In the commercial aviation industry, there are a plethora of aircraft that are constantly taking off, flying, and landing. At LAX alone, over 1,500 planes take off and land each day. Even with such great amounts of constant global traffic, the amount of collisions and accidents are extremely low. This efficiency and safety of so many aircraft is maintained with an aircraft transponder, and the air traffic controllers behind them.

            As aircraft pass above radar stations on the ground, transponders will pick up radio-frequency interrogation transmissions and reply with a signal that identifies the aircraft. With this, air traffic controllers can identify who is flying and then give direction so that nearby aircraft are aware of others and stay a safe distance from each other. With advancing technology of transponders, aircraft are beginning to be able to detect other aircraft in the area themselves so that they can avoid dangers easier.

            When communicating with air traffic controllers, the term “squawk” is used for assigning and selecting transponder codes. When a pilot is provided a squawk number, they can set their transponder to the code so that the air traffic controller can correctly assign their identity on their radar screen. When flying, aircraft often have codes that they can transpond alongside modes. 7700 and 7777 are both codes that can be sent to denote an aircraft that is in distress. 1200 is another important code that lets others know that they are piloting under Visual Flight Rules. Modes such as mode C can provide altitude information that is normally not given by primary radar. Another important mode is S mode in the transponder that allows for intercommunication between aircraft.

            With transponders, aircraft and air traffic controllers can work together to provide for safe flying. With ample communication and tracking, pilots can be more aware of their surroundings, as well as avoid other nearby aircraft as each make their way to their destination.

            At NSN Unlimited, owned and operated by ASAP Semiconductor, we can help you find antenna transponder and encoder transponder parts you need, new or obsolete.


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Just like all aviation components, aircraft battery maintenance and inspection must be regular and undergo strict checks to ensure optimal functionality, airworthiness, and safety of flight. An easy way to ensure that your battery is always well maintained is to follow the instructions and procedures as set out by the manufacturer. Accounting for the battery’s age, integrity, and general charge ability can also help you understand its performance.

            One very important procedure is to always keep a record of the battery’s life and installation date for means of aircraft battery inspection. Inability to charge well, leakage, and physical damage to any part of the battery is indicative that it is time to replace or repair the battery. The two most common battery types for aircraft are lead-acid and NiCd, and understanding their differences and features is important for proper maintenance.

            Lead-acid batteries consist of a series of cells and transform chemical energy into electrical energy as they discharge. When charging, the adverse effect takes place. They can be used and charged many times, though there are various factors that may shorten their lifespan. These include over discharging, letting the battery stay discharged for a longer period of time, or not replacing water loss for vented batteries.

            NiCd batteries have cells that are contained within a metallic casing and are connected through conductive links. NiCd batteries are typically vented, and this allows for gasses and fumes to escape during rapid discharging. It is important to keep in mind that NiCd batteries have safe operating temperatures, as any operating temperature that is too high can have detrimental effects. As compared to other battery types, NiCd batteries are popular for their low maintenance and high reliability.

            To optimally maintain batteries, a number of checks including checking plugs, drains, and having them undergo general inspections can help spot damage or problems early. As ventilation systems help to regulate the battery’s temperature and escape of generated fumes, maintaining and ensuring that those systems operate efficiently and are not blocked is important as well. With most batteries, following manufacture set instructions can help you to move in the right direction for aircraft battery maintenance.

            At NSN Unlimited, owned and operated by ASAP Semiconductor, we can help you find aircraft batteries systems 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 sales@nsnunlimited.com or call us at +1-480-504-1299.


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Modern aircraft wiring types rely heavily on having reliable electrical systems and subsystems for safe and effective operations. In turn, these systems rely on wiring that, if not properly installed, inspected, and maintained, can lead to potential and immediate danger to the aircraft.

            At its most basic, a wire is a single, solid conductor, or a stranded conductor covered with an insulating material. Because of in-flight vibrations and flexing, most conductor wires should be round in shape. Cable is a term used in aircraft electrical installations to describe two or more separately insulated conductors in the same jacket, two or more separate conductors twisted together, one or more conductors covered with a metallic braided shield, or a single insulated center conductor with a metallic braided outer conductor.

            The term “wire harness” is used to describe an array of insulated conductors bound together by lacing cord, metal bands, or other binding in an arrangement suitable for use in specific equipment in which the harness was designed, and can include terminations as well. Harness are frequently used in aircraft to connect electrical components.

