Different Types of Plane Bearings and Their Uses

When assembling an aircraft, there are an insane amount of parts that come together to complete it, and the Boeing 747-8 alone is comprised of over six million. Bearings are a common hardware component that can be found in any aircraft or vehicle and depending on the need, there may even be multiple types of bearings that are present. In this blog, we will give a brief overview of a few of the most common types of bearings used in aircraft and their functionality.

Plain bearings, also known as sliding bearings, are some of the simplest types of bearing that do not feature any rolling elements. Plain bearings often are only used for undertaking radial loads, and they can be found within cam rings, crankshafts, connecting rods, and more. As they are fairly simplistic, they can be on the less expensive side and hold longer lives as compared to others.

Rolling element bearings are another major type, featuring balls between two races or rings that allow for motion. Ball bearings and roller bearings are both part of the rolling element type, as well as are considered anti-friction bearings. They can also withstand both radial and thrust loads that range from moderate to heavy. These types of bearings are present within many engine systems, and the balls or cylinders that are within the races work to distribute the loads that the bearings endure.

Another popular aircraft bearing comes in the form of a sleeve bearing. Sleeve bearings are inserted into the hole of a component to reinforce the outer body. These mechanical bearings allow linear movement between components. Benefits of the sleeve bearing as compared to the others are that they have a high bearing capacity for loads, and can dampen vibrations that are exerted by the components that they facilitate.

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