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Weight & Balance

Purpose- Aircraft weight and balance is safety and secondary to

achieve efficiency. Improper loading reduces efficiency of aircraft
maneuverability and increase fuel consumption.
Aircraft have tendency to gain weight because of accumulation of dirt
grease etc.

Theory- Influence of weight is directly dependent upon instance from

the fulcrum. To Balance the lever weight must be distributed so that
turning effect is same on one side of fulcrum as on other.
The distance of any object from the fulcrum is called Lever Arm.
Lever arm multiplied by weight of object is its turning effect about
fulcrum is known as Moment.
An aircraft is balanced if it remains level when suspended from an
imaginary point. This point is the location of ideal C.G.

Weight and balance data can be obtained from 1. Aircraft

specification 2. Flight manual 3. operating limitation 4. Weight and
balance report

Datum –An imaginary vertical plane from which all horizontal

measurements are taken for balance purposes with aircraft in level
flight attitude. It is a plane at right angle to longitudinal axis of
aircraft. In most cases it is located on nose of aircraft on same point
on aircraft structure itself.

Arm-is horizontal distance that an item of equipment is located from

datum.Arm distance is always given or measured in inches and
except for location which might be exactly on datum, it is proceeded
by plus or minus. The plus sign indicate a distance aft of datum and
minus sign indicates distance forward of datum.

Moment- it is a product of weight multiplied arm. The plus and minus

sign depend whether moment is added or removed.

Center of gravity – is a point about which nose heavy and tail heavy
moment are exactly equal in magnitude.

Max. weight- is maximum authorized weight of an aircraft.

Empty weight- include all operating equipment that has fixed

location and actually
installed in aircraft. It includes weight of airframe, power plant,
required equipment, optional or special equipment, fixed ballast,
hydraulic fluid and residual fuel and oil.

Residual fuel and oil are fluids that will not be normally drain out
because they are trapped in fuel , oil line or tanks. they must be
included in aircraft empty weight.
Useful load- is determined by subtracting empty weight from max.
allowable gross weight. It consists of max. oil,fuel
,passenger,baggage,pilot,co-pilot and other crew
member.Determinig the distribution of this weight is called Weight

Empty C.G.- it is a C.G. of aircraft in empty weight condition.

EWCG range- it is allowable variation of travel within C.G. limits.
When EWCG of aircraft falls within this range.

Operating C.G. range- is a distance between forward and rearward

C,G, limit indicated in Type certificate data sheet.These limit are
shown either in % of MAC or inches from datum of aircraft. The
loaded aircraft CG location must remain within this limit in all
Calculation of CG location in% of MAC- 1. find diff. between distance
to empty weight CG location from datum and distance to leading
edge of MAC from datum.2) divide by length of MAC and multiply by
Weighing point- Point on scale at which weight is concentrated.
Zero fuel weight- is max. weight of loaded aircraft without fuel.
Minimum fuel- is amount of fuel must shown weight & balance report
when aircraft is loaded for an extreme condition check.
Full oil- when weighing an aircraft , oil tank must either contain no.of
gallons of oil specified or drained. When an aircraft with full oil is
weighed, weight of oil must be subtracted from recorded reading to
arrive at actual reading.
Tare weight- include weight of all extra items, such as jack, block &
chocks on weighing scale platform, except the item being weighed.
Prepare aircraft for weighing-
1) drain fuel system completely only residual fuel is left in tank,
considered part of empty weight. In special cases, aircraft must
be weighed with full fuel tanks, provided a mean of
determining exact amount of fuel is available.
2) Drain all engine oil and entrapped oil will be considered as
residual oil. Hydraullic reservoir and system should be filled ,
drinking and water reservoir and lavatory tank should be
drained, and CSD oil tank should be filled.
Some aircraft are not weighed with wheel on scales, but weighed
with scales placed either at jacking point on special weighing point.
When weighing an aircraft with wheel placed on scales release brake
to reduce incorrect reading caused by side load on scales.

Empty weight is determined by adding net weight on each weighing

point. The net weight is actual reading less tare weight.

Fuels and Fuel System

Fuel may be classified as 1)Solid 2) Liquid 3) Gaseous

Liquid fuel are classified as non volatile or volatile. The nonvolatile
fuel are heavy oil used in diesel engine. Volatile fuel used in fuel
metering devices that easily vaporizes.
Volatility- it is a measure of the tendency of a liquid substance to
vaporize under gjven conditions.
Reid vapor pressure test- measures tendency of gasoline to vaporize.
A sample of fuel is stored in bomb and it is submerged in a bath at
constant temperature and indicated pressure is noted. The higher the
pressure more tendency of gasoline to vaporize.

Jet fuels are composed of hydro carbons with a little more carbon
and usually a higher sulphur content then gasoline. Inhibitors may
be added to reduce corrosion and oxidation. Anti icing additives also
blended to prevent fuel icing.
Two type of jet fuel- 1)Kerosene grade turbine fuel, named JET A
2)A blend of gasoline and kerosene fractions designated JET B. There
is third type JET A-1, which is made for operation at extremely low

Jet A was developed as heavy kerosene having higher flash point and
lower frezzing point than most of kerosene. It has very low vapor
pressure. It contains more heat nergy per gallon then does Jet B
Jet B is similer to Jet A. It is a blend of kerosene and gasoline.these
fuels are not interchangeable.
A high volatile fuel is required for starting in cold weather and to
make arieal restart easier. Low volatile is desired to reduce the
possibility of vapor lock and to reduce fuel losses by evaporation.
Jet fuels range in color from colorless liquid to straw colored (amber)
liquid, depending on age or the crude petroleum sources.
Fuel contamination- The higher the viscosity of fuel the greater is its
ability to hold contaminants. The contaminants are-Water, Rust or
Scale & Dirt.

Water- can be present in fuel in two forms-1)dissolved in fuel 2)

suspended in fuel. Suspended water can be detected by naked eyes.
The fineally droplets reflect light and in high concentrations give the
fuel a dull, hazy or cloudy appearance. Particles of suspended water
may unite to form droplets of free water. If cloud disappear at
bottom, air is present. If the cloud disappear at top, water is present.
Free water can cause icing of the aircraft fuel system.

Foreign particles- most common types are rust, sand, aluminium or
magnesium products, brass shavings and rubber. Rust is found in
two forms 1) Red rust, which is non magnetic 2) Black rust, which is

The term as applied to soft or low carbon steels, relates to slow,
gradual changes that take place in properties of steels after the final
treatment. These changes, which bring about a condition of increased
hardness, elastic limit, and tensile strength with a consequent loss in
ductility, occur during the period in which the steel is at normal

Spontaneous change in the physical properties of
some metals, which occurs on standing, at
atmospheric temperatures after final cold working
or after a final heat treatment. Frequently
synonymous with the term " Age-Hardening
The common name for a type of clad wrought
aluminum products, such as sheet and wire, with
coatings of high-purity aluminum or an aluminum
alloy different from the core alloy in composition.
The coatings are anodic to the core so they
protect exposed areas on the core electrolytic ally
during exposure to corrosive environments
Steel containing substantial quantities of
elements other than carbon and the commonly-
accepted limited amounts of manganese, sulfur,
silicon, and phosphorous. Addition of such
alloying elements is usually for the purpose of
increased hardness, strength or chemical
resistance. The metals most commonly used for
forming alloy steels are: nickel, chromium, silicon,
manganese, tungsten, molybdenum and
vanadium. "Low Alloy" steels are usually
considered to be those containing a total of less
than 5% of such added constituents.

A heating and cooling operation implying usually
a relatively slow cooling. Annealing is a
comprehensive term. The process of such a heat
treatment may be: to remove stresses; to induce
softness; to alter ductility; toughness; electrical
magnetic, or other physical properties; to refine
the crystalline structure; to remove gases; to
produce a definite micro-structure. In annealing,
the temperature of the operation and the rate of
cooling depend upon the material being heat
treated and the purpose of the treatment.
ANODIZING (Aluminum Anodic Oxide Coating)
A process of coating aluminum by anodic
treatment resulting in a thin film of aluminum
oxide of extreme hardness. A Wide variety of dye
colored coatings are possible by impregnation in
An aging treatment above room temperature.
(See Precipitation Heat Treatment and compare
with natural aging

Objectives of Heat Treatments

Heat Treatment is the controlled heating and cooling of metals to alter

their physical and mechanical properties without changing the product
shape. Heat treatment is sometimes done inadvertently due to
manufacturing processes that either heat or cool the metal such as
welding or forming.

Heat Treatment is often associated with increasing the strength of

material, but it can also be used to alter certain manufacturability
objectives such as improve machining, improve formability, restore
ductility after a cold working operation. Thus it is a very enabling
manufacturing process that can not only help other manufacturing
process, but can also improve product performance by increasing
strength or other desirable characteristics.

Steels are particularly suitable for heat treatment, since they respond
well to heat treatment and the commercial use of steels exceeds that of
any other material. Steels are heat treated for one of the following

1. Softening
2. Hardening
3. Material Modification

Common Heat Treatments

Softening: Softening is done to reduce strength or hardness, remove

residual stresses, improve toughnesss, restore ductility, refine grain
size or change the electromagnetic properties of the steel. Restoring
ductility or removing residual stresses is a necessary operation when
a large amount of cold working is to be performed, such as in a cold-
rolling operation or wiredrawing. Annealing — full Process,
spheroidizing, normalizing and tempering — austempering,
martempering are the principal ways by which steel is softened.

Hardening: Hardening of steels is done to increase the strength and

wear properties. One of the pre-requisites for hardening is sufficient
carbon and alloy content. If there is sufficient Carbon content then
the steel can be directly hardened. Otherwise the surface of the part
has to be Carbon enriched using some diffusion treatment hardening

Full Annealing

Full annealing is the process of slowly raising the temperature about

50 ºC (90 ºF) above the Austenitic temperature line A3 or line ACM in
the case of Hypoeutectoid steels (steels with < 0.77% Carbon) and
50 ºC (90 ºF) into the Austenite-Cementite region in the case of
Hypereutectoid steels (steels with > 0.77% Carbon).

It is held at this temperature for sufficient time for all the material to
transform into Austenite or Austenite-Cementite as the case may be.
It is then slowly cooled at the rate of about 20 ºC/hr (36 ºF/hr) in a
furnace to about 50 ºC (90 ºF) into the Ferrite-Cementite range. At
this point, it can be cooled in room temperature air with natural

The grain structure has coarse Pearlite with ferrite or Cementite
(depending on whether hypo or hyper eutectoid). The steel becomes
soft and ductile.

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Normalizing is the process of raising the temperature to over 60 º C

(108 ºF), above line A3 or line ACM fully into the Austenite range. It is
held at this temperature to fully convert the structure into Austenite,
and then removed form the furnace and cooled at room temperature
under natural convection. This results in a grain structure of fine
Pearlite with excess of Ferrite or Cementite. The resulting material is
soft; the degree of softness depends on the actual ambient
conditions of cooling. This process is considerably cheaper than full
annealing since there is not the added cost of controlled furnace


The main difference between full annealing and normalizing is that

fully annealed parts are uniform in softness (and machinablilty)
throughout the entire part; since the entire part is exposed to the
controlled furnace cooling. In the case of the normalized part,
depending on the part geometry, the cooling is non-uniform resulting
in non-uniform material properties across the part. This may not be
desirable if further machining is desired, since it makes the
machining job somewhat unpredictable. In such a case it is better to
do full annealing.
Process Annealing

Process Annealing is used to treat work-hardened parts made out of

low-Carbon steels (< 0.25% Carbon). This allows the parts to be soft
enough to undergo further cold working without fracturing. Process
annealing is done by raising the temperature to just below the
Ferrite-Austenite region, line A1on the diagram. This temperature is
about 727 ºC (1341 ºF) so heating it to about 700 ºC (1292 ºF)
should suffice. This is held long enough to allow recrystallization of
the ferrite phase, and then cooled in still air. Since the material stays
in the same phase through out the process, the only change that
occurs is the size, shape and distribution of the grain structure. This
process is cheaper than either full annealing or normalizing since the
material is not heated to a very high temperature or cooled in a

Stress Relief Annealing

Stress Relief Anneal is used to reduce residual stresses in large

castings, welded parts and cold-formed parts. Such parts tend to
have stresses due to thermal cycling or work hardening. Parts are
heated to temperatures of up to 600 - 650 ºC (1112 - 1202 ºF), and
held for an extended time (about 1 hour or more) and then slowly
cooled in still air.

Tempering is a process done subsequent to quench hardening.

Quench-hardened parts are often too brittle. This brittleness is
caused by a predominance of Martensite. This brittleness is removed
by tempering. Tempering results in a desired combination of
hardness, ductility, toughness, strength, and structural stability.
Tempering is not to be confused with tempers on rolled stock-these

tempers are an indication of the degree of cold work performed.

The mechanism of tempering depends on the steel and the

tempering temperature. The prevalent Martensite is a somewhat
unstable structure. When heated, the Carbon atoms diffuse from
Martensite to form a carbide precipitate and the concurrent
formation of Ferrite and Cementite, which is the stable form. Even
though a little strength is sacrificed, toughness (as measured by
impact strength) is increased substantially. Springs and such parts
need to be much tougher — these are tempered to a much lower

Tempering is done immediately after quench hardening. When the

steel cools to about 40 ºC (104 ºF) after quenching, it is ready to be
tempered. The part is reheated to a temperature of 150 to 400 ºC
(302 to 752 ºF). In this region a softer and tougher structure
Troostite is formed. Alternatively, the steel can be heated to a
temperature of 400 to 700 ºC (752 to 1292 ºF) that results in a
softer structure known as Sorbite. This has less strength than
Troostite but more ductility and toughness.

The heating for tempering is best done by immersing the parts in oil,
for tempering upto 350 ºC (662 ºF) and then heating the oil with the
parts to the appropriate temperature. Heating in a bath also ensures
that the entire part has the same temperature and will undergo the
same tempering. For temperatures above 350 ºC (662 ºF) it is best
to use a bath of nitrate salts. The salt baths can be heated upto
625 ºC (1157 ºF). Regardless of the bath, gradual heating is
important to avoid cracking the steel. After reaching the desired
temperature, the parts are held at that temperature for about 2
hours, then removed from the bath and cooled in still air.

Austempering is a quenching technique. The part is not quenched

through the Martensite transformation. Instead the material is
quenched above the temperature when Martensite forms MS, around
315 ºC (600 ºF). It is held till at this temperature till the entire part

reaches this temperature. As the part is held longer at this
temperature, the Austenite transforms into Bainite. Bainite is tough
enough so that further tempering is not necessary, and the tendency to
crack is severely reduced.

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Martempering is similar to Austempering except that the part is

slowly cooled through the martensite transformation. The structure
is martensite, which needs to tempered just as much as martensite

that is formed through rapid quenching. The biggest advantage of
Austempering over rapid quenching is that there is less distortion
and tendency to crack.
Hardness is a function of the Carbon content of the steel. Hardening
of a steel requires a change in structure from the body-centered
cubic structure found at room temperature to the face-centered cubic
structure found in the Austenitic region. The steel is heated to
Autenitic region. When suddenly quenched, the Martensite is formed.
This is a very strong and brittle structure. When slowly quenched it
would form Austenite and Pearlite which is a partly hard and partly
soft structure. When the cooling rate is extremely slow then it would
be mostly Pearlite which is extremely soft
Hardenability, which is a measure of the depth of full hardness
achieved, is related to the type and amount of alloying elements.
Different alloys, which have the same amount of Carbon content, will
achieve the same amount of maximum hardness; however, the depth
of full hardness will vary with the different alloys. The reason to alloy
steels is not to increase their strength, but increase their
hardenability — the ease with which full hardness can be achieved
throughout the material.

Usually when hot steel is quenched, most of the cooling happens at

the surface, as does the hardening. This propagates into the depth of
the material. Alloying helps in the hardening and by determining the
right alloy one can achieve the desired properties for the particular

Such alloying also helps in reducing the need for a rapid quench
cooling — thereby eliminate distortions and potential cracking. In
addition, thick sections can be hardened fully.

Quench Media

Quenching is the act of rapidly cooling the hot steel to harden the

Water: Quenching can be done by plunging the hot steel in water.

The water adjacent to the hot steel vaporizes, and there is no direct
contact of the water with the steel. This slows down cooling until the
bubbles break and allow water contact with the hot steel. As the
water contacts and boils, a great amount of heat is removed from the
steel. With good agitation, bubbles can be prevented from sticking to
the steel, and thereby prevent soft spots.

Water is a good rapid quenching medium, provided good agitation is

done. However, water is corrosive with steel, and the rapid cooling

can sometimes cause distortion or cracking.

Salt Water: Salt water is a more rapid quench medium than plain
water because the bubbles are broken easily and allow for rapid
cooling of the part. However, salt water is even more corrosive than
plain water, and hence must be rinsed off immediately.


A faster quench than water is brine. In some steels that have a low
hardenability it may be necessary to go to a brine quench. Brine
solution is made by adding salt, sodium chloride, to water. The effect
of brine on the quench is to make the water more efficient by
precipitating on the steel and then blowing off very rapidly creating
rapid agitation and disrupting the vapor jacket.

Oil: Oil is used when a slower cooling rate is desired. Since oil has a
very high boiling point, the transition from start of Martensite
formation to the finish is slow and this reduces the likelihood of
cracking. Oil quenching results in fumes, spills, and sometimes a fire

Transformations on Cooling

Annealing, normalizing, sphereodizing

The structure and hardness of the steel is established by the rate of

cooling from the austenitic condition. If brought down slowly the
steel will be annealed and soft. The structure will be mostly ferrite
and cementite, carbides. This can be done in a temperature
controlled furnace by dropping the temperature through a known
rate over a set period of time dependent on the type of steel. Another
method is to preheat a heavy bar of low carbon to the same
temperature as critical for the steel and bury both of them together
in vermiculite. The vermiculite, obtained in bags from garden supply,
is made from chipped mica and is an excellent insulating material. It
will slow the cooling rate down so that the blade will still be hot to
the touch the next day. For most of the carbon steels this will be
enough to anneal the piece.

If allowed to air cool it will be normalized, a tougher condition

comprised of fine pearlite and carbides. Blades can be ground and
prepared for heat treatment in either normalized or annealed states.
Another treatment that is particularly effective for workability and
for dimensional stability is called sphereodizing. With the steel in a
normalized condition you reheat, usually in salt to inhibit oxidization,
to a temperature just below lower critical, 1300F and hold for at

least an hour. What occurs is that the carbides will begin to
aglomulate or pool into larger more evenly spaced particles in a
ferrite matrix. It makes handfinishing much easier.


The method of controlling the speed of cooling is the quenchant. The

quench rate is determined by how quickly the quenchant can remove
the heat from the steel. When a piece of hot steel enters the
quenchant the area surrounding the blade absorbs heat from the
blade until it is heated itself.

Heat treatment of precipitation hardening alloys

Aluminium alloys are strengthened in a number of ways including:
solid solution hardening, cold working, dispersion hardening and
precipitation hardening.

