In the realm of aviation, communication is essential to the success of flight operations and safety. When operating in high-traffic areas, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) also requires that aircraft have a two-way radio equipped for the means of upholding communication with Air Traffic Control (ATC). Communication was not always deemed a necessity by the aviation community, many early pilots simply betted on the chance that a collision would not occur considering how spacious the sky is. However, after the 1956 mid-air collision at the Grand Canyon, the community quickly realized the importance of embracing communication technology. From that event, much focus and investment was put into developing the American ATC and creating civilian radar stations.


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If you have flown on a commercial airliner, you have probably experienced the instructions and guidance surrounding oxygen masks and how to properly use them in the instance of an emergency. Even beyond commercial flights, aircraft of all kinds feature oxygen masks as one of their most important forms of safety equipment for passengers and crew members alike. Whether for precautionary purposes or to remain safe during an emergency, there are many ways in which an aircraft oxygen mask may be used, and having a general understanding of their importance and roles can be beneficial for anyone involved in aircraft flight.


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The turn & slip indicator and turn coordinator are often conflated with one another because they provide pilots with similar data. However, there are some important differences to consider. The major difference between these two gyroscopic instruments lies in the fact that the turn & slip indicator shows the rate of heading change, while the turn coordinator indicates the rate of heading change and rate of roll, or movement around the longitudinal axis.


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Bearings are one of the most common assemblies in the world, providing smooth motion and friction reduction for moving parts in all industries. Without their presence, the metal-on-metal contacts of machines would quickly degrade, creating dangerous levels of heat and permanently causing damage. With such widespread use and numerous applications, it is not surprising that there are hundreds of bearing variations, each designed to accomplish a specific function. One of the most critical bearing types across the automotive, marine, and aerospace industries is the thrust bearing. These bearings, which are designed to support axial loads, are fundamental assemblies that will be discussed at length in this blog.


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Turbojets and turbofans are commonly used jet engines for aircraft. As the first type of jet engine to be developed, turbojets were used extensively in World War II fighter aircraft. On the other hand, while similar to turbojets, turbofans are a newer model of jet engine with bolstered efficiency due to their particular construction. Moreover, both types of engines are used in commercial and military aircraft ranging from small regional jets to large, wide-body jets. Together, they have transformed how aircraft fly, making long-range flight possible while opening up the skies to millions of passengers each year.


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Modern aircraft take advantage of numerous systems and instruments to provide pilots with crucial flight data, ensuring that they have everything they need to maintain a safe and efficient flight from takeoff to landing. There are numerous types of instruments that are commonly found in aircraft, each of which perform varying roles based on their design and capabilities. Gyroscopic instruments in particular are those featuring mechanical gyroscopes, allowing them to determine deviations from a desired orientation. For an aircraft, gyroscopic instruments often come in the form of the attitude indicator, heading indicator, and turn and slip indicator, all of which are necessary for safety. In this blog, we will provide a brief overview of the three main gyroscopic instruments and their role in aviation.


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Aircraft are complex pieces of machinery, often featuring retractable landing gear assemblies, adjustable flight surfaces, and much more. In order to move various components on an aircraft from the cockpit, pulleys and other mechanical solutions are relied on. Pulleys are fairly simplistic machines, featuring a wheel mounted on a fixed axis and a rope that settles within the wheel’s groove. With the use of a pulley, cables can be guided for the means of adjusting flight surfaces and other components.


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While aircraft primarily operate in the sky through the use of their engines and airfoil structures, there are still various instances in which they will traverse the ground, such as when taxiing on a runway, lifting off, and touching down. When on the ground, aircraft rely on their brake systems to slow down their speed and come to a stop. Such assemblies are also expertly designed as they will need to enable a vehicle of such massive weight to come to a safe stop when landing at high speeds.


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Anybody reading this has likely heard of the term radar before, but how does this technology work? Most people have been exposed to radar technology in movies where it finds use in aircraft and submarines, but radar is also used in a wide variety of other applications. In this blog, we will discuss the function and applications of radar and radio-detection technology.


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Torque converters are an essential element of automobiles with an automatic transmission, serving to transfer rotational power from the power source to the load. In an automobile, the power source and load are the internal combustion engine and turbine, respectively. Without a torque converter, the vehicle would be incapable of coming to a complete stop without adjusting the transmission. In this blog, we will discuss the design and functionality of torque converters, allowing you to better understand their use in automobile applications.


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Across all industries, washers are components that can be found in countless assemblies that utilize fasteners. Often coming in the form of a flat disc with a hole, washers are used for the means of distributing weight and fastener loads. Additionally, they can also be relied on as spacers, vibration reducers, fastener locking components, and much more. Depending on the particular need of an application, there are numerous types of washers that one may choose from. As a result, it is crucial that one has a basic understanding of the most common categories so that they may find an optimal fit for their particular needs.


