When writing about aircraft designs, much is made about the wings and engines. After all, these are the components that provide lift and thrust, the two forces that help the aircraft achieve and maintain flight. But on larger commercial aircraft, such as the Boeing 747, the aircraft’s engines are mounted on the wing. What then, is the part that connects the engine to the wing?
 
That part is the engine pylon, or strut. The strut holds the engine onto the wing and provides a path for all of the engine’s systems, such as fuel and air lines, to connect, and includes the aerodynamic fairing to cover everything. While an engine can be attached and removed freely from the strut for maintenance and replacement, the strut itself is designed to stay attached permanently, with mounts on the strut for the engine. Because engines are so heavy, maintenance personnel will suspend a weight from the strut to balance the aircraft and keep it from tipping over when there is no engine installed.
 
The strut comes with multiple safety features for both flight and ground operations. For example, in the case of an engine fire, there are multiple fire-prevention measures built into the strut to prevent the fire from spreading to the rest of the aircraft.
 
Different aircraft manufacturers take different approaches to their strut designs. Boeing, for example, designs its struts to break away from the wing under extreme loads. While this may sound like a terrible idea, it prevents the wing from breaking under the load caused by the engine’s weight, preserving the wing and allowing the aircraft to function like a glider. Airbus engineers its struts to remain attached; this means their structure is less complex and allows their pylons to be narrower than Boeing’s.

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It is a given that commercial airlines make their money through ticket sales from vacationers, those who travel for business, and those who just need to get point A to point B quickly. There is, however, another revenue opportunity that, in the past, has been overlooked by major airlines. Before a plane can fly and generate revenue, it must be certified as safe. The FAA calls for strict maintenance plans that include the disassembly and reassembly of aircraft. The 100-hour inspection is an example of a maintenance requirement that is extensive therefore requiring numerous hours and copious space. Since the 1990s, airlines have outsourced these maintenance procedures to Maintenance, Repair, and Overhaul (MRO) facilities that are located off-site and away from the airport.
 
These facilities were convenient for airlines that did not want to think beyond the flight times, plans, and ticket prices. MROs have large hangars, certified mechanics, and expensive test equipment to efficiently carry out the aircraft maintenance. From a business point of view, MROs were supplying an invaluable and highly specified service that the airlines relied upon.
 
As is the case with much of business sector growth, there comes a point where supply struggles to meet demand. In the aviation industry there is an increasing demand for MROS due to the increasing number of aircraft being commissioned. Asia and the Middle East are experiencing a significant rise in the commercial airline industry. More and more tickets are being purchased by middle class holiday makers, and the result is more and more aircraft being sent to MROs. The aftermarket refers to the business sector that is involved with the maintenance and repair of aircraft. In the 2019 market forecast report by Oliver Wyman predicts that the aftermarket is set to grow significantly over the next decade, citing China as the biggest market determiner.
 
So, what does that mean for airlines? This can be answered two ways. The first implication is that the maintenance programs of aircraft are being slowed down by the high demand for technicians and space. If an aircraft is not serviced in time, it may be grounded by the FAA, therefore losing money in ticket sales. On the other hand, airlines could view this growing trend as a business opportunity. Instead of outsourcing repair work, airlines are beginning to establish their own maintenance bases therefore cutting costs and side stepping any costly wait times. Delta, Lufthansa, and KLM are already ahead of the trend, each operating their own maintenance business for many years now.  By taking control of their own maintenance facilities, airlines also address the growing authority of original equipment manufacturers who are leveraging their own position in the aftermarket industry by becoming increasingly stringent over intellectual property.
 
In a nod to the digitization of all aspects of the aviation industry, including maintenance, in June 2019, Embraer announced the launch of their Big Data analytics platform, IKON. With this platform, Embraer can analyze the performance data on their latest aircraft, the E-Jet E2 family. Data can be quickly reported to mechanics who can predict the required maintenance of an aircraft before it leaves the airport. Embraer’s maintenance program may well become one of the most effective plans, perhaps paving the way for other airlines. 

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When your plane arrives at its destination and slowly moves towards the terminal, you may have noticed several different pieces of equipment waiting to service the plane. Tow tractors, cranes, dollies, and ground support personnel busying about, waiting to perform crucial maintenance on the plane you just exited. This ground support is the lifeline for successful flights.
 
Aircraft ground support equipment refers to the various tools and devices used to service aircrafts that aren’t in flight. The process requires a fleet of operators to adhere to precise handling rules, so machinery works as intended. There are different variations of non-powered equipment such as dollies, chocks, tripod jacks, and rollers. On the contrary, there are different types of powered equipment as well, such as refuelers, tugs and tractors, ground power units, container loaders, and buses.
 