Precipitation hardening (otherwise known as age hardening) is a

process whereby a fine precipitate structure is formed in the alloy
matrix following a heat treatment process.

The precipitation hardening process follows three main steps:

1. Solution treatment. The alloy is heated above the solvus

temperature to dissolve any precipitates and ensure the
alloying elements are in solid solution.
2. Quench, The alloy is quenched. The alloying elements in
solution do not have time to diffuse and form precipitates.
Thus, the alloying elements remain in solution forming what is
known as a supersaturated solid solution.
3. Ageing. The alloy is heated to an intermediate temperature
below the solvus temperature. The alloying elements are able
to diffuse to form coherent precipitate clusters (known as GP

Example age hardening 2XXX series aluminium alloy system

The coherent precipitates increase the strength of the alloy by

distorting the crystal lattice and creating resistance to dislocation
motion. The number of precipitates increases with increasing time
thus increasing the strength of the alloy. However, with excessive
time the precipitates become large and incoherent and their
strengthening effect decreases. Thus, during precipitation hardening
there are four main stages:

1. solid solution strengthening in the supersaturated solid

2. coherency stress hardening from the coherent precipitates
3. precipitation hardening by resistance to dislocation cutting
4. hardening through resistance to dislocation between

Steel Alloys

Steel Alloys can be divided into five groups

Carbon Steels

High Strength Low Alloy Steels

Quenched and Tempered Steels

Heat Treatable Low Alloy Steels

Chromium-Molybdenum Steels

Steels are readily available in various product forms. The American

Iron and Steel Institute defines carbon steel as follows:

Steel is considered to be carbon steel when no minimum content is

specified or required for chromium, cobalt, columbium [niobium],
molybdenum, nickel, titanium, tungsten, vanadium or zirconium, or
any other element to be added to obtain a desired alloying effect;
when the specified minimum for copper does not exceed 0.40 per
cent; or when the maximum content specified for any of the
following elements does not exceed the percentages noted:
manganese 1.65, silicon 0.60, copper 0.60. Carbon steels are
normally classified as shown below.

Low-carbon steels contain up to 0.30 weight percent C. The largest

category of this class of steel is flat-rolled products (sheet or strip)
usually in the cold-rolled and annealed condition.

Medium-carbon steels are similar to low-carbon steels except that

the carbon ranges from 0.30 to 0.60 weight percent and the

manganese from 0.60 to 1.65 weight percent. Increasing the carbon
content to approximately 0.5 weight percent with an accompanying
increase in manganese allows medium-carbon steels to be used in
the quenched and tempered condition.

High-carbon steels contain from 0.60 to 1.00 weight percent C with

manganese contents ranging from 0.30 to 0.90weight percent.

Types, Characteristics, and Uses of Alloyed Steels

While the plain carbon type of steel remains the principal product of
the steel mills, so-called alloy or special steels are being turned out
in ever increasing tonnage. Let us now consider those alloyed steels
and their uses in aircraft.

CARBON STEELS. -Steel containing carbon in percentages ranging

from 0.10 to 0.30 percent are classed as low-carbon steel. The
equivalent SAE numbers range from 1010 to 1030. Steels of this
grade are used for making such items as safety wire, certain nuts,
cable bushings, and threaded rod ends. Low-carbon steel in sheet
form is used for secondary structural parts and clamps, and in
tubular form for moderately stressed structural parts.

Steels containing carbon in percentages ranging from 0.30 to 0.50

percent are classed as medium-carbon steel. This steel is especially
adaptable for machining or forging and where surface hardness is
desirable. Certain rod ends and light forgings are made from SAE
1035 steel.

Steel containing carbon in percentages ranging from 0.50 to 1.05

percent are classed as high-carbon steel. The addition of other
elements in varying quantities adds to the hardness of this steel. In
the fully heat-treated condition, it is very hard and will withstand
high shear and wear and have little deformation. It has limited use in
aircraft. SAE 1095 in sheet form is used for making flat springs, and
in wire form for making coil springs.

NICKEL STEELS. -The various nickel steels are produced by

combining nickel with carbon steel. Steels containing from 3 to 3.75
percent nickel are commonly used. Nickel increases the hardness,
tensile strength, and elastic limit of steel without appreciably
decreasing the ductility. It also intensifies the hardening effect of
heat treatment. SAE 2330 steel is used extensively for aircraft parts
such as bolts, terminals, keys, clevises, and pins.

CHROMIUM STEELS. -Chromium steels are high in hardness, strength,

and corrosion-resistant properties. SAE 51335 is particularly
adaptable for heat-treated forgings that require greater toughness

and strength than may be obtained in plain carbon steel. It is used
for such articles as the balls and rollers of antifriction bearings.


determined by the surface condition of the metal as well as by the
composition, temperature, and concentration of the corrosive agent.
The principal part of stainless steel is chromium, to which nickel may
or may not be added. The corrosion-resisting steel most often used in
aircraft construction is known as 18-8 steel because of its content of
18 percent chromium and 8 percent nickel. One of the distinctive
features of 18-8 steel is that its strength maybe increased by cold-

Stainless steel may be rolled, drawn, bent, or formed to any shape.

Because these steels expand about 50 percent more than mild steel
and conduct heat only about 40 percent as rapidly, they are more
difficult to weld. Stainless steel, with but a slight variation in its
chemical composition, can be used for almost any part of an aircraft.
Some of its more common applications are in the fabrication of
exhaust collectors, stacks and manifolds, structural and machined
parts, springs, castings, and tie rods and cables.

CHROME-VANADIUM STEELS. -These are made of approximately 0.18

percent vanadium and about 1.00 percent chromium. When heat
treated, they have strength, toughness, and resistance to wear and
fatigue. A special grade of this steel in sheet form can be cold-formed
into intricate shapes. It can be folded and flattened without signs of
breaking or failure. SAE 6150 is used for making springs; and
chrome-vanadium with high-carbon content, SAE 6195, is used for
ball and roller bearings.

CHROME-MOLYBDENUM STEELS. -Molyb-denum in small percentages

is used in combination with chromium to form chrome- molybdenum
steel, which has various uses in aircraft. Molybdenum is a strong
alloying element, only 0.15 to 0.25 percent being used in the
chrome-molybdenum steels; the chromium content varies from 0.80
to 1.10 percent. Molybdenum raises the ultimate strength of steel
without affecting ductility or workability. Molybdenum steels are
tough, wear resistant, and harden throughout from heat treatment.
They are especially adaptable for welding, and for this reason are
used principally for welded structural parts and assemblies. SAE
4130 is used for parts such as engine mounts, nuts, bolts, gear
structures, support brackets for accessories, and other structural

Effects of Elements on Steel

Carbon has a major effect on steel properties. Carbon is the primary
hardening element in steel. Hardness and tensile strength increases
as carbon content increases up to about 0.85% C as shown in the
figure above. Ductility and weldability decrease with increasing

Manganese is generally beneficial to surface quality especially in

resulfurized steels. Manganese contributes to strength and hardness,
but less than carbon. The increase in strength is dependent upon the
carbon content. Increasing the manganese content decreases
ductility and weldability, but less than carbon. Manganese has a
significant effect on the hardenability of steel.

Phosphorus increases strength and hardness and decreases ductility

and notch impact toughness of steel. Phosphorous levels are
normally controlled to low levels. Higher phosphorus is specified in
low-carbon free-machining steels to improve machinability.

Sulfur decreases ductility and notch impact toughness especially in

the transverse direction. Weldability decreases with increasing
sulfur content.The only exception is free-machining steels, where
sulfur is added to improve machinability.

Silicon is one of the principal deoxidizers used in steelmaking.

Silicon is less effective than manganese in increasing as-rolled
strength and hardness.

Copper in significant amounts is detrimental to hot-working steels.

Copper negatively affects forge welding, but does not seriously affect
arc or oxyacetylene welding.Copper is beneficial to atmospheric
corrosion resistance when present in amounts exceeding 0.20%.

Lead is virtually insoluble in liquid or solid steel. However, lead is

sometimes added to carbon and alloy steels by means of mechanical
dispersion during pouring to improve the mach inability.

Boron is added to fully killed steel to improve harden ability. Boron-

treated steels are produced to a range of 0.0005 to 0.003%.A very
small amount of boron (about 0.001%) has a strong effect on
hardenability.Boron is most effective in lower carbon steels.

Chromium is commonly added to steel to increase corrosion

resistance and oxidation resistance, to increase hardenability, or to
improve high-temperature strength. As a hardening element,
Chromium is frequently used with a toughening element such as
nickel to produce superior mechanical properties. At higher
temperatures, chromium contributes increased strength.

Nickel is a ferrite strengthener. Nickel does not form carbides in
steel. It remains in solution in ferrite, strengthening and
toughening the ferrite phase. Nickel increases the hardenability and
impact strength of steels.

Molybdenum increases the hardenability of steel. Molybdenum may

produce secondary hardening during the tempering of quenched
steels. It enhances the creep strength of low-alloy steels at elevated

Aluminum is widely used as a deoxidizer. Aluminum can control

austenite grain growth in reheated steels and is therefore added to
control grain size. Titanium, zirconium, and vanadium are also
valuable grain growth inhibitors, but there carbides are difficult to
dissolve into solution in austenite.

Titanium is used to retard grain growth and thus improve toughness.

Titanium is also used to achieve improvements in inclusion
characteristics. Titanium causes sulfide inclusions to be globular
rather than elongated thus improving toughness and ductility in
transverse bending.

Vanadium increases the yield strength and the tensile strength of

carbon steel. The addition of small amounts of Niobium can
significantly increase the strength of steels. Vanadium is one of the
primary contributors to precipitation strengthening in microalloyed
steels. When thermomechanical processing is properly controlled
the ferrite grain size is refined and there is a corresponding increase
in toughness. The impact transition temperature also increases
when vanadium is added.

All microalloy steels contain small concentrations of one or more

strong carbide and nitride forming elements. Vanadium, niobium,
and titanium combine preferentially with carbon and/or nitrogen to
form a fine dispersion of precipitated particles in the steel matrix.


Table 1-1.-SAE Numerical Index

Type of steel Classification

Carbon 1xxx

Nickel 2xxx

Nickel- 3xxx

vanadium 6xxx

Tungsten 7xxx

Silicon- 9xxx

Among the common materials used are ferrous metals. The term
ferrous applies to the group of metals having iron as their principal


If carbon is added to iron, in percentages ranging up to

approximately 1.00 percent, the product will be vastly superior to
iron alone and is classified as carbon steel. Carbon steel forms the
base of those alloy steels produced by combining carbon with other
elements known to improve the properties of steel. A base metal
(such as iron) to which small quantities of other metals have been
added is called an alloy. The addition of other metals is to change or
improve the chemical or physical properties of the base metal.

SAE NUMERICAL INDEX. -The steel classification of the Society of

Automotive Engineers (SAE) is used in specifications for all high-
grade steels used in automotive and aircraft construction. A
numerical index system identifies the composition of SAE steels.

Each SAE number consists of a group of digits, the first of which

represents the type of steel; the second, the percentage of the
principal alloying element; and usually the last two or three digits,
the percentage, in hundredths of 1 percent, of carbon in the alloy.
For example, the SAE number 4150 indicates a molybdenum steel
containing 1 percent molybdenum and 50 hundredths of 1 percent of

Stainless Steels

Stainless Steels are iron-base alloys containing Chromium. Stainless

steels usually contain less than 30% Cr and more than 50% Fe. They

attain their stainless characteristics because of the formation of an
invisible and adherent chromium-rich oxide surface film. This oxide
establishes on the surface and heals itself in the presence of oxygen.
Some other alloying elements added to enhance specific
characteristics include nickel, molybdenum, copper, titanium,
aluminum, silicon, niobium, and nitrogen. Carbon is usually present
in amounts ranging from less than 0.03% to over 1.0% in certain
martensitic grades. Corrosion resistance and mechanical properties
are commonly the principal factors in selecting a grade of stainless
steel for a given application.

Selecting a Stainless Steel

There are a large number of stainless steels produced. Corrosion

resistance, physical properties, and mechanical properties are
generally among the properties considered when selecting stainless
steel for an application. A more detailed list of selection criteria is
listed below:

• Corrosion resistance • Ambient strength

• Resistance to oxidation • Ductility
and sulfidation • Elevated temperature
• Toughness strength
• Cryogenic strength • Suitability for intended
• Resistance to abrasion and cleaning procedures
erosion • Stability of properties in
• Resistance to galling and service
seizing • Thermal conductivity
• Surface finish • Electrical resistivity
• Magnetic properties
• Suitability for intended
• Retention of cutting edge fabrication techniques

Aluminum Alloys

TYPES, CHARACTERISTICS, AND USES. -Aluminum is one of the most

widely used metals in modern aircraft construction. It is vital to the
aviation industry because of its high strength/weight ratio, its
corrosion-resisting qualities, and its comparative ease of fabrication.
The outstanding characteristic of aluminum is its light weight. In
color, aluminum resembles silver, although it possesses a
characteristic bluish tinge of its own. Commercially pure aluminum
melts at the comparatively low temperature of 1,216°F. It is
nonmagnetic, and is an excellent conductor of electricity.

Commercially pure aluminum has a tensile strength of about 13,000

psi, but by rolling or other cold-working processes, its strength may

be approximately doubled. By alloying with other metals, together
with the use of heat-treating processes, the tensile strength may be
raised to as high as 96,000 psi, or to well within the strength range
of structural steel.

Aluminum alloy material, although strong, is easily worked, for it is

very malleable and ductile. It may be rolled into sheets as thin as
0.0017 inch or drawn into wire 0.004 inch in diameter. Most
aluminum alloy sheet stock used in aircraft construction ranges from
0.016 to 0.096 inch in thickness; however, some of the larger aircraft
use sheet stock that may be as thick as 0.0356 inch.

One disadvantage of aluminum alloy is the difficulty of making

reliable soldered joints. Oxidation of the surface of the heated metal
prevents soft solder from adhering to the material; therefore, to
produce good joints of aluminum alloy, a riveting process is used.
Some aluminum alloys are also successfully welded.

The various types of aluminum maybe divided into two classes-

casing alloys (those suitable for casting in sand, permanent mold,
and die castings) and the wrought alloys (those that may be shaped
by rolling, drawing, or forging). Of the two, the wrought alloys are
the most widely used in aircraft construction, being used for
stringers, bulkheads, skin, rivets, and extruded sections. Casting
alloys are not extensively used in aircraft.

WROUGHT ALLOYS. -Wrought alloys are divided into two classes-

nonheat treatable and heat treatable. In the nonheat-treatable class,
strain hardening (cold-working) is the only means of increasing the
tensile strength. Heat-treatable alloys may be hardened by heat
treatment, by cold-working, or by the application of both processes.

Aluminum products are identified by a universally used designation

system. Under this arrangement, wrought aluminum and wrought
aluminum alloys are designated by a four-digit index system.

The first digit of the designation indicates the major alloying element
or alloy group, as shown in table 1-2. The lxxx indicates aluminum of
99.00 percent or greater; 2xxx indicates an aluminum alloy in which
copper is the major alloying element; 3xxx indicates an aluminum
alloy with manganese as the major alloying element; etc. Although
most aluminum alloys contain several alloying elements, only one
group (6xxx) designates more than one alloying element.

In the 1xxx group, the second digit in the designation indicates

modifications in impurity limits. If the second digit is zero, it
indicates that there is no special control on individual impurities. The
last two of the four digits indicate the minimum aluminum

percentage. Thus, alloy 1030 indicates 99.30 percent aluminum
without special control on impurities. Alloys 1130, 1230, 1330, etc.,
indicate the same aluminum purity with special control on one or
more impurities. Likewise, 1075, 1175, 1275, etc., indicate 99.75
percent aluminum.

Aluminum Alloys can be divided into nine groups.

Designation Major Alloying Element

1xxx Unalloyed (pure) >99% Al
Copper is the principal alloying element, though other
elements (Magnesium) may be specified
3xxx Manganese is the principal alloying element
4xxx Silicon is the principal alloying element
5xxx Magnesium is the principal alloying element
6xxx Magnesium and Silicon are principal alloying elements
Zinc is the principal alloying element, but other
7xxx elements such as Copper, Magnesium, Chromium, and
Zirconium may be specified
Other elements (including Tin and some Lithium
9xxx Reserved for future use

1xxx Series. These grades of aluminum are characterized by

excellent corrosion resistance, high thermal and electrical
conductivities, low mechanical properties, and excellent workability.
Moderate increases in strength may be obtained by strain hardening.
Iron and silicon are the major impurities.

2xxx Series. These alloys require solution heat treatment to obtain

optimum properties; in the solution heat-treated condition,
mechanical properties are similar to, and sometimes exceed, those of
low-carbon steel. In some instances, precipitation heat treatment
(aging) is employed to further increase mechanical properties. This
treatment increases yield strength, with attendant loss in elongation;
its effect on tensile strength is not as great.The alloys in the 2xxx
series do not have as good corrosion resistance as most other
aluminum alloys, and under certain conditions they may be subject to
intergranular corrosion.

3xxx Series. These alloys generally are non-heat treatable but have
about 20% more strength than 1xxx series alloys. Because only a
limited percentage of manganese (up to about 1.5%) can be

effectively added to aluminum, manganese is used as major element
in only a few alloys.

4xxx Series. The major alloying element in 4xxx series alloys is

silicon, which can be added in sufficient quantities (up to 12%) to
cause substantial lowering of the melting range. For this reason,
aluminum-silicon alloys are used in welding wire and as brazing
alloys for joining aluminum, where a lower melting range than that
of the base metal is required.

5xxx Series. The major alloying element is Magnesium an when it is

used as a major alloying element or with manganese, the result is a
moderate-to-high-strength work-hardenable alloy.Alloys in this
series possess good welding characteristics and relatively good
resistance to corrosion in marine atmospheres. However, limitations
should be placed on the amount of cold work and the operating
temperatures (150 degrees F) permissible for the higher-magnesium
alloys to avoid susceptibility to stress-corrosion cracking.

6xxx Series. Alloys in the 6xxx series contain silicon and magnesium
approximately in the proportions required for formation of
magnesium silicide (Mg2Si), thus making them heat treatable.
Although not as strong as most 2xxx and 7xxx alloys, 6xxx series
alloys have good formability, weldability, machinability, and
relatively good corrosion resistance, with medium strength. Alloys in
this heat-treatable group may be formed in the T4 temper (solution
heat treated but not precipitation heat treated) and strengthened
after forming to full T6 properties by precipitation heat treatment.

7xxx Series. Zinc, in amounts of 1 to 8% is the major alloying

element in 7xxx series alloys, and when coupled with a smaller
percentage of magnesium results in heat-treatable alloys of
moderate to very high strength. Usually other elements, such as
copper and chromium, are also added in small quantities. 7xxx series
alloys are used in airframe structures, mobile equipment, and other
highly stressed parts. Higher strength 7xxx alloys exhibit reduced
resistance to stress corrosion cracking and are often utilized in a
slightly overaged temper to provide better combinations of strength,
corrosion resistance, and fracture toughness.

