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 email@example.com or call us at 1-480-504-1299.
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