In the world of aviation maintenance, few procedures are as strenuous or demanding as removing an aircraft’s engine. Expensive and labor-intensive, it is something few technicians wish to do. Still there are numerous good reasons for removing an aircraft’s reciprocating engine or turbine engine.
Aircraft Engine’s life is dependent on factors such as operational use, quality of manufacture or overhaul, the type of aircraft and operations it carries out, and the degree of maintenance accomplished. Manufacturers will set engine removal time as well. Based on service experience, technicians can establish a maximum expected time before overhaul (TBO), the span of time within which an engine needs to be overhauled. An engine must be removed, regardless of condition, when it reaches the end of its TBO period.
Engine stoppage is a rapid and complete stoppage of an engine’s functions. Stoppages can be caused by engine seizure, propeller strikes, landing gear collapse, or crash-landings. A sudden stoppage can cause heavy internal damage, such as cracked propeller teeth, gear train damage, warped propeller bearings, and more. After a sudden stoppage occurs, replacement or disassembly and inspection is almost always required.
Another common reason for the removal of reciprocating or turbine engine is a sudden reduction in engine speed, which often occurs when a propeller blade strikes an object while operating at low engine RPM. After impact, the foreign object is cleared and the engine continues to run unless stopped to prevent further damage. While the engine can seemingly continue to run without issue, it is best to stop the flight and inspect the engine.
Metal particles in the engine’s oil screens or magnetic chip detectors are often an indication of partial internal failure of the engine. Carbon tends to break loose from the interior of the engine in rock-like pieces that have the appearance of metal, so check if any particles that have been found are magnetic first by placing them in proximity with a magnet. If the particles are magnetic, and thus made out of metal, the next step is to determine the extent of the damage; if only small particles are found, similar to filings, the oil system can be drained, refilled, and then test-run to see if particles continue to show up in the oil screens and chip detectors. If there is no evidence of foreign material, the engine can continue in service.
General operational problems like excessive vibrations, backfiring or misfiring, exceeding normal operation parameters, or low power output can also force an engine removal operation.
Fiber optic cables are a new technology that is often on the tips of everyone’s tongues regarding internet speeds, better cable television, and more. Fiber optics have already been showcased as an improvement to the copper wire by many companies, and they have been slowly making their way into commercial markets and many homes. In this blog, we will discuss the various fiber optics materials that make up the wiring, as well as how they function to create greater bandwidth and transmission speeds.
The lines of fiber optic cables are made of pure glass that is often as thin as a human hair. These lines transmit data in the form of light particles or photons that travel throughout the cable. The lines come together to form the glass fiber core, and another glass layer, called the cladding, surrounds the core to reflect light within. These claddings are then surrounded by a buffer tube for damage and moisture protection. Claddings can be bundled up and encased into a jacket layer which serves as the outermost protection for fiber optic wiring.
The core and cladding work together to bounce the photons back and forth in the cable so that they may travel great distances without hindrance posed by bends and turns. With dense glass that may have impurities, the photons are unable to travel at the speed of light, and often faces degradation as they travel. To remedy this, repeaters are used to regenerate the signal to move farther distances. Light degradation varies depending on the quality of the cables, and often have a strength loss range of 10%-75% per kilometer. Fiber optics speeds are increasing over time however, and some cables are currently reaching up to 10 Gbps.
There are various advantages of optical wires as compared to the copper wire. Optical wires prove cheaper to manufacture which can save companies money, and boast less signal degradation. Optical Wires also are thinner and lightweight, enabling more bundling and less space needed. Further bundling poses less risks than copper as fiber optic wires have no interference with each other as compared to electric signals, and due to using light such as infrared, there is no flammability.
Through fiber optic wiring, there are many applications that can see the benefits and improvements over copper wiring. Fiber optic applications include internet, cable TV, telephones, computer networking, medical procedures, military and space, mechanical checks, and beyond. Even Christmas tree lighting benefits from fiber optics. As a cheaper, more powerful alternative to copper wiring, fiber optics are quickly catching the attention of many.
The aspect ratio of a turbocharger’s housing is very important for aircraft engine and its boost ability. When aspect ratios are too small, there is little ability to create boost at lower speeds. On the other hand, having too great of a ratio can cause the engine to choke while in higher speeds, leading to drawbacks such as high pumping losses and lower output of power. Variable geometry turbochargers serve as a solution for this problem and are a rapidly developing technology.
Turbochargers are designed to aid engines in their performance while allowing their design to remain reasonably small and compact. As power is created through the combustion of oxygen and jet fuel, having a constant supply of oxygen dense air is critical for optimal functionality. Turbochargers work to increase internal combustion by forcing in and compressing extra air into the combustion chamber.
