When ascending into higher elevations, air pressure gradually lessens and breathing can become more labored. At high enough altitudes, conditions of oxygen, pressure, and temperature can even become dangerous to humans. Due to this, aircraft have been specifically engineered to maintain a comfortably pressured environment for passengers during flight. This means that every component must be designed to withstand the difference of pressure on the inside and outside of the fuselage. While windows and structures remain permanently closed and/or sealed, the main doors are openable. Luckily for any worried passenger, their design specifically prevents any possible openings or malfunction during flight.

Despite the possible worry that a frenzied passenger may attempt to open a door mid-flight, actually prying it open is near impossible by oneself, even if left to their own devices. This is due to both natural and mechanical forces that keep the door shut. Aircraft doors are considered “self-sealing” because despite also having mechanical locks, they really only need pressure to stay shut. Like a cork in a bottle, the aircraft door is shaped like a wedge and can only be opened inwards into the cabin. With the pressure of the cabin being much greater than that of the outside during flight, there can be upwards of 20,000 pounds of force that hold a door shut while at peak altitudes, Even at low altitudes of 2,000 feet, there is still around 4,000 pounds of pressure that even heavy bodybuilders could not overcome.

Beyond the natural pressure sealing solution, there are also mechanical cabin door seal parts that ensure the aircraft door cannot be opened mid-flight. The pilot controls the mechanical door locks from the cockpit, and handles cannot be moved until the pilot disengages these locks. This is why you may hear a pilot announce that the doors have been set to manual after landing. Door functions may also be aided by pneumatic or hydraulic systems to ensure safety and operability.

With the use of natural forces and mechanical technology, aircraft doors should be the least of one’s worries when flying on an aircraft. Aircraft engineers ensure the safety and integrity of each and every aircraft component through years of design, testing, and improvement. In the coming years, pressurization ability and safety will only improve to bring more comfort to passengers, even while at 38,000 feet in the air.

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Lights are probably not the first thing that comes to mind when you think about the most important components of a functional aircraft. However, the lights are all over an aircraft, and each one of them serves an important purpose. Just as important as the lights themselves is their installation. Aircraft engineers must be up to the task of installing functional lights that don’t interfere with passenger comfort, aircraft utility, or safety. 

Exterior aircraft lights help pilots navigate, avoid collisions, land, taxi, and signal other aircraft. Because of this, the design and testing process is pivotal. Aircraft lights are typically tested by using physical prototypes under difficult conditions. Engineers can simulate these conditions digitally and test things like photometry, colorimetry, homogeneity, and overall performance in situations such as landing, takeoff, and landing. These digital simulations are easier on the budget and get the lights to market sooner.

The lights inside the cabin provide comfort, safety, utility, and general illumination. In modern commercial aircraft, lights are used to help passengers beat jet lag by recreating the time of day or night at their destination. While it’s nice to have a lighting setup that creates a pleasant experience for every passenger, the most important lights in the cabin are the emergency lights. In the case of these lights, aircraft designers are tasked with making them subtle enough to not interfere with passenger’s peace of mind while still clearly directing passengers toward exits.

Cockpit lighting plays a similar role to that of the cabin, in the sense that it provides comfort, utility, and safety. The main difference, however, is that these light systems affect how pilots perform. For example, the cockpit will be lit and colored differently depending on time of day, weather, and other external factors. Lumens produced by the cockpit instruments are optimized to allow pilots to see important data without obscuring the view of other important equipment through glare, reflection, and general eye strain.

Finding the right lighting equipment for your aircraft is an important, if overlooked, aspect of owning an aircraft. At ASAP Aviation Supplies, owned and operated by ASAP Semiconductor, we can help you find all the aircraft lighting components 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 competitive quote in fifteen minutes or less, email us at sales@asapaviationsupplies.com or call us at 1-720-923-2840.

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Aircraft have sophisticated electrical systems made up of a multitude of varying components, each with an important role. An average aircraft electrical system consists of a generator, battery, master switch, generator switch, bus bar, fuses, circuit breakers, voltage regulators, ammeter, and corresponding wiring. The generator’s purpose is to supply electric currents to the electrical system and maintain sufficient charge in the battery. The energy in the battery is used to start the engine and also provides a small supply of power in the event of a failure of the generator.

