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.
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’.
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.
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.
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.
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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