from developing along welds and affecting the integrity of the entire device.

For aircraft with longer noses, multi-link towbar heads need to be long enough to reach the front aircraft landing gear without creating any problems for the operator. Remember that aircrafts are very expensive and should be handled with utmost care using the right equipment.


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Aircraft landing gear is a hugely important component of any aircraft. Aside from landing, it is also necessary for taxiing and take off. The three main functioning components of aircraft landing gear are the shock-absorber cylinders, shock-absorber pistons, and tires. Unsurprisingly, the shock-absorbers undergo extreme stress as the aircraft touches down, but it’s not always clear how much. Determining the wear on your landing gear is important, as it will inform you when it’s time to repair or replace it.

The shock-absorber cylinder and piston are connected by a joint. This joint has one degree of freedom, meaning it can move in only one direction. To provide passengers with more comfort and ensure the mechanical integrity of the landing gear, the joint is designed with a spring and damper to absorb the brunt of the forces exerted on the landing gear upon touchdown. The shock-absorbers and cylinders work relative to each other, meaning that when the cylinder is at its most displaced position, the stress on the piston is at its highest. As you would guess, the center of the piston is under the greatest stress during landing. When the shock absorbers work to control the stress of landing, the landing components inevitably heat up, with the highest temperatures being present at the connection of the piston and cylinder.

Your aircraft landing gear needs to withstand extreme conditions, so cutting corners on maintenance will only be harmful in the long run. Although proper maintenance may be an annoying cost, it is much cheaper than a massive overhaul. One of the simplest things you can do to maintain your landing gear is to lubricate it. Improper lubrication can make the landing components, already under extreme stress, deteriorate even faster. Another step worth taking is protecting the landing gear from corrosive agents. Products like paint strippers can have hydrogen and other acidic properties which react poorly with the high tensile steel landing gear is made of.



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In a piece of machinery as complicated as a modern aircraft, each individual part has an important role to play. That said, there are still certain parts of aircraft that most people would agree are more critical than others. Here are the five key components of an aircraft.

Aircraft Fuselage

The fuselage is considered the body of the aircraft. It is the central piece and where you’ll find the passengers, crew, and cargo. In addition to this, it provides the structural connection for the wings and tail assemblies. The most common type of fuselage in production is the ‘monocoque’ or ‘single shell’.

Aircraft Wings

Attached to the fuselage you’ll find the wings. Wings are a type of airfoil and are the main surfaces used to lift and support the plan during flight. Wings are produced in a huge variety of designs, shapes, and sizes depending on the manufacturer and the performance needs of the aircraft. Aircraft with a single set of wings are known as monoplanes, while those with two are referred to as biplanes.

Aircraft Empennage

An aircraft's empennage is the tail section, consisting of both fixed and movable surfaces. The fixed surfaces are the vertical and horizontal stabilizer, and the movable surfaces consist of the rudder, trim tabs, and elevator. Not all empennage models require an elevator. These empennages feature a single-piece horizontal stabilizer known as a stabilator. It performs the functions of both an elevator and a stabilizer while only being one piece.

Aircraft Landing Gear

An aircraft’s landing gear is the principal support of the airplane while parked or during taxiing and take off. The average landing gear is wheeled, but certain aircraft can feature floats or skis for operation on water or snow.

Aircraft Powerplant

The powerplant is the heart of any aircraft. It includes the engine and propellor. The engine’s role is to provide power to turn the propeller, but it also generates some electrical power, provides a vacuum for certain instruments, and is a heat source for pilots and passengers.


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Printed Circuit Board or PCB connectors are links between components on a conductive path or between pads on the board itself. Certain devices feature more than one PCB and will utilise a variety of equipment to create a connection between the circuit boards. PCB connectors are mounted on the PCB itself and are typically used to transfer signals from one circuit board to another. Because PCBs are not hard-wired to one another and can be assembled later in the production process, these connectors are easy to design and manufacture. Different PCBs have different responsibilities. Because of this, the connector’s ultimate application will determine the SWaP (size, weight, and power) properties used in the PCB design. For example, the connector in your smartphone is much smaller and lighter than the connector in your car.

PCB connectors feature a multi-pin connection system usually in a rectangular layout. When paired, PCB connectors will either be used for board-to-board connections or wire-to-board. Board-to-board layouts provide a range of PCB connection orientations at 90 degree increments. In a parallel or mezzanine connection, the connectors are vertically paired. In a 90 degree, or right angle connection, one of the connectors is vertical while the other is horizontal. In an edge-to-edge connection, both connectors are horizontally oriented.

PCB connectors are also sometimes referred to as PCB interconnects. In addition to this, specific terms are also used for the mating sides of the connection. Male PCB connectors, a row of pins, are sometimes called pin headers. Female PCB connectors are known as sockets, receptacles, or header receptacles.

A wide variety of PCB connectors is available on the market, each tailored to a set of specific needs. Whatever connector you need, Plane Parts 360, the premier PCB connector distributor, has it.