The variable geometry turbocharger is a type of turbocharger that allows for the control of the aspect ratio of the turbine housing, which enables the ratio to always remain at an optimal level by altering the housing geometry. These types of turbochargers feature vanes in the housing of the turbine that are shaped to be aerodynamic. As the engine speeds up or slows down, the vanes change and create more variability to maintain an optimal aspect ratio.
Variable geometry turbochargers originally were mostly seen with diesel engines due to lower exhaust temperature, though with breakthroughs in material technology, they have now begun branching out to gasoline engines such as in sports cars. Other applications for these turbochargers include those such as commercial, passenger, marine, and rail combustion engines.
In aviation, pressure switches and sensors are used in nearly every system aboard the aircraft. They trigger flight controls and instruments, monitor the fuel and engine systems, and are used to keep the cabin comfortable and clean. Even the pilot’s seat is equipped with a pressure sensor that detects if the pilot is sitting in it to ensure that he or she is flying the aircraft.
In modern commercial aircraft, pressure sensors such as the pitot-static system are located outside the aircraft’s cabin and are used to determine altitude, airspeed, and how the aircraft is flying. This information is critical not just for navigation purposes, but safety and economic reasons as well. Flying the aircraft too fast burns fuel too quickly, while flying too slowly will cause the aircraft to stall. Pressure switches are also used in the hydraulic systems that power the control surfaces of the aircraft, moving the ailerons, horizontal/vertical stabilizers, and spoilers to adjust the aircraft’s pitch, yaw, and roll.
Another key area for pressure switches is in the engines. Engines rely on pressure sensors and switches to move fuel through the engine system, and problems arise if the fuel system is over or under-pressurized. Maintaining a proper fuel-air mixture is critical for engine ignition and performance, which is dependent on knowing the proper inlet pressures, and having property safety responses to over or under-pressure.
Most aircraft feature a 14- or 38-volt electrical system that is comprised of various components. This blog will identify the main components of the system and their function.Alternator/Generator
To begin, the alternator or generator supply the electric current to the aircraft electrical system. Alternators also provide an electrical charge to the battery which is used to start up the engine. The battery also stores a limited amount of energy in case the main electrical system fails.Voltage Regulators
As the name suggests, the master switch turns the entire electrical system on and off. It includes all of the electrical components such as lights, fuel gauges, and pumps. There is often an alternative switch to control the battery power. The alternator can also be cut off from the main electrical circuit via a switch.Bus Bar
To help simplify the copious amount of wiring in an aircraft, bus bars are used to connect the main electrical system to the equipment. All the equipment on the common bus bar terminal share the same voltage. In the case of a problem, bus bars help to pinpoint or isolate the problem.Fuses and Circuit Breakers
Both of these devices are used to protect the electrical system from electrical overload. Spare fuses of the proper amperage limit should be carried in the aircraft to replace defective or blown fuses. Circuit breakers have a trip switch that is triggered to stop the electrical circuit from overloading.Ammeter
Ammeters monitor the performance of the electrical system. The ammeter is in the form of a gauge with a zero point in the center. When the pointer is on the positive side, the charging rate of the battery can be read. If the point is on the negative side, the battery is drawing more energy that is being replaced.Ground Power Units
These are a separate unit to the described electrical system. Fixed GPUs provide 400Hz power from a fixed location. Mobile GPUS can deliver power to an aircraft that may be isolated. Both GPUs are used to start the electrical system in cold weather.
The electrical system on an aircraft is comprised of many different components that supply, monitor, and regulate the flow of electricity. Without the electrical system a modern aircraft would be significantly harder, is not impossible, to fly. The correct knowledge and maintenance of the various electrical components is required to ensure that the aircraft remains airworthy.
Heat is produced in an engine primarily through the combustion process— when fuel and air is mixed and burned to produce heat energy that is converted to mechanical energy for rotation or to produce high-pressure exhaust. The material that is used to construct an engine has high heat capabilities, however, excessive heat can cause serious damage or failure to an engine.
Most aircraft powerplants dissipate about half of their produced heat through the exhaust and remaining heat is absorbed by the engine. Excessive heat is undesirable because it changes the process that the combustion chamber utilizes, creates excessive wear on engine components, and impairs lubrication. In order to prevent the detrimental effects of overheating, engines contain cooling systems. They vary in complexity depending on the specific engine and how much heat it produces.
Reciprocating Engine Cooling
Reciprocating engines are either cooled by passing air over the cylinder fins or through liquid coolants. Oil that is circulating through the engine picks up some of the heat and transfers it to the airstream through an oil cooler and the rest of the cooling system handle the remaining excess heat. In order to cool an engine, heat needs to be transferred from the cylinders to the air. Cooling fins are used to do this. If too many of the cooling fins are broken, the cylinders need to be replaced to prevent hotspot development. Cowlings and baffles force air over the fins and the baffles have built in blast tubes to direct cool air on to the rear spark plug elbows of each cylinder. This stream of cool air prevents the ignition leads from overheating.