The equipment required to service aircraft systems include power generators, cabin pressure test units, fluid servicing units, munitions loading system, and electrical testers. All of which are designed to be self-propelled, trailer mounted, or towed for ease of access and maneuverability.
 
Ground support equipment can define the success of an entire aviation establishment, whether it be an airport or military air base. The complete servicing process must coincide firmly within industry standards while operating at a minimum life-cycle cost.
 
Not everything you find at a commercial airport will be found at a military airfield, which is simply due to military aircraft being equipped with items which have no translatable purpose or use in the civilian market. The most common type of ground service equipment found in a military airfield is a hydraulic loader, used to load pieces of ordinance (bullets, bombs, missiles). Dedicated military service equipment must be utterly reliable and dependable, simple to use, and quick to learn.
 
Ground service equipment plays an integral role in the maintenance, specialized technical support, and operational safety in aircrafts.

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Various types of turbine engines are used on aircraft today. Generally, air enters an inlet, is compressed, burnt, and the resulting exhaust gases are used to produce thrust either directly or to power propellers. In order for the combustor to work efficiently, it requires high- pressure air to mix with the fuel. The compressor provides the optimal air pressure for the combustion chamber. There are two main types of compressors: centrifugal flow and axial flow.  
 
 Centrifugal means that the object moves or tends to move away from the center. This force can be explained with an example of a tetherball— the ball is attached to a string and the string is attached to a pole. When the ball gets hit, it wants to move in a straight line, but it cannot due to the string. Centrifugal force is the energy of an object that is trying to move in a straight line when it cannot.
 
Centrifugal flow compressors pick up air through the inlet and accelerate it outwards through centrifugal action; the airflow is turned perpendicular to the axis of rotation. In these compressors, there is an impeller (rotor), a diffuser (stator), and a compressor manifold. Impellers accelerate air outward to the diffuser. They are either single or double entry. The diffuser delivers air to the manifold at a sufficient velocity and pressure. Manifolds divert the airflow from the diffuser to the combustion chamber.
 
Air in an axial flow compressor continue the direction of flow; the airflow travels parallel to the axis of rotation. It consists of two primary elements: a rotor and a stator. The rotor blades impel air towards the back and air like small airfoils. The air passes through a series of stages that further compress the air to the desired density. It produces high-velocity airflow. After the air goes through the rotor blades, it passes through the stator blades. They act as diffusers and convert high-velocity air into high pressure. The more blades, or stages, the higher the compressor ratio is.
 
Centrifugal flow compressors are lightweight, simple to manufacture, and have high-pressure rise per stage but they have a large frontal area and more than two stages are not practical. Axial flow compressors can handle high volumes of air, have a smaller frontal area, and have high ram efficiency but are more susceptible to foreign object damage, are expensive, and heavier than centrifugal flow compressors. Because of the different characteristics of both compressors, they are used on different engines. Smaller engines generally use centrifugal air compressors while most large engines used on transport and military aircraft use axial flow compressors.


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Engine failure has dire consequences. When you’re driving your car and you experience engine failure, you face being stranded on the side of the road and paying hundreds, if not thousands, for a tow and a solution. On the other hand, when you’re flying and you experience engine failure, you face the very real threat of falling out of the sky. With that in mind, it makes sense that aircraft engine overhauls are serious business.

An engine overhaul is a process of removing an engine, completely disassembling it, cleaning it, making repairs and replacements where necessary, and putting it all back together again for the sake of ensuring its airworthiness. An aircraft engine must always be properly functioning and airworthy, but due to its complex nature, the only way to make sure that all the parts are in proper working condition is to take it apart. A complete engine overhaul includes 10 steps:
1) receive the engine, 2) disassemble, 3) visual inspection, 4) cleaning, 5) structural inspection, 6) non-destructive testing, 7) dimensional inspection, 8) repair and replace 9) reassembly and 10) testing and reinstallation. The different inspection steps are of the utmost importance and therefore the most careful and precise; otherwise, everything is off, and airworthiness is dubious.

In order for the engine to remain airworthy, it has to meet FAA standards, which generally means that the aircraft operator has to follow the OEM outlined TBO schedule. TBO, or time between overhaul, is the engine’s OEM, or original equipment manufacturer, the recommended time frame between overhauls. Typically, the TBO is given as flight or operating hours. Countless tests have shown that deviating from the OEM recommended TBO dramatically increases the chances of an accident. And since nothing can be sure until either an overhaul or it’s already too late, following the recommendations of the OEM is your best bet.