The temper designation follows the alloy designation and shows the
actual condition of the metal. It is always separated from the alloy
designation by a dash.

The letter F following the alloy designation indicates the "as

fabricated condition, in which no effort has been made to control the
mechanical properties of the metal,

The letter O indicates dead soft, or annealed, condition.

The letter W indicates solution heat treated. Solution heat treatment

consists of heating the metal to a high temperature followed by a
rapid quench in cold water,

This in an unstable temper, applicable only to those alloys that

spontaneously age at room temperature, Alloy 7075 may be ordered
in the W condition.

The letter H indicates strain hardened, cold-worked, hand-drawn, or

rolled. Additional digits are added to the H to indicate the degree of
strain hardening. Alloys in this group cannot be strengthened by heat
treatment, hence the term nonheat-treatable.

The letter T indicates fully heat treated. Digits are added to the T to
indicate certain variations in treatment.

W -solution heat treated , unstable temper

T2- Annealed cast product only

T3-Solution heat treated and then cold worked

T4- solution heat treated

T5- Artifficialy aged only

T6- solution heat treated and then Artifficialy aged

T7- Solution heat treated and then stabilized

T8- Soluton heat treated, cold worked and then artificially aged

T9- Soluton heat treated, artificially aged, and then cold worked

T10 Artificially aged and then cold worked

Greater strength is obtainable in the heat-treatable alloys. They are

often used in aircraft in preference to the nonheat-treatable alloys.
Heat-treatable alloys commonly used in aircraft construction (in
order of increasing strength) are 6061, 6062, 6063, 2017, 2024,
2014,7075, and 7178.

Alloys 6061, 6062, and 6063 are sometimes used for oxygen and
hydraulic lines and in some applications as extrusions and sheet

Alloy 2017 is used for rivets, stressed-skin covering, and other
structural members. Alloy 2024 is used for airfoil covering and
fittings. It may be used wherever 2017 is specified, since it is

Alloy 2014 is used for extruded shapes and forgings. This alloy is
similar to 2017 and 2024 in that it contains a high percentage of
copper. It is used where more strength is required than that
obtainable from 2017 or 2024.

Alloy 7178 is used where highest strength is necessary, Alloy 7178

contains a small amount of chromium as a stabilizing agent, as does
alloy 7075.

Nonheat-treatable alloys used in aircraft construction are 1100,

3003, and 5052. These alloys do not respond to any heat treatment
other than a softening, annealing effect. They may be hardened only
by cold- working.

Alloy 1100 is used where strength is not an important factor, but

where weight, economy, and corrosion resistance are desirable. This
alloy is used for fuel tanks, fairings, oil tanks, and for the repair of
wing tips and tanks.

Alloy 3003 is similar to 1100 and is generally used for the same
purposes. It contains a small percentage of manganese and is
stronger and harder than 1100, but retains enough work ability that
it is usually preferred over 1100 in most applications.

Alloy 5052 is used for fuel lines, hydraulic lines, fuel tanks, and wing
tips. Substantially higher strength without too much sacrifice of
workability can be obtained in 5052. It is preferred over 1100 and
3003 in many applications.

Alclad is the name given to standard aluminum alloys that have been
coated on both sides with a thin layer of pure aluminum. Alclad has
very good corrosion-resisting qualities and is used exclusively for
exterior surfaces of aircraft. Alclad sheets are available in all tempers
of 2014, 2017, 7075, and 7178.

CASTING ALLOYS. -Aluminum casting alloys, like wrought alloys, are

divided into two groups. In one group, the physical properties of the
alloys are determined by the elements added and cannot be changed
after the metal is cast. In the other group, the elements added make
it possible to heat-treat the casting to produce desired physical

The casting alloys are identified by a letter preceding the alloy
number. This is exactly opposite from the case of wrought alloys, in
which the letters follow the number. When a letter precedes a
number, it indicates a slight variation in the composition of the
original alloy. This variation in composition is made simply to impart
some desirable quality. In casting alloy 214, for example, the
addition of zinc, to increase its pouring qualities, is designated by the
letter A in front of the number, thus creating the designation A214.
When castings have been treated, the heat treatment and the
composition of the casting are indicated by the letter T and an
alloying number. An example of this is the sand casting alloy 355,
which has several different compositions and tempers and is
designated by 355-T6, 355-T51, and A355-T51.

Aluminum alloy castings are produced by one of three basic

methods-sand mold, permanent mold, and die cast. In casting
aluminum, in most cases, different types of alloys must be used for
different types of castings. Sand castings and die castings require
different types of alloys than those used in permanent molds

Copper Alloys

Copper alloys are commonly used for their electrical and thermal
conductivities, corrosion resistance, ease of fabrication, surface
appearance, strength and fatigue resistance. Copper alloys can be
readily soldered and brazed, and a number of copper alloys can be
welded by arc, and resistance methods. Color of copper alloys is a
significant reason for using them for decorative purposes. For
decorative parts, conventional copper alloys having specific colors
are readily available

Along with ease of fabrication, some of the principal selection criteria

for copper alloys are:

• Corrosion resistance
• Electrical conductivity
• Thermal conductivity
• Color and surface appearance

Corrosion resistance of copper alloys is good in many environments;

however copper alloys may be attacked by some common reagents
and environments. Pure copper resists attack under some corrosive
conditions. Some copper alloys, on the other hand, sometimes have
inadequate performance in certain environments.

Stress corrosion cracking most commonly occurs in brass. Brasses

containing more than 15% Zn are the most susceptible.

Dealloying is another form of corrosion that affects zinc containing
copper alloys. During dezincification of brass, selective removal of
zinc results in gradual replacement of sound brass by weak, porous
copper. Unless stopped the metal is weakened and liquids or gases
may be capable of leaking through the porous structure.

Electrical and thermal conductivity of copper and its alloys are

relatively good. This is why copper is the most commonly used
electrical conductor. Alloying decreases electrical conductivity to a
greater extent than thermal conductivity. This is why copper and
high-copper alloys are preferred over other copper alloys when high
electrical or thermal conductivity is required


Monel, the leading high-nickel alloy, combines the properties of high

strength and excellent corrosion resistance. This metal consists of 67
percent nickel, 30 percent copper, 1.4 percent iron, 1 percent
manganese, and 0.15 percent carbon. It cannot be hardened by heat
treatment; it responds only to cold-working. Monel, adaptable to
castings and hot- or cold-working, can be successfully welded and
has working properties similar to those of steel. It has a tensile
strength of 65,000 psi that, by means of cold-working, may be
increased to 160,000 psi, thus entitling this metal to classification
among the tough alloys. Monel has been successfully used for gears
and chains, for operating retractable landing gears, and for structural
parts subject to corrosion. In aircraft, Monel has long been used for
parts demanding both strength and high resistance to corrosion,
such as exhaust manifolds and carburetor needle valves and sleeves.


K-Monel is a nonferrous alloy containing mainly nickel, copper, and

aluminum. It is produced by adding a small amount of aluminum to
the Monel formula. It is corrosion resistant and capable of hardening
by heat treatment. K-Monel has been successfully used for gears,
chains, and structural members in aircraft that are subjected to
corrosive attacks. This alloy is nonmagnetic at all temperatures. K-
Monel can be successfully welded.

Titanium Alloys

The density of Titanium is roughly 55% that of steel. Titanium alloys

are extensively utilized for significantly loaded aerospace
components. Titanium is used in applications requiring somewhat
elevated temperatures. The good corrosion resistance experienced
in many environments is based on titanium’s ability to form a stable

oxide protective layer. This makes titanium useful in surgical
implants and some chemical plant equipment applications.

TYPES, CHARACTERISTICS, AND USES. -Titanium alloys are being

used in quantity for jet engine compressor wheels, compressor
blades, spacer rings, housing compartments, and airframe parts such
as engine pads, ducting, wing surfaces, fire walls, fuselage skin
adjacent to the engine outlet, and armor plate. In view of titanium’s
high melting temperature, approximately 3,300°F, its high-
temperature properties are disappointing. The ultimate and yield
strengths of titanium drop fast above 800°F. In applications where
the declines might be tolerated, the absorption of oxygen and
nitrogen from the air at temperatures above 1,000°F makes the
metal so brittle on long exposure that it soon becomes worthless.
Titanium has some merit for short-time exposure up to 2,000°F
where strength is not important, as in aircraft fire walls.

IDENTIFICATION OF TITANIUM. -Titanium metal, pure or alloyed, is

easily identified. When touched with a grinding wheel, it makes
white spark traces that end in brilliant white bursts. When rubbed
with a piece of glass, moistened titanium will leave a dark line
similar in appearance to a pencil mark.

Corrosion Failures Analysis

• Uniform corrosion
• Pitting corrosion
• Intergranular corrosion
• Crevice corrosion
• Galvanic corrosion
• Stress corrosion cracking

Uniform Corrosion

Uniform or general corrosion is typified by the rusting of steel. Other

examples of uniform corrosion are the tarnishing of silver or the
green patina associated with the corrosion of copper

Some common methods used to prevent or reduce general corrosion

are listed below:

• Coatings
• Inhibitors
• Cathodic protection
• Proper materials selection

Pitting Corrosion

Pitting is a localized form of corrosive attack. Pitting corrosion is
typified by the formation of holes or pits on the metal surface.
Pitting can cause failure due to perforation while the total corrosion,
as measured by weight loss, might be rather minimal. The rate of
penetration may be 10 to 100 times that by general corrosion.

Pits may be rather small and difficult to detect. In some cases pits
may be masked due to general corrosion. Pitting may take some
time to initiate and develop to an easily viewable size.

Pitting occurs more readily in a stagnant environment. The

aggressiveness of the corrodent will affect the rate of pitting. Some
methods for reducing the effects of pitting corrosion are listed below:

• Reduce the aggressiveness of the environment

• Use more pitting resistant materials

• Improve the design of the system

Crevice Corrosion

Crevice corrosion is a localized form of corrosive attack. Crevice

corrosion occurs at narrow openings or spaces between two metal
surfaces or between metals and nonmetal surfaces. A concentration
cell forms with the crevice being depleted of oxygen. This
differential aeration between the crevice (microenvironment) and
the external surface (bulk environment) gives the the crevice an
anodic character. This can contribute to a highly corrosive condition
in the crevice. Some examples of crevices are listed below:

• Flanges
• Deposits
• Washers
• Rolled tube ends
• Threaded joints
• O-rings
• Gaskets
• Lap joints
• Sediment

Some methods for reducing the effects of crevice corrosion are listed

• Eliminate the crevice from the design

• Select materials more resistant to crevice corrosion
• Reduce the aggressiveness of the environment



Hardness refers to the ability of a metal to resist abrasion,

penetration, cutting action, or permanent distortion. Hardness may
be increased by working the metal and, in the case of steel and
certain titanium and aluminum alloys, by heat treatment and cold-
working (discussed later). Structural parts are often formed from
metals in their soft state and then heat treated to harden them so
that the finished shape will be retained. Hardness and strength are
closely associated properties of all metals.


Brittleness is the property of a metal that allows little bending or

deformation without shattering. In other words, a brittle metal is apt
to break or crack without change of shape. Because structural metals
are often subjected to shock loads, brittleness is not a very desirable
property. Cast iron, cast aluminum, and very hard steel are brittle


A metal that can be hammered, rolled, or pressed into various shapes

without cracking or breaking or other detrimental effects is said to
be malleable. This property is necessary in sheet metal that is to be
worked into curved shapes such as cowlings, fairings, and wing tips.
Copper is one example of a malleable metal.


Ductility is the property of a metal that permits it to be permanently

drawn, bent, or twisted into various shapes without breaking. This
property is essential for metals used in making wire and tubing.
Ductile metals are greatly preferred for aircraft use because of their
ease of forming and resistance to failure under shock loads. For this
reason, aluminum alloys are used for cowl rings, fuselage and wing
skin, and formed or extruded parts, such as ribs, spars, and
bulkheads. Chrome-molybdenum steel is also easily formed into
desired shapes. Ductility is similar to malleability.


Elasticity is that property that enables a metal to return to its

original shape when the force that causes the change of shape is
removed. This property is extremely valuable, because it would be
highly undesirable to have a part permanently distorted after an

applied load was removed. Each metal has a point known as the
elastic limit, beyond which it cannot be loaded without causing
permanent distortion. When metal is loaded beyond its elastic limit
and permanent distortion does result, it is referred to as strained. In
aircraft construction, members and parts are so designed that the
maximum loads to which they are subjected will never stress them
beyond their elastic limit.

NOTE: Stress is the internal resistance of any metal to distortion.


A material that possesses toughness will withstand tearing or

shearing and may be stretched or otherwise deformed without
breaking. Toughness is a desirable property in aircraft metals.


Density is the weight of a unit volume of a material. In aircraft work,

the actual weight of a material per cubic inch is preferred, since this
figure can be used in determining the weight of a part before actual
manufacture. Density is an important consideration when choosing a
material to be used in the design of a part and still maintain the
proper weight and balance of the aircraft.


Fusibility is defined as the ability of a metal to become liquid by the

application of heat. Metals are fused in welding. Steels fuse at
approximately 2,500°F, and aluminum alloys at approximately 1,


Conductivity is the property that enables a metal to carry heat or

electricity. The heat conductivity of a metal is especially important in
welding, because it governs the amount of heat that will be required
for proper fusion. Conductivity of the metal, to a certain extent,
determines the type of jig to be used to control expansion and
contraction. In aircraft, electrical conductivity must also be
considered in conjunction with bonding, which is used to eliminate
radio interference. Metals vary in their capacity to conduct heat.
Copper, for instance, has a relatively high rate of heat conductivity
and is a good electrical conductor

Contraction and Expansion

Contraction and expansion are reactions produced in metals as the
result of heating or cooling. A high degree of heat applied to a metal
will cause it to expand or become larger. Cooling hot metal will
shrink or contract it. Contraction and expansion affect the design of
welding jigs, castings, and tolerances necessary for hot-rolled


When metal is not cast in a desired manner, it is formed into special

shapes by mechanical working processes. Several factors must be
considered when determining whether a desired shape is to be cast
or formed by mechanical working. If the shape is very complicated,
casting will be necessary to avoid expensive machining of
mechanically formed parts. On the other hand, if strength and quality
of material are the prime factors in a given part, a cast will be
unsatisfactory. For this reason, steel castings are seldom used in
aircraft work.

There are three basic methods of metal working. They are hot-
working, cold-working, and extruding. The process chosen for a
particular application depends upon the metal involved and the part
required, although in some instances you might employ both hot-
and cold-working methods in making a single part.


Almost all steel is hot-worked from the ingot into some form from
which it is either hot- or cold-worked to the finished shape. When an
ingot is stripped from its mold, its surface is solid, but the interior is
still molten. The ingot is then placed in a soaking pit, which retards
loss of heat, and the molten interior gradually solidifies. After
soaking, the temperature is equalized throughout the ingot, which is
then reduced to intermediate size by rolling, making it more readily

The rolled shape is called a bloom when its sectional dimensions are
6 x 6 inches or larger and approximately square. The section is called
a billet when it is approximately square and less than 6 x 6 inches.
Rectangular sections that have width greater than twice the
thickness are called "slabs." The slab is the intermediate shape from
which sheets are rolled.

HOT-ROLLING. -Blooms, billets, or slabs are heated above the critical

range and rolled into a variety of shapes of uniform cross section.
The more common of these rolled shapes are sheets, bars, channels,
angles, I-beams, and the like. In aircraft work, sheets, bars, and rods
are the most commonly used items that are rolled from steel. As

discussed later in this chapter, hot-rolled materials are frequently
finished by cold-rolling or drawing to obtain accurate finish
dimensions and a bright, smooth surface.

FORGING. -Complicated sections that cannot be rolled, or sections of

which only a small quantity is required, are usually forged. Forging of
steel is a mechanical working of the metal above the critical range to
shape the metal as desired. Forging is done either by pressing or
hammering the heated steel until the desired shape is obtained.

Pressing is used when the parts to be forged are large and heavy,
and this process also replaces hammering where high-grade steel is
required. Since a press is slow acting, its force is uniformly
transmitted to the center of the section, thus affecting the interior
grain structure as well as the exterior to give the best possible
structure throughout.

Hammering can be used only on relatively small pieces. Since

hammering transmits its force almost instantly, its effect is limited to
a small depth. Thus, it is necessary to use a very heavy hammer or to
subject the part to repeated blows to ensure complete working of the
section. If the force applied is too weak to reach the center, the
finished forging surface will be concave. If the center is properly
worked, the surface will be convex or bulged. The advantage of
hammering is that the operator has control over the amount of
pressure applied and the finishing temperature, and is able to
produce parts of the highest grade.

This type of forging is usually referred to as smith forging, and it is

used extensively where only a small number of parts are needed.
Considerable machining and material are saved when a part is smith
forged to approximately the finished shape.


Cold-working applies to mechanical working performed at

temperatures below the critical range, and results in a strain
hardening of the metal. It becomes so hard that it is difficult to
continue the forming process without softening the metal by

Since the errors attending shrinkage are eliminated in cold-working,

a much more compact and better metal is obtained. The strength and
hardness as well as the elastic limit are increased, but the ductility
decreases. Since this makes the metal more brittle, it must be heated
from time to time during certain operations to remove the
undesirable effects of the working.

While there are several cold-working processes, the two with which
you are principally concerned are cold-rolling and cold-drawing.
These processes give the metals desirable qualities that cannot be
obtained by hot-working.

COLD-ROLLING. -Cold-rolling usually refers to the working of metal

at room temperature. In this operation, the materials that have been
hot-rolled to approximate sizes are pickled to remove any scale, after
which they are passed through chilled finished rolls. This action gives
a smooth surface and also brings the pieces to accurate dimensions.
The principal forms of cold-rolled stocks are sheets, bars, and rods.

COLD-DRAWING. -Cold-drawing is used in making seamless tubing,

wire, streamline tie rods, and other forms of stock. Wire is made
from hot-rolled rods of various diameters. These rods are pickled in
acid to remove scale, dipped in lime water, and then dried in a steam
room, where they remain until ready for drawing. The lime coating
adhering to the metal serves as a lubricant during the drawing
operation. Figure 1-23 shows the drawing of rod, tubing, and wire.

The size of the rod used for drawing depends upon the diameter
wanted in the finished wire. To reduce the rod to the desired wire
size, it is drawn cold through a die. One end of the rod is filed or
hammered to a point and slipped through the die opening, where it is
gripped by the jaws of the draw, then pulled through the die. This
series of operations is done by a mechanism known as the
drawbench, as shown in figure 1-23.

To reduce the rod gradually to the desired size, it is necessary to

draw the wire through successively smaller dies. Because each of
these drawings reduces the ductility of the wire, it must be annealed
from time to time before further drawings can be accomplished.
Although cold-working reduces the ductility, it increases the tensile
strength of the wire enormously. In making seamless steel aircraft
tubing, the tubing is cold-drawn through a ring-shaped die with a
mandrel or metal bar inside the tubing to support it while the
drawing operations are being performed. This forces the metal to
flow between the die and the mandrel and affords a means of
controlling the wall thickness and the inside and outside diameters.