            The most common wire in light aircraft is MIL-W-5086A, a tin-coated copper conductor rated at 600 volts and temperatures of 105 degrees Celsius. Commercial and military aircraft use wire manufactured under MIL-W-22759 specification, compliant with current military and FAA requirements. The most critical factor for choosing wiring is matching the wire’s construction to the application environment. Wires are typically categorized as being suitable for either open wiring, or protected wiring applications. The wire temperature rating is a measure of the insulation’s ability to survive ambient temperatures and current-related temperatures.

            Two important properties of insulation materials are insulation resistance, and dielectric strength. Insulation resistance is the resistance to current leakage through and over the surface of insulation materials, which can be measured with a megohmmeter/insulation meter. Dielectric strength is the ability of the insulator to withstand potential difference and is usually expressed in terms of voltage at which the insulation fails.

            With more and more sensitive electronic devices being used in aircraft, proper shielding is essential. This involves applying a metallic covering to wiring and equipment to prevent electromagnetic interference, or EMI. EMI is caused by electromagnetic fields inducing high frequency voltages in wire and components, leading to system inaccuracies and failure.

            Another consideration is SWAMP areas (Severe Wind And Moisture Problem). SWAMP areas, such as wheel wells, wing folds, pylons, and other exterior areas are subject to harsh environmental conditions, and wires in these areas require an exterior jacket to protect them.

            At NSN Unlimited, owned and operated by ASAP Semiconductor, we can help you find all the electric wiring parts and systems 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@nsnunlimited.com or call us at 1-480-504-1299.


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Most types of commercial and military aircraft require some kind of power system to actuate and control various components such as doors, brakes, and more. The two most common choices for providing this power come as either hydraulic or pneumatic systems. Most modern aircraft mount air-driven pneumatic systems rather than fluid-based hydraulic systems, for reasons that we will explore in this blog.

            One of the greatest design concerns in any aircraft is weight. The heavier an aircraft is, the harder it will be to take flight, and the more expensive fuel costs will be to do so. Therefore, designers and engineers will try to save weight wherever possible when it comes to the aircraft’s various subsystems. Because air is so much lighter than fluids, and because pneumatic systems do not require return lines the way hydraulic systems do, pneumatic systems typically weigh far less than their hydraulic equivalents.

            Tied to weight is the question of overall design. Pneumatic systems have fewer design requirements than hydraulic systems, making them easier to manufacture, install, and maintain. This in turn reduces costs both at the initial point of purchase, and over the lifespan of the aircraft’s operation.       

            As mentioned in the previous paragraph, the cost of operating  hydraulic system is much greater than that of a pneumatic system. Pneumatic systems do not need to be refilled the way hydraulic systems do, as their resource, air, is readily available and free of charge.

            The last major advantage of pneumatic involves fire safety. Even a small fire can have dangerous consequences for the safety of crew and passengers, and the integrity of the aircraft. Hydraulic systems, which typically rely on some kind of flammable oil-based fluid, can contribute to a fire in ways that a pneumatic system cannot, due to the fact that air is not flammable on its own.

            At NSN Unlimited, owned and operated by ASAP Semiconductor, we can help you find all the aircraft pneumatic system 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, 24/7-365. For a quick and competitive quote, email us at sales@nsnunlimited.com or call us at 1-480-504-1299.


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Because the market on aircraft maintenance tools is a very niche one, the prices for tools in the field are not always consistent across the board. Many manufacturers or retailers of such parts will feel at liberty to charge whatever outrageous price they can for things like a magnetic synchronizer, twist pliers, rivet guns, jacks, etc. And because it’s such a small market, consumers will often have to purchase these items at that price. But with enough knowledge of these products and also on those who are selling them, you can avoid paying such high prices on your parts. See the basic outline below on how to avoid paying more.

Aviation Sockets

Some aircraft mechanics are advised to use tool truck sockets when doing aviation maintenance. However, with a little online research, you can see that the same work can be done with a much less expensive Gearwrench six-point shallow sets or a Craftsman twelve-point shallowset. Even the Matco, Snap-on and Mac tool sockets can do everything the recommended tool truck socket can do with half the cost.