In addition to the TBO, the OEM also typically includes specifications that need to be met for the overhaul and clearly defines what working condition is. Ultimately, how to approach the overhaul is up to the technician. But, when the technician signs the release form for the return to service of the overhauled engine, they are certifying that the entire overhaul process has been performed properly with the correct methods, techniques, and practices. The technician is saying that the best of their ability and knowledge, the engine has been overhauled correctly, so if that is not the case, the technician will be taking responsibility. Either way, overhauls shouldn’t be taken lightly.


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The fuselage is the most crucial component in an aircraft. Usually located in the middle section, it holds responsibility for securing the crew, passengers, and cargo. Contingent on the number of engines located in the aircraft, it may also contain the engine. The fuselage’s function is to position and stabilize the aircraft for enhanced performance and maneuverability. And believe it or not, but there are actually several different types of aircraft fuselage.

 A truss structure is most often used in lightweight aircraft. It is usually made of welded steel tube trusses. Sometimes the truss can be made of wood. They are usually round and have lightweight stringers to help reach a prominent aerodynamic shape. A geodesic structure, which was most often used by the British Vickers during World War 2, seeks to enhance the aircraft’s shape in order to reduce the drag and enhance speed. Numerous strip stringers are connected around the formers in different spiral directions. Geodesic fuselage structures are lightweight, strong, and extremely durable. Most often, they are made of wood or aluminum with fabric over for the shell.   
        
In a monocoque shell structure, the fuselage is planned within the aircraft’s primary structure. An early example of this fuselage type is the Lockheed Vega. The monocoque is designed and built with molded plywood and features numerous layers that shield a plug in the mold. Different versions of the monocoque shell include a fiberglass-type cloth with either polyester or epoxy resin.

There is also a semi-monocoque fuselage design, which like its name, holds similar characteristics to the monocoque structure. The semi-monocoque is preferred when constructing an aluminum fuselage. It features a frame designed to create the shell of the fuselage.

Of course, it’s important to remember that because the fuselage is so crucial, it, and the fixtures and components inside of it, do need routine maintenance and repair. So, for all your fuselage and cabin part needs, visit us at ASAP AOG. ASAP AOG, owned and operated by ASAP Semiconductor website, provides fast support for all your AOG needs. Customers can source for components in record time. With a wide network of suppliers and maintenance repair stations, customers can utilize our website to support their AOG needs. We work at your convenience 24/7x365. Email us at sales@asapaog.com or call us at +1-714-705-4780.

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Maintenance, repair, and overhaul, otherwise known as MRO, is the hallmark of aftermarket service, particularly for aviation and aerospace industries. They’re a growing industry, but recently MROs are finding themselves lagging to meet even faster-growing demands from their clients.


In recent years, manufacturers have been in what seems like a race to create the newest and most innovative aircraft possible. With the newest generation B787, A350, A320neo, and B737 MAX being introduced on the market, MROs are constantly having to play catch-up in order to stay in business. Especially considering that airliners and other such companies are not simply replacing their entire fleet with new B737 MAXs, but just adding new high-tech aircraft to their pre-existing fleet, creating a mixed bag for MROs to work with. As a result, MRO engineers and mechanics have to be trained and kept-up-to-date with the newest technologies and certified, which is not only difficult but expensive. MROs are also facing challenges in the form of clients who now expect the same high standard of quality and low prices for even more diversified services as they want MROs to not only work on the new technologies but improve and modify older aircraft to match.


Further challenges come in the form of large manufacturers and competing MROs. In recent years, OEMs like Boeing and Airbus have been securing the aftermarket with long-term exclusive agreements with restricted third-party MRO support, making it harder to smaller MROs to succeed. Larger international MROs are also presenting a challenge as they have and continue to gain the upper hand in securing clients with their connections and reputation. With the aerospace and aviation industries being as small and narrow as it is, there’s a lot of competition for maintenance business. For a smaller MRO to stay in business, they’d have to somehow maintain high-profit margins while offering better and faster services at lower prices than their competitors.


While this is difficult, it won’t be impossible. Especially not with services like ours here at ASAP AOG, an ASAP Semiconductor owned and operated the site, available. ASAP AOG is the premier supplier of aircraft parts both current and obsolete, so you can trust that we can get you the parts you need for your maintenance and repair services. For a quote or for more information, call us at +1714-705-4780 or email us at sales@asapaog.com.


