Aircraft fasteners are a necessary part in a vast array of commercial aircraft, military aircraft, missiles, rockets, and a variety of other aerospace machinery. While fasteners are a seemingly small, insignificant part, they have a great effect on the functionality and efficiency of an aircraft. Consistency and effectiveness are achieved only through expert measuring, alignment, and installation. To meet the strenuous requirements of the aerospace industry, fasteners must be planned, engineered, and implemented diligently. Proper, precise fitting of fasteners can eliminate the need for other materials, shedding weight and helping an aircraft thrive.

Commonly used fasteners in the aerospace industry include screws, bolts, rivets, nuts, hi-locks, and pins. Constant demand means the aerospace fasteners market grows at a steady rate. Between 2017 and 2023, the market is expected to expand at a compound annual growth rate of nearly 8%. The growth of any market often sees emergence of new regions wanting a piece of the pie, and aerospace fasteners are no different. Mexico, Brazil, India, and North Africa are just a few regions where production of aerospace fastener parts is rapidly rising.

Although markets all around the world are growing, the Americas are still the kingpin of the aircraft fastener market, accounting for over 40% of production. This is because massive aerospace companies like Boeing, Bombardier, Gulfstream, and Embraer all call North or South America home. The United States is making significant investments in newer, more advanced fastening systems that will be implemented in fighter jets and other modern airplanes like the Boeing 787. Although Brazil and Canada make large investments in fasteners, the market in the Americas is still led by the U.S, dominated by companies like 3V Fasteners, Alcoa, B&B Specialties, KLX, LISI Aerospace, and Stanley Aerospace Fastening.

At Aerospace Buying, owned and operated by ASAP Semiconductor, we can help you find all the unique 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 or call us at +1-434-321-4470.

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Hydraulic systems need piping to transport hydraulic fluid from one point to another. To provide transportation in a safe and effective manner, engineers use a variety of hard metal tubing and flexible hosing, depending on the requirements of the hydraulic system and the aircraft in general.

For solid tubing, seamless steel is a popular choice. Seamless steel is easier to bend than steel pipe, does not require a large number of fittings, and can be reused. High-volume applications are one of the few areas that tubing cannot be utilized in.

Tubing size is measured on the outside diameter of the tube, with all sizes available in a variety of wall thicknesses. The use of the tubing will determine the wall thickness used, with considerations like the application, internal pressures, weight, environmental conditions, and whether flared or flareless tubing will be used all acting as considerations.

Tubing comes in a wide variety of materials, including:

  • Seamless carbon steel, the most commonly used. Possesses a tensile strength of 47,000 psi.
  • Stainless steel, used when conditions require noncorrosive materials. Also has a tensile strength of 47,000 psi.
  • Plastic, which is used when there is a need to save weight and the application is low-pressure.

When choosing a material, don’t just consider the price. Consult the manufacturer’s information as well, as it will inform you on the maximum allowable stress and working pressures that the tubing can handle.

Tubing does not use threaded fittings. Instead, the fitting attachment is done by a component or another tube, such as flared fittings used in low to medium pressure applications, SAE (Society of Automotive Engineers) standard 37 and 45 degree angle fittings, and others.

Flexible hoses are far simpler to route, withstand vibration much better, and can deal with thermal expansion and contraction far more easily than fixed tubing. Flexible hose consists of an inner tube, reinforcements around it, and an outer protective cover. The thinner tube and outer cover are made from synthetic rubber or thermoplastic material, and the reinforcements consist of single or multiple fiber/wire braids. The SAE has a set of hydraulic hose specifications, the SAE J513 governing strength and reliability. When you’re selecting your hosing however, make sure that it matches the end fittings for other components.

At Aerospace Buying, owned and operated by ASAP Semiconductor, we can help you find all the hydraulic tubing and hoses 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 or call us at 1-434-321-4470.

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Antennas come in many shapes and sizes depending on their intended use. Depending on the transmitter and receiver they connect to, installation and maintenance are essential to ensure they’re connecting correctly. There are a few things that airborne antennas specifically need to be airworthy. They need to be mechanically secure considering how much wind resistance it will be encountering. They also have to be electronically matched to the receiver and transmitter, be out of interference and in an optimal location to receive transmissions and be synced or polarized to the ground station it receives transmissions from.

