With the many in-flight entertainment options that we have at our disposal today, it is interesting to think that most of them have not been around for very long. In-Flight Entertainment (IFE) traces its history all the way back to the 1920’s with the screening of Howdy Chicago for passengers as a means of advertising the movie. IFE was not the biggest concern of the aviation industry, and the technology to successfully implement it did not exist. Zeppelin flights such as the Hindenburg offered entertainment to its passengers, including a piano, bar, lounge, dining room, and more. Meanwhile, aircraft had much less means to provide such pleasures.

The first major IFE breakthrough came in 1926 when Imperial Airways screened The Lost World to their passengers during flight while the sound was provided via radio by a live orchestra performing on the ground. Through the next few decades, notable IFE events included the first television event in-flight in 1932, and Stagecoach being screened in 1948 for Pan American World Airways for media coverage. Many of these were very limited events, and it was not until the 1960’s that IFE became more normalized with TWA regularly presenting films on flights with the use of projectors. For a long time, projectors became the standard.

One of the first digital IFE systems came in the 1990’s when Interactive Flight Technologies (IFT) pitched a system to the airline Alitalia to provide entertainment for passengers, and they touted revenue increases with pay per view movies and gambling. In 1997, IFT installed the system for all seating classes, being the first of its kind. While this was a major breakthrough, airways were not happy as the systems required a tremendous amount of power, generated a lot of heat, and required constant processing unit replacement. These systems had a rocky start, but the idea prevailed and this type of digital IFE quickly became the standard. From shared screens to the introduction of screens on the back of seats, IFE rapidly evolved.

One of the first digital IFE systems came in the 1990’s when Interactive Flight Technologies (IFT) pitched a system to the airline Alitalia to provide entertainment for passengers, and they touted revenue increases with pay per view movies and gambling. In 1997, IFT installed the system for all seating classes, being the first of its kind. While this was a major breakthrough, airways were not happy as the systems required a tremendous amount of power, generated a lot of heat, and required constant processing unit replacement. These systems had a rocky start, but the idea prevailed and this type of digital IFE quickly became the standard. From shared screens to the introduction of screens on the back of seats, IFE rapidly evolved.

At Aviation Axis, owned and operated by ASAP Semiconductor, we can help you find In-Flight Entertainment (IFE) parts and avionic parts you need, new or obsolete.

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When procuring components, one may see many different designated standards. Military standard parts in particular often confuse some, especially when deciding which part is best for their needs. Oftentimes, some may even face trouble discerning the difference between a military standard part and a similar component that is not. In this blog, we will discuss what a military standard part is, and the history behind them.

In general, a military standard part, also referred to as MIL-STD or MIL-SPEC parts, are simply components that meet requirements set out by the US Department of Defense in order to meet the objective of standardization. Through this, the interchangeability, compatibility, and common functionality of many parts can be achieved. There also exists a difference between a military specification and a military standard. A military specification refers to how the component operates, as well as its physical properties. Military standard, on the other hand, refers to how the component was made and what materials were used to manufacture it.

The history of military standards can be traced back to the 18th and 19th century, as the American and French militaries were proponents for standardizing parts for interchangeability. Most militaries and alliances around the world had also begun standardization themselves by WWII. This was spearheaded through historical examples such as in WWII where fasteners would work for equipment in America, but not for Britain.

In regards to the United States, if a part is considered military standard, it often means that the rights to the design is owned by the government, and various companies can then compete when manufacturing them to the set regulations. There are also various handbooks that are available as resources for information and instruction for meeting these requirements.

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Along with the constant evolution and change of aircraft instruments and components that commercial airlines utilize, airlines have begun looking towards the future of passenger seating. Over the years there have been many designs from various manufacturers and airliners for how we can revolutionize seating. From pod seating to outright removing all seats, finding a balance between comfort and profit is the main concern of designs. In this blog, we will take a short look at some of the differing designs that have come out in recent years.

Economy Class Cabin Hexagon: One solution to the balance between increased passengers and comfort is through Zodiac Seats France’s design, which features a honeycomb-like layout in which the middle seat is faced opposite of the outer seats. This design allows for more passenger capacity and increased shoulder room at the expense of privacy. To remedy this, British Airways suggests privacy screens this style of seating.