Pliers

Pliers are another popular set of tools that will frequently experience a tool truck markup. Oftentimes, with pliers sold in aviation markets, the markup is due to an added warranty. While it’s always a good measure to be prepared in case the parts become rusted or frozen, the reality is that aviation maintenance, unlike car maintenance, does not require that mechanics abuse their tool to the point of wearing it down. Pliers used in aviation maintenance need not withstand much heavy-duty work. The only exception to this rule would be pliers used as wire cutter and safety wire pliers.

Hammers, Punches, Files, Mirrors, etc.

Simple tools like hammers, files, mirrors, and punches can be used in a variety of car and other maintenance work. However, you’ll notice that the price is often marked up for the same tools in the aviation maintenance industry. While there are some specialized tools for planes, the majority of tools can be used across aviation and several other industries. A basic heavy duty hammer, for instance, can be a great substitute for expensive sledgehammers. Files, useful for cutting aluminum in aviation mechanic work, are a much-needed tool but do not warrant a significantly higher price.  Similarly, punches are another item that is marked up despite functioning the same as punches sold in other maintenance markets.

If you’re in search of aviation maintenance tools and don’t want to overpay, call the team at NSN Unlimited today!

At NSN Unlimited, owned and operated by ASAP Semiconductor, we can help you find all the unique 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, 24/7-365. For a quick and competitive quote, email us at sales@nsnunlimited.com  or call us at 1-480-504-1299.


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When you think of elevators, you probably don't picture the rear of an airplane. Although the elevator is a small piece of equipment relative to the rest of an aircraft, its role is crucial. An elevator is a fixed-wing aircraft component known as a flight control surface. A flight control surface maintains an aircraft’s pitch, angle of attack, and lift. It is typically at the rear of an aircraft where it attaches to the horizontal stabilizer on a plane’s empennage.The horizontal stabilizer and elevator are both factors in stabilizing the pitch, but only the elevators contribute to pitch control. The pitch is the tendency of the aircraft’s nose to move up and down on the lateral axis.

The horizontal stabilizer and the elevator provide pitch control by way of raising or lowering the downward force put out by the stabilizer. When the elevator is facing upwards, the tail of the aircraft is forced down as the nose rises up. When the elevator is facing downwards, it has the opposite effect. While the terms are not interchangeable, the horizontal stabilizer and elevator work in tandem to help maintain control of the aircraft. The horizontal stabilizer is the aircraft’s primary control surface. It serves almost like a third wing, supplying more lift to the fuselage therefore providing stability to the aircraft.

The elevator assists in positioning the nose of the aircraft and the wings’ angle of attack. The inclination of the elevators changes the amount of lift the wing will create, thus causing the aircraft to either climb or dive. Elevators are particularly important in two aspects of flying. The first is takeoff, where the elevator must create lift on the nose of the aircraft to begin the climb up to the appropriate altitude. The second is when an aircraft is banking. In a sharp turn, the elevator can supply greater lift which allows the aircraft to have a much tighter turn. So, while an elevator is not strictly a military part, it’s an incredibly important piece of hardware for fighter jets.  

            The elevator can be found at the rear of most aircraft. Despite this, some aircraft have a different type of pitch-control surface in front of the wing. Low-speed aircraft have an additional part on the tail, called a trim tab. A trim tab is used to diminish aerodynamic forces occurring during flight. Trim tabs will adjust relative to the larger surface it is connected to, therefore not necessitating constant attention from the pilot.

            Elevators and trim tabs are just two examples of the many NSN parts we have in stock at NSN Unlimited. You can conveniently search through our entire inventory by NSN serial number or use our CAGE Code lookup feature. If you have any questions do not hesitate to reach out to us at (480) 504-1299 or sales@nsnunlimited.com.


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The landing gear of an aircraft supports the entire weight of a vehicle during landing and ground operations. The components are primarily attached to the actual structure of the aircraft and has different applications for each part. Wheels are most commonly associated with aircraft landing gear but, there are many other facets involved. Modern landing gear technology wouldn’t be possible if shock absorbing equipment didn’t exist, making shock absorption a crucial aspect of both landing and takeoff.