When working with the specific model of airborne antennas, always refer to the manufacturer’s instructions. We are going to focus on typical rigid antenna procedures. To begin, place the template given in the manufacturer’s instructions on the fore-and-aft centerline. In other words, find the center of the length of the aircraft. Drill holes where the antenna will be mounted and where the transmission line will be placed. The next step is to install a reinforcing doubler to reinforce the aircraft exterior. Finally, install the antenna on the fuselage and tighten all the mounting bolts against the reinforcing doubler. Finish the installation by either drawing the mast tight against the gasket or create a seal between the mast and fuselage with a strong sealant (zinc chromate or equivalent).

The transmitting and/or receiving antenna connects to the transmitter by a shielded wire, referred to as a coax. The length of these transmission lines varies but the length does not directly correlate to transmitting or receiving signals. To ensure a more secure connection coax connections in conjunction with a coax cable should be installed. When installing coaxial cables, secure firmly until the length of the cable is fastened and is free from any other wire bundles.

When in doubt, check your equipment manufacturer instructions. Any unique specification for the antenna you’ll be using will be specified in the operations manual. Most installation errors can be attributed to careless oversight, which can be easily avoided. Every small part of an aircraft, down to the antenna, is important to make it airworthy. Regular maintenance and careful install procedures can ensure better overall performance for an airborne antenna.

At Aerospace Buying, owned and operated by ASAP Semiconductor, we can help you find airborne antennas 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, 24/7x365. For a quick and competitive quote, email us at or call us at 1(434)-321-4470.

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When we think about how aircraft fly, we are prone to automatically thinking about planes, their engines, and how they have to race down a runway in order to generate enough speeds to achieve lift. While rotorcraft such as helicopters follow similar principles of aerodynamics in order to achieve lift, the system they use, rotors, are quite different.

Helicopters are reliant on their main rotors to provide lift, thrust, and control over their flight path. These rotors come in three different systems, each with different characteristics, benefits, and limitations.

Fully articulated rotors are found on aircraft with more than two rotor blades and allows for each individual blade to move in three directions. This can be attributed to a set of hinges the rotor blades are attached to; each blade can rotate about the pitch axis to change lift, move back and forth in plane, lead, and lag, and flap up and down through the hinge independently of the other blades.

Semi-rigid rotors are found on aircraft with two rotor blades. In a semi-rigid system, the two rotor blades meet under a common flapping or teetering hinge at the rotor shaft. This allows the rotor blades to move together in opposite motions like a seesaw. Thus, when one rotor blade tips down, the other will tip upwards.

Lastly are rigid rotor systems. Rigid, however, is perhaps a bit of a misnomer, as these rotor systems still have movement and flexibility in their design. Where this flexing comes from is radically different. Where other designs have hinges, rigid rotor systems use elastomeric bearings, which are molded, rubber-like materials bonded to the appropriate parts. Instead of rotating like conventional bearings, they flex to allow the aircraft’s blades to move as they would in other rotor systems.

At Aerospace Buying, owned and operated by ASAP Semiconductor, we can help you find all the rotor systems and 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 or call us at +1-434-321-4470.

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A slip ring is an electrical connector component that is designed to carry a current from a wire into a rotating device. It can be used in any electromechanical system that requires rotation while it transmits power. Slip rings can simplify system operations, eliminate the need for freestanding wires, and improve overall mechanical performance.

The composition of slip ring hardware consists of a graphite or metal contact brush which moves on the outside diameter of a rotating ring. As the ring turns, the electric current is conducted through the brush to the metal ring, establishing a connection. Slip rings typically operate with multiple rings that provide an even distribution and flow of electrical current to multiple portions of the device. The wires from the immobilized structure loop around the compartment which houses the electricity conducting rings. Power can be supplied to the slip ring by connecting wires to the brush wire, through the brush block. The electricity transfers from the brush wires to the metal rings, then makes its way to the outside slip ring, and ultimately ends up at the device.