Pods and Double Deckers: Another popular design choice that has been surfacing is the use of pods or platforms that would stack on top of each other. Contour Aerospace has designed an example of the pod configuration in which seats feature private “cocoons” providing ample room, as well as a 30% increase in aircraft passenger capacity. Double decker platforms have also been proposed in which alternating rows of seats could allow for economy class to have 45 degree bending chairs and business class to have the ability to completely lay down.

Upright Seats: A very different concept that has come from manufacturers, such as Aviointeriors, are seats that are more upright or have passengers almost stand. This opens the possibility for multiple classes of passengers to be seated in a single cabin, greatly increasing capacity. Upright seating often has decreased space between seats and less to no ability to adjust the incline of seating. While the comfort of seating may decrease, manufacturers claim it would reduce the costs of ticketing and increase airline profit.

There are many styles and ideas for the future of seating, and different manufactures have presented what they believe is best. Before designs are implemented, manufacturers must find a balance between profit and comfort of passengers, as well as ensure that the airline seating would prove reliable and safe for passengers.

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Virtually all types of machinery used in day to day life are reliant on pneumatic and hydraulic power systems. From car brakes to construction equipment, from elevators to automated doors, hydraulic and pneumatic systems allow for actuation and control over devices that is efficient and responsive. While they share many similarities, and sometimes share components like pumps and valves, hydraulic and pneumatic systems differ in how they provide force and control for their attached actuators.

A hydraulic system is dependent on fluid to apply pressure to generate power. This fluid is typically a type of hydraulic oil or synthetic lubricant, which begins by being stored in a reservoir, which also filters out residual material like air, moisture particles, and debris. Pressure is exerted on one side of the reservoir, forcing the liquid through valves and against an actuator, such as a hydraulic motor, cylinder, or piston. Energy transferred to the actuator is changed from hydraulic energy to mechanical energy, forcing the actuator to move. Due to the pressure exerted on the fluid, the actuator cannot move in the opposite direction until the pressure is released by the system’s operator, such as releasing pressure on a car’s brakes.

Hydraulic systems have numerous advantages. Hydraulic oil is not compressed by pressure, making it highly efficient at transferring energy, which means better performance at high pressures. The greatest drawback, however, has to do with transporting non-elastic oil through the valves and plumbing systems. Compared to compressed air in a pneumatic system, hydraulic oil faces high rates of resistance and energy losses when it has to flow through restricted spaces. If a hydraulic system’s parts are not fitted or sized properly, the system will suffer major losses in terms of energy and efficiency.

Pneumatic systems operate on similar principles as hydraulic systems, but rely on compressed air instead of fluid. They require an air compressor, which draws in atmospheric air through an intake valve and feeds the air into a receiver tank. Pressure is applied to the receiver tank, which compresses the air and passing it into the pipes and valves that direct the airflow to the actuator. The actuator then transfers this energy back into mechanical energy to create motion, much like with a hydraulic system.

Compared to hydraulic systems, pneumatic systems are cheaper, have fewer maintenance demands, and are faster to operate, since air expands much faster and with greater force than hydraulic fluids. Both are still frequently used in countless pieces of machinery, however.

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Bearings are a critical component for numerous primary and auxiliary systems in aircraft, such as navigation, landing gear, flight controls, generators, hydraulic pumps, and cabin climate control. Choosing a specific bearing is more than finding the best and most inexpensive deal upfront, however. When considering a bearing solution, the total life cost equation should look something like this:

Initial cost + installation costs + energy costs + operation costs + maintenance/repair costs + downtime costs + environmental costs + decommissioning/disposal costs = total costs

Thus, purchasing a more expensive bearing solution can end up saving money down the line if it brings reduced assembly times, improved energy efficiency, and lower maintenance costs. For example, a 10% cost reduction on the initial purchase only matters at the point of initial purchase. A 10% reduction in assembly time/cost, or a 10% reduction in maintenance costs over five years however means far more, as sustained reductions in costs over the lifetime of the equipment are worth far more to the customer in terms of savings.