The extrusion process involves the forcing of metal through an

opening in a die, thus causing the metal to take the shape of the die
opening. Some metals such as lead, tin, and aluminum may be
extruded cold; but generally, metals are heated before the operation
is begun.

The principal advantage of the extrusion process is in its flexibility.
Aluminum, because of its workability and other favorable properties,
can be economically extruded to more intricate shapes and larger
sizes than is practicable with many other metals. Extruded shapes
are produced in very simple as well as extremely complex sections.

A cylinder of aluminum, for instance, is heated to 750°F to 850°F,

and is then forced through the opening of a die by a hydraulic ram.
Many structural parts, such as stringers, are formed by the extrusion


A substance that possesses metallic properties and is composed of

two or more chemical elements, of which at least one is a metal, is
called an "alloy." The metal present in the alloy in the largest
proportion is called the "base metal." All other metals and/or
elements added to the alloy are called "alloying elements." The
metals are dissolved in each other while molten, and they do not
separate into layers when the solution solidifies. Practically all the
metals used in aircraft are made up of a number of alloying elements.
In addition to increasing the strength, alloying may change the heat-
resistant qualities of a metal, its corrosion resistance, electrical
conductivity, or magnetic properties. It may cause an increase or
decrease in the degree to which hardening occurs after cold-working.
Alloying may also make possible an increase or decrease in strength
and hardness by heat treatment. Alloys are of great importance to
the aircraft industry in providing materials with properties that pure
metals alone do not possess.

HARDNESS TESTING METHODS. -Hardness testing is a factor in the

determination of the results of heat treatment as well as the
condition of the metal before heat treatment. There are two
commonly used methods of hardness testing, the Brinell and the
Rockwell tests. These tests require the use of specific machines and
are covered later in this chapter. An additional, and somewhat
indirect, method known as spark testing is used in identifying ferrous
metals. This type of identification gives an indication of the hardness
of the metal.

Spark testing is a common means of identifying ferrous metals that

have become mixed. In this test, the piece of iron or steel is held
against a revolving stone, and the metal is identified by the sparks
thrown off. Each ferrous metal has its own peculiar spark
characteristics. The spark streams vary from a few tiny shafts to a
shower of sparks several feet in length. Few nonferrous metals give
off sparks when touched to a grinding stone. Therefore, these metals
cannot be successfully identified by the spark test.

Wrought iron produces long shafts that are a duIl red color as they
leave the stone, and they end up a white color. Cast iron sparks are
red as they leave the stone, but turn to a straw color. Low-carbon
steels give off long, straight shafts that have a few white sprigs. As
the carbon content of the steel increases, the number of sprigs along
each shaft increases, and the stream becomes whiter in color. Nickel
steel causes the spark stream to contain small white blocks of light
within the main burst


Learning Objective: Recognize hardness testing methods, related

equipments, and their operation

Hardness testing is a method of determining the results of heat

treatment as well as the state of a metal prior to heat treatment.
Since hardness values can be tied in with tensile strength values and,
in part, with wear resistance, hardness tests are an invaluable check
of heat-treatment control and of material properties. Practically all
hardness testing equipments now in service use the resistance to
penetration as a measure of hardness. Included among the better
known bench-type hardness testers are the Brinell and the Rockwell,
both of which are described and illustrated in this section. Also
included are three portable type hardness testers now being used by
maintenance activities


The Brinell hardness tester, shown in figure 1-25, uses a hardened

spherical ball, which is forced into the surface of the metal. The ball
is 10 millimeters (0.3937inch) in diameter. A pressure of 3,000
kilograms (6,600 pounds) is used for ferrous metals and 500
kilograms for nonferrous metals. Normally, the load should be
applied for 30 seconds. In order to produce equilibrium, this period
may be increased to 1 minute for extremely hard steels. The load is
applied by means of hydraulic pressure. The hydraulic pressure is
built up by a hand pump or an electric motor, depending on the
model of tester. A pressure gauge indicates the amount of pressure.
There is a release mechanism for relieving the pressure after the test
has been made, and a calibrated microscope is provided for
measuring the diameter of the impression in millimeters. The
machine has various shaped anvils for supporting the specimen and
an elevating screw for bringing the specimen in contact with the ball
penetrator. There are attachments for special tests.

To determine the Brinell hardness number for a metal, the diameter

of the impression is first measured, using the calibrated microscope
furnished with the tester. Figure 1-26 shows an impression as seen

through he microscope. After measuring the diameter of the
impression, the measurement is converted into the Brinell hardness
number on the conversion table furnished with the tester


The Rockwell hardness tester, shown in figure 1-27, measures the

resistance to penetration as does the Brinell tester, but instead of
measuring the diameter of the impression, the Rockwell tester
measures the depth, and the hardness is indicated directly on a dial
attached to the machine. The more shallow the penetration, the
higher the hardness number.

Two types of penetrators are used with the Rockwell tester–a

diamond cone and a hardened steel ball. The load that forces the
penetrator into the metal is called the "major load," and is measured
in kilograms. The results of each penetrator and load combination
are reported on separate scales, designated by letters. The
penetrator, the major load, and the scale vary with the kind of metal
being tested.

For hardened steels, the diamond penetrator is used, the major load
is 150 kilograms, and the hardness is read on the C scale. When this
reading is recorded, the letter C must precede the number indicated
by the pointer. The C-scale setup is used for testing metals ranging in
hardness from C-20 to the hardest steel (usually about C-70). If the
metal is softer than C-20, the B-scale setup is used. With this setup,
the 1/16-inch ball is used as a penetrator, the major load is 100
kilograms, and the hardness is read on the B scale. numbers in the
outer circle are black, and the inner numbers are red.

The Rockwell tester is equipped with a weight pan, and two weights
are supplied with the machine. One weight is marked in red. The
other weight is marked in black. With no weight in the weight pan,
the machine applies a major load of 60 kilograms. If the scale setup
calls for a 100-kilogram load, the red weight is placed in the pan. For
a 150-kilogram load, the black weight is added to the red weight. The
black weight is always used in conjunction with the red weight; it is
never used alone. Practically all testing is done with either the B-
scale setup or the C-scale setup. For these scales, the colors may be
used as a guide in selecting the weight (or weights) and in reading
the dial. For the B-scale test, use the red weight and read the red
numbers. For a C-scale test, add the black weight to the red weight
and read the black numbers.

In setting up the Rockwell machine, use the diamond penetrator for

testing materials that are known to be hard. If in doubt, try the
diamond, since the steel ball may be deformed if used for testing

hard materials. If the metal tests below C-22, then change to the
steel ball.

Use the steel ball for all soft materials-those testing less than B-100.
Should an overlap occur at the top of the B scale and the bottom of
the C scale, use the C-scale setup.

Before the major load is applied, the test specimen must be securely
locked in place to prevent slipping and to properly seat the anvil and
penetrator. To do this, a load of 10 kilograms is applied before the
lever is tripped. This preliminary load is called the "minor load." The
minor load is 10 kilograms regardless of the scale setup. When the
machine is set up properly, it auto-matically applies the 10-kilogram

The metal to be tested in the Rockwell tester must be ground smooth

on two opposite sides and be free of scratches and foreign matter.
The surface should be perpendicular to the axis of penetration, and
the two opposite ground surfaces should be parallel. If the specimen
is tapered, the amount of error will depend on the taper. A curved
surface will also cause a slight error in the hardness test. The
amount of error depends on the curvature–the smaller the radius of
curvature, the greater the error. To eliminate such error, a small flat
should be ground on the curved surface if possible.


Transparent plastics, reinforced plastics, and composite materials are

common materials used in aircraft construction. Sandwich
construction is used for radomes as well as for structural areas
where strength and rigidity are important.


Transparent plastic materials used in aircraft canopies, windshields,

and other transparent enclosures may be divided into two major
classes, or groups, depending on their reaction to heat. They are the
thermoplastic materials and the thermosetting materials.
Thermoplastic materials will soften when heated and harden when
cooled. These materials can be heated until soft, formed into the
desired shape, and when cooled, will retain this shape. The same
piece of plastic can be reheated and reshaped any number of times
without changing the chemical composition of the material.

Thermosetting plastics harden upon heating, and reheating has no

softening effect. They cannot be reshaped after once being fully
cured by the application of heat. These materials are rapidly being
phased out in favor of stretched acrylic, a thermoplastic material.

Transparent plastics are manufactured in two forms of material-solid
(monolithic) and laminated. Laminated plastic consists of two sheets
of solid plastic bonded to a rubbery inner layer of material similar to
the sandwich materials used in plate glass.

Laminated transparent plastics are well suited to pressurized

applications in aircraft because of theirshatter resistance, which is
much higher than that of the stretched solid plastics.

Stretched acrylic is a thermoplastic conforming to Military

Specification MIL-P-25690. This specification covers transparent,
solid, modified acrylic sheet material having superior crack
propagation resistance (shatter resistance, craze resistance, fatigue
resistance) as a result of proper hot stretching.

Stretched acrylic is prepared from modified acrylic sheets, using a

processing technique in which the sheet is heated to its forming
temperature and then mechanically stretched so as to increase its
area approximately three or four times with a resultant decrease in
its thickness. Most of the Navy’s high-speed aircraft are equipped
with canopies made from stretched acrylic plastic.


Composites are materials consisting of a com-bination of high-

strength stiff fibers embedded in a common matrix (binder) material;
for example, graphite fibers and epoxy resin. Composite structures
are made of a number of fiber and epoxy resin laminates. These
laminates can number from 2 to greater than 50, and are generally
bonded to a substructure such as aluminum or nonmetallic
honeycomb. The much stiffer fibers of graphite, boron, and Kevlar®
epoxies have given com-posite materials structural properties
superior to the metal alloys they have replaced.

There are numerous combinations of composite materials being

studied in laboratories and a number of types currently used in the
production of aircraft components. Examples of composite materials
are as follows: graphite/epoxy, Kevlar®/epoxy, boron poly-amide,
graphite polyamide, boron-coated boron aluminum, coated boron
titanium, boron graphite epoxy hybrid, and boron/epoxy. The trend
is toward minimum use of boron/epoxy because of the cost when
compared to current generation of graphite/epoxy composites.
Composites are attractive structural materials because they provide
a high strength/weight ratio and offer design flexibility. In contrast
to traditional materials of construction, the properties of these
materials can be adjusted to more efficiently match the

Figure 1-32.-Sandwich construction.

requirements of specific applications. However, these materials are

highly susceptible to impact damage, and the extent of the damage is
difficult to determine visually. Nondestructive inspection (NDI) is
required to analyze the extent of damage and the effectiveness of


From the standpoint of function, sandwich parts in naval aircraft can

be divided into two broad classes: (1) radomes and (2) structural.
The first class, radomes, is a reinforced plastic sandwich construction
designed primarily to permit accurate and dependable functioning of
the radar equipment. This type of construction was discussed in the
preceding section under "Reinforced Plastics."

The second class, referred to as structural sandwich, normally has

either metal or reinforced plastic facings on cores of aluminum or
balsa wood. This material is found in a variety of places such as wing
surfaces, decks, bulkheads, stabilizer surfaces, ailerons, trim tabs,
access doors, and bomb bay doors. Figure 1-32 shows one type of
sandwich construction using a honeycomb-like aluminum alloy core,
sandwiched between aluminum alloy sheets, called "facings." The
facings are bonded to the lightweight aluminum core with a suitable
adhesive so as to develop a strength far greater than that of the
components themselves when used alone.

Another type of structural sandwich construction consists of a low-

density balsa wood core combined with high-strength aluminum
alloy facings bonded to each side of the core. The grain in the balsa

core runs perpendicular to the aluminum alloy facings, and the core
and aluminum facings are firmly bonded together under controlled
temperatures and pressures.

The facings in this type of construction carry the major bending

loads, and the cores serve to support the facings and carry the shear
loads. The outstanding characteristics of sandwich construction are
strength, rigidity, lightness, and surface smoothness.


Aircraft hardware is usually identified by its specification number or

trade name. Threaded fasteners and rivets are usually identified by
AN (Air Force-Navy), NAS (national aircraft standard), and MS
(military standard) numbers. Quick-release fasteners are usually
identified by factory trade names and size designations.


The term aircraft structural hardware refers to many items used in

aircraft construction. You should be concerned with such hardware
as rivets, fasteners, bolts, nuts, screws, washers, cables, guides, and
you should be familiar with common electrical system hardware

Solid Rivets

Solid rivets are classified by their head shape, by the material from
which they are manufactured, and by their size. Rivet head shapes
and their identifying code numbers are shown in figure 2-1. The
prefix MS identifies hardware that conforms to written military
standards. The prefix AN identifies specifications that are developed
and issued under the joint authority of the Air Force and the Navy.

Rivet Identification Code

The rivet codes shown in figure 2-1 are sufficient to identify rivets
only by head shape. To be meaningful and precisely identify a rivet,
certain other information is encoded and added to the basic code.

Figure 2-1.—Rivet head shapes and code numbers.

A letter or letters following the head-shaped code identify the
material or alloy from which the rivet was made. Table 2-1 includes a
listing of the most common of these codes. The alloy code is followed
by two numbers separated by a dash. The first number is the
numerator of a fraction, which specifies the shank diameter in thirty-
seconds of an inch. The second number is the numerator of a fraction
in sixteenths of an inch, and identifies the length of the rivet. The
rivet code is shown in figure 2-2.

Rivet Composition

Most of the rivets used in aircraft construction are made of aluminum

alloy. A few special-purpose rivets are made of mild steel, Monel,
titanium, and copper. Those aluminum alloy rivets made of 1100,
2117, 2017,2024, and 5056 are considered standard.

ALLOY 1100 RIVETS.— Alloy 1100 rivets are supplied as fabricated

(F) temper, and are driven in this condition. No further treatment of
the rivet is required before use, and the rivet’s properties do not
change with prolonged periods of storage. They are relatively soft
and easy to drive. The cold work resulting from driving increases
their strength slightly. The 1100-F rivets are used only for riveting
nonstructural parts. These rivets are identified by their plain head, as
shown in table 2-1.

ALLOY 2117 RIVETS.— Like the 1100-F rivets, these rivets need no
further treatment before use and can be stored indefinitely. They are
furnished in the solution-heat-treated (T4) temper, but change to the

Figure 2-2.—Rivet coding example.

solution-heat-treated and cold-worked (T3) temper after driving. The

2117-T4 rivet is in general use throughout aircraft structures, and is
by far the most widely used rivet, especially in repair work. In most
cases the 2117-T4 rivet may be substituted for 2017-T4 and 2024-T4
rivets for repair work by using a rivet with the next larger diameter.
This is desirable since both the 2017-T4 and 2024-T4 rivets must be
heat treated before they are used or kept in cold storage. The 2117-
T4 rivets are identified by a dimple in the head.

ALLOY 2017 AND 2024 RIVETS.— As mentioned in the preceding
paragraph, both these rivets are supplied in the T4 temper and must
be heat treated. These rivets must be driven within 20 minutes after
quenching or refrigerated at or below 32°F to delay the aging time
24 hours. If either time is exceeded, reheat treatment is required.
These rivets may be reheated as many times as desired, provided the
proper solution heat-treatment temperature is not exceeded. The
2024-T4 rivets are stronger than the 2017-T4 and are, therefore,
harder to drive. The

Table 2-1.-Rivet Material Identification

Figure 2-3.-Self-plugging rivet (mechanical lock).

2017-T4 rivet is identified by the raised teat on the head, while the
2024-T4 has two raised dashes on the head.

Letter A – Aluminium alloy,1100 or 3003 composition

AD- Aluminium alloy, 2117T composition

D- Aluminium alloy, 2017T

DD-A luminium alloy, 2024T

B – Aluminium alloy, 5056 composition

C- Copper alloy

M- monel

Absence of letter shows rivet manufactured from mild steel

ALLOY 5056 RIVETS.— These rivets are used primarily for joining
magnesium alloy structures because of their corrosion-resistant
qualities. They are supplied in the H32 temper (strain-hardened and
then stabilized). These rivets are identified by a raised cross on the
head. The 5056-H32 rivet may be stored indefinitely with no change
in its driving characteristics.

Round head rivet- used in interior of aircraft, except where clearance

required for adjacent offers resistance to tension.

Flat head rivet- like round head rivet,is used on interior structures. It
is used where maximum strength is needed and where there is not
sufficient clearance to use a round head rivet.

Brazier head rivets- has head large diameter, which makes it

particularly adaptable for riveting thin sheet stock. Tahe brazier head
rivet offers slight resistance to airflow, used on exterior surfaces. A
modified brazier head having a reduced diameter

Universal head rivet is combination of round head, flat head, brazier

head rivets. It is used in both interior and exterior surfaces.

Countersunk rivet are used to fasten sheet over other sheet must fix.
They are also used on exterior surfaces it offer only small resistance
to airflow

Blind Rivets

In places accessible from only one side or where space on one side is
too restricted to properly use a bucking bar, blind rivets are usually
used. Blind rivets may also be used to secure nonstructural parts to
the airframe.

Figure 2-3 shows a blind rivet that uses a mechanical lock between
the head of the rivet and the pull stem. Note in view B that the collar
that is attached to the head has been driven into the head and has
assumed a wedge or cone shape around the groove in the pin. This
holds the shank firmly in place from the head side.

The self-plugging rivet is made of 5056-H14 aluminum alloy and

includes the conical recess and locking collar in the rivet head. The
stem is made of 2024-T36 aluminum alloy. Pull grooves that fit into
the jaws of the rivet gun are provided on the stem end that protrudes
above the rivet head. The blind end portion of the stem incorporates
a head and a land (the raised portion of the grooved surface) with an
extruding angle that expands the rivet shank.

Applied loads for self-plugging rivets are comparable to those for

solid shank rivets of the same shear strength, regardless of sheet
thickness. The composite shear strength of the 5056-H14 shank and
the 2024-T36 pin exceeds 38,000 psi. Their tensile strength is in
excess of 28,000 psi; Pin retention characteristics are excellent in
these rivets. The possibility of the pin working out is minimized by
the lock formed in the rivet head.

Hi-Shear Rivets(special rivet)

Hi-shear (pin) rivets are essentially thread less bolts. The pin is
headed at one end and is grooved about the circumference at the
other. A metal collar is swaged onto the grooved end. They are
available in two head styles—the flat protruding head and the flush
100-degree countersunk head. Hi-shear rivets are made in a variety
of materials, and are used only in shear applications. Because the
shear strength of the rivet is greater than either the shear or bearing
strength of sheet aluminum alloys, they are used primarily to rivet
thick gauge sheets together. They are never used where the grip
length is less than the shank diameter. Hi-shear rivets are shown in
figure 2-4.

Figure 2-4.—Hi-shear rivet.

Figure 2-5.—Sectional view of rivnut showing head and end designs.