Slip rings are used for power, electrical generators, alternators, ethernet signal transmission, proximity switches, and many other functions. They are available in a wide array of configurations, types, and materials to fit most applications. For low current signal circuits, gold on gold slip rings are recommended. In cases of higher current power circuits, silver on silver slip rings work best. Slip rings are often integrated into rotary unions and send power/data to and from rotating machinery with a single device.

Slip rings can be organized into three classifications: shaft type, disk type, and differential slip. The ring surface of shaft type slip rings is distributed along the axial direction. These rings are isolated by insulating sheets and have high reliability/durability; they are also low cost and easy to maintain. Disk type slip rings utilize a series of concentric rings to load electric currents. The brushes are distributed on top of concentric rings and act as a stator. These rings have a complex structure and high manufacturing costs as they are composed of three parts: differential mechanism, ring core, and auxiliary components. They are mainly used in radar systems and military applications. Slip ring technology is impressively diverse and can be utilized in many industries.

At Aerospace Buying, owned and operated by ASAP Semiconductor, we can help you find all the slip ring 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 or call us at +1-434-321-4470.

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In 1903, The Wright Brothers’ airfoil shaped propeller blades made the first powered flight in history. Nowadays, we still use a similar airfoil design for modern propeller blades, but we have a few options as far as pitch and angle of attack. Two commonly seen propeller types are fixed pitch propellers and variable pitch propellers.

Pitch refers to a pitch angle, which describes the angle at which a propeller blade is fixed to a hub, or angle of attack of each element in the length of the blade. Engineers assign pitch changes along the length of a propeller blade, because the blade is moving faster at its tip than at its root (near the hub). The propeller design must compensate for this change in order to create constant thrust across its entirety. As a result, pitch is designed to be steepest at the hub, and shallowest at the blade tip— allowing the angle of attack to vary across the blade and to account for difference in speed at the root and the tip. If a blade is not designed this way, dispersed speed and airflow would create an immense amount of stress on the mechanism and cause potential failure of the propeller.

Fixed pitch propeller types are most similar to the Wright brothers blade design. They are a simple design seen on smaller aircraft that travel at low speeds. The angle of attack employed on each blade is set by the manufacturer. It cannot be altered after production. These propeller blades are usually designed for optimized cruising or climbing efficiency. While they are considered reliable and cost effective in the proper operating regime, fixed pitch propellers tend to operate inefficiently at stages of the flight cycle its pitch is not designed for.

Variable pitch propellers give a pilot more options for efficiency. They provide the capacity to alter the pitch of a propeller blade to suit differing flight conditions. There are three main types of variable pitch propellers— adjustable pitch, controllable pitch, and constant speed. Adjustable pitch propellers can only be adjusted while on the ground, not during flight. Controllable pitch refers to a propeller that can be adjusted during flight. Constant speed propellers employ hydraulic mechanisms that have the capacity to automatically change the blade pitch when necessary. This allows the propeller to rotate at a constant speed in order to achieve RPM designated by the pilot. Therefore, regardless of what flight cycle stage the aircraft is in, or how fast or slow it is going, it is able to maintain a constant speed via hydraulic manipulation.

Overall, propeller blade design has evolved quite a bit since the Wright Brothers’ first full-powered flight. However, the airfoil structure they employed is still used on the propeller systems of small aircraft, allowing the variations we see today.

At Aerospace Buying, owned and operated by ASAP Semiconductor, we can help you find all the aircraft propeller parts you need, new or obsolete. As a premier supplier of 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, 24/7x365. For a quick and competitive quote, email us at or call us at +1-434-321-4470.

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A materials revolution has been sweeping aviation science since the 1970’s. The most exciting material development— carbon composite fibers. Standard commercial aircraft has over 4 million parts; the efficiency and versatility of composite materials could reduce this number, and as a result, lighten the weight of modern aircraft by at least 20%. To put that into perspective, for every kilogram of weight reduced by these fibers, an aircraft manufacturer can save around one million dollars in overall production costs.

Fiscal benefit has not gone unnoticed by multinational corporations. For instance, about half of the Boeing 787 airframe is made of carbon composite materials. The Airbus 350 XWB, incorporates the fibers in its fuselage and wing design. So, what are these materials, and why do they matter for the future of aircraft design? Let’s take a look.

