Aircraft are under a constant state of stress when logging flight hours. Commercial aircraft, for example, have the ability to fly upwards of 14 hours non-stop and their lifetime can extend anywhere from 20 - 27 years in operation. In this time, an aircraft will experience about 35,000 pressurization cycles and will undergo the associated, and often expected, degradation and parts fatigue. So, how do modern aircraft maintain their reliability and safety over time?
Beginning at the production level, an aircraft undergoes FAA regulated inspections and checks to ensure quality control and safety. Manufacturers of commercial airliners usually resort to a non-destructive evaluation (NDE) when an aircraft is on the production line. This program is structured to ensure that components are free of defects before they even see a buyer. Companies that consult these large-scale evaluations include the likes of Boeing and Airbus, among many others.
Maintenance checks are regulated by the FAA and scheduled over the life cycle of an aircraft. Standard parameters set forth by manufacturers by these regulations will include the following: line maintenance, A checks, C checks, and D checks. B checks have actually been absorbed into the A category, as B checks have become obsolete or covered by the A category with the advancement of aviation technology.
Line maintenance of an aircraft often involves up to 12 hours of inspection per week. System checks include some of the elements you may have seen in standard automotive servicing. The assessment will survey the brakes, wheels, fluid levels and landing gear of an aircraft. Any necessary repairs are also attended to during this phase of maintenance.
Proceeding through the life cycle of the aircraft, the next inspection it will encounter is the A-check. These checks are required after every 100 flight hours. Processing of the inspection takes longer than line maintenance, often totaling over 12 hours. Under this careful examination, lubrication and oil are changed, and systems and functional checks should be performed.
Defined as a heavy maintenance check, a C-check is completed between 18 months and 2 years, 1800 flight hours, or 2,000 pressurized cycles. It is typically a 3-week process in which airlines might make changes to interior cabin design or amenities.
Lastly, a D-check is performed after the aircraft has been in service for about 6 years, or after it has received a total of four C-checks. This assessment is broken up into a series of steps, often referred to as C4 or C8 checks. During this inspection, the aircraft is dismantled including the cabin, landing gear, and any applicable accessories. The airframe is then removed, and the engine/s undergo routine maintenance checks.
Despite inspection during and post production, it is crucial to stay up to speed on the durability limits specified by a parts manufacturer. Each aircraft will encounter different levels of pressurization and degradation, and each part’s component will have its own established flight cycle limit. With proper care, following manufacturer and FAA parameters will promote the longevity of the aircraft.
Despite the millions of dollars it costs to fly and maintain, aircraft have a surprisingly short lifespan with an average of around 30 years. Once the aircraft has to be retired, they go to boneyards— large plots of land where airplanes are parked until further notice. It’s interesting to learn about what happens at the world's largest boneyard— how aircraft life is determined and how retired planes are salvaged for parts.
Retired American planes all end up at boneyards located in California, Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas, where the dry and arid climate is perfect for decelerating rust. So, it makes sense that the world’s largest boneyard is the 209th Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Group (AMARG) in Tucson Arizona. AMARG’s large lot currently holds more than $32 billion of retired airplanes, with a total of 4,400 parked planes.
The operational life an airplane is not determined by years, but by the number of pressurization cycles. It is estimated that an aircraft can make up to 35,000 pressurization cycles, which is around 135,000 to 165,000 flight hours before metal fatigue sets in and the FAA deems it unsafe to fly. In years, it is estimated to be 25 to 30 years depending on the destination and if the aircraft is used for domestic or international flights.
Once an aircraft is retired or decommissioned, it’s stripped and sold for parts. Aircraft parts are huge commodities because while the lifespan of the aircraft as a whole is over, the parts still have a lot of life left in them due to the regular maintenance and repair. Parts are often salvaged and sold for other aircraft still in operation because used parts are cheaper than new ones. Just the scraps of a single aircraft can be sold for up to $55,000.
When preparing for a flight, there are many things to worry about and consider like packing luggage, arriving at the airport on time, fitting the carry-ons in the overhead compartment, and so on. The one thing no one really thinks about and often does automatically, that’s boarding. And no matter if it’s the massive Airbus A380 or the luxurious Embraer Lineage 1000E, when we board a plane, we board on the left side. But most of us can’t even begin to explain why.
Boarding from the left stems from two major reasons: traditional nautical custom and the pilot’s field of view. In nautical tradition ships are docked portside (on the left) because of the tiller, what is controlled by the ship’s wheel and resultingly turns the ship, being starboard (on the right). Many historians believe that planes follow the same marine convention out of habit.
The other reason is that back when planes had to taxi in front of the terminal to discharge passengers, pilots had to be on the left side to more accurately judge the wingspan of the plane and dock in the terminal. As a result, it was easier to have passengers embark and disembark on the left and have all the servicing of the plane done on the right.
Servicing a plane can involve anything from unloading and loading cargo, restocking the food carts, refueling, or hooking up the plane to the auxiliary power unit. With how complex planes are and how many different tools and aviation parts can be required to service them, servicing on the right and away from passengers is safer too.
