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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