Composite carbon fibers are essentially a meld of woven layers of carbon and resin. They combine the strength and resilience of carbon components with the nimble versatility of plastic and fiberglass resins. By incorporating this material into various parts and systems on an aircraft, new innovative approaches for aircraft design have surfaced.

Take for example, the seemingly simple potential of changing antenna placement. Though antennas are integral to the safety of an aircraft, they are rarely the most recognized aircraft part. Antennas are placed on the outside of the airframe, protruding from an aircraft— Their placement is due to the material makeup of the airframe. On any given commercial plane, there can be over 20 antennas extending off of the body

Aluminum alloy is the most common material currently used in airframe builds. Though light and durable, aluminum alloys have a considerable disadvantage— they block antenna signals. Aircraft antennas require the ability to achieve omnidirectional transmission or equal radiation transmission in a spherical pattern where the antenna acts as the origin. The external location of the installments on aluminum fitted aircraft caters to this factor but increases the lift-drag-ratio of the vehicle considerably

Carbon composite materials solve these issues and are comparable to aluminum alloys in weight, durability, and fuel efficiency. With increasing innovation in the use of carbon composite fiber materials, antenna design and location can now be reassessed. One compelling design that is currently undergoing industry testing, is the placement of antennas within a carbon fiber fuselage. This installment location would reduce drag while maintaining full signal efficiency, and, coincidently, reducing the weight of the fuselage.

Antenna placement is only one of the exciting possibilities of inventive aircraft design provided by carbon composite fibers. A proprietary concept design from Airbus, set for release in 2050, shows a change in the standard look of commercial aircraft. Their new design shows a carbon composite U-shaped tail, a larger streamlined fuselage, and engines attached to the airframe. Over time, it is likely that composite fiber will be incorporated into most modern aircraft builds. With the materials revolution in full swing, the iconic shape and design of commercial twin-engine aircraft could get a new-age makeover in years to come.

At Aerospace Buying, owned and operated by ASAP Semiconductor, we can help you find all the aircraft antenna parts and aircraft antenna components you need, new or obsolete. As a premier supplier of 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, 24/7x365. For a quick and competitive quote, email us at or call us at +1-434-321-4470.

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Traveling is truly a unique experience. Especially if you are sitting in the window seat. Being able look out the aircraft windows and see the clouds or looking down at all the sights below while cruising at around 40,000 feet in the air, there’s nothing quite like flying. At Emirates Airline, they understand how exhilarating looking out the window can be. So, they decided to change the game a bit.

In November of 2018, Emirates invited some people to fly in the first-class suite located in the middle of the plane. These passengers were treated to one of the most beautiful sights anyone could see while flying. But it wasn’t through a window. It was on a monitor. According to Tim Clark, President of Emirates Airline,

“Projecting fiber-optic cameras from the outside, the quality of the imagery is so good, it’s better than with the natural eye.”

Clark goes on to say that technology has opened up the possibility of building completely windowless airplanes, making flying safer and more efficient without sacrificing the view.

The goal is to be completely windowless in the near future. Because windows interrupt the structure of the aircraft fuselage, they do represent points of vulnerability. They’re also heavier, typically with three plexiglass panes per window. The idea is that without windows, aircraft weight is reduced, allowing them to fly faster and therefore use less fuel to fly higher and farther. Windowless planes also mean more structurally coherent aircraft that produce less drag, also allowing for more efficient flying. And maybe it’ll also make aircraft cheaper to make.

And, British company Centre for Process Innovation has recently developed a digital wallpaper that could project outside views into the aircraft cabin, allowing passengers to choose their own views. It seems like windowless technology is taking strides by making all these test flights. But, as of now, it’s not quite clear when the idea will really take off.

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When getting ready to take off, most passengers are impatient to get going. They don’t realize how much work goes into preparing them for takeoff. In fact, it’s pretty mind-boggling how much work goes into preparing for a single flight. The cabin crew usually arrive 30-45 minutes before takeoff in order to organize every aspect of the flight: safety, catering, boarding, and announcements.

It’s extremely critical for the cabin crew to follow all security and cabin-crew safety control procedures. After the cleaning crew leaves the airplane, the cabin crew needs to check the toilets, alarms system, oxygen tubes, emergency kits, overhead baggage compartment, and so on. Also, the cabin team must check that all seats have seat belts, life vests, and safety instruction cards. Finally, they have to check that all areas of the airplane are free of trash and contraband items.