A shock absorber is a hydraulic device that is designed to absorb and dissipate shock impulses. It converts the kinetic energy of the shock into another form of energy, typically heat, which is then dispelled. Hydraulic shock absorbers are used in conjunction with springs and cushions. One thing to consider when choosing a shock strut or absorber is where that energy will go. In many shock absorbers, the energy it absorbs is converted to heat inside the viscous fluid. In hydraulic cylinders, the hydraulic fluid is heated while hot air is exhausted to the atmosphere.

Shock struts are self-contained hydraulic units that support an aircraft while it is on the ground; they also protect the structure of the plane during landing. Shock absorption occurs when the force of an impact landing is converted into heat energy that makes its way towards the strut landing gear.

An oleo strut is a type of absorber that is equipped on most commercial aircraft. A steel coil spring stores the impact energy then releases it into the oleo strut, where it is absorbed. The design of the spring allows it to cushion the impact of landing and decompress the vertical oscillations that are produced, allowing for a smooth landing. As the strut is compressed, the spring rate has a dramatic increase, while the hydraulic oil of the oleo strut reduces the rebound motion.

Nose gear shock struts are attached to the wheel in the very front portion of the landing gear, directly under the cockpit of the plane. It is composed of a locating cam assembly which enables it to keep the gear that it is attached to aligned. The cam assembly maintains a forward position when the shock strut is fully extended and allows the nose of the wheel to fit snug in the wheel well when it is retracted.


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To maintain performance, aircraft require constant maintenance of their structural integrity. Metal structural repairs must be done with the best available techniques and materials, as deficiencies can pose an immediate or potential danger. This is complicated by the fact that an aircraft must be kept as light as possible, which narrows the margin of safety. This means that repairs must be strong enough to carry all the loads caused by flight, but not be so strong that they weigh the aircraft down. A joint that is too weak is obviously intolerable, but a joint that is too strong can end up causing stress and cracks in other locations.

Aircraft sheet metal is typically made of aluminum alloys and serves as both the structure and the outer aircraft covering, with the metal parts joined by rivets or other types of fasteners. Sheet metal is used in everything from airliners to crop-dusters, but it can also be used in aircraft made of composite materials, such as in an instrument panel. Sheet metal is made by rolling metal into flat sheets of varying thicknesses, ranging from thing (leaf) to plate (pieces thicker than 6mm or 0.25 inches). The thickness of sheet metal, called gauge, ranges from 8 to 30, with the higher gauge denoting thinner material.

Damage to metal aircraft structures can be caused by corrosion, erosion, normal stress, and accidents or mishaps. Sometimes, extensive structural reworks are required during modifications and repairs. Installing winglets, for example, involves not just replacing the aircraft wingtip with a winglet, but also requires reinforcing throughout the wing structure to carry the additional stress.

Numerous methods of repairing metal structural portions exist, but no specific set of repair patterns applies in every case. The problem of repairing a damaged section is usually solved by duplicating the original part’s strength, type of material, and dimensions. To make a structural repair, the technician needs a good working knowledge of how to form aircraft metal sheet and the unique techniques that come with that. In general forming means changing the shape by bending and forming solid metal. With aluminum, this is usually done at room temperature.


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Ice formation on aircraft has long been a hazard to commercial and The military aviation, as well as the private flyer. Besides affecting the safety and performance of aircraft, severe icing conditions have been the cause of a large number of flight interruptions. Ice formation on the wings, tail surfaces, and fuselage is responsible for an increase in weight and the loss of aerodynamic efficiency. Severe vibrations and loss in thrust may result from ice accumulation. During heavy ice conditions in which ice occurs on the propellers and the aircraft simultaneously, the plane may be unable to climb properly, or maintain altitude, causing an emergency landing. The issue of determining adequate and practical means of combating ice formation has brought deicing and anti-icing systems to the forefront in aircraft design. This blog will focus on bleed air technology, pitot tube heating, propeller ice prevention, and heated edges systems.

Most transport-category aircraft heat the leading edges of the wings from the inside by bleed air siphoned from their turbine engines, and then piped to the appropriate location. The airfoils are heated before the aircraft encounters ice, to prevent unwanted accumulation. One drawback to bleed-air heating of the leading edge is the power it draws, which can limit aircraft performance, such as at takeoff. As long as the engine is running, bleed air from the turbine section will be hot enough to prevent ice from forming.