Hi-shear rivets are identified by code numbers similar to the solid

rivets. The size of the rivet is measured in increments of thirty-
seconds of an inch for the diameter and sixteenths of an inch for the
grip length. For example, an NAS 1055-5-7 rivet would be a hi-shear
rivet with a countersunk head. Its diameter would be 5/32 of an inch
and its maximum grip length would be 7/16 of an inch.

The collars are identified by a basic code number and a dash number
that correspond to the diameter of the rivet. An A before the dash
number indicates an aluminum alloy collar. The NAS528-A5 collar
would be used on a 5/32-inch-diameter rivet pin. Repair procedures
involving the installation or replacement of hi-shear rivets generally
specify the collar to be used.


The rivnut is a hollow rivet made of 6063 aluminum alloy,

counterbored and threaded on the inside. They are manufactured in
two head styles, flat and countersunk, and in two shank designs,
open and closed ends. See figure 2-5. Each of these rivets is available
in three sizes: 6-32, 8-32, and 10-32. These numbers indicate the
nominal diameter and the actual number of threads per inch of the
machine screw that fits into the rivnut.

Open-end rivnuts are the most widely used, and are recommended in
preference to the closed-end type. However, in sealed flotation or
pressurized compartments, the closed-end rivnut must be used.


Fasteners on aircraft are designed for many different functions.

Some are made for high-strength requirements, while others are
designed for easy installation and removal.

Lock-Bolt Fasteners

Lock-bolt fasteners are designed to meet high-strength

requirements. Used in many structural applications, their shear and
tensile strengths equal or exceed the requirements of AN and NAS
bolts. The lock-bolt pin, shown in view A of figure 2-6, consists of a
pin and collar. It is available in two head styles: protruding and
countersunk. Pin retention is accomplished by swaging the collar into
the locking grooves on the pin.

The blind lock bolt, shown in view B of figure 2-6, is similar to the
self-plugging rivet shown in figure 2-3. It features a positive
mechanical leek for pin retention.

Hi-Lok Fasteners

The hi-lok fastener, shown in figure 2-7, com-bines the features of a

rivet and a bolt and is used for high-strength, interference-free fit of
primary structures. The hi-lok fastener consists of a threaded pin and
threaded locking collar. The pins are made of

Figure 2-6.—Lock bolts.

Figure 2-7.—Hi-lok fastener.

cadmium-plated alloy steel with protruding or 100-degree flush
heads. Collars for the pins are made of anodized 2024-T6 aluminum
or stainless steel. The threaded end of the pin is recessed with a
hexagon socket to allow installation from one side. The major
diameter of the threaded part of the pin has been truncated (cut
undersize) to accommodate a 0.004-inch maximum interference-free
fit. One end of the collar is internally recessed with a 1/16-inch,
built-in variation that automatically provides for variable material
thickness without the use of washers and without fastener preload
changes. The other end of the collar has a torque-off wrenching
device that controls a predetermined residual tension of preload
(10%) in the fastener.

Jo-Bolt Fasteners

The jo-bolt, shown in figure 2-8, is a high-strength, blind structural

fastener that is used on difficult riveting jobs when access to one
side of the work is impossible. The jo-bolt consists of three factory-
assembled parts: an aluminum alloy or alloy steel nut, a threaded
alloy steel bolt, and a corrosion-resistant steel sleeve. The head
styles available for jo-bolts are the 100-degree flush head, the
hexagon protruding head, and the 100-degree flush millable head.

Turlock Fasteners

Turn lock fasteners are used to secure panels that require frequent
removal. These fasteners are available in several different styles and
are usually referred to by the manufacturer’s trade name.

CAMLOC FASTENERS.— The 4002 series Camloc fastener consists of

four principal parts: the receptacle, the grommet, the retaining ring,
and the

Figure 2-8.—Jo-bolt.

stud assembly. See figure 2-9. The receptacle is an aluminum alloy

forging mounted in a stamped sheet metal base. The receptacle

assembly is riveted to the access door frame, which is attached to
the structure of the aircraft. The grommet is a sheet metal ring held
in the access panel with the retaining ring. Grommets are furnished
in two types: the flush type and the protruding type. Besides serving
as a grommet for the hole in the access panel, it also holds the stud
assembly. The stud assembly consists of a stud, a cross pin, a spring,
and a spring cup. The assembly is designed so it can be quickly
inserted into the grommet by compressing the spring. Once installed
in the grommet, the stud assembly cannot be removed unless the
spring is again compressed.

The Camloc high-stress panel fastener, shown in figure 2-10, is a

high-strength, quick-release rotary fastener, and may be used on flat
or curved inside or outside panels. The fastener may have either a
flush or protruding stud. The studs are held in the panel with flat or
cone-shaped washers—the latter being used with flush fasteners in
dimpled holes. This fastener may be distinguished from screws by
the deep No. 2 Phillips recess in the stud head and by the bushing in
which the stud is installed.

A threaded insert in the receptacle provides an adjustable locking

device. As the stud is inserted and turned counterclockwise one-half
turn or more, it screws out the insert to permit the stud key to
engage the insert cam when turned clockwise. Rotating the

Figure 2-9.-Camloc 4002 series fastener.

Figure 2-10.-Camloc high-stress panel fastener.

stud clockwise one-fourth turn engages the insert. Continued

rotation screws the insert in and tightens the fastener. Turning the
stud one-fourth turn counterclockwise will release the stud, but will
not screw the insert out far enough to permit re-engagement. The
stud should be turned at least one-half turn counterclockwise to
reset the insert.

AIRLOC FASTENERS.— Figure 2-11 shows the parts that make up an

Airloc fastener. The Airloc fastener also consists of a receptacle, a
stud, and a cross pin. The stud is attached to the access panel and is
held in place by the cross pin. The receptacle is riveted to the access
panel frame.Two types of Airloc receptacles are available: the fixed
(view A) and the floating (view B). The floating receptacle makes for
easier alignment of the stud in the receptacle. Several types of studs
are also available, but in each instance the stud and cross pin come
as separate units so the stud may be easily installed in the access
panel.The Airloc receptacle is fastened to the inner surface of the
access panel frame by two rivets. The rivet heads must be flush with
the outer surface of the panel frame. When you are replacing
receptacles, drill out the two old rivets and attach the new receptacle
by flush riveting. Be careful not to mar the sheet. When you are
inserting the stud and cross pin, insert the stud through the access
panel and, by using a special hand tool, insert the cross pin in the
stud. Cross pins can be removed by means of special ejector pliers.

DZUS FASTENERS.— DZUS fasteners are available in two types. A

light-duty type is used on box covers, access hole covers, and
lightweight fairings. The heavy-duty type is used on cowling and
heavy fairings. The main difference between the two Dzus fasteners
is a grommet, which is only used on

Figure 2-11.—Airloc fastener.

the heavy-duty fasteners. Otherwise, their construction features are

about the same. Figure 2-12 shows the parts of a light-duty Dzus
fastener. Notice that they include a spring and a stud. The spring is
made of cadmium-plated steel music wire, and is usually riveted to
an aircraft structural member. The stud comes in a number of
designs (as shown in views A, B, and C) and mounts in a dimpled
hole in the cover assembly.

When the panel is being positioned on an aircraft, the spring riveted

to the structural member enters the hollow center of the stud. Then,
when the stud is turned about one-fourth turn, the curved jaws of
the stud slip over the spring and compress it. The resulting tension
locks the stud in place and secures the panel.

FLAT-HEAD PINS.— The flat-head pin is used with tie rod terminals or
secondary controls, which do not operate continuously. The flat-head
pin should be secured with a cotter pin. The pin is normally installed
with the head up. See figure 2-17. This precaution is taken to

maintain the flat-head pin in the installed position in case of cotter
pin failure.

SNAP RINGS.— A snap ring is a ring of metal, either round or flat in

cross section, that is tempered to have springlike action. This
springlike action will hold the snap ring firmly seated in a groove.
The external types are designed to fit in a groove around the outside
of a shaft or cylinder. The internal types fit in a groove inside a
cylinder. Special pliers are designed to install each type of snap ring.
Snap rings can be reused as long as they retain their shape and
springlike action. External snap rings may be safety wired, but
internal types are never safetied.

STUDS.— There are four types of studs used in aircraft structural

applications. They are the coarse thread, fine thread, stepped and
lockring studs. Studs may be drilled or undrilled on the nut end.
Coarse (NAS183) and fine (NAS184) thread studs are manufactured
from alloy steel and are heat treated. They have identical threads on
both ends. The stepped stud has a different thread on each end of
the stud. The lockring stud may be substituted for undersize or
oversize studs. The lockring on this stud prevents it from backing out
due to vibration, stress, or temperature variations. Refer to the
Hardware Manual, detailed information on studs.

HELI-COIL INSERTS.— Heli-coil thread inserts are primarily designed

to be used in materials that arc not suitable for threading because of
their softness. The inserts are made of a diamond cross-sectioned
stainless steel wire that is helically coiled and, in its finished form, is
similar to a small, fully compressed spring. There are two types of
heli-coil inserts. See figure 2-18. One is the plain insert, made with a
tang that forms a portion of the bottom coil offset, and is used to
drive the insert. This tang is left on the insert after installation,
except when its removal is necessary to provide clearance for the
end of the bolt. The tang is notched to break off from the body of the
insert, thereby providing full penetration for the fastener.


Many types of bolts are used on aircraft. However, before discussing

some of these types, it might be helpful to list and explain some
commonly used bolt terms. You should know the names of bolt parts
and be aware of the bolt dimensions that must be considered in
selecting a bolt. Figure 2-19 shows both types of information.

Figure 2-19.—Bolt terms and dimensions.

The three principal parts of a bolt are the head, thread, and grip. The
head is the larger diameter of the bolt and may be one of many
shapes or designs. The head keeps the bolt in place in one direction,
and the nut used on the threads keeps it in place in the other

To choose the correct replacement, several bolt dimensions must be

considered. One is the length of the bolt. Note in figure 2-19 that the
bolt length is the distance from the tip of the threaded end to the
head of the bolt. Correct length selection is indicated when the
chosen bolt extends through the nut at least two full threads. In the
case of flat-end bolts or chamfered (rounded) end bolts, at least the
full chamfer plus one full thread should extend through the nut. See
figure 2-19. If the bolt is too short, it may not extend out of the bolt
hole far enough for the nut to be securely fastened. If it is too long, it
may extend so far that it interferes with the movement of nearby

Unnecessarily long bolts can affect weight and balance and reduce
the aircraft payload capacity. In addition, if a bolt is too long or too
short, its grip is usually the wrong length. As shown in figure 2-20,
grip length should be approximately the same as the thickness of the
material to be fastened. If the grip is too short, the threads of the
bolt will extend into the bolt hole and may act like a reamer when the
material is vibrating. To prevent this, make certain that no more than
two threads extend into the bolt hole. Also make certain that any
threads that enter the bolt hole extend only into the thicker member
that is being fastened. If the grip is too long, the nut will run out of
threads before it can be tightened. In this event, a bolt with a shorter
grip should be used, or if the bolt grip extends only a short distance
through the hole, a washer maybe used. A second bolt dimension
that must be considered is diameter. Figure 2-19 shows that the
diameter of the bolt is the thickness of its shaft. If this thickness is
1/4 of an inch or more, the bolt diameter is usually given in fractions

of an inch; for example, 1/4, 5/16, 7/16, and 1/2. However, if the
bolt is less than 1/4 of an inch thick, the diameter is usually
expressed as a whole number. For instance, a bolt that is 0.190 inch
in diameter is called a No. 10 bolt, while a bolt that is 0.164 inch in
diameter is called a No. 8.

Class 1 is loose fit, Class 2 is free fit, C lass 3 is medium fit, Class 4 is
close fit. Generally aircraft bolt are manufactured in class 3 fit.
Aircraft bolt are manufactured from Cadmium plated or zinc plated
corrosion resistant steel , unplated corrosion resistant steel and
anodized aluminium alloy.

AN bolt are manufactured in 3 head styles- hex head, clevis,

eyebolt,used in both shear and tension load. NAS bolt are
manufactured in hex , countersunk and internal wrenching head, MS
bolt are in hex head and internal wrenching head type.

The results of using a bolt of the wrong diameter should be obvious.

If the bolt is too big, it cannot enter the bolt hole. If the diameter is
too small, the bolt has too much play in the bolt hole, and the
chances are that it is not as strong as the correct bolt. The third and
fourth bolt dimensions that should be considered when choosing a
bolt replacement are head thickness and width. If the head is too
thin or too narrow, it may not be strong enough to bear the load
imposed on it. If the head is too thick or too wide, it may extend so
far that it interferes with the movement of adjacent parts.

BOLT HEADS.— The most common type of head is the hex head. See
figure 2-20. This type of head may be thick for greater strength or
relatively thin in order to fit in places having limited clearances. In
addition, the head may be common or drilled to lockwire the bolt. A
hex-head bolt may have a single hole drilled through it between two
of the sides of the hexagon and still be classed as common. The
drilled head-hex bolt has three holes drilled in the head, connecting
opposite sides of the hex. Figure 2-20.-Correct and incorrect grip

Figure 2-21.—Bolt heads

Seven additional types of bolt heads are shown in figure 2-21. Notice
that view A shows an eyebolt, often used in flight control systems.
View B shows a countersunk-head, close-tolerance bolt. View C
shows an internal-wrenching bolt. Both the countersunk-head bolt
and the internal-wrenching bolt have hexagonal recesses (six-sided
holes) in their heads. They are tightened and loosened by use of
appropriate sized Allen wrenches. View D shows a clevis bolt with its
characteristic round head. This head may be slotted, as shown, to
receive a common screwdriver or recessed to receive a Reed-and-
Prince or a Phillips screwdriver.

View E shows a torque-set wrenching recess that has four driving

wings, each one offset from the one opposite it. There is no taper in
the walls of the recess. This permits higher torque to be applied with
less tendency for the driver to slip or cam out of the slots.

View F shows an external-wrenching head that has a washer face

under the head to provide an increased bearing surface. The 12-point
head gives a greater wrench gripping surface.

View G shows a hi-torque style driving slot. This single slot is
narrower at the center than at the outer portions. This and the center
dimple provide the slot with a bow tie appearance. The recess is also
undercut in a taper from the center to the outer ends, producing an
inverted keystone shape. These bolts must be installed with a special
hi-torque driver adapter. They must also be driven with some type of
torque-limiting or torque-measuring device. Each diameter of bolt
requires the proper size of driver for that particular bolt. The bolts
are available in standard and reduced 100-degree flush heads. The
reduced head requires a driver one size smaller than the standard
headBOLT THREADS.— Another structural feature in which bolts may
differ is threads. These usually come in one of two types: coarse and
fine. The two are not interchangeable. For any given size of bolt

Figure 2-22.—Bolt head markings.

there is a different number of coarse and fine threads per inch. For
instance, consider the 1/4-inch bolts. Some are called 1/4-28 bolts
because they have 28 fine threads per inch. Others have only 20
coarse threads per inch and are called 1/4-20 bolts. To force one size
of threads into another size, even though both are 1/4 of an inch,
can strip the finer threads or softer metal. The same thing is true
concerning the other sizes of bolts; therefore, make certain that bolts
you select have the correct type of threads.

BOLT MATERIAL.— The type of metal used in an aircraft bolt helps to

determine its strength and its resistance to corrosion. Therefore,
make certain that material is considered in the selection of
replacement bolts. Like solid shank rivets, bolts have distinctive head
markings that help to identify the material from which they are
manufactured. Figure 2-22 shows the tops of several hex-head bolts,
each marked to indicate the type of bolt material.

BOLT IDENTIFICATION.— Unless current directives specify
otherwise, every unserviceable bolt should be replaced with a bolt of
the same type. Of course, substitute and interchangeable items are
sometimes available, but the ideal fix is a bolt-for-bolt replacement.
The part number of a needed bolt may be obtained by referring to the
illustrated parts breakdown (IPB) for the aircraft concerned. Exactly
what this part number means depends upon whether the bolt is AN
(Air Force-Navy), NAS (National Aircraft Standard), or MS (Military

AN Part Number.— There are several classes of AN bolts, and in some

instances their part numbers reveal slightly different types of
information. However, most AN numbers contain the same type of

Figure 2-23 shows a breakdown of a typical AN bolt part number.

Like the AN rivets discussed earlier, it starts with the letters AN.
Next, notice that a number follows the letters. This number usually
consists of two digits. The first digit (or absence of it) shows the
class of the bolt. For instance, in figure 2-23, the series number has
only one digit, and the absence of one digit shows that this part
number represents a general-purpose hex-head bolt. However, the
part numbers for some bolts of this class have two digits. In fact,
general-purpose hex-head bolts include all part numbers beginning
with AN3, AN4, and so on, through AN20. Other series numbers and
the classes of bolts that they represent are as follows:

AN21 through AN36—clevis bolts

AN42 through AN49—eyebolts

The series number shows another type of information other than bolt
class. With a few exceptions, it indicates bolt diameter in sixteenths

Figure 2-23.—AN bolt part number breakdown.

an inch. For instance, in figure 2-23, the last digit of the series
number is 4; therefore, this bolt is 4/16 of an inch (1/4 of an inch) in
diameter. In the case of a series number ending in 0, for instance
AN30, the 0 stands for 10, and the bolt has a diameter of 10/16 of an
inch (5/8 of an inch).

Refer again to figure 2-23, and observe that a dash follows the series
number. When used in the part numbers for general-purpose AN
bolts, clevis bolts, and eyebolts, this dash indicates that the bolt is
made of carbon steel. With these types of bolts, the letter D means
2017 aluminum alloy. The letters DD stand for 2024 aluminum alloy.
For some bolts of this type, a letter H is used with these letters or
with the dash. If it is so used, the letter H shows that the bolt has
been drilled for safetying. C indicates corrosion resitant steel. A
indicates that shank is undrilled.

Next, observe the number 20 that follows the dash. This is called the
dash number. It represents the bolt’s grip (as taken from special
tables). In this instance the number 20 stands for a bolt that is 2
1/32 inches long.

The last character in the AN number shown in figure 2-23 is the

letter A. This signifies that the bolt is not drilled for cotter pin
safetying. If no letter were used after the dash number, the bolt
shank would be drilled for safetying.

NAS Part Number.— Another series of bolts used in aircraft

construction is the NAS. See figure 2-24. In considering the NAS 144-
25 bolt (special internal-wrenching type), observe that the bolt
identification code starts with the letters next number (4) indicates
the bolt diameter in sixteenths of an inch. The dash number (25)
indicates bolt grip in sixteenths of an inch.

Figure 2-24.-NM bolt part number breakdown.

Figure 2-25.—MS bolt part number breakdown.

MS Part Number.— MS is another series of bolts used in aircraft

construction. In the part number shown in figure 2-25, the MS
indicates that the bolt is a Military Standard bolt. The series number
(20004) indicates the bolt class and diameter in sixteenths of an inch
(internal-wrenching, 1/4-inch diameter). The letter H before the
dash number indicates that the bolt has a drilled head for safetying.
The dash number (9) indicates the bolt grip in sixteenths of an inch.