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While there are many ways to join objects together, whether that be through crimping, welding, soldering, gluing, and more, fasteners are the perfect solution for non-permanent joints. A type of hardware device used to join or affix two or more things together, fasteners are typically made from stainless steel, carbon steel, or alloy steel that allows for prolonged part reliability. Available with special coatings or plating to further improve a fastener's resistance to corrosion and weather phenomena, fastener screws are constructed with various characteristics to suit application methods within different materials. However, unlike traditional screws that hold items in place, lead screws are manufactured to provide continual motion within an assembly. Primarily implemented within an apparatus to facilitate linear motion, lead screws are classified by the shape of their threads and are available in square thread, trapezoidal (ACME) thread, and buttress thread variations.


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Actuators are the movers of countless machines and systems, serving to convert control signals into mechanical motion so that various processes may be carried out with ease. Actuators can come in a number of variations, linear actuators being a common category that encompasses components that are capable of moving an object or equipment piece in a straight line. While simplistic, linear actuators enable the functionality of countless systems ranging from home printers to robotics. In this blog, we will discuss the design, capabilities, and common types of linear actuators, allowing you to best understand their importance across numerous industries and applications.


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Nuts are common components to a number of fastened assemblies, often paired with bolts to compress two or more objects together. Just like all fasteners, nuts can come in a variety of shapes and forms to accommodate different applications, environments, and needs. Castellated nuts, or castle nuts, are specialized types that feature three notches on one end, giving the component the appearance of a castle battlement. With their installation alongside a mating bolt or screw, castellated nuts operate as a positive locking device that assist an installation in its ability to resist loosening due to vibration.


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The gas turbine engine is a common internal combustion engine type for countless aircraft, utilizing the ignition of compressed fuel-and-air mixtures in order to create the necessary propulsion for flight. Over the years, a number of gas turbine variations have come about, each of which features varying operational characteristics and designs which may accommodate different aircraft requirements. As the most widely used type of propulsion system for aircraft operations, it can be very beneficial to have a basic understanding of the four main variations that are found on modern aircraft.


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To properly maintain and regulate aircraft elevation, altimeters are used to measure aircraft altitude. Constructed to calculate the height, or altimetry, from aircraft to the surface below, there are varying types of altimeters that can be used to achieve this specific reading. Having this in mind, although not all altimeters are used solely for flight, four primary altimeter types are commonly seen amongst aircraft. These include barometric altimeters, radio altimeters, GNSS (GPS, Galileo, etc.), and laser altimeters. Of these four instruments, we will discuss each and their uses below, which are most commonly used today, and why each is practical for different types of aircraft.


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A diaphragm valve is a bi-directional, on/off throttle valve used to control fluid by regulating the area through which media (such as a fluid) can enter and exit the valve, thereby changing its speed and velocity. The name diaphragm valve comes from the thin, flexible membrane used to control the opening and closing of the valve. They can be made from materials including stainless steel, plastic, or even single-use materials. Diaphragm valves are similar to pinch valves, but use a linear compressor to push the thin diaphragm into contact with the valve body. They provide discrete and variable pressure control and can be either manually or automatically actuated.


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RF connectors are a type of connector used to transmit radio frequency signals by connecting transmission lines to various applications. In this blog, we will discuss five of the most common types of RF connectors: Bayonet Neill-Concelman (BNC), Subminiature A (SMA), Subminiature B (SMB), N-Type, and Threaded Neill Concelman (TNC). Before we look at RF connectors, it is important to understand how coaxial cables work. For a connector to transmit a radio frequency, there must be a transmission line. Coaxial cables are the most commonly used transmission line, as they have both inner and outer conductors, meaning coaxial cables experience less loss of signal and can be used in close proximity to metal objects without interference.


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A swept wing is the most common planform for transonic and supersonic jet aircraft. Swept back wings are by far the most common, but forward and variable sweep wings are also in use. You may have noticed an aircraft with swept wings and found yourself wondering why they look that way. The purpose of swept wings is to reduce drag, therefore allowing an aircraft to fly faster. However, how they do this is not as simple to explain. Essentially, sweeping the wings makes the aircraft feel as if it is flying slower. In turn, this delays the effect of supersonic airflow, therefore delaying wave drag.


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If you work in aviation, you will undoubtedly have heard the term TSO. In an industry with so many different technical terms, parts, and practices, acronyms and abbreviations like TSO can become difficult to remember. This blog will cover TSOs, or technical standard orders, in detail.


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For the typical aircraft engine to operate efficiently, it requires an optimal fuel and air mixture for propulsion generation. As an aircraft increases its altitude, however, low atmospheric pressure causes engine performance to drop as drawing in high amounts of oxygen becomes more difficult. To remedy such situations, some aircraft utilize what is known as a turbocharger. As an equipment piece that pressurizes oxygen for more optimal combustion, the turbocharger is paramount to the safe and efficient operation of many aircraft. Alongside their benefits, it is also important to understand the effect that they can have on the aircraft exhaust system and how to properly care for them.


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