Ice adhering to pitot tubes exposed to the slipstream and water-laden atmosphere are just as susceptible to icing as airfoils. Pitot tubes, stall vanes and outside air temperature gauges can, in an era of glass-cockpit aircraft carrying extremely sophisticated sensors, quickly become useless or error-prone should they become encased in ice. On sophisticated aircraft, these tubes are usually electrically heated, often automatically before encountering ice. On a Cessna 172 or a Piper Archer, for example, a heated pitot tube is pretty much standard equipment, except the pilot must remember to turn it on before encountering icing conditions.

Because propellers are airfoils, they too must be protected from ice accumulation lest they lose their ability to produce thrust. Modern aircraft use electrical power to prevent or shed ice attempting to adhere to the blades. In earlier days, propellers were often protected by a system that squirted alcohol on the blades to shed ice. Piston engines demand a free flow of air to operate, a flow that icing can disturb. Piston aircraft will normally offer the pilot an alternate air-source option to suck air from a location out of the slipstream in the event of an icing encounter. Turbine engines have no love for ice either or are usually protected by electrically heated inlets that must be switched on before the ice begins forming.


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In just about every commercial aircraft there are numerous microphones installed in the cockpit that record flight crew conversations. These microphones send the recorded audio to the cockpit voice recorder (CVR) which digitizes and stores them. The recorded conversations are useful in case of emergency as the audio can be reviewed and investigated.

To supplement the cockpit voice recorder, a flight data recorder (FDR) is installed in the aircraft as well. This device is used to record specific aircraft performance parameters and data. Together, these two integral devices can provide valuable insight into the operation of an aircraft.

In the early stages of CVR development, analog wire recording was used. This proved to be inefficient as it was later replaced by analog magnetic tape. These tapes used two reels that would automatically reverse when they reached the end of the tape. The previous requirement of thirty-minute recordings ultimately proved to be insufficient, as significant parts of the audio data were not useful in investigations. This led to a revamping of CVR operational policies. Modern CVRs use solid-state memory and digital recording techniques, which are now capable of recording four channels of audio data for a two-hour duration. These upgraded CVRs are more resistant to shock, moisture, and vibrations. Aircraft personnel can also incorporate a battery into the units, enabling the recording to continue for the whole duration of the flight. Some operators are trying to introduce on-board video recording in the flight deck but have been met with heavy resistance from pilot professional organizations and unions. Flight data recorders also serve a valuable purpose.

A flight data recorder is used to track the way an aircraft performs during the flight; it does so using sensors that are placed throughout the vessel. The recorded data includes time, pressure altitude, airspeed, vertical acceleration, magnetic heading, horizontal stabilizer, fuel flow, rudder-pedal position, and many more parameters. This data provides critical information on operating conditions. In addition, this data has also contributed to airplane system design improvements, and the ability to predict potential difficulties as an airplane grows old. An example of this would be utilizing FDR information to monitor the condition of the plane’s engine. An airliner can perform maintenance on it, or replace it completely, before a malfunction occurs. The recorder is typically installed in an area within the aircraft that is considered likely to survive a crash; often the tail section.

The two recording devices provide valuable information in the event of an emergency as they can shed light on what may have gone wrong.


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Helicopters have the unique ability to hover and land vertically. The type of landing gear used on helicopters depends entirely on the intended purpose the vehicle will serve. Some factors a manufacturer might also consider are the weight, length, and materials a helicopter integrates. Most helicopters are equipped with skid landing gear, wheel landing gear, or a combination of both.

Skid landing gear is generally considered a simpler and more cost-effective option. The skids are attached directly to the fuselage and are lightweight in comparison to wheel systems. They are most efficient on helicopters that need to carry heavy loads, and that will generally land on soft surfaces. Because there is no braking method, a helicopter with skid landing gear must rely on aerodynamic braking systems like reverse thrust. 

Wheel landing gear is more costly and more complex than a skid system, but in some situations, it is the most effective option. If an aircraft is expected to encounter rough landing surfaces or needs to have faster-flying speeds with reduced drag, wheeled landing gear is preferred. Wheels are typically located on the front and rear of a helicopter and can be fixed or retractable. Retractable landing gear is often seen on medevac and military aircraft because they require greater speed, increased fuel efficiency, and easier ground handling for landing in unfavorable locations. 

The general rule used when assessing whether a helicopter will benefit from skid or wheel landing gear is its size and intended purpose. A small helicopter with the capacity for 10 passengers or less will usually have skid landing gear, with the exception of emergency aid aircraft. Any larger helicopters and most naval and military aircraft will defer to a wheel landing system. 