Clevis Bolt- is round and slotted to rcieve a commom screw driver or

recessed to receive cross point screw driver. This type of bolt is used
only in Shear application.

Eye bolt- is used in tension load


Aircraft nuts differ in design and material, just as bolts do, because
they are designed to do a specific job with the bolt. For instance,
some of the nuts are made of cadmium-plated carbon steel, stainless
steel, brass, or aluminum alloy. The type of metal used is not
identified by markings on the nuts themselves. Instead, the material
must be recognized from the luster of the metal.

Nuts also differ greatly in size and shape. In spite of these many and
varied differences, they all fall under one of two general groups: self-
locking and nonself-locking. Nuts are further divided into types such
as plain nuts, castle nuts, check nuts, plate nuts, channel nuts, barrel
nuts, internal-wrenching nuts, external-wrenching nuts, shear nuts,
sheet spring nuts, wing nuts, and Klincher locknuts

NONSELF-LOCKING NUTS.— Nonself-locking nuts require the use of a

separate locking device for security of installation. There are several
types of these locking devices mentioned in the following paragraphs
in connection with the nuts on which they are used. Since no single
locking device can be used with all types of nonself-locking nuts, you
must select one suitable for the type of nut being used.

SELF-LOCKING NUTS.— Self-locking nuts provide tight connections

that will not loosen under vibrations. Self-locking nuts approved for
use on aircraft meet critical strength, corrosion-resistance, and
temperature specifications. The two major types of self-locking nuts
are prevailing torque and free spinning. The two general types of
prevailing torque nuts are the all-metal nuts and the nonmetallic
insert nuts. New self-locking nuts must be used each time
components are installed in critical areas throughout the entire
aircraft, including all flight, engine, and fuel control linkage and
attachments. The flexloc nut is an example of the all-metal type. The
elastic stop nut is an example of the nonmetallic insert type. All-
metal self-locking nuts are constructed with the threads in the load-
carrying portion of the nut out of phase with the threads in the
locking portion, or with a saw cut top portion with a pinched-in
thread. The locking action of these types depends upon the resiliency
of the metal when the locking section and load-carrying section are
forced into alignment when engaged by the bolt or screw threads.

PLAIN HEX NUTS.— These nuts are available in self-locking or

nonself-lotting styles. When the nonself-locking nuts are used, they
should be locked with an auxiliary locking device such as a check nut
or lock washer. Used in large tension loads.

CASTLE NUTS.— These nuts are used with drilled shank bolts, hex-
head bolts, clevis bolts, eyebolts, and drilled-head studs. These nuts
are designed to be secured with cotter pins or safety wire. Used in
tension loads.

CASTELLATED SHEAR NUTS.— Like the castle nuts, these nuts are
castellated for safetying. They are not as strong or cut as deep as the
castle nuts. Used in shear load only.

CHECK NUTS.— These nuts are used in locking devices for nonself-
locking plain hex nuts, setscrews, and threaded rod ends.

PLATE NUTS.— These nuts are used for blind mounting in inaccessible
locations and for easier maintenance. They are available in a wide
range of sizes and shapes. One-lug, two-lug, and right-angle shapes
are available to accommodate the specific physical requirements of
nut locations. Floating nuts provide a controlled amount of nut
movement to compensate for subassembly misalignment. They can
be either self-locking or nonself-locking. See figure 2-27.

CHANNEL NUTS.— These nuts are used in applications requiring

anchored nuts equally spaced around openings such as access and
inspection doors and removable leading edges. Straight or curved
channel nut strips offer a wide range of nut spacings and provide a
multinut unit that has all the advantages of floating nuts. They are
usually self-locking.

BARREL NUTS.— These nuts are installed in drilled holes. The round
portion of the nut fits in the drilled hole and provides a self-
wrenching effect. They are usually self-locking.

INTERNAL-WRENCHING NUTS.— These nuts are generally used

where a nut with a high tensile strength is required or where space is
limited and the use of external-wrenching nuts would not permit the
use of conventional wrenches for installation and removal. This is
usually where the bearing surface is counterbored. These nuts have a
nonmetallic insert that provides the locking action.

Figure 2-26.–Nuts.

Figure 2-27.–Self-locking nuts.

Figure 2-28.-Sheet spring nut.


The most common threaded fastener used in aircraft construction is

the screw. The three most used types are the structural screw,
machine screw, and the self-tapping screw.

STRUCTURAL SCREWS.— Structura.l screws are used for assembling

structural parts. They are made of alloy steel and are heat treated.
Structural screws have a definite grip length and the same shear and

tensile strengths as the equivalent size bolt. They differ from
structural bolts only in the type of head. These screws are available
in round-head, countersunk-head, and brazier-head types, either

Figure 2-29.—Typical installations of the Wincher locknut.

Figure 2-30.-Structural screws.

slotted or recessed for the various types of screwdrivers. See figure


MACHINE SCREWS.— The commonly used machine screws are the
flush-head, round-head, fillister-head, socket-head, pan-head and
truss-head types.

Flush-Head.— Flush-head machine screws are used in countersunk

holes where a flush finish is desired. These screws are available in 82
and 100 degrees of head angle, and have various types of recesses
and slots for driving.

Round-Head.— Round-head machine screws are frequently used in

assembling highly stressed aircraft components.

Fillister-Head.— Fillister-head machine screws are used as general-

purpose screws. They may also be used as cap screws in light
applications such as the attachment of cast aluminum gearbox cover

Socket-Head.— Socket-head machine screws are designed to be

screwed into tapped holes by internal wrenching. They are used in
applications that require high-strength precision products,
compactness of the assembled parts, or sinking of the head into

Pan- and Truss-Head.— Pan-head and truss-head screws are general-

purpose screws used where head height is unimportant. These
screws are available with cross-recessed heads only.

SELF-TAPPING SCREWS.— A self-tapping screw is one that cuts its

own internal threads as it is turned into the hole. Self-tapping screws
can be used only in comparatively soft metals and materials. Self-
tapping screws may be further divided into two classes or groups:
machine self-tapping screws and sheet metal self-tapping screws

Machine self-tapping screws are usually used for attaching

removable parts, such as nameplates, to castings. The threads of the
screw cut mating threads in the casting after the hole has been
predrilled. Sheet metal self-tapping screws are used for such
purposes as temporarily attaching sheet metal in place for riveting.
They may also be used for permanent assembly of nonstructural
parts, where it is necessary to insert screws in blind applications.


Self-tapping screws should never be used to replace standard

screws, nuts, or rivets in the original structure. Over a period of time,
vibration and stress will loosen this type of fastener, causing it to
lose its holding ability.


Washers such as ball socket and seat washers, taper pin washers,
and washers for internal-wrenching nuts and bolts have been
designed for special applications. See figure 2-31.

Ball socket and seat washers are used where a bolt is installed at an
angle to the surface, or where perfect alignment with the surface is
required at all times.

These washers are used together.

Taper pin washers are used in conjunction with threaded taper pins.
They are installed under the nut to effect adjustment where a plain
washer would distort.

Washers for internal-wrenching nuts and bolts are used in

conjunction with NAS internal-wrenching bolts. The washer used
under the head is countersunk to seat the bolt head or shank radius.
A plain washer is used under the nut.

Figure 2-31.—Various types of special washers.


CABLE-A cable is a group of wires or a group of strands of wires

twisted together into a strong wire rope. The wires or strands may
be twisted in various ways. The relationship of the direction of twist
of each strand to each other and to the cable as a whole is called the
opposite to the twist of the strands around the center strand or core,
the cable will not stretch (or set) as much as one in which they are
all twisted in the same direction. This direction of twist (in opposite
direction) is most commonly adopted, and it is called a regular or an
ordinary lay. Cables may have a right regular lay or a left regular lay.

If the strands are twisted in the direction of twist around the center
strand or core, the lay is called a lang lay. There is a right and left
lang lay. The only other twist arrangement-twisting the strands
alternately right and left, then twisting them all either to the right or
to the left about the core—is called a reverse lay. Most aircraft cables
have a right regular lay.

When aircraft cables are manufactured, each strand is first formed to

the spiral or helical shape to fit the position it is to occupy in the
finished cable. The process of such forming is called preforming, and
cables made by such a process are said to be preformed. The process
of preforming is adopted to ensure flexibility in the finished cable
and to relieve bending and twisting stresses in the strands as they
are woven into the cable. It also keeps the strands from spreading
when the cable is cut. All aircraft cables are internally lubricated
during construction.

Aircraft control cables are fabricated either from flexible, preformed

carbon steel wire or from flexible, preformed, corrosion-resistant
steel wire. The small corrosion-resistant steel cables are made of
steel containing not less than 17 percent chromium and 8 percent
nickel, while the larger ones (those of the 5/16-, 3/8-, and 7/16-
inch diameters) are made of steel that, in addition to the amounts of
chromium and nickel just mentioned, also contains not less than 1.75
percent molybdenum.

Cables may be designated 7 x 7, 7 x 19, or 6 x 19 according to their

construction. A 7 x 7 cable consists of six strands of seven wires
each, laid around a center strand of seven wires. A 7 x 19 cable
consists of six strands of 19 wires, laid around a 19-wire central
strand, A 6 x 19 IWRC cable consists of six strands of 19 wires each,
laid around an independent wire rope center.

The size of cable is given in terms of diameter measurement. A 1/8-

inch cable or a 5/16-inch cable means that the cable measures 1/8
inch or 5/16 inch in diameter, as shown in figure 2-32. Note that the
cable diameter is that of the smallest circle that would enclose the
entire cross section of the cable. Aircraft

Figure 2-32.-Cable cross section.

control cables vary in diameters, ranging from 1/16 of an inch to 3/8

of an inch.


Cable ends may be equipped with several different types of fittings

such as terminals, thimbles, bushings, and shackles. Terminal fittings
are generally of the swaged type. (The swaging process is described
in detail in chapter 9 of this manual.) Terminal fittings are available
with threaded ends, fork ends, eye ends, and single-shank and
double-shank ball ends.

Threaded-end, fork-end, and eye-end terminals are used to connect

the cable to turnbuckles, bell cranks, and other linkage in the
system. The ball terminals are used for attaching cable to quadrants
and special connections where space is limited. The

Figure 2-33.—Types of cable terminal fittings.

single-shank ball end is usually used on the ends of cables, and the
double-shank ball end may be used at either the ends or in the center
of a cable run. Figure 2-33 shows the various types of terminal

Thimble, bushing, and shackle fittings may be used in place of some

types of terminal fittings when facilities and supplies are limited and
immediate replacement of the cable is necessary. Figure 2-34 shows
these fittings


A turnbuckle is a mechanical screw device consisting of two threaded

terminals and a threaded barrel. Figure 2-35 shows a typical
turnbuckle assembly. Turnbuckles are fitted in the cable assembly for
the purpose of making minor adjustments in cable length and for
adjusting cable tension. One of the terminals has right-hand threads

Figure 2-34.-Thimble, bashing, and shackle fittings.

Figure 2-35.—Typical turnbuckle assembly.

and the other has left-hand threads, The barrel has matching right-
and left-hand threads internally. The end of the barrel, with left-hand
threads inside, can usually be identified by either a groove or knurl
around the end of the barrel. Barrels and terminals are available in
both long and short lengths. When you install a turnbuckle in a
control system, it is necessary to screw both of the terminals an
equal number of turns into the turnbuckle barrel. It is also essential
that all turnbuckle terminals be screwed into the barrel at least until
not more than three threads are exposed. On initial installation, the

turnbuckle terminals should not be screwed inside the turnbuckle
barrel more than four threads. Figure 2-36 shows turnbuckle thread

After a turnbuckle is properly adjusted, it must be safetied. There are

several methods of safetying turnbuckles. However, only two
methods have been adopted as standard procedures by the services.
These methods are discussed later in this chapter.


Fairleads (rubstrips), grommets, pressure seals, and pulleys are all

types of cable guides. They are used to protect control cables by
preventing the cables

Figure 2-36.-Turnbuckle tolerances.

Figure 2-37.—Typical cable guides.

from rubbing against nearby metal parts. They are also used as
supports to reduce cable vibration in long stretches (runs) of cable.
Figure 2-37 shows some typical cable guides.


Fairleads maybe made of a solid piece of material to completely

encircle cables when they pass through holes in bulkheads or other
metal parts. Fairleads may be used to reduce cable whipping and
vibration in long runs of cable. Split fairleads are made for easy
installation around single cables to protect them from rubbing on the
edges of holes.


Grommets are made of rubber, and they are used on small openings
where single cables pass through the walls of unpressurized

Pressure Seals

Pressure seals are used on cables or rods that must move through
pressurized bulkheads. They fit tightly enough to prevent air
pressure loss, but not so tightly as to hinder movement of the unit.


Pulleys (or sheaves) are grooved wheels used to change cable

direction and to allow the cable to move with a minimum of friction.
Most pulleys used on aircraft are made from layers of cloth
impregnated with phenolic resin and fused together under high
temperatures and pressures. Aircraft pulleys are extremely strong
and durable, and cause minimum wear on the cable passing over
them. Pulleys are provided with grease-sealed bearings, and usually
do not require further lubrication. However, pulley bearings may be
pressed out, cleaned, and relubricated with special equipment. This
is usually done only by depot-level maintenance activities. Pulley
brackets made of sheet or cast aluminum are required with each
pulley installed in the aircraft. See figure 2-38. Besides holding the
pulley in the correct position and at the correct angle, the brackets
prevent the cable from slipping out of the groove on the pulley


These units are generally constructed in the form of an arc or in a

complete circular form. They are grooved around the outer
circumference to receive the cable, as shown in figure 2-38. The
names sector and quadrant are used interchangeably. Sectors and
quadrants are similar to bell cranks and walking

Figure 2-38.-Control system components.

Figure 2-39.-Series 145 and 155 quick-disconnect couplings.

beams, which are used for the same purpose in rigid control systems.


Learning Objective: Identify the various hydraulic hardware and

seals used in naval aircraft.

Hardware, such as the quick-disconnect coupling, and seals and

packings are used throughout the aircraft. They are essential for safe
and proper operation of aircraft systems. You must be familiar with
the various types used on naval aircraft.


Static dischargers are commonly known as static wicks static

discharge wicks. They are used on aircraft to allow the continuous
satisfactory operation of onboard navigation and radio
communication systems. During adverse charging conditions, they
limit the potential static buildup on the aircraft and control
interference generated by static charge. Static dischargers are not
lighting arrestors and do not reduce or increase the likelihood of an

aircraft being struck by lightning. Static dischargers are subject to
damage or significant changes in resistance characteristics as a
result of lightning strike to the aircraft, and should be inspected after
a lightning strike to ensure proper static discharge operation. Static
dischargers are fabricated with a wick of wire or a conductive
element on one end, which provides a high resistance discharge path
between the aircraft and the air. See figure 2-56. They are attached
on some aircraft to the ailerons, elevators, rudder, wing, horizontal
and vertical stabilizer tips, etc. Refer to your applicable aircraft’s
MIM for maintenance procedures.


Learning Objective: Identify the various safety methods used on

aircraft hardware.

You will come in contact with many different types of safetying

materials. These materials are used to stop rotation and other
movement of fasteners. They are also used to secure other
equipment that may come loose due to vibration in the aircraft.


Cotter pins are used to secure bolts, screws, nuts, and pins. Some
cotter pins are made of low-carbon steel, while others consist of
stainless steel and are more resistant to corrosion. Also, stainless
steel cotter pins may be used in locations where nonmagnetic
material is required. Regardless of shape or material, all cotter pins
are used for the same general purpose—safetying. Figure 2-57 shows
three types of cotter pins and how their size is determined.

NOTE: Whenever uneven prong cotter pins are used, the length
measurement is to the end of the shortest prong.


Safety wire comes in many types and sizes. You must first select the
correct type and size of wire for the job. Annealed corrosion-
resistant wire is used in high-temperature, electrical equipment, and
aircraft instrument applications. All nuts except the self-locking
types must be safetied; the method used depends upon the particular


Learning Objective: Recognize the importance of the proper torquing

of fasteners and the required torquing procedures.

Fastener fatigue failure accounts for the majority of all fastener
problems. Fatigue breaks are caused by insufficient tightening and
the lack of proper preload or clamping force. This results in
movement between the parts of the assembly and bending back and
forth or cyclic stressing of the fastener. Eventually, cracks will
progress to the point where the fastener can no longer support its
designed load. At this point the fastener fails with varying


For the nut to properly load the bolt and prevent premature failure, a
designated amount of torque must be applied. Proper torque reduces
the possibility of the fastener loosening while in service. The correct
torque to apply when you are tightening an assembly is based on
many variables. The fastener is subjected to two stresses when it is
tightened. These stresses are torsion and tension. Tension is the
desired stress, while torsion is the undesirable stress caused by
friction. A large percentage of applied torque is used to overcome
this friction, so that only tension remains after tightening. Proper
tension reduces the possibility of fluid leaks.

Table 3-4.—Recommended Torque Values (Inch-Pounds)

The recommended torque values provided in table 3-4 have been
established for average dry, cadmium- plated nuts for both the fine
and coarse thread series of nuts. Thread surface variations such as
paint, lubrication, hardening, plating, and thread distortion may alter
these values considerably. The torque values must be followed
unless the MIM or structual repair manual for the specific aircraft
requires a specific torque for a given nut. Torque values vary slightly
with manufacturers. When the torque values are included in a

Figure 3-12.—Torque wrenches.

technical manual, these values take precedence over the standard

torque values provided in the of nuts, bolts, and screws used in
aircraft construction. You should use this manual when specific
torque values are not provided as a part of the removal/replacement

To obtain values in foot-pounds, divide inch-pound values by 12. Do

not lubricate nuts or bolts except for corrosion-resistant instructed

to do so, steel parts or where specifically Always tighten by rotating
the nut first if possible. When space considerations make it
necessary to tighten the fastener by rotating the bolt head, approach
the high side of the indicated torque range. Do not exceed the
maximum allowable torque value. Maximum torque ranges should be
used only when materials and surfaces being joined are of sufficient
thickness, area, and strength to resist breaking, warping, or other

For corrosion-resisting steel nuts, use the torque values given for
shear-type nuts. The use of any type of drive-end extension on a
torque wrench changes the dial reading required to obtain the actual
values indicated in the torque range tables. See figure 3-12.


When you are using a drive-end extension, the torque wrench

reading must be computed using the following formula:


S = handle setting or reading

T = torque applied at end of adapter

La = length of handle in inches

Ea = length of extension in inches

If you desire to exert 100 inch-pounds at the end of the wrench and
extension, when La equals 12 inches and Ea equals 6 inches, it is
possible to determine the handle setting by making the following

S = 66.7 inch–pounds

Whenever possible, attach the extension in line with the torque

wrench. When it is necessary to attach the extension at any angle to
the torque wrench, the effective length of the assembly will be La +
Ea, as shown in figure 3-12. In this instance, length Eb must be
substituted for length Ea in the formula.