The efficiency of a gas turbine cycle rises as the turbine entry temperature is increased. Because of this, the hotter the combustion gases that go in to the first turbine stage, the more particular power the jet engine can create. In a modern engine, about twenty percent of compressed air bleeds off for cooling and sealing purposes. This is mostly for guide vanes and turbine blades. The stators and the outer wall of a turbine’s flow passage utilize cooling air moving from the compressor between the combustor and casing of the outer engine.
The turbine rotor blades, disks, and inner walls of a turbine flow passage uses the air that bleeds from the compressor though inner passageways. Because the stators materialize before the first row of rotating blades, it is expected that the first stage of stators are uncovered to very high temperatures. This includes local hot-spots from the combustor close by. The temperature at this first stage is slightly lowered by dilution of the gases with cooling air, along with the relative velocity effecting and powering extraction from the turbine.
The laws of thermodynamics demand that because of combustion inefficiencies, there be a pressure loss inside the combustor. This means that the mainstream pressure at the first row of stators in the turbine located after the combustor is lower than on the way out of the last stage of the compressor. This difference in pressure is used to guide the cooling air through the internal passageways and into the stators and blades.
ASAP Parts Online follows ASAP Semiconductors tradition of creating websites and applications built upon the requirements and recommendations of customers. With the ability to supply jet engine parts, jet engine aircraft parts, turbine engine cooling parts and more, ASAP Parts Online is an excellent source for customers to fulfill their requirements. With the fastest load time, ASAP Parts Online boasts a customized database that allows for user to purchase parts ranging from components to national stock number parts on one single website. With over 85,000 manufacturers in the system, customers can expect fast quotes and excellent service for every experience.
Earlier in the year, The Boeing Company finished up the flight tests for the newest model of the KC-46 Pegasus wide-body, a plane used to re-fuel other squad member’s during flight. Now they are waiting on word from the FAA to see if their new tankers can fly legally. More certifications are needed on this aircraft than normal because it is classified as a tanker, meaning it may take longer for the tanker to become airworthy.
This new model is based off a classic Boeing 767 with some modifications to allow for refueling multiple planes. The tanker can also be re-fueled itself by other planes, which required a few tweaks to the previous model. The new tanker model is being built in Boeings private Everett location, just north of Seattle, Washington, and testing is taking place in Seattle proper.
The draw of building a new tanker, like the KC-46A, is the fact that it’s a multitasking dream. Not only can it re-fuel other planes in its squadron but it can also handle a load of cargo, quite a few passengers, and if needed, individuals who need medical attention.
The KC-46 has successful flown with seven different types of aircrafts and logged over 2,000 miles in flight. Even though the delivery, and implementation, of the KC-46 line is still some ways out, the fact that they successfully passed flight tests means its one huge step closer to being air worthy.
ASAP Parts Online, owned and operated by ASAP Semiconductor, should always be your first and only stop for all your hard to find and urgent aircraft needs. ASAP Parts Online is the premier supplier of aircraft parts, whether new, old or hard to find, they can help you locate it. ASAP Parts Online 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 firstname.lastname@example.org or call +1-702-919-1616
British Airways restores its overseas crusader with an even larger aircraft The beginning of transatlantic flights began in 1919 and progressed over the years with bigger and more efficient aircrafts. One of the more modern accomplishments to date is the implementation of Boeings 747 jumbo aircraft to their transatlantic excursion from Austin, Texas to Heathrow, London. This daily nonstop flight was added to British Airways in March of 2014 which departs from Austin’s- Bergstrom International Airport.
Its departure and arrival times are:
“*BA190 departs Austin at 6:35pm and arrives at London Heathrow at 10:00am.
* BA191 departs London Heathrow at 12:00pm and arrives in Austin at 4:20pm.”
This aircraft is unique due to its size and its outstanding luxurious qualities. The aircraft is so large it is able to offer four different cabin spaces with different number of amenities. The most luxurious kind of cabin space that this aircraft offers has the entire characteristics of first class along with other high scale characteristics. Equipped with a 6ft comfortable bed to in enjoy in complete privacy. Equipped with a state of the art table design to able to sit up and eat properly alone or with passenger across from you. This space is also accompanied by an “a la carte a” service at mostly any hour of the flight. Along with eating and sleeping the airways provides a new entertainment system that for children and adults to enjoy.
Within the upcoming 5 years British Airways is to invest £4.5 billion (6197169133.14 US) into their new Wireless programs along with the delivery of their 72 aircrafts. Being a part of British Airlines First, Club World, Gold, Silver executive club members allows the holder to be able to utilize traits certain amenities on board and in the terminals before and after their flights. Along with the large investments into their travel system the company is also investing £600m (825934338.22) into their Club World along with new Club World Amenities to begin to take place in 2019.
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Lake Forest, CA has been home to the testing of Panasonics third generation Ku-Band satellite network. This new innovative system will be allowed for Panasonic to be able to reach the needs of its customers but also be able to stay on top of the rapidly evolving industry of airborne network connectivity. It has been stated that a handful of airlines will be converting over to Panasonics new network following the completion of the satellite. The transitioning from the airlines will take place during the first part of 2018.
