If you’ve ever flown on a plane or even looked up at one in the night sky, then you’ve probably noticed that the plane is equipped with a number of bright lights. If you’re the more detail-oriented type, you might have even noticed that planes flash different sets of lights during landing and takeoff. So what is the purpose of these aircraft lights and what do they mean? Read on below to see why these external aircraft lights were put in place and how they help with flight operations.

Landing Lights

Landing lights are usually placed under the fuselage or positioned on the aircraft wings. They’re designed and positioned so that the pilot can see the runway when landing or taking off. They also serve to let pilots on other airplanes know that they’re there. At around 200 feet above the runway, the pilot will turn on landing lights so that the plane can be illuminated for others to see. The same goes for when taking off and when they reach cruising altitude, the pilots shut them off.

Taxi Lights

In the same way that a driver uses the car headlights, a pilot will use the airplane's external taxi headlights to light up the path in front at night. Pilots will specifically use taxi lights to illuminate the taxiway and find the runway or gate during dark and cloudy climates. Taxi lights may not seem very bright if you’re looking at a distance but if you are part of the ground personnel team and see that taxi lights are approaching, then that’s the signal for you to look away as these lights up close can cause retinal damage if you look directly into it.

Anti-Collision Lights

The name is self explanatory- these lights are designed for avoiding collisions by for letting ground personnel and other pilots know that you are flying nearby. There are three different types of anti-collision lights including:

  • Red, Green, and White Position Lights - These lights are specially positioned on an aircraft to let ground personnel and other pilots know that the position of the plane. These lights consist of red and green lights, the former being positioned on the left wing and the latter being located on the right wing
  • Red Beacons - Positioned on the top and bottom of the aircraft, these beacons begin to flash some moments before the engine starts and are turned off after the engine is turned off. The red beacons let ground personnel know that the engines have started and that they should move aside. Being around a plane when its engine is on can be dangerous and these beacons help mitigate any risk.
  • White Strobe Light s- These are the lights that you see every time you see an airplane flying through the skies. Located on the wing tips, these white strobe lights are blinding when viewed closely, but when viewed from a distance during even the most cloudy of days, shine brilliantly through to illuminate the plane.

Read more »

There’s a common mantra amongst engineers: “just about any person can build a bridge that stands, but it takes an engineer to design a bridge that can barely stand.” This kind of mentality might strike some folks as a little unnerving but it’s this sort of value that has led to the successful construction of countless buildings, bridges, and of course airplanes.

What a lot of people may not know is that some aircraft like the 747 aircraft can take off and fly with only two engines. So why is it that the majority of planes, according to regulations set by the FAA and EASA need to carry four engines? The answer is simply that the more aircraft engines you have on an aircraft, the more reliable it is should any issues arise with it. Engineers can design a plane to fly sufficiently with two or three engines, and so, as an added measure, they add another to keep pilots and their crew from having to rely on only three engines.

At times, smaller planes-or planes with few passengers-will be approved for takeoff despite having only two engines running. This is because the plane is light enough that two aircraft engines will cooperatively keep the plane flying at cruise altitude. This changes with a full flight of passengers and with bigger planes. After all, 100,000 pounds is a massive amount of weight to carry and the more engines you have, the better thrust and power you have to reach higher altitudes.

Lastly, pilots will want to reach higher altitudes while flying because they can avoid turbulence and ensure for a smoother, more efficient flight. Having two aero engines may be able to clear some terrain but it’s no guarantee, which is why aviation engineers have mandated the power of four powerful engines to achieve inclines.

There are many measures to ensuring a safe certified aircraft and having four FAA approved engines is a vital step towards preventing AOG (aircraft on ground) or other complications. Engines play a significant role in flight operations, so it is of utmost importance that the parts used be 100% certified throughout the supply chain process. At ASAP Fulfillment, we recognize the value of having efficient aviation supplies, military parts, NSN parts, etc. and so we offer a diverse inventory of supplies that strictly abide by Federal Aviation Regulations. Feel free to look through our CAGE Code directory to browse through the supplies we offer.

Read more »

What are turbochargers and superchargers, and what are their differences? Their names are similar, and they fulfill similar purposes, but they are different in how they function. In this blog, we will explore these differences.

A turbocharger uses exhaust gasses from the gas engines to turn a turbine, which compresses and forces more air into an engine. When more air enters the engine, more gas can be added to the fuel/air mixture, which in turn produces more combustion, and therefore lets the engine generate more power. Because of this extra air compression, turbochargers are especially useful at higher altitudes, where the air is thinner and can negatively affect engine performance.

A supercharger is similar to a turbocharger, but is driven by the engine’s crankshaft, and is connected via a belt or chain. A supercharger requires engine power to run, whereas a turbocharger runs off of waste exhaust gasses.

Turbochargers are more efficient than superchargers, since they use air that is already passing through the exhaust pipe. They are not one hundred percent efficient, since it does take energy for the engine exhaust to turn the turbine, but compared to superchargers, they use less fuel, weigh less, and typically provide a greater increase to the engine’s total horsepower. Their greatest downside is that they suffer from lag; because it takes a second for exhaust gas to spin the turbine, there is a delay when the engine is throttled up to the time the turbine achieves the desired speed and output. Turbochargers also provide little to no benefit at idle and low power settings, and can suffer from power surges when the engine power is rapidly reduced, and air pressure builds quickly in the intake manifold, causing a temporary flow reversal and vibration.