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It’s important to compare price, quality, and availability when determining which parts distributor to use for aviation and aerospace. There are some other factors to consider as well. Value-added distributors offer beneficial solutions beyond picking, packing, and shipping operations. Choosing the right distributor is important in the transportation industry due to its fast-paced, highly regulated, and safety-oriented nature. When a company cares about the product beyond its sale, it can make transactions easier and more reliable. Value can be added during pre-sale, sales support, and post-sale. 

Pre-sale value can be added by creating an easy-to-find and understandable web presence. Value-added distributors provide innovative solutions as well as affordable and quality parts. They care about their customers and communicate with them about their needs and goals. When a distributor listens to their customers, they can not only suggest solutions but can also anticipate future issues and needs. 

Having good customer service will allow the distributor to create quality relationships with their customers that will ensure repeat business. Providing the simplest and highest quality ordering processes takes a great deal of stress off of the customer. A great way to add value to customer support is to be available 24/7 and ready to help the customer with all their needs. Aircraft and vehicles are operated day and night and if a part malfunctions, customers need to be able to contact a distributor as soon as possible. 

Keeping inventory stocked and refreshed and finding new, obsolete, and hard to find parts makes a distributor valuable to a customer because they can consistently rely on them to deliver the parts that they need without having to go to multiple distributors. And offering proper trace and transparency paperwork gives the customer the knowledge they need on the part they’re buying which is important for safety and reliability. 


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Structural integrity is an important concept in aviation. In fact, it’s probably the most important concept in aviation. So, you’d imagine that when it comes to things like fasteners, welding, which is a relatively reliable method of fastening, is preferable to rivets. But that’s not the case. Airplanes are manufactured with riveted joints instead of welded.


Rivets, just like welding, are used to permanently join two components together. They’re mechanical fasteners with a cylindrical shaft and a head at one end. Upon installation, the tail is struck and flattened, creating a new “head” and permanently securing two components together. The original head is called the factory head and the new head is called the shop head or buck-tail. 

One reason that airplane manufacturers use riveted joints instead of welded joints is that the aluminum body of the aircraft is not heated tolerant. Aluminum is lightweight, inexpensive, and readily available, making it ideal for airplane manufacturers who want to create lighter and more fuel-efficient airplanes. Unfortunately, aluminum is weaker when exposed to heat. So, welding, instead of increasing structural integrity, decreases it. 

Riveted joints are also stronger and more durable. While we’d like to think that welding is superior in reliability, welded joints are actually weaker because only the exterior of the components is joined together. On the other hand, rivets connect the two components from the inside, which makes them stronger. And since airplanes fly at about 550 mph at an altitude of about 30,000 to 40,000 above sea level, subjecting them to severe stress, strength and durability are really important. 

Riveted joints are also easier to inspect. Aviation requires regular inspection and maintenance in order to ensure safety. It’s harder to inspect a welded joint because machinery must be used to test the joined components. On the other hand, a riveted joint is easy to visually inspect. All you have to look for is that the two connected components are secured. No machines or devices are necessary.


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Ground Support Equipment plays important part in every ground support missions vary drastically between civilian and military operations. Although civilian operations have a set timeline of when an aircraft and its individual parts need to be serviced or repaired, it's not as strict of a timeline as the military. Military ground support also has the disadvantage of unpredictable working conditions that range from the limited or uneven pavement of a bare base to an entire airstrip at a well-kept airport. It is difficult to determine what could go wrong, but it is expected that all military ground support equipment items will work at all times, under all conditions.

Ground support equipment varies depending on the type of aircraft being grounded. If a military aircraft is like a civilian aircraft, then equipment can be obtained through civilian channels, but, if the aircraft is specific to military operations only, equipment could be a challenge to procure. Tactical aircraft have entirely different electrical systems and power requirements; they’re even towed differently than civilian aircraft because they weigh far more and have exterior weapon stores called hardpoints. 

Hard points make it difficult to use a typical tow and often will require interference with external stores in order to work properly, therefore, and electric tow is typically used when available. An electric tow only requires one individual, allowing for a quicker turnaround time. Time, after all, is critical in military operations. There are rarely ever generic pieces of ground support equipment, so it is important for the military to purchase truly universal GSE when available as it will allow for the turnaround process to be more efficient. Military ground support equipment must be dedicated, easy-to-learn, simple to use and extremely reliable, especially since the pressure is on!