Once the cabin crew complete these procedures, the cabin crew will have to be have ready the catering and duty-free products. In order to ensure maximum passenger comfort, the cabin crew will have to check the stock and make sure that all dietary concerns will be properly dealt with when in-flight meals are prepared and served. A final sweep and approval from the captain beings the passenger boarding process. The cabin crew will help passengers get settled and begin the safety demonstration on how to use the oxygen masks and evacuate in the case of an emergency. Once passengers are buckled in and all trays and seats are in their proper positions, the cabin crew will let the pilot know they are ready for takeoff.

And when the plane lands and the last passenger leaves, the cabin crew will perform another safety and security check to make sure that no luggage or personal belongings are left behind and the cabin is as it was when they first boarded. Everything the cabin crew does is exact and precise with no room for error. After all, making sure that passengers fly safely and comfortably is their main priority.

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It’s common knowledge: for the sake growth, industries drive innovation. And no industry pushes the limits of technology the way the oil and gas industry does. Constantly pushing for deeper wells, harsher environments, and more sophisticated and efficient driller practices, the oil and gas industry has been calling for more power and more robust solutions. And at the top of their list, are top drives and everything that support them, especially bearings.

SKF, the Swedish bearing and seal manufacturing company, is one of many companies who’ve decided to meet the challenge. Earlier in September, SKF revealed a new generation of tapered roller thrust bearings, the first of their Explorer family of high-performance bearing products. The new bearings boast higher load ratings and a bearing rating life extended by up to 300 percent. These new bearings should hopefully meet the demands of the new larger, more powerful top drives.

According to SKF Bearing Industries, the new Explorer line is the result of a rigorous design, simulation, testing, and manufacturing program. Everything is done to optimize the bearings. The length and diameter of the rollers are optimized to maximize effective carry capacity and improve resistance to shock loads and peak forces. There are smoother transitions at the raceways to minimize the risk of edge stresses. The surface finish is improved in order to reduce friction and effectively maintain lubrication. Carburization also further minimizes cracks and damage from shock loads. On top of creating a new line of bearings, SKF is using these techniques to optimize existing designs. By taking control and tightening standards for every aspect of the manufacturing process, SKF is creating higher quality bearings to meet even the strictest demands.

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Earlier in September, Northrop Grumman, Duke University, and University of Washington announced that they will be partnering to develop metamaterial-based antennas specifically for use with military aircraft platforms.

The project that Northrop, Duke, and UW are pursuing sounds like it should be a rather simple task, but it’s not. According to David Smith, the James B. Duke Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Duke,

“Optimizing a metamaterial antenna’s shape for both aerodynamics and electromagnetic performance simultaneously is a challenging task”.

But, it seems that Smith is rather optimistic that Northrop’s expertise and capabilities as a global aerospace and defense technology manufacturer, will guide them to success in producing “ aerodynamic metamaterial antennas with extraordinary mission flexibility”.

Metamaterials are artificial materials that manipulate waves like light and sound through properties of their structure rather than their chemistry. However, most of them are composed of a grid of repeating cells, each of which can be individually turned to steer electromagnetic waves. So far, computational devices have been built to design metamaterials for reconfigurable antennas that can focus in any direction without moving. These antennas have been flat because, unfortunately, introducing curves and angles can wreak havoc on the computations that allow the antennas to dynamically refocus. But, military aircraft require the antennas to be more aerodynamic, hence the need for curves.

The collaboration comes as a result of a new initiative from the US Department of Defense (DOD) called the Defense Enterprise Science Initiative (DESI). Their goal is to accelerate the impact of basic research on defense capabilities by backing five university-industry teams as they pursue independent projects. The DOD lists the other four university-industry teams include a Boeing-Arizona State University-Syracuse University team for power beaming; a Stanford University-Skydio team for highly-maneuverable autonomous UAVS; a Northwestern University-TERA-print LLC team for soft active composites with intrinsic sensing, actuation, and control; and a Stanford University- University of California, Merced-Visor Corporation team on alternate topics encouraged.

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