Aircraft actuation systems are where bearings are most frequently used, and where precision designs can be the most impactful. Superior precision bearings can be designed with different materials for the bearings and races, such as having ceramic balls instead of metal to reduce adhesive wear during non-operational or vibrational duty cycles. Customized bearing designs can focus on one aspect or another, such as maximizing load carrying capacity, withstanding friction and corrosion, optimizing ease of assembly, and more. For example, screw threads on assembly mating surfaces can be incorporated to make assembly easier, or integrating sealing technology to save space, finished raceways to improve bearing lubrication film generation, and anti-rotation features to prevent slippage.

Auxiliary equipment like pneumatic and electric starters, generators, and gearboxes can all benefit from customized bearing designs. Split inner ring configurations can accept reversing thrust and combination loads, and are assembled with one-piece high-strength cages that are often silver-plated for better operation in marginal lubrication conditions. Other common configurations include deep groove bearings, greased for life at the factor in clean room conditions, and placed in ‘T’ cages that are lightweight, strong, and enable high-speed operation.

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Airplanes are an intricate feat of engineering and the components that combine to make one are equally complex. There are five pieces that make up an aircraft that we will be covering in this article.

The largest component on an aircraft is the fuselage. Also known as the body of the plane, the fuselage houses the passengers and pilots, cockpits, and cargo. It is the hub of the plane connecting all the other parts of the aircraft.

Without wings, flight would not be possible. Also known as foils, the wings pass airflow over the top which creates the lifting force needed for flight. There is a total of four wings that are placed on the aircraft; two large wings are attached to the fuselage and two smaller wings on the back of the plane attached to the tail.

The empennage is located at the rear end, or tail, of the aircraft. There are two main components, the rudder and the elevator. The rudder is used to steer the aircraft right to left, and the elevator helps control movement up and down.

The combination of the engine and propellers is referred to the power plant, giving the aircraft its main power source. The engine is made up of cylinders, fans, and pistons that all work together to power the aircraft.

Now that the plane is in flight there needs to be a mechanism to set the plane down safely on the ground. The landing gear provides shock absorbers to ensure smoother landing and takeoff and allows the aircraft to be taxied anywhere.

All of these components work together smoothly to help aircraft fly and achieve astounding accomplishments.

At Aviation Axis, owned and operated by ASAP Semiconductor, we can help you find all the plane 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 sales@aviationaxis.com or call us at +44-142-035-8043.

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The chances are that your bedroom window is either square or rectangular. Your airplane window, however, will always be circular.

While this is an obvious statement, the fact that your house is designed to stay on the ground while an aircraft is designed to fly in the air explains the difference in window designs. Unlike your house, an aircraft is subject to differing levels of atmospheric pressure, which must be considered when designing aircraft windows.

The first aircraft was designed with square aircraft windows. It wasn’t until the 1950s, with the advent of commercial jets, that all aircraft were fitted with circular windows. As commercial jets flew higher in altitude, the difference between the pressure inside the cabin and outside the cabin became more significant and apparent.

As an aircraft climbs higher in altitude, the chance in atmospheric pressure causes the fuselage to expand slightly. This results in the materials of the aircraft warping or shifting shape. The repeated change in the materials causes strain that, if not properly monitored and accounted for, can lead to permanent damage.

Atmospheric pressure is the reason for the cylindrical shape of an aircraft. Pressure can easily flow through the body of a cylindrical aircraft. Any deviation or obstruction, such as the corners of a rectangular window, interrupts the flow of pressure within an aircraft, making it such that the pressure can no longer flow easily. On the other hand, circular windows have minimal interruptions.

Imagine this. If you placed a ball within a bowl it is able to roll around the sides uninterrupted. If you then decided to add ridges to the inside of the bowl, the ball would get stuck behind the ridges and the rolling would be interrupted. The ball would be able to move past the ridge but, over time, the ridge be worn down. In an aircraft with rectangular windows, the flow of pressure is caught in the corners of the windows. The buildup of pressure on the windows may not be noticeable at first, but over time, the windows weaken. If all the windows on an aircraft are weakened, the overall integrity of the aircraft is called into question, therefore making it unsafe to fly.

Circular windows do not have a focal point in which pressure can collect. The pressure flow will be interrupted by the introduction of windows however the circular window design minimizes the disruption. The pressure skims over the softer edge of the window rather than jauntily negotiating the corners.