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Pressurized aircraft that use their air cycle air conditioning systems combine bleed air with cold air created by the air cycle machine expansion turbine to receive warm air for the aircraft’s cabin. Aircrafts powered by a turbine but lacking air cycle systems still, utilize the engine compressor bleed air to warm up the cabin. The bleed air can be mixed with ambient or cabin return air and is transported throughout the aircraft via ducting. Air can be mixed in several different ways. Switches located in the cockpit control the mixing of air valves, flow control valves and more.

 An electric heating device can be utilized on occasion. The electricity that flows through the heating elements makes the element heat up. A fan is used to blow the air above the elements and into the cabin. This transfers the heat. The sidewall elements emit heat to keep the cabin warm. Electric heating elements heaters need a large amount of the aircraft’s generator output. This is best dedicated towards the operation of other electrical devices. Because of this, electrical heaters are not very common.

Exhaust shroud heaters are mostly used by single-engine light aircraft. Ambient air is moved into a metal jacket that encloses a portion of the engine’s exhaust system. The exhaust warms the air and is transported through a firewall heater valve into the cabin. This process requires no electrical or engine power and utilizes the heat that would in other situations be wasted. One major concern of the exhaust shroud system is the possibility of contamination via the exhaust gases to the cabin air. Even a tiny crack in the exhaust could spread enough carbon monoxide to be fatal. There are strict procedures and inspections to minimize this possible threat.

ASAP AOG, owned and operated by ASAP Semiconductor, offers worldwide service 24/7. Customers can find solutions for their AOG needs, whether they are looking for aircraft cabin heaters, aircraft cockpit parts, and more. ASAP Semiconductor is the top supplier of aviation components, especially for AOG situations.  With the fastest support group in the industry, customers can except a large selection and inventory, and find solutions to fulfill their needs. 

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In the aviation industry, maintenance used to be conducted by the original equipment manufacturers. But as the global economy impacted all industries, as well as the changes in the political climate, the activity, and cost maintenance altered to consist of optimized maintenance, repair, and overhaul services (MRO).

The MRO industry has been supported by market trends with a market worth $135 billion in 2016. Regarding the fact that robust air travel demand and air traffic growth rapidly ascending, the MRO market is expected to confidently increase for each year. These expectations motivated the MRO industry to situate itself as an essential tool with the service supply chain.

Boeing has one of the biggest MRO services, along with a maintenance execution program that it is specialized in high-skilled labor, guaranteeing fleets decrease downtime and increase revenue service. “Boeing Edge” uses techniques and strategies that provide total logistics management, the “One Boeing” point of contact, and a dependable maintenance scheme bridging to lower transition times and conserve the value of assets.

On the other hand, one of the most effective substantial engine manufacturers in the industry, Rolls Royce has an all-inclusive list of customers recruiting their in- production engines. A few families of Airbus fleet are overhauled with a Rolls – Royce engine, like A330 and A380 families. As stated by Rolls-Royce, clients with a “Total Care” contract profit from “ on-wing time, higher residual values of their engine assets, reduced risk and better oversight.” Under the “Total Care” coverage, they guarantee the reliability of engine maintenance.

ASAP AOG has a dedicated and expansive array of MRO Services, Rolls-Royce Engine, engine manufacturers —serving customers as a one-stop shop and primary destination for product sourcing. ASAP AOG, owned and operated by ASAP Semiconductor, will ensure that your needs are addressed in the most expeditious and transparent manner, all the while offering cost-effective component solutions.


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When you look at companies who can handle maintenance, repair, and operating capabilities, a few have been standing out this year. There are familiar names and slightly lesser known companies. Each of the companies being mentioned in this article has been having a “moment” this month, and we wanted to showcase that.
 

Companies Mentioned
  • Magnetic MRO
  • Bombardier
  • AerSale
First up is Magnetic MRO. This MRO, based out of Estonia, has recently revamped the Airbus A321neo’s interior cabins. The updates were made for Primera Air, who specializes in Nordic guided tours. The new cabins are filled with plush business class style seats that bring a new sense of comfort to an older cabin.

Next is Bombardier. This powerhouse was recently able to secure a 7-year long deal with the company, Widerøe’s Flyveselskap AS (also referred to as simply, Widerøe), another Nordic based Aerospace company that started in 1934. This deal means that Widerøe will help Bombardier with component management on their Q400 line.

Lastly, we have AerSale, founded in 2008 in a small town near Miami, Florida. This rather small company was awarded FAA and EASA STC to incorporate AerSafe mechanisms on Airbus model A321’s. This mechanism will help the A321, as well as a few Boeing aircrafts, conform to the new law put in place to help make fuel tanks less flammable. Obviously, there are more MRO’s that are doing well in the month of May but these were a few we wanted to highlight. 

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