The electrical system is controlled via a master switch. Turning the system on provides power to all electrical components apart from the ignition. A few of the things controlled by the master switch are the lights (of all kinds), radio equipment, turn indicators, fuel gauges and pumps, stall warning systems, and the starting motor. The bus bar is used as a terminal connecting the main electrical system to the individual pieces of equipment. This greatly simplifies the wiring system and provides a common point from which voltage can be distributed.

Fuses and circuit breakers serve to protect the circuits and equipment from electrical overload. The main difference between fuses and circuit breakers is that, in the event of an electrical overload, fuses must be replaced while a circuit breaker can simply be manually reset. It’s important to make note of the amperage limit of the circuit breakers; this can usually be identified by a placard on the back panel. Another important tool is the ammeter, a tool used to monitor the performance efficiency of the aircraft electrical system as a whole. However, not all aircraft are equipped with an ammeter. Less sophisticated aircraft will typically feature a simple warning light to indicate a problem with the generator or battery.

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Electrical cables, or power cables, perform the vital task of transmitting electrical power from one device to another. Without them, power stations, computer networks, televisions, telephones, and all other kinds of electronic devices would not be able to function. What type of cable is used depends on requirements like size, configuration, and performance.

Cables consist of at least two conducting wires and an outer protective jacket that shields them from both interference and environmental factors like heat, water, etc. Medium to high power cables that carry high voltages may also have the wires within the outer jacket individually enclosed in separate insulating sheaths. Conducting wires are typically made from copper, and synthetic polymers are used in the outer jacket and insulating material.

Coaxial cables possess a copper plated core, surrounded by a dielectric insulator. A woven shield of copper surrounds the insulating layer, which is then wound by an outer plastic sheath. Coaxial cables differ in size, performance, flexibility, power handling capabilities, and cost, and are most frequently used to connect home audio and video equipment, television networks, and components of a local area network. Hard lines, leaky cables, RG/6, twin-axial, biaxial, and semi-rigid are all examples of coaxial cabling.

Ribbon cables, also known as multi-wire planar electrical cables or flat twin cables, are made up of multiple insulated wires running parallel to each other. These wires allow for simultaneous transmission of multiple data signals. Typically consisting of four to twelve wires, they are used to interconnect network devices, as well as a computer’s motherboard to other components within a computer.

Twisted pair cables consist of a pair of insulated copper wires, which are color-coded and twisted around each other. Their diameter ranges from 0.4 to 0.8 millimeters, and the number of pairs can vary in different types of twisted pair cables. The greater the number of pairs, the more resistant the cable will be against cross-talk and external noise. Twisted pair cables are easy to install and relatively inexpensive, and are most frequently used for telephone cabling and wiring local area networks.

Lastly, shielded cables are made from one or more insulated wires covered by aluminum mylar weave or woven braid shielding. This shielding prevents external radio and power frequency interference, ensuring smooth and uninterrupted signal transmission. High voltage power cables are the most frequently shielded types of cables, as any interruption in flow for them could prove disastrous.

At ASAP Aviation Supplies, owned and operated by ASAP Semiconductor, we can help you find all the electrical cables 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@asapaviationsupplies.com or call us at +1-720-923-2840.

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When talking about aviation, it can be easy to focus on the intricate, ‘flashy’ parts of an aircraft like the engines, controls, avionics. Etc. These are all undeniably vital for a functioning aircraft, but equally vital is the aircraft’s hardware, the humble nuts, bolts, screws, and rivets that hold the airframe together. There’s no point in designing and manufacturing the perfect engine for an aircraft, after all, uf substandard bolts will cause it to tear itself off of the fuselage, after all! According to the Airframe and Powerplant Mechanics General Handbook, aircraft hardware is “the term used to describe the various types of fasteners and miscellaneous small items used in the manufacture and repair of aircraft.”