Panasonic has teamed up with different companies such as Newtec to be able to perform at higher power than it once was. Along with the help of their subsidiary, ITC Global, Panasonic has been to reach newer heights of connectivity with its enterprise, energy and maritime customers increasing its capabilities in the industry.
The entire satellite system is being built on what is known as a High Throughput Satellite (HTS) service, designed to support more difficult connectivity found in mobility traffic area. To date Panasonic supports more over than 1800 aircrafts with the inflight connectivity service has plans to grow exponentially by an increased number of 10,000 within 15 years.
Since the integration of the supporting company Newtec, Panasonic has showed improvement of their bandwidth over 20 times than before. The satellite is undergoing precision testing performed in an anechoic chamber taking place at the Panasonics very own Lake Forest facility.The crew and customers will benefit greatly from enhanced connectivy for their applications from improved TV picture quality to 3G phone service. Increased connectivity allows for customers to stay connected and therefore more enticed to fly with the airlines with the Panasonic satellites.
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An avid travelers worst fear is arriving upon boarding and experiencing a delay on the onboarding process. Airbus has created new way of allowing the customer to witness the aircraft they will flying upon before even boarding. Introducing an IOS compliant IflyA380 application for Apple smart devices created to revolutionize the way of interacting with the aircraft. The application will give the passenger a live report to keep them on top of their flight.
Creating a more hands traveling encounter allows for the customer to take their trip into their hands and “design their own experience” with IOS mobile operating system.
The application comes jammed packed with new features that the aircraft offers such as additional content, booking assistance, and newly added locations research is available for passengers upon arrival.
These newer states of the art features allow for the passenger to be more active with expanding their knowledge on newer destinations.
Researching by geolocation and other new desired destinations is also made available to occupy passengers time while on board.
One of the most hands on visual feature the application has to offer is its Augmented Reality. The augmented reality shows the user the cabin space as a tour if desired including the cockpit area.
Modernizing travel to be user friendly is one of most looked for characteristic in an airline for most travelers when booking. Airbus has finally discovered a way to be user friendly and place the passenger in charge of basic tasks that were not available before. The airline has learned to capitalize on reaching the consumer on a component that people have begun to make part of their daily life.
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Allegiant Travel Company is looking for twelve A320s. The company is trying to snatch up some used models to keep the cost of their conversion to a fleet containing a single type of aircraft, as low as possible. At the end of 2017, Allegiant Travel Company will have a fleet containing eighty-nine planes. Thirty-seven of which are McDonnell-Douglas MD-80’s. Once 2018 rolls around the McDonnel-Douglas aircrafts will be dropped from the fleet and will be replaced with Airbus planes, and by 2020 Allegiant Travel Company will be manning a fleet of 110 aircrafts.
The airline has been obtaining Airbuses ever since 2013. By 2020 their fleet will contain exclusively Airbuses. As they continue to add more aircrafts to their fleet, some will also be modified to hold more people. The A320s can have 186 seats installed, meaning more customers for less money. Allegiant is being very specific about the used aircrafts they want to add. They are looking for planes exclusively built in the last 11-17 years and that are powered by CFM. This gives Allegiant Travel Company only about three-hundred and fifty planes to pick from, that hit all the right criteria.
By transitioning into a fleet that carries only one type of aircraft, maintenance and upkeep is simplified and they even want to combine their planes to one base, the Orlando Sanford International airport in Seminole County, Florida.
While this transition is going to take some time, putting in all the effort now will help Allegiant Travel Company come out on top in the end.
Airbus was founded in December 1970 and today it became one of the most important names in the aerospace industry. Airbus designs, manufactures and delivers aerospace products and services to customers around the globe. Apart from its main civil aeroplane business, the company has two divisions : Space and Defence as well as Helicopter. Airbus manufactures and markets Airbus A320 which is the first commercially practical digital fly-by-wire airliner, in addition to the largest passenger airliner, Airbus A380 in the world.
On January 5th, Airbus confirmed completion of the first A321 neo ACF (Airbus Cabin Flex) at its location in Hamburg, Germany. CFM Leap – 1A Engines powers the aircraft and it will experience ground tests prior to its scheduled first flight in the forthcoming weeks. In mid 2018, Airbus A231 neo ACF will be delivered to its first customer.
The passenger door configuration was modified and due to that change it was possible to add a new rear section on the ACF variant and the aircraft can seat up to 240 passengers. This number is accomplished by seating 102 passengers ahead of the overwing exist, six right by the exist itself, 59 in the cabin between the remodeled exits and the wing, and the last 73 Furthermore, includes the most contemporary engines, aerodynamic advances, cabin revolutions. The most noticeable changes, affiliated with previous A321 version, are a new back end section and the modified passenger door configuration, as previously mentioned. Also, a new overwing emergency exit in the center area will be established.
At the moment, A321 neo ACT is considered an option, but Airbus says it will become standard for all A321 neos by 2020.