Aircraft Hydraulic Systems

A hydraulic system allows for forces to be applied, multiplied, and transmitted from one location to another through an incompressible fluid medium. Hydraulics are a critical system on almost all modern aircraft. Light aircraft primarily make use of hydraulics to augment and transmit braking forces from the cockpit to the brake disk or drum. Larger, more complex aircraft may use hydraulics to actuate landing gear, flaps and control surfaces in addition to braking and nose-wheel steering.
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Aircraft Landing Gear Design

The landing gear, or undercarriage, has two primary requirements: (1) to support the aircraft while on the ground and (2) to absorb the large loads associated with landing, and transfer these from the wheels to the aircraft’s primary structure. This post will examine the various landing gear systems in operation, describe the components used to absorb the landing loads, and introduce some common gear retraction systems in use today.
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Aircraft Braking Systems

All modern aircraft are fitted with a braking system to assist in slowing and stopping when on the ground. Brakes are used not only to decelerate during a landing run, but also to hold the aircraft during an engine run-up, and in some cases to steer the aircraft through differential braking. Brakes are fitted to the main landing gear but not generally to the nose or tail wheel.

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Aircraft Wheels and Tires

The wheels and tires (tyres) fitted to an aircraft are designed to support the full weight of that aircraft while on the ground, as well as the static and dynamic loads generated during taxi, take-off and landing. The largest loads that the wheel/tire assembly sees occur during landing and are characterised by high speeds and large impact loads which deforms the tires, loading the wheel at the flanges. This tutorial focuses on the design and construction of the wheel and tire assembly as fitted to a typical aircraft.
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Introduction to Aircraft Structures

Welcome to part one in a five-part series on airframe structures and control surfaces. The aim of this mini-series is to provide an introduction to aircraft structures and the control surfaces attached to the wing and tail.

Part one is an overview and focuses on loads generation, structural design philosophies, and the material used in airframe manufacture.
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Fuselage Structural Design and Layout

Welcome to part two in this five-part series on airframe structures. In this post we’ll be focusing on the fuselage; specifically, we discuss the design of a typical semi-monocoque structure, and the various structural components and loadings that contribute to the final design.
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Wing Loads and Structural Layout

Welcome to part three in a five-part series on airframe structures and control surfaces. This tutorial focuses on the structural design of the wing and introduces the control surfaces attached to the wing’s trailing edge.
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Aircraft Flap and Slat Systems

Welcome to part four in of a five-part series on airframe structures. In the previous tutorial we discussed the wing structure, now we will focus exclusively on the aerodynamics and structural design of the high lift flap and slat system.
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Aircraft Tail Surfaces and Trim

This is the final tutorial in a five-part mini-series on airframe structures and control surfaces. The previous tutorial focused on wing flap and slat systems. We end this mini-series off with a discussion on the aircraft’s tail section with a focus on the tail’s impact in three primary areas: stability, control, and trim.
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The Aircraft Electrical System – An Overview

The electrical system is essential to the proper functioning of any modern aircraft and is responsible for running everything from the lights and avionics, to the auxiliary fuel pump and engine starter motor.

In this three-part mini-series we will investigate the electrical system in more detail.
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