The windows themselves have three layers: outer pane, the middle pane and the inner panes. The purpose of the multiple panes relates back to the topic of pressure. The outer pane is the actual window where the pressure is applied. At 35,000 feet the atmospheric pressure is 3.4 pounds per square inch. Cabin air pressure is maintained at 11 pounds per square inch. The bigger the pressure, the more robust the window panes must be. Therefore, aircraft windows are made of acrylic material that is both resilient and, importantly, for a window, transparent.

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The Pilot in Command (PIC) and the co-pilot share responsibilities and control of the aircraft, but the PIC is ultimately responsible for the aircraft, crew, and passengers. In certain operations, the PIC may also be titled the Captain and the co-pilot may be titled the First Officer. Regulations do not govern which seat the Pilot must sit in. However, in a fixed wing aircraft, it’s traditional for the PIC to sit in the left seat and the co-pilot to sit in the right seat, so we wonder why it’s often the opposite for the pilots in a helicopter. Well, it’s all about the design of the helicopter and the fact that most people are right-handed. And what does handedness have to do with where they sit? It gives them an operational advantage.

There are usually two cyclic sticks in the cockpit, and they are located between the pilot’s legs. Pilots do not let go of the cyclic stick very often during flight, even when trim is being used, because helicopters are more unstable than most airplanes and they need to maintain control at all times. Holding on to the cyclic stick is especially important when hovering because it requires constant inputs. Because the cyclic controls attitude and direction, it is the primary control of the helicopter, and right-handed pilots prefer to keep their right hand on it because it makes it more comfortable to control. The left hand is used for the collective lever, buttons, and instrument knobs, which are located in the center console— between the two pilots. Being able to sit in the right seat makes it more comfortable for the PIC, but the co-pilot just has to learn to become comfortable using their left hand for the main control stick.

At Aviation Axis, owned and operated by ASAP Semiconductor, we can help you find all the helicopter and aircraft 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 sales@aviationaxis.com or call us at +44-1420-358043.

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When original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) are producing parts and equipment for interior design, they can face quite a few challenges. With such close interaction with passengers, interior design must simultaneously provide excellent customer experience, and efficient and low-cost maintenance and operations of an aircraft. The three main design parameters that a manufacturer must consider include the demand for fuel efficiency, fast manufacturing speeds, and aircraft security.

Fuel efficiency has been greatly enhanced by the development of carbon composites and engineered alloys. The use of these lightweight, durable materials in cabin components has allowed aircraft to optimize their fuel consumption, while simultaneously allowing for an enhanced flight experience for passengers. Interiors are designed using the same considerations as any other part of the aircraft. Manufacturing, maintenance, and comfort are all elements that are considered early on in the engineering process.

There is another interesting psychological factor that complicates the design of an aircraft cabin—perception. Interactions with differentiating textures, weight, and lighting all affect the impression that an airliner can make on a passenger. For example, because the mechanisms used on aircraft tray tables are so lightweight, passengers may attribute their weight to mean they are made of less reliable materials. Though this is a false inclination, our brain judges that the component is less durable. As such, manufacturers have developed position control hinges, whose ergonomic design creates the perception that the trays utilizing this component are heavier than they actually are. The consumer minded design also controls excess motion and diffuses vibration, creating a smoother passenger experience.

Ergonomics is also a part of the quest to increase the manufacturing speed of interior design components. The benefit of standardized mechanisms are quickly becoming the norm as manufacturers seek new ways to streamline production to meet increasing demand while maintaining a sense of reliability with passengers. Standardized mechanisms that are engineered for maximized functionality and comfort have the ability to decrease the time these components formerly would have spent hung up in the approval and validation process.

The light-weight of composite materials also affords interior design the ability to incorporate new security features. An example of this is the inclusion of electronically actuated latches. These push-to-close mechanisms allow the flight crew to have greater control over the cabin as the latches can seal doors to specified compartments. As materials technology advances, we will likely see the benefits reflected in more fuel efficient, ergonomic and safety-minded interior design. In turn, OEMs hope to see a more streamlined manufacturing process and an increase in positive passenger experience.