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Aircraft maintenance checks refer to the periodic inspections that every commercial and civil aircraft must go through after a certain number of flying hours or time of use. Military aircraft may or may not have the same types of checks as commercial, but they must have their own maintenance programs as well. The aviation industry is extremely regulated, and commercial operators must comply with the inspection programs of authorities like the Federal Aviation Administration, Transport Canada, and the European Aviation Safety Agency.

Every operator must establish a Continuous Airworthiness Maintenance Program (CAMP) in its operations, including routine and detailed inspections of their air assets. The FAA institutes a series of inspections known as checks, classified as A, B, C, and D. A and B are relatively minor checks, while C and D are more exhaustive. Aircraft operators can conduct lighter checks in their own facilities, but must perform heavier checks at the site of a certified maintenance, repair, and overhaul (MRO) company.

A-checks are performed every 400-600 flight hours or 200-300 cycles (a cycle is one takeoff and landing). This inspection takes roughly 50-70 man hours, and requires an aircraft to remain on the ground for about ten hours, depending on its condition.

B-checks are conducted every six to eight months, and requires 160 to 180 man hours, depending on the aircraft’s type and condition. B-checks typically take one to three days.

C-checks are performed every 20 to 24 months, or after a specific number of manufacturer-set flight hours. They are more expensive than A and B-checks, involving inspections of large numbers of aircraft components, and require an aircraft to stay at an MRO site for at least two weeks and up to 6,000 man hours of work.

3C is an intermediate layover, and refers to light checks for corrosion or deterioration of specific parts of an airframe. Operators also take the 3C check as a chance to perform cabin upgrades (like new avionics, carpeting, etc), or incorporate the 3C into their D-checks.

The D-check is the most intensive type of check for aircraft. Also called a heavy maintenance visit, the D-check is performed every 6 to 10 years, and can see the entire aircraft disassembled for inspection and repair. The aircraft must be stationed at a spacious maintenance base, can take up to two months, requires 50,000 man-hours of work, and can cost about 1 million dollars to complete. Most operators choose to retire their aircraft at this point, as the cost of repairs exceeds the value of the aircraft.


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Spacecraft and airplanes are intricate machines that are designed and built to precise specifications, including which alloying element works best for individual components. Aluminum, copper, and nickel are most commonly used because of their ability to resist wear and tear, their heat resistance,  and their magnetic properties. New applications have been found to utilize these metals and vastly improve existing designs.

Aluminum has been used in aircraft construction for decades. It provides excellent strength as well as an economically friendly weight to cost ratio. It is estimated that almost 80% of the materials in modern aircraft is aluminum. The aircraft fuselage, wings, and supporting structures of commercial aircraft are all constructed of this metal alloy; aluminum can withstand a high level of UV rays as well. New technologies are on the forefront of aluminum as new casting technologies offer lower manufacturing costs, the ability to form complex shapes, and the flexibility to incorporate innovative design concepts.

Copper-based alloys are commonly used where construction requires materials that have high strength, resistance to corrosion, and excellent ductility. These parts are often safety critical and require long term operation such as electrical components, copper wire, generators, and data transfer systems. Copper is also a non-magnetic metal which means it won’t interfere with any electrical applications, making it practical to use in these applications. It is easily malleable and highly conductive. Its reliability and wide array of uses makes it an important alloy in the construction of a n aircraft. The same applies to nickel.

Nickel alloys are used in gas turbine engines, combustion chambers, engine exhaust valves, spacecraft, and many more applications. It has magnetic properties, excellent resistance to wear and tear, and can sustain extreme temperatures. In gas turbine engines, nickel can be found in the combustion chamber of an engine. The continuous stream of pressurized gas, as well as the constant flame, makes nickel the best metal alloy for this function. It is also found in the exhaust valves of aircraft. When nickel is mixed with tungsten or molybdenum, it allows it to withstand even higher temperatures. On spacecraft, nickel can be found on the outer parts of the vessel, where it protects against UV rays as well as tiny meteoroids. Without this heat resistant alloy, we may not have been able to walk on the moon.



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Every aircraft is built and maintained with a specific job in mind. It isn't possible for one aircraft to cover every characteristic a plane can have. For example, a fighter aircraft is made for defense and attack functionality. Thus, it has an extremely strong structure and is extremely powerful. Each characteristic is selected to coincide with one another, so the aircraft is built into a cohesive machine.

A fixed-wing aircraft is used for commercial purposes, one of its most important characteristics is to be comfortable for the passengers as well as the pilot. There are nine components to a fixed-wing, or conventional, aircraft: the fuselage, engine mount, nacelle, wings, stabilizers, flight control surfaces, landing gear, arresting gear, and catapult equipment. In this article we will be focusing on the fuselage.

The fuselage is the heart of the aircraft and where every other structure connects to. Usually composed of all metal, most fuselages are modified in a monocoque design. This design is structured in a way that relies on the strength of the shell (exterior) to carry various loads. Shell or skin thickness depends on what the aircraft's purpose is and what stresses it will have to encounter. To distribute these forces a cross sectional shape is composed and made up of bulkheads, station webs, and rings. Longitudinal members, such as longerons, formers, and stringers, take the brunt force of bending tension.