Superchargers, on the other hand, have no lag, can boost an engine even while it is operating at low power, run at cooler temperatures than turbochargers, and are relatively cheap when compared to turbochargers. However, they are less efficient in terms of power and fuel economy, and require more maintenance since they have more moving parts.

Read more »

Aircraft are not flown on wishes and happy thoughts. Thankfully, despite their outward complexity, control of an aircraft can be broken down into relatively simple terms. All fixed-wing aircraft, from crop-dusters to commercial airliners, operate on the same basic principles, and use the same basic controls.

All maneuvering is done on one of three axes: pitch, roll, and yaw. Pitch, also called the lateral or transverse axis, indicates the vertical direction the aircraft’s nose is pointed in, up or down. Roll, also called the longitudinal axis, is the angle the aircraft is banked at, whether one wing is raised and the other is lowered. Yaw, or the vertical axis, is the horizontal direction the aircraft’s nose is pointed, left or right. These axes remain consistent no matter what the aircraft’s orientation is; an aircraft with the left wing pointed straight down would have a “vertical” axis parallel with the ground, and a “transverse” axis perpendicular with the ground.

Fixed wing aircraft have three primary control surfaces used in flight: ailerons, elevators, and rudders. These control surfaces are mounted on the aircraft hinges or tracks that let them move and deflect the airstream moving over them, thus altering the plane’s flightpath. They are connected to the primary controls in the cockpit, the flight stick and foot pedals.

Aircraft Ailerons are mounted on the trailing edges of the aircraft’s wings and move in opposite directions. When the pilot pushes the flight control stick left, for instance, the left aileron will go up, and the right aileron will go down. A raised aileron reduces lift on that wing, while a lowered aileron will increase lift. Therefore, moving the stick left will cause the left wing to drop and the right to rise, and in turn cause the aircraft to roll left and begin to turn left.

Elevators are the movable parts of the horizontal stabilizer, hinged to the back of the horizontal tail. The elevators move up and down together in unison to pitch the aircraft’s nose up and down, causing the aircraft to climb or dive. When the pilot pushes the stick forward, the elevators angle downward, and when he pulls back, the elevators angle upward.

The rudder is mounted on the trailing edge of the vertical stabilizer of the tail. The rudder is connected to the pilot’s foot pedals in the cockpit: pushing the left pedal will cause the rudder to deflect left, and make the aircraft turn left, with the opposite being true for the right.

At ASAP Fulfillment, we help you find all the aircraft aileron 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@asapfulfillment.com or call us at 1-480-504-1299.

Read more »

Aircraft that operate in weather conditions where ice is likely to form must be provided with ice protection technology. This protection may be in the form of anti-icing systems, or de-icing systems. An anti-icing system prevents the formation of ice on the airplane, while a de-icing system removes ice that has already formed. In this blog we will focus on de-icing boots and TKS fluid systems

A de-icing system has two pertinent advantages. First, it can utilize a variety of means to transfer energy used to remove the ice. This allows the consideration of mechanical (principally pneumatic), electrical, and thermal methods. The second facet is that it is energy efficient, requiring energy only periodically when ice is being removed, with some mechanical designs requiring relatively little energy overall.

A de-icing boot is involved in removing ice from the exterior of an aircraft. It is a type of ice deterrent system that enables mechanical de-icing while an aircraft is in flight. They are installed on the outer edge of a wing, where the likelihood to accumulate ice is much greater. A buildup of ice can significantly impair the aerodynamics of aircraft—leading to safety risks.

Its design consists of a thick rubber surface that is then installed over a specific area of the wing, similar to a rubber membrane. As ice accrues, compressed air fills the boot, dislodging ice that has accumulated. From there the air travels through a pressure regulator, followed by a flow control valve. The ice is then blown away naturally and the boots are deflated to their normal shape. De-icing boots are operated manually or by a timer that is controlled by the pilot of the aircraft.

Anti-icing systems reverse the paradigm of de-icing boots. They prevent the formation of ice continuously, resulting in a clean wing with no aerodynamic stressors. An anti-icing system must have means of continuously delivering energy, or chemical flow, to a surface in order to prevent the bonding of ice. The typical thermal anti-icing system does this at a significant energy expense. The concept is not viable for aircraft that do not have the requisite excess energy available during all flight phases. An exception to this is the use of a chemical system such as TKS.

TKS systems dispense an ethylene glycol-based fluid with a freezing point below minus 70 degrees F through porous titanium panels attached to the leading edge of the wing and empennage. The fluid is released through thousands of the laser-drilled holes, which are not much larger than the size of a human hair. As air flows over the wing and empennage, it disperses the fluid, coating the surfaces, and preventing the formation and adherence of ice.

TKS systems also employ slinger rings to prevent ice accumulation on the aircraft propeller. As these metal rings spin right alongside the prop, they fling TKS fluid onto the propeller and consequently reduce the freezing point of the moisture in the area. In certain aircraft, nozzles also spray TKS fluid onto the windshield. Depending on the flow rate, TKS systems can provide anywhere between one to three hours of protection to allow for a safe exit from icing conditions.

At ASAP Fulfillment, owned and operated by ASAP Semiconductor, we can help you find ice protection parts for the aircraft, 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@asapfulfillment.com or call us at +1-480-504-1299.

Read more »

Recent Twitter Posts

asapSemiconductor's Certifications and Memberships

Thank You for Visiting Us today!

We are most trusted and leading distributor for aviation parts. You can get a quote within 15 minutes for your desired part. Quote Now!

Request for Quote