NOTE: It is not advisable to use a handle extension on a flexible

beam-type torque wrench at any time. The use of a drive-end
extension on any type of torque wrench makes use of the formula
necessary. When the formula has been used, force must be applied to
the handle of the torque wrench at the point from which the
measurements were taken. If this is not done, the torque obtained
will be in error.


Hose assemblies are used to connect moving parts with stationary

parts and in locations subject to severe vibration. Hose assemblies
are heavier than aluminum-alloy tubing and deteriorate more rapidly.
They are used only when absolutely necessary. Hose assemblies are
made up of hose and hose fittings. A hose consists of multiple layers
of various materials. An example of the hose most often used in
medium-pressure applications is shown in figure 5-1.


There are two basic types of hose used in military aircraft and
related equipment. They are synthetic rubber and
polytetrafluoroethylene, commonly known as Teflon@ or PTFE.

Bulk hose identification will vary with the materials from which the
hose is constructed. It is important that you are able to clearly
identify the proper hose to be used by recognizing the various hose

Figure 5-1.—Medium pressure synthetic rubber hose, MIL-H-8794.

Synthetic Rubber Hose

Synthetic rubber hose has a seamless synthetic rubber inner tube

covered with layers of cotton and wire braid, and an outer layer of
rubber impregnated cotton braid. The hose is provided in low-,
medium-, and high-pressure types.

Synthetic rubber hose (if rubber-covered) is identified by the

indicator stripe and markings that are stencilled along the length of
the hose. The indicator stripe (also called the lay line because of its
use in determining the straightness or lie of a hose) is a series of
dots or dashes. The markings (letters and numerals) contain the
military specification, the hose size, the cure date, and the
manufacturer’s federal supply code number. This information is
repeated at intervals of 9 inches. Refer to figure 5-2.

Size is indicated by a dash followed by a number (referred to as a

dash number). The dash number does not denote the inside or
outside diameter of the hose. It refers to the equivalent outside
diameter of rigid tube size in sixteenths (1/16) of an inch. A dash 8
(-8) mates to a number 8 rigid tube, which has an outside diameter
of one-half inch (8/16). The inside of the hose will not be one-half
inch, but slightly smaller to allow for tube thickness.

The cure date is provided for age control. It is indicated by the

quarter of the year and year. The year is divided into four quarters.

1st quarter — January, February, March

2d quarter — April, May, June

3d quarter — July, August, September

4th quarter — October, November, December

The cure date is also marked on bulk hose containers in accordance

with Military Standard 129 (MIL-STD-129).

Synthetic rubber hose (if wire-braid covered) is identified by bands

wrapped around the hose at the ends and at intervals along the
length of the hose. Each band is marked with the same information

Teflon® Hose The Teflon® hose is made up of a tetrafluoro- ethylene

resin, which is processed and extruded into tube shape to a desired
size. It is covered with stainless steel wire, which is braided over the
tube for strength and protection. The advantages of this hose are its
operating temperature range, its chemical inertness to all fluids
normally used in hydraulic and engine lubrication systems, and its
long life. At this time, only medium-pressure and high-pressure types
are available. These are complete assemblies with factory-installed
end fittings. The fittings may be either the detachable type or the
swaged type. When failures occur, replacement must be made on a
complete assembly basis.

Teflon® hose is identified by metal bands or pliable plastic bands at

the ends and at 3-foot intervals. These bands contain the hose
military specification number, size indicated by a dash (-) and a
number, operating pressure, and the manufacturer’s federal supply
code number. Refer to figure 5-2.

Flared Fitting

There are two types of flared tubing joints—the single-flared joint

and the double-flared joint. The single-flared tube joint is used on all
sizes of steel tubing and 5052 aluminum alloy tubing that conforms
to Federal Specification WW-T-700/6 with 1/2 inch or larger outside
diameter, Use the tube flaring tool (fig. 6-12) to prepare tube ends
for flaring. Check tube ends for roundness, square cut, cleanliness,
and no draw marks or scratches. Draw marks can spread and split
the tube when it is flared. Use a deburring tool to remove burrs from
the inside and outside of the tubing. Remove filings, chips, and grit
from inside the tube. Clean the tube. Slip the fitting nut and sleeve
onto the tube. Place the tube into the proper size hole in the grip die.
Make sure the end of the tube extends 1/64 inch above the surface
of the grip die. Center the plunger over the end of the tube and

Figure 6-12.—Tube flaring toot (single-flare).

tighten the yoke setscrew to secure the tube in the grip die and hold
the yoke in place. Strike the top of the plunger several light blows
with a hammer or mallet, turning the plunger a half turn after each
blow. Loosen the setscrew and remove the tube from the grip die.
Check to make sure that no cracks are evident and that the flared
end of the tube is no larger than the largest diameter of the sleeve
being used. The double-flare tube joint is used on all 5052 aluminum
alloy tubes with less than 1/2-inch outside diameter, except when
used with NAS 590 series tube fittings and NAS 591 connectors or
NAS 593 con-nectors. Aluminum alloy tubing used in low-pressure
oxygen systems or corrosion-resistant steel used in brake systems
must be double flared. Double flare reduces the chance of cutting the
flare by overtightening. When fabricating oxygen lines, make sure
that all tube material and tools are kept free of oil and grease. Use
the tube flaring tool (fig. 6-13) to prepare tube ends. Check tube end
for roundness, square cut, cleanliness, and make sure there are no
draw marks or scratches. Draw marks can split the tubing when it is

Figure 6-13.—Tube flaring tool (double-flare).

Use a deburring tool to remove burrs from the inside and outside of
tube. Remove filings, chips, and grit from inside the tube. Clean the
tube. Select the proper size die blocks, and place one-half of the die
block into the flaring tool body with the countersunk end towards the
ram guide. Install the nut and sleeve, and lay the tube in the die
block with 1/2 inch protruding beyond countersunk end. Place the
other half of the die block into the tool body, close latch plate, and
tighten the clamp nuts fingertight. Insert the upset flare punch in the
tool body with the gauge end toward the die blocks. The upset flare
punch has one end counterbored or recessed to gauge the amount of
tubing needed to form a double lap flare. Insert the ram and tap
lightly with a hammer or mallet until the upset flare punch contacts
the die blocks, and the die blocks are set against the stop plate on
the bottom. Use a wrench to tighten the latch plate nuts alternately,
beginning with the closed side, to prevent distortion of the tool.
Reverse the upset flare punch; insert the upset flare punch and ram
into the tool body. Tap lightly with a hammer or mallet until the
upset flare punch contacts the die blocks. Remove the upset flare
punch and ram. Insert the finishing flare punch and ram. Tap the ram
lightly until a good seat is formed (fig. 6-14). Check the seat at
intervals during the finishing operation to avoid overseating.

Flareless Fitting

Preparing tube ends for flareless fitting requires a presetting

operation whereby the sleeve is set onto the tubing. Presetting is
necessary to form the seal between the sleeve and the tube without
damaging the connector. Presetting should always be accomplished
with a presetting tool, such as the one shown in figure 6-15. These
tools are machined from tool steel and hardened so that they may be
used with a minimum of distortion and wear.

Figure 6-14.—Tube position and resulting flare.

NOTE: A flareless-tube connector may be used as a presetting tool in

case of an emergency. However, when connectors are used as
presetting tools, aluminum connectors should be used only once, and
steel connectors should not be used more than five times.

Special procedures are used in the presetting operation. Select the

correct size presetting tool or a flareless fitting body. Clamp the

presetting tool or flareless fitting body in a vise. Slide a nut and then
a sleeve onto the tube, and make sure the pilot and cutting edge of
the sleeve points toward the end of tube. Select the lubricant from
table 6-4, and lubricate fitting threads, tool seat, and shoulder
sleeve. Place the tube end firmly against the bottom of the presetting
tool seat, while slowly screwing the nut onto the tool threads with a
wrench until the tube


Open Center

An open center system is one having fluid flow, but no pressure in

the system when the actuating mechanisms are idle. The pump
circulates the fluid from the reservoir, through the selector valves,
and back to the reservoir. Figure 7-1 shows a basic open center
system. The open center system may employ any number of
subsystems, with a selector valve for each subsystem. Unlike the
closed center system, the selector valves of the open center system
are always connected in series with each other. In this arrangement,

the system pressure line goes through each selector valve, Fluid is
always allowed free passage through each selector valve and back to
the reservoir until one of the selector valves is positioned to operate
a mechanism.

When one of the selector valves is positioned to operate an actuating

device, fluid is directed from the pump through one of the working
lines to the actuator. See view B of figure 7-1. With the selector valve
in this position, the flow of fluid through the valve to the reservoir is
blocked. The pressure builds up in the system to overcome the
resistance and moves the piston of the actuating cylinder, The fluid
from the opposite end of the actuator returns to the selector valve
and flows back to the reservoir. Operation of the system following
actuation of the component depends on the type of selector valve
being used. Several types of selector valves are used in conjunction
with the open center system. One type is both manually engaged and
manually disengaged. First the valve is manually moved to an
operating position. Then, the actuating mechanism reaches the end
of its operating cycle, and the pump output continues until the
system relief valve relieves the pressure. The relief valve unseats
and allows the fluid to flow back to the reservoir. The system
pressure remains at the relief valve set pressure until the selector
valve is manually returned to the neutral position. This action
reopens the open center flow and allows the system pressure to drop
to line resistance pressure.

The manually engaged and pressure disengaged type of selector

valve is similar to the valve pre-viously discussed. When the
actuating mechanism reaches the end of its cycle, the pressure
continues to rise to a predetermined pressure. The valve auto-
matically returns to the neutral position and to open center flow.

Closed Center

In the closed center system, the fluid is under pressure whenever the
power pump is operating. Figure 7-2 shows a complex closed center

Figure 7-1.—Basic open center hydraulic system.

The power pump may be one used with a separate pressure regulator
control. The power pump may be used with an integral pressure
control valve that eliminates the need for a pressure regulator. This
system differs from the open center system in that the selector or
directional control valves are arranged in parallel and not in series.
The means of controlling pump pressure will vary in the closed
center system. If a constant delivery pump is used, the system
pressure will be regulated by a pressure regulator. A relief valve acts
as a backup safety device in case the regulator fails. If a variable
displacement pump is used, system pressure is controlled by the
pump’s integral pressure mechanism compensator. The compensator
automatically varies the volume output. When pressure approaches
normal system pressure, the compensator begins to reduce the flow
output of the pump. The pump is fully compensated (near zero flow)
when normal system pressure is attained. When the pump is in this

fully compensated condition, its internal bypass mechanism provides
fluid circulation through the pump for cooling and lubrication. A relief
valve is installed in the system as a safety backup. An advantage of
the open center system over the closed center system is that the
continuous pressurization of the system is eliminated. Since the
pressure is built up gradually after the selector valve is moved to an
operating position, there is very little shock from pressure surges.
This action provides a smoother operation of the actuating
mechanisms. The operation is slower than the closed center system,
in which the pressure is available the moment the selector valve is
positioned. Since most aircraft applications require instantaneous
operation, closed center systems are the most widely used.

Power systems are designed to produce and maintain a given

pressure. The pressure output of most of the Navy’s high-
performance aircraft is 3,000 psi. The hydraulic system, shown in
figure 7-2, is an example of a representative 3,000 psi hydraulic
power system. The aircraft has three independent hydraulic power
systems. The two primary systems are the flight hydraulic power
system and the combined hydraulic power system. These systems
are pressurized by two independent engine-driven hydraulic pumps
on each engine. The auxiliary power system also operates on 3,000
psi pressure. It is pressurized by the hydraulic hand pump and/or
the electric motor-driven hydraulic pump. The auxiliary power
system is similar to the combined hydraulic power system. The
primary difference is that the combined system supplies hydraulic
pressure to utility hydraulic circuits and the flight controls.

The hydraulic control valves and actuators that operate the primary
flight controls are of the tandem construction type. This design
permits operation from either or both of the two power systems.
With this arrangement, either engine can fail or be shut down
without complete loss of hydraulic power to either system. The flight
system reservoir supplies fluid to the two engine-driven flight system
pumps. The combined system reservoir supplies fluid to the two
engine-driven combined system pumps and to the auxiliary hydraulic
power system. Both reservoirs are of the pressurized piston type.
They are pressurized by engine bleed air during engine operations
and by an external air (nitrogen) source during maintenance

Hydraulic system pressure is indicated on the integrated hydraulic

pressure indicator. This indicator displays the output pressure of the
flight and combined hydraulic power systems. The flight hydraulic
power system provides power for the operation of the rudder,
stabilizer, and flaperons. It also provides power for operation of the
automatic flight control system actuators, which are an integral part
of the rudder and stabilizer control surface actuators. The flight

hydraulic system also controls the automatic operation of the
isolation valve. This valve is a part of the combined hydraulic system.

The combined hydraulic power system consists of two parallel

circuits—one to power the primary systems and the other to power
the secondary systems. The primary system consists of spin
recovery, rudder, stabilizer flaperon, speed brakes, and electric ram
air turbine systems. The secondary system consists of wing slats,
wing flaps, wing fold, landing gear, arresting gear, wheel brakes,
nosewheel steering, and the nose strut locking systems.

The isolation valve shuts off flow to the secondary systems during
flight and limits the combined system’s pressure requirements to
operation of the primary circuit. Operation of the isolation valve is
both automatic and manual. The reservoir pressurization system
provides the reservoir with a differential pressure of 40 psi to
prevent engine-driven pump cavitation. The pressure is maintained
at 40 psi by the air regulator. In the event of regulator failure, the
relief valve installed between the regulator and the reservoir
prevents overpressurization. The relief valve opens at 50 psi. The
chemical air drier removes excessive moisture from the bleed air.
Dry, clean air is sent to the reservoir through the check valve, air
regulator, and relief valve.

TWO bleeder valves are installed in the flight and combined system
reservoirs. One is found on the air side of the reservoir and the other
on the fluid side. The air side valve permits the bleeding of air
pressure during system maintenance. It allows the bleeding of any
hydraulic fluid seepage past seals to the air side. The fluid side
bleeder reduces excessive fluid level and bleeds air from the fluid

Quick-disconnect fittings in the hydraulic power systems permit easy

pump or engine removal without loss of fluid to the system. The
fittings connect ground hydraulic test stands for maintenance
purposes. The pump disconnects should not be forced together
against the back pressure of a pressurized reservoir or system.
Forcing disconnects together may result in damaged seals in the
male ends of the disconnects. When the disconnects do not slide in
smoothly, they should be removed and checked for proper seating of
the O-rings. Replace seals if they are damaged. The seal goes on top
of the O-ring. When the disconnects are uncoupled, the ends not
being used should be properly protected from dirt and other
contamination. Use only approved metal closures.


The reservoir is a tank in which an adequate supply of fluid for the
system is stored. Fluid flows from the reservoir to the pump, where it
is forced through the system and eventually returned to the

The reservoir not only supplies the operating needs of the system,
but it also replenishes fluid lost through leakage. Furthermore, the
reservoir serves as an overflow basin for excess fluid forced out of
the system by thermal expansion (the increase of fluid volume
caused by temperature changes), the accumulators, and by piston
and rod displacement. The reservoir also furnishes a place for the
fluid to purge itself of air bubbles that may enter the system. Foreign
matter picked up in the system may also be separated from the fluid
in the reservoir, or as it flows through line filters.

Most nonpressurized reservoirs contain filters to maintain the

hydraulic fluid in a clean state, free from foreign matter. They are
usually located in filler necks and internally within the reservoir. The
mesh-type filter (finger strainer), usually installed in the filler neck,
removes foreign particles from fluid that is added to the reservoir.
Internally installed filters clean the fluid as it returns to the reservoir
from the system. This type of installation may have a bypass valve
incorporated to allow fluid to bypass the filter if it becomes clogged.
Some modern aircraft hydraulic reservoirs do not incorporate this
feature. All reservoirs containing filters are designed to permit easy
removal of the filter element for cleaning or replacement.

A reservoir instruction plate is usually attached to the reservoir, or it

may be attached to the aircraft structure adjacent to the filler
opening. Navy specifications designate the minimum information that
must be contained on this plate. Figure 7-3 shows the reservoir
instruction plate. Information on an instruction plate must include
the following:

1. Simple and complete instructions for tilling

2. Reservoir fluid capacity at full level

3. Full level indication

4. Refill level indication

5. Specification number and color of fluid

6. Position of operating cylinders during filling

7. System pressure (accumulator charged or discharged)

8.Instructions regarding air bleeding

Additional information may be added, when required, such as the


1. Additional full and refill levels under various conditions of system


2. Safety precautions

3. Filter element servicing information

4. Total fluid capacity of the system

There are two classes of hydraulic reservoirs— class I and class II.
Class I reservoirs are constructed in such a manner that the air and
hydraulic fluid are not separated. Class II reservoirs are constructed
in such a manner that the pressurizing agent and fluid chambers are
separated. This is accomplished by installing a piston between the

Nonpressurized reservoirs are vented to the atmosphere so the

reservoir can "breathe." This is done to prevent a vacuum from being
formed as the fluid level in the reservoir is lowered. The vent also
makes it possible for air that has entered the system to find a means
of escape.

The reservoir on aircraft designed for high-altitude flying is usually

pressurized. Pressurizing assures a positive flow of fluid to the pump
at high altitudes when low atmospheric pressures are encountered.

On some aircraft, the reservoir is pressurized by bleed air taken from

the compressor section of the engine. On others, the reservoir may
be pressurized by hydraulic system pressure.

Nonpressurized Reservoirs

Nonpressurized reservoirs are used in several transport, patrol, and

utility aircraft. These aircraft are not designed for violent maneuvers;
in some cases, they do not fly at high altitudes. Those aircraft that
incorporate nonpressurized reservoirs and fly at high altitudes have
the reservoirs installed within a pressurized area. High altitude in
this situation means an altitude where atmospheric pressure is
inadequate to maintain sufficient flow of fluid to the hydraulic
pumps. Most nonpressurized reservoirs are constructed in a
cylindrical shape. The outer housing is manufactured from a strong
corrosion-resistant metal.

Filter elements are normally installed internality within the reservoir
to clean returning system hydraulic fluid. In some of the older
aircraft, a filter bypass valve is incorporated to allow fluid to bypass
the filter in the event the filter becomes clogged. Reservoirs serviced
by pouring fluid directly into the reservoir have a filler strainer
(finger strainer) assembly incorporated within the filler well to strain
out impurities as the fluid enters the reservoir.

Generally, reservoirs described in the above paragraph use a visual

gauge to indicate the fluid quantity. Gauges incorporated on or in the
reservoir may be either a glass tube, a direct reading gauge, or a
float-type rod, which is visible through a transparent dome. In some
cases, the fluid quantity may also be read in the cockpit through the
use of quantity transmitters.

A typical nonpressurized reservoir is shown in figure 7-4, This

reservoir consists of a welded body and cover assembly clamped
together. Gaskets are incorporated to seal against leakage between

QUANTITY INDICATING GAUGE. —The reservoir fluid quantity is

indicated through a mechanically operated float and arm
(liquidometer) type of unit. The quantity gauge is mounted directly
on the side of the reservoir. As shown in figure 7-4, the float and arm
unit extends into the reservoir. The shell of the liquidometer provides
a glass window over a pointer and dial, with the pointer mechanically
linked to the float arm. As the float arm moves to correspond to the
fluid level, the pointer, through mechanical linkage, moves to
indicate the quantity available. This provides a direct reading sight
gauge at the reservoir.