There is also a semimonocoque fuselage made up of aluminum alloy or graphite epoxy. In this design, longerons are used in conjunction with stringers, which are lighter and used more commonly. Vertical members, known as bulkheads, frames, and formers, are used to support concentrated loads and attach parts such as wings, engines, and control stabilizers. This design is more streamlined and sturdier as compared to the monocoque design since all structural components aid the structure. This configuration is most likely used in fighter jets to protect the structure from the damage it may contract.

Fuselages may be constructed in as little as two sections to as many as six sections for larger aircrafts. Each aircraft will have differing maintenance and inspection manuals depending on where the access doors and inspection panels are located.



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When you’re in flight, the only thing separating you from the thin air outside is an airplane window. On one side, there’s a warm, pressurized cabin where you can work, watch movies, sleep — and on the other, air that is not suitable to breathe. Between the two, incredibly sturdy windows. Aircraft cabin windows and windshields are designed to withstand high pressure environments that normal windows couldn’t function in. 

A cabin window consists of three panes: an outer pane that is flush with the outside fuselage, an inner pane which has a pressurization hole in it, and a thinner, non-structural plastic pane called a scratch pane. Passengers can’t touch the inner pane or the outer pane for safety reasons; instead, passengers can rest their weary heads against the scratch pane. The scratch pane isn’t actually part of the window assembly itself but installed separately.

As your aircraft gains altitude, the pressure acting on the outside of the plane drops; the air is much less dense the higher your plane climbs. Because aircraft cabins are pressurized to about 6,000 feet for passenger comfort, there is more pressure inside the plane than acting on it from the outside. That pressure is bearing on the fuselage and the cabin windows. The little hole on the inner panel allows some of the cabin air to escape into the pocket between the inner and outer panes and equalize. This forces the outer pane to take all of the load, albeit slowly. The small hole is designed to function so that as the plane ascends the pressure slowly equalizes.

The inner and outer pane thickness is specific to each type of aircraft. Inner panes are generally thinner at approximately 0.2” thick and are only present as a fail-safe if the outer pane fails. The outer panes are thicker—at approximately 0.4” thick—and carry the pressure loads for the life of the window. The increased thickness is meant to allow for engagement with the airframe structure while maintaining the required strength. The air gap is approximately 0.25” and also varies for each aircraft.

Aircraft cabin windows are not made of glass but with a material referred to as stretched acrylic. It’s a lightweight material manufactured by a few global suppliers for the various aircraft flying today. One such supplier is UK-based GKN. The largest manufacturer of cabin windows worldwide, GKN makes cabin windows for the Boeing 737 and the Boeing 787, and most other aircraft. Stretched acrylic is produced by stretching the base material of as-cast acrylic. It provides better resistance to cracks, reduced crack propagation, and improved impact resistance.

Another type of window that exists on aircraft is the windshield/cockpit window. It consists of a toughened glass pane, a heating/deicing element, a vinyl layer, surrounded by another layer of reinforced glass. Airliners utilize acrylic as well due to its versatility. The cockpit windows are thicker and stronger as they have to withstand bird strikes—which aren't an issue on the sides of the fuselage where the cabin windows are. Jet windows are also made of stretched acrylic but are a single layer in a far more complex curved form.



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Shaft couplings are different from some other types of connectors because instead of just joining two parts, they actually transmit power from one end to the other on rotating shafts— this is their primary function. Several other features that they have are that they accommodate misalignment and create mechanical flexibility, they reduce transmission shock, and they protect against overload. Shaft couplings join two pieces of rotating equipment such as motors, pumps, compressors, and generators. Shaft couplings generally do not disconnect during operation, but there are torque limits; if exceeded, the coupling may slip or disconnect. There are numerous types of couplings styles; they support particular torque or power transmission and afford various misalignments.

Different couplings supply support for different types of misalignment: parallel, angular, etc. Beam couplings are used for applications in which torque does not exceed 100 inch-lbs. Bellows couplings do not accommodate as much parallel and angular alignment as a beam coupling, but they are great for positioning applications because they provide high torsional stiffness. Oldham couplings can handle high levels of parallel misalignment. Schmidt couplings are useful for shafts that are offset. Although clamping couplings aren’t good at handling misalignment, they are inexpensive and are zero-backlash devices. Disc couplings transmit power, have high torque transmitting abilities, and accommodate angular misalignment, but are not useful for managing parallel misalignment.

Chain couplings can transmit hundreds of horsepower and can handle small amounts of misalignment. Diaphragm couplings are used in high power transmission applications, like turbomachinery, and have the capacity to handle high torque transmission and high-speed orientation. Gear couplings have the ability to transmit high levels of torque, but diaphragm couplings have an advantage as they do not require lubrication. Grid couplings are capable of high torque transmission, have shock absorption, torsional vibration dampening, operate without lubricant, and accommodate various misalignments. Jaw couplings are used for motion control and light power transmission.

Particular couplings may be beneficial for different applications. It all depends on the direction of misalignment and its force, torque load, and power transmission requirements. While some couplings may offer benefits to all areas, they are not always necessary. Some applications only have one or two requirements and sometimes the costs associated with each type, or the material they are composed of, needs to be taken into consideration.


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