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We like to think of new and groundbreaking technology as being something like a new iPhone or a new Boeing commercial jetliner. But, actually, the biggest innovations usually come as a result of the smallest parts. Earlier in September, Anritsu Company, the United States subsidiary of Anritsu Corporation in Japan, introduced a new line of W1 coaxial components. This new family of metrology-grade designed and manufactured components are intended to remove measurement complexity, reduce setup time, and improve accuracy to deliver precision performance and repeatability for high-frequency measurements.

The new line includes a two-resistor power splitter, three-resistor power divider, 20-110 GHz directional coupler with typical performance down to 110 MHz, and attenuators that provide coverage from DC to 110 GHz. All four component are designed with W1 connectors, which are 1.0 mm compatible, and intended for broadband scalability and mode-free performance up to 125GHz. As a result, there is improved measurement accuracy and the better device under test (DUT) characterization. The components are also designed to perform with the excellent voltage standing wave ratio (VSWR) and low insertion loss.

Anritsu’s new coaxial components, unlike other solutions based on banded waveguide frequencies, are not band limited and support a frequency range from DC to 110 GHz. This eliminated the need to de-embed adapters between native coaxial interface types, effectively eliminating the need for calibrations between coaxial cable to waveguide. They’re more efficient, saving time and money.

The excellent performance of the W1 connectors makes them perfect for a number of high-frequency designs. They can be used to characterize amplifiers and sub-components in automotive radar; for on-wafer characterization and measurement; and in metrology labs for instrument calibration and characterization.

NSN Unlimited, owned and operated by ASAP Semiconductor, should always be your first and only stop for all your electronic parts related needs. NSN Unlimited is your premier online distributor of coaxial components such as power splitters, power dividers, couplers, and attenuators, whether new or obsolete and hard-to-find. NSN Unlimited has a wide selection of parts to choose from and is fully equipped with a friendly staff, so you can always find what you’re looking for, at all hours of the day. If you’re interested in obtaining a quote, contact the sales department at www.nsnunlimited.com or call +1-480-504-1299.


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Imagine a box unfolding into a functional commercial jetliner. That is so futuristic it is impossible to imagine. Well, we are already on our way to making that a reality. Sort of. Since at least the 1930’s, fighter jets have been designed with foldable wings in order to save space on aircraft carriers. But, in May, Boeing announced that they’re bringing foldable wings to civil aviation. The new 777x will have foldable tips.

Boeing’s 777 is a long-range, wide-body, twin-engine jetliner that currently has a wingspan of about 213 feet. They plan to make it a majestic 235 feet. But, that’s too big to fit in the type of airport gates that normally hosts 777s. Because asking airports to make bigger gates to accommodate the bigger wingspan is unlikely, Boeing decided to just add hinges to reduce the wingspan to 212 feet, instead of shortening the wingspan overall.

Boeing’s decision to lengthen the wingspan comes from basic aviation principles. When planes fly, they create wake turbulence and wingtip vortices. Vortices are circular patterns of rotating air left behind a wing as it generates lift that can last for minutes. They induce drag, which decreases efficiency. They are also hazardous, causing aircraft who get too close to experience potentially fatal turbulence and rolls. With longer wings, the 777 can slice through the air with less drag, be more efficient, and not create such strong vortices.

On May 18th, 2018, the FAA gave Boeing official approval for the design, with special conditions. While the FAA lauds Boeing for the “ingenuity”, they understand that it would be disastrous if the wingtips were to fold during flight, or if the plane attempted takeoff before the wings are in the proper position. In response, Boeing’s engineers have implemented multiple layers of redundancy, as is the norm of aviation. There’s a primary and secondary latch system along with multiple layers of protection to ensure the wings always remain extended in flight and only fold when commanded. The plane is scheduled for delivery in 2020.

At NSN Unlimited, owned and operated by ASAP Semiconductor, we strive to be your first and only choice in aviation and electronic parts. You can find aircraft wing components, turbines, engines, and everything else you could need in our immense inventory. If you’d like a quote, just visit us at www.nsnunlimited.com or call us at +1-480-504-1299.


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