Because an engine needs to stay within temperature ranges, whether it’s becoming too hot or too cold, it needs to have components that control the heating and cooling properties. This is why cowl flaps are used to control cooling. Cowl flaps are extended to cool the engine. Controllable cowl flaps aren’t necessary when the cowling has openings at the nose. Air may be taken in by the holes to cool the engine.
Turbine Engine Cooling
Turbine engines have a continuous combustion process and produce very high levels of heat. They require a more sophisticated cooling system. A large surplus of air is used to begin cooling off a turbine engine. The turbine blades end up absorbing a lot of heat and are usually the hottest area. Because of their conductivity, they pass heat to the outer skin of the engine. Center tubes are used to direct cool air into the center of the burner to increase combustion efficiency and dilute the hot gases before they enter the turbines. The turbine case, bearings, and turbine nozzle are cooled by cooling-air inlets that are on the exterior of the engine. The fan air is used to cool off the engine and its nacelle.
At One Click Purchasing, owned and operated by ASAP Semiconductor, we can help you find all the engine 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 you find all the parts and equipment you need, 24/7x365. For a quick and competitive quote, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us at +1-412-212-0606.
Most of us have driven or been in an old car at some point in our lives. Whether it was the hand-me-down car you got from your parents for a 16th birthday, or the menace-to-society that a first date rolls up in, being in an older car with torque problems can be a bit scary.
Torque converters transmit, or multiply, torque generated by an engine. Automatic transmission cars use torque converters because they allow the engine to keep turning while the wheels and gears in a transmission come to a stop. Manual cars achieve this with the clutch. Some cars, buses, trucks, forwarders and other heavy-duty vehicles, and marine propulsion systems use torque converters. There are four components inside a torque converters housing: the pump, turbine, stator, and transmission fluid.
There are a few common scenarios that cause torque converter problems— matching it with a non-stock engine that it wasn't designed for, exceeding its towing capacity for a prolonged period of time, and containing old and worn components. Overloading a converter can cause overheating, stator clutch seizure, stator clutch breakage, blade deformation and fragmentation, and ballooning. Some of the other common causes are damaged needle bearings, damaged torque converter seals, damaged torque converter clutches, or a malfunctioning torque converter clutch solenoid. There are many signs that show up when a converter is causing trouble.
Vanes will bend as a converter begins to wear. A sign of this problem is when the engine begins revving higher than normal but regulates once it heats up. When an engine block begins shaking at the slightest acceleration, otherwise known as a torque shutter, the converter is faulty. Some of the other signs are less power when driving at lower speeds, a whirring sound at startup, increased stall speed, and the “death sound” which is a loud clacking or grinding noise.
Torque converters can be repaired; however, if a converter has sustained heavy damage it can be safer and more cost-effective to have it replaced.
At One Click Purchasing, owned and operated by ASAP Semiconductor, we can help you find all the aircraft components 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 email@example.com or call us at 1-412-212-0606.
Elliott Aviation has designed a Prizm brand LED lighting system as well as an electronically dimmable Smart Vision Shades system. Elliot has been granted a Supplemental Type Certification (STC) to use these both systems on aircraft. The lighting and shade systems are currently being manufactured and will be available for use by early 2019 for approved dealers and aircraft manufacturers. The STC installation for both systems was done in a Cessna Citation Excel.
Both the LED lighting and Smart Vision dimmable shade systems can be controlled through the Prizm app. The cabin controller can also control the lighting system. However, the Prizm app includes preset lighting conditions for customers to use and enjoy. The multi-color LED lighting features full-color spectrum mood lighting. It can also be used for upwash, downwash, windows, cup holders, the galley, and more.
The Smart-Vision Shades uses electronic dimmable film on the interior of the plane's windows. It is available in five different colors. Window films have the ability to be controlled individually as well. These films are capable of blocking 99 percent of UV rays.
According to Mark Wilken, the Vice President of the Avionics Programs and Operational Logistics for Elliott Aviation, aircraft repair stations, and refurbishment stations have been looking for a solution that is both well-designed and cost-effective for LED lighting and electronically dimmable window shades. He also states how these systems
"are easy to use, easy to install, and will be available at a price point that is affordable to the end-user."
It's expected that both systems will be very popular with business jets like the Cessna Citations.
One Click Purchasing, owned and operated by ASAP Semiconductor, should always be your first and only stop for all your hard to find or urgent online aircraft NSN parts. One Click Purchasing is the premier supplier of aircraft NSN parts and aircraft window parts whether new or obsolete. One Click Purchasing has a wide selection of parts to choose from and is fully equipped with a friendly staff, so we can always help you find the parts you need, 24/7x365. If you're interested in a quote, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us at +1-412-212-0606.
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