Hardware types include, but are not limited to:

  • Bolts
  • Nuts
  • Washers
  • Screws
  • Cotter pins and safety wires
  • Rivets
  • Turnlock fasteners
  • Miscellaneous items like 0-rings, crush washers, etc.
  • Control cables
  • Fluid lines and fittings
  • Electrical wirings and connectors

In this blog, we will break down a few of the most common and frequently used types of hardware.

Bolts are used when high strength is needed, and are substituted with screws when it is not. Aircraft quality bolts are made from alloy steel, stainless, or corrosion resistant steel, along with aluminum alloys and titanium. They will have a marking on their head that denotes what type of metal was used to make them, as well as other basic information about their design.

Nuts lack identification, but are made from the same material as bolts to prevent static build-up. Nust must have a locking device to keep them in place, which is typically cotter pins, fiber inserts, lockwashers, and safety wire.

Washers provide a shim when needed, act as a smoot load bearing surface, and adjust the position of the castle nuts in relation to the drilled hole in a bolt. Plain washers are used under a lockwasher to prevent damage to a surface.

Cotter pins are mostly used on custom aircraft, and can be made from stainless steel or plated with cadmium. Cotter pins are used for safetying and securing bolts, screws, nuts, and other pins.

When purchasing hardware, make sure that it is aircraft-grade. Hardware like fasteners is technically legal for experimental aircraft, but it should not even be considered for usage. This is because components used in aviation go through far greater stresses in terms of heat, weight, and corrosion than those for automobiles. Common steel bolts, for instance, have a tensile strength of roughly 50,000 to 60,000 psi, have very little corrosion protection. Aircraft bolts are made from corrosion resistant steel and are heat-treated to have a strength of 125,000 psi and higher. There are numerous standards for hardware specifications, both civilian and military, such as the Air Force-Navy, Military Standard, and National Aerospace Standards. Always check with your manufacturer’s recommendations on what they want you to use on the aircraft.

At ASAP Aviation Supplies, owned and operated by ASAP Semiconductor, we can help you find all the hardware 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@asapaviationsupplies.com or call us at 1-720-923-2840.

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Lighting is a critical part of ensuring an aircraft’s safety in low-visibility conditions, such as night or inclement weather. Numerous regulations placed by international conventions government agencies like the Federal Aviation Authority and the European Aviation Safety Agency dictate their placement, numbers, and brightness.

One of the most critical roles for exterior lights on aircraft is increasing visibility of the aircraft to other pilots while in flight and to ground traffic while maneuvering in an aerodrome. These lights consist of a set of navigation lights placed on the leading edge of the wingtips, red on the left/port wingtip, green on the right/starboard wingtip, and a white light on the aircraft’s tail. Rotating or flashing beacon lights are also installed on the top and bottom of the fuselage, as well as strobes at the trailing edges of the wingtips. While incandescent lightbulbs have been used in the past, modern lights now use light-emitting diodes (LEDs) to provide illumination. All navigation lights are turned on before the engines are turned on and remain on until the engines are powered off.

The next category of lights is designed for pilot visibility during pre-flight inspections, taxiing, takeoff, and landing. Wing inspection lights are mounted on the fuselage and facing towards the leading edge and engine pylons and turned on during preflight inspections. While the aircraft taxis to the runway, taxi and runway turnoff lights on the nose landing gear provide illumination and ensure the aircraft has a clear path. During landing, high intensity lights are used to illuminate the runway surface, and make sure other pilots can see the aircraft. These lights can be mounted on the wings or extend and retract from a cavity in the aircraft’s fuselage.

Other types of lights have more specific uses. Commercial airliners will often mount lights facing towards the airline’s logo on the tailfin; these lights are technically optional, but most pilots leave them on for increased visibility of their aircraft. Search and rescue aircraft mount high-intensity searchlights to spot survivors in need of help, and military aircraft make use of formation lights to help facilitate flying in formation during nighttime.

At ASAP Aviation Supplies, owned and operated by ASAP Semiconductor, we can help you find all the exterior lights 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@asapaviationsupplies.com or call us at +1-720-923-2840.

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