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Polymers are made by joining together many monomers and create large molecules. Plastics are composed of chains of polymers; they may be shaped when soft, but once hardened, they are no longer malleable. Some of the different types of plastic include polyethylene terephthalate (PETE or PET), high-density polyethylene (HDPE), polyvinyl chloride (PVC), low-density polyethylene (LDPE), polypropylene (PP), polystyrene or styrofoam (PS), polycarbonate, polylactide, acrylic, acrylonitrile butadiene, styrene, fiberglass, and nylon. Polymers are resistant to chemicals, they are heat and electricity insulators, they are light, have varying degrees of strength, and can be processed in many different ways. Some of the ways that plastics are used in aerospace industry to increase efficiency are in the creation of aftermarket components, aircraft interiors, aircraft exteriors, and 3D printing.

Plastic composites are plastics that are reinforced with another material such as fibers, particulates, or powders. Composite materials often improve strength, stiffness, and reduce weight. Some examples of polymer and plastic composites are epoxy, polyacetal or polyoxymethylene (POM), PEEK or polyether ketone, fluoropolymers, and phenolics. A resin is the raw material used for manufacturing plastics.

Using plastic in aftermarket components reduces the cost and complexity of manufacturing. They are also created from computer aided designs (CAD) and therefore are easier for OEMs to share

Plastic is used for many components in the cabin. Butadiene styrene (ABS plastic) is used in airplane panels and luggage compartments because it is good for vacuum forming and can be molded into many different shapes. It is also strong and light. Acrylic and polycarbonate plastics have a high degree of thermal stability and are used in ventilation ducts and seals. Plastics are also used in technical components such as wiring conduits, bushings, and bearings. The varieties of plastics and the ability to easily mold them also make it easier for aircraft designers to be creative in developing different interior aircraft designs. Some of the structural components, such as ribs and spars are also constructed with plastic.

Aircraft doors and some other parts of the fuselage are made out of plastic because they are resistant to corrosion and radiation; they are lightweight; they can withstand high levels of pressurized water or steam; and they are resistant to varying temperatures. The fuel tank cover, landing gear hubcaps, pylon fairings, and randomes are made out of plastic material. Heat resistant and non-corrosive plastics can replace metal fasteners and screws. Brackets, gaskets, guides, seals, spacers, and washers are also made out of certain plastics that are provide thermal stability, insulate, zero flammability, and resistance to chemicals.

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Technology is rapidly changing the world of aviation. The newest technology is constantly flooding into the cabin, making sure passengers are getting the best In-Flight Entertainment (IFE) possible. The old days of one tiny monitor for every four seats is no longer the standard. IFE today is moving towards the best surround sound, WIFI, touchscreen displays, and interactive maps. The development of this new technology in IFE provides the passengers with the amenities of first class while still riding coach. Here’s a look at five of the most interesting IFE ideas airlines are looking at.

1. Virgin America is rolling out a beta test for their updated Red IFE system, featuring Panasonic’s new EcoV2 tablet-like monitors. They’re also working with audio-tech startup, Dysonics, to bring surround sound to all passengers. It’s said that the audio system will work with any headphones or earphones.

2. Panasonic Avionics is introducing the Jazz Seat concept, large 13.3-inch display with a tablet-like touchscreen interface to integrated seating IFE. Thinner and lighter than other integrated headrest displays, the Jazz Seat is currently still in the conceptual stage.

3. Lufthansa has the BoardConnect, an onboard streaming service. BoardConnect operates as a single platform that provides music streaming, movies, shopping, and more that can be accessed through a passenger’s personal devices. Integrated headrest monitors are optional.

4. Australia’s Qantas Air is partnering with Samsung to offer virtual reality, using Gear VR headsets, to elite passengers for a more unique and luxurious experience. Economy-classes will have trickle-down amenities that were previously only for first-class

5. KLM is using social media platforms to help passengers get to know each other. Operating on the idea that your neighbor can be the best IFE experience, KLM wants passengers to get to know each other and pull up the seat map in order to choose seats next to each other for the flight.

Aviation Axis, owned and operated by ASAP Semiconductor, should always be your first and only stop for all your IFE parts. Aviation Axis is a premier supplier of commercial IFE, whether new or obsolete. Aviation Axis has a wide selection of parts to choose from and is fully equipped with a friendly and knowledgeable staff that’s always available and ready to help, 24/7x365. If you’re interested in a quote, email us at sales@aviationaxis.com.

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