This same float movement actuates the potentiometer wiper arm of

an integral transmitter potentiometer. The remote indicating circuit
is energized, and a duplicate indication of the reservoir

AIR PRESSURE REGULATORS. —Air pressure used in pressurizing

hydraulic reservoirs must be controlled within safe limits. Specific
pressure requirements vary between aircraft. In some aircraft, the
air pressure is controlled by an air pressure regulator (fig. 7-9). This
regulator normally maintains 40 psi pressure in the reservoir. It also
incorporates a relief valve to relieve excessive pressure and a
differential valve to allow equalization

AIR RELIEF VALVE. —An air relief valve is normally incorporated in

the air portion of the hydraulic power system to relieve excessive air
pressure entering the reservoir due to a mal-functioning air pressure
regulator. The relief valve shown in figure 7-10 is cylindrical in shape
and consists of a housing, poppet, spring, and adjusting screw. This

valve may be mounted directly to the reservoir or in a line leading
from the reservoir, depending on the aircraft system design. During
operation, air pressure enters the inlet port and contacts the poppet
surface. When system air pressure increases to 50 psi, the poppet is
forced off its seat, which allows excessive air pressure to be
exhausted to the atmosphere. When system pressure is lowered to
49 psi, the poppet spring tension overcomes system pressure and
reseats the poppet, thus closing the valve.

Maintenance of the valve usually includes the replacement of all

seals and the adjustment of its controlling pressures. This valve is
designed to relieve at a cracking (just open) pressure of 50 psi; the
reseating pressure is 49 psi. The valve will operate at full flow when
the pressure reaches 60 psi. All pressure adjustments of relief valves
must be performed on a test bench. You can control valve pressures
by adjusting the adjusting screw on the valve until the proper
settings are obtained.


All aircraft hydraulic systems have one or more power-driven pumps

and may have a hand pump as an additional source of power. Power-
driven pumps are the primary source of energy, and may be either
engine-driven or electric-motor driven. As a general rule, motor-
driven pumps are installed for use in emergencies; that is, for
operation of actuating units when the engine-driven pump is
inoperative. Hand pumps are generally installed for testing purposes
as well as for use in emergencies.

In this section, the various types of pumps used in naval aircraft,

both hand- and power-driven, are described and illustrated.

Hand Pumps

Hand pumps are used in hydraulic systems to supply fluid under

pressure to subsystems, such as the landing gear, flaps, canopy, and
bomb-bay doors, and to charge brake accumulators. Systems using
hand pumps are classified as emergency systems. Most of these
systems may be used effectively during preventive maintenance.

Double-action type of hand pumps are used in hydraulic systems.

Double action means that a flow of fluid is created on each stroke of
the pump handle instead of every other stroke, as in the single-
action type. There are several versions of the double-action hand
pump, but all use the reciprocating piston principle, and operation is
similar to the one shown in figure 7-13.

This pump consists of a cylinder, a piston containing a built-in check
valve (A), a piston rod, an operating handle, and a check valve (B) at
the inlet port. When the piston is moved to the left in the illustration,
check valve (A) closes and check valve (B) opens.

Fluid from the reservoir then flows into the cylinder through inlet
port (C). When the piston is moved to the right, check valve (B)
closes. The pressure created in the fluid then opens check valve (A),
and fluid is admitted behind the piston. Because of the space
occupied by the piston rod, there is room for only part of the fluid;
therefore, the remainder is forced out port (D) into the pressure line.
If the piston is again moved to the left, check valve (A) again closes.
The fluid behind the piston is then forced through outlet port (D). At
the same time, fluid from the reservoir flows into the cylinder
through check

Power-Driven Pumps

As previously mentioned, power pumps are generally driven by the

aircraft engine, but may also be electric-motor driven. Power pumps
are classified according to the type of pumping action used, and may
be either the gear type or piston type. Power pumps may be further
classified as constant displacement or variable displacement.

A constant displacement pump is one that displaces or delivers a

constant fluid output for any rotational speed. For example, a pump
might be designed to deliver 3 gallons of fluid per minute at a speed
of 2,800 revolutions per minute. As long as it runs at that speed, it
will continue to deliver at that rate, regardless of the pressure in the
system. For this reason, when the constant displacement pump is
used in a system, a pressure regulator or unloading valve must also
be incorporated. The pressure regulator valve will maintain a set
pressure in the system by diverting excess pump flow back to the
reservoir. The unloading valve will divert all pump flow back to the
reservoir when the preset system pressure is reached. This condition
remains in effect until further demand is placed on the system.

A variable displacement pump has a fluid output that varies to meet

the demand of the system. For example, a pump might be designed
to maintain system pressure at 3,000 psi by varying its fluid output
from 0 to 7 gallons per minute. When this type of pump is used, no
external pressure regulator or unloading valve is needed. This
function is incorporated in the pump and controls the pumping action
by maintaining a variable volume, at near constant pressure, to meet
the hydraulic system demands.

GEAR-TYPE PUMP. —A gear-type pump consists of two meshed gears

that revolve in a housing (fig. 7-14). The drive gear in the installation

is turned by a drive shaft that engages an electric motor. The
clearance between the gear teeth as they mesh and between the
teeth and pump housing is very small. The inlet port is connected to
the reservoir line, and the outlet port is connected to the pressure
line. In the illustration, the drive gear is turning in a
counterclockwise direction, and the driven (idle) gear is turning in a
clockwise direction. As the teeth pass the inlet port, fluid is trapped
between the teeth and the housing. This fluid is carried around the
housing to the outlet port. As the teeth mesh again, the fluidbetween
the teeth is displaced into the outlet port. This action produces a
positive flow of fluid under pressure into the pressure line. A shear
pin or shear section that will break under excessive loads is
incorporated in the drive shaft. This is to protect the engine
accessory drive if pump failure is caused by excessive load or
jamming of parts.All gear-type pumps are constant displacement
pumps. These pumps are usually driven by a dc wound electric
motor. For those aircraft using batteries, the pump may be used to
build up hydraulic pressure for the brake system during towing

Maintenance of a pump at the organizational level consists of

replacement of the complete assembly. The motor and pump may be
ordered separately; however, this is normally done by intermediate-
and depot-level maintenance only.


Relief valves are not new to most people; different types of relief
valves are used in our homes and automobiles, as well as many other
places. Relief valves are pressure limiting or safety devices
commonly used to prevent pressure from building up to a point
where it might blow seals or burst or damage the container in which
it is installed, etc. In aircraft, relief valves are installed within
hydraulic systems to relieve excessive pressurized fluid caused from
thermal expansion, pressure surges, and the failure of a hydraulic
pump’s compensator or other regulating devices.

Main System Relief Valves

Main system relief valves are designed to operate within certain

specific pressure limits and to relieve complete pump output when in
the open position. Relief valves are set to open and close at
pressures determined by the system in which they are installed. In
systems designed to operate at 3,000 psi normal pressure, the relief
valve might be set to be completely open at 3,650 psi and reseat at
3,190 psi. These pressure ranges may vary from one aircraft to
another. When the relief valve is in the open position, it directs
excessive pressurized fluid to the reservoir return line.

Thermal Relief Valves

Thermal relief valves are usually smaller as compared to system

relief valves. They are used in systems where a check valve or
selector valve prevents pressure from being relieved through the
main system relief valve.

Figure 7-25 shows a typical thermal relief valve. As pressurized fluid

in the line in which it is installed builds up to an excessive amount,
the valve poppet is forced off its seat; this allows excessive
pressurized fluid to flow through the relief valve to the reservoir
return line, as shown in view B of figure 7-25. When system pressure
decreases to a predetermined pressure, spring tension overcomes
system pressure and forces the valve poppet to the closed position,
as shown in view A.

Relief valve maintenance is limited to adjusting the valve for proper

relieving pressure and checking the valve for leakage. If you think a
relief valve is leaking internally, a flexible hose maybe connected to
the return port of the valve and the drippings, if any, caught in a
container. The opening and closing pressure of the valve may also be
checked in this manner provided an external source of rower is used.


All hydraulic systems do not have shutoff valves incorporated;

however, in some systems a shutoff valve is installed in the fluid
supply line between the reservoir and the engine-driven pumps, and
other places where shutting off the fluid is desirable. These valves,
like other valves, may be electrically or manually controlled,
depending upon the design of the valve.

The purpose of shutoff valves differ according to their installation. All

shutoff valves control the flow of fluid; however, they may isolate
troubles by shutting off a complete system or subsystem, or they
may control the speed a component moves by partially closing the
valve (manual type).


The purpose of the accumulator in a hydraulic system is to store a

volume of fluid under pressure. There are several reasons why it is
advantageous to store a volume of fluid under pressure. Some of
these are listed below:

1. An accumulator acts as a cushion against pressure surges that

may be caused by the pulsating fluid delivery from the pump or from
system operations.

2. The accumulator supplements the pump’s output when the pump
is under a peak load by storing energy in the form of fluid under

3. The energy stored in the accumulator may be used to actuate a

unit in the event of normal hydraulic system failure. For example,
sufficient energy can be stored in the accumulator for several
applications of the wheel brakes.

There are two general types of accumulators in use on naval aircraft.

They are the spherical type and the cylindrical type. Until a few years
ago, the spherical type was the more commonly used accumulator;
however, the cylindrical type has proved more satisfactory for high-
pressure hydraulic systems, and is now more commonly used than
the spherical type. Examples of both types are shown in figure 7-34.

Spherical Type

The spherical type accumulator is constructed in two halves that are

screwed together. A synthetic rubber diaphragm is installed between
both halves, making two chambers. Two threaded openings exist in
the assembled component. The opening at the top, as shown in figure
7-34, contains a screen disc that prevents the diaphragm from
extruding through the threaded opening when system pressure is
depleted, thus rupturing the diaphragm. On some designs the screen
is replaced by a button protector fastened to the center of the
diaphragm. The top threaded opening provides a means for
connection of the fluid chamber of the accumulator to the hydraulic
system. The bottom threaded opening provides a means for
installation of an air filler valve. This valve (when open) allows an
air/nitrogen source to be connected to and enter the accumulator;
moreover, when the valve is closed, it traps the air/nitrogen within
the accumulator.

Cylindrical Type

Cylindrical accumulators consist of a cylinder and piston assembly.

End caps are attached to both ends of the cylinder. The internal
piston separates the fluid and air/nitrogen chambers. Both the end
caps and piston are sealed with gaskets and packings to prevent
external leakage around the end caps and internal leakage between
the chambers. In one end cap, a hydraulic fitting is used to attach the
fluid chamber to the hydraulic system. In the other end cap, an air
filler valve is installed to perform the same function as the filler valve
installed in the spherical accumulator.


In operation, the compressed-air chamber is charged to a
predetermined pressure, which is somewhat lower than the system
operating pressure. This initial charge is referred to as the
accumulator preload.

As an example of accumulator operation, let us assume that the

cylindrical accumulator in figure 7-34 is designed for a preload of
1,300 psi in a 3,000 psi system. When the initial charge of 1,300 psi
is introduced into the unit, hydraulic system pressure is zero. As air
pressure is applied through the air pressure port, it moves the piston
toward the opposite end until it bottoms. If the air behind the piston
has a pressure of 1,300 psi, the hydraulic system pump will have to
create a pressure within the system greater than 1,300 psi before the
hydraulic fluid can actuate the piston. Thus, at 1,301 psi the piston
will start to move within the cylinder, compressing the air as it
moves. At 2,000 psi it will have backed up several inches. At 3,000
psi the piston will have backed up to its normal operating position,
compressing the air until it occupies a space less than one-half the
length of the cylinder.

When actuation of hydraulic units lowers the system pressure, the

compressed air will expand against the piston, forcing fluid from the
accumulator. This supplies an instantaneous supply of fluid to the
hydraulic system.

Many aircraft have several accumulators in the hydraulic system.

There may be a main system accumulator and an emergency system
accumulator. There may also be auxiliary accumulators located in
various unit systems. Regardless of the number and their location
within the system, all accumulators perform the same function-that
of storing an extra volume of hydraulic fluid under pressure.


Accumulators should be visually examined for indications of external

hydraulic fluid leaks. They should then be examined for external air
leaks by brushing the exterior with soapy water, which will form
bubbles where the air leaks occur.

The air valve assembly should be loosened to examine the

accumulator for internal leaks. If hydraulic fluid comes out of the air
valve, the accumulator should be removed and replaced. The
overhaul or repair of the accumulator is not a line maintenance
function, but it is the responsibility of an intermediate-level activity.

The air preload pressure should be checked after relieving the

hydraulic system pressure by operating the wing flaps or other
hydraulically actuated unit. The majority of the accumulators

installed in naval aircraft are equipped with air pressure gauges for
this purpose. When the accumulator is not equipped with a high-
pressure air gauge, you may install one at the air preload fitting for
this purpose. The required pressure can be found in the MIM for each
aircraft. The preload pressure may be checked by another method in
case the accumulator is not equipped with an air pressure gauge.
With the system pressure (as indicated by the cockpit gauge) at the
normal operating value, relieve system pressure by operating the
wing flaps or another unit slowly. The pressure gauge reading must
be watched carefully. The last reading before the indicator needle
drops suddenly to zero is accepted as the accumulator preload air

Before disassembly of any accumulator, ensure that the air preload

has been completely exhausted. This may be accomplished by
loosening the swivel nut on the air filler valve until all air is out; then
remove the valve.


The purpose of the hydraulic system accumulator is to store an extra

volume of fluid under pressure. The energy stored in an accumulator
is used for various purposes, such as the actuation of a unit in the
event of normal hydraulic system failure. For example, sufficient
energy can be stored in an accumulator for several applications of
the wheel brakes.

Most accumulators are installed with an air gauge and a high-

pressure air valve mounted on a panel of the structure near the
accumulator. Figure 7-35 shows the brake system accumulator
installation used on one type of aircraft. The air valve used in the
accumulator installations is usually the same type as that used on
shock struts.

To service an accumulator, the hydraulic pressure that is trapped in

the accumulator must be relieved. This is accomplished by actuating
the units involved. For example, the hydraulic pressure in a brake
accumulator may be relieved by applying the emergency brake
several times. When the hydraulic pressure is relieved, the
accumulator gauge should indicate the air or nitrogen pressure
specified for the particular accumulator installation. If the pressure
indicated is below the specified pressure, the accumulator must be
recharged with dry compressed air or nitrogen


Pressure gauges installed in hydraulic and pneumatic systems are

used to indicate existing hydraulic and pneumatic pressures, and are

calibrated in pounds per square inch. Naval aircraft use both the
direct reading gauges and the synchro (electric) type.

Direct Reading Type

Direct reading gauges are used in installations such as accumulators,

emergency air bottles, arresting gear snubbers, and brake systems.
The gauge is connected directly into units or lines leading from units
and become part of the container or system. At these points the
gauge is able to sample existing pressure.

The main part of the direct reading gauge is the Bourdon tube. The
Bourdon tube is a curved metal tube that is oval in cross-sectional
shape (fig. 7-36).

One end of the Bourdon tube is closed, while the other end has a
fitting for connecting it to a pressure source. The fitting end is
fastened to the gauge frame, while the other end is free to move so it
can operate the mechanical linkage.

Assume that fluid pressure enters the Bourdon tube. Since fluid
pressure will be transmitted equally in all directions and the area on
the outside radius of the tube is greater than that of its inside, the
force will also be greater on the outside radius, which tends to
straighten the tube. As the movable end of the tube tries to turn
outward, it turns the pivot segment gear. This gear meshes with a
smaller rotary gear to which a pointer is attached, and its movement
causes a reading on the pressure gauge. The gauge dial is calibrated
so that the needle points to a number that corresponds to the exact
pressure that is applied. When the pressure is removed, the Bourdon
tube acts as a spring, and returns to its normal position.

Synchro Type

On most newer aircraft, an electrically operated (synchro) pressure

indicator is used. Figure 7-37 shows the pressure indicator of a
typical naval aircraft. This aircraft is equipped with three hydraulic
systems—No. 1 flight control system, No. 2 flight control system, and
utility system. One indicator provides pressure indication for all three
systems. This type of arrangement is desirable because it saves
instrument panel space.

The indicator system consists of three pressure transmitters, one

located in each of the system lines, The transmitters operate on the
Bourdon tube principle. Expansion and contraction of the Bourdon
tube is transmitted by mechanical linkage to the rotor of a
transmitter synchro. The synchro transmits an electrical signal
through wiring to the pressure indicator. The indicator contains two

synchros mechanically attached to the two separate pointers. When
the HYD PRESS SELECTOR switch (fig. 7-37) is in the No. 1 and No. 2
FLT CONT position, the pointers (marked "1" and "2") indicate the
pressure in their respective systems, independent of each other.
When the HYD PRESS SELECTOR switch is in the UTILITY position,
the synchros are connected in electrical parallel, and the pointers
align with each other and act as one.

Although the Aviation Electrician’s Mate is responsible for inspecting

and maintaining all the aircraft gauges and other instruments, you
must know how to read the hydraulic pressure gauge to inspect and
maintain the hydraulic system.

Pressure gauges on some naval aircraft are calibrated to register

from 0 to 2,000 psi; on others they register from 0 to 4,000 psi. The
gauge in figure 7-37 is an example of the latter type. As shown in
figure 7-37, on gauges designed for a range of 0 to 4,000 psi, the dial
is calibrated with four major markings with the numerals 1,2,3, and
4. One major intermediate graduation between each numeral and
four minor intermediate markings between the major markings are
for reading to the nearest 100 psi. On these gauges, the numeral
reading must be multiplied by 1,000 to obtain the actual pressure in

On gauges designed for a range of 0 to 2,000 psi, the dial is

calibrated with two major markings, the numerals 1,000 and 2,000,
and four intermediate graduations for reading to the nearest 200 psi.
A gauge of this type is shown in figure 7-38.

Pneumatic System

Two types of pneumatically operated emergency systems are

currently used in naval aircraft. One type consists merely of one or
more storage cylinders, a control in the cockpit for releasing the
contents of the cylinders, a ground charge valve, and the connecting
lines and fittings. This type of system must be serviced with
compressed air or nitrogen. The other type of system in current use
has its own compressor and other equipment necessary for
maintaining an adequate supply of compressed air during flight.
Provision for ground charging this type of system is also provided. In
addition to a compressor, the components in this type of system
usually include a filter, a pressure regulator, a moisture separator, a
relief valve, a chemical drier, and storage cylinder(s).

AIR COMPRESSORS. —A typical air com-pressor is shown in figure 7-

43. An installation of this type receives its supply of air from the
compressor section of the aircraft engine. This air is then
compressed further to the required pressure for operating the

system. Compressors of this type are capable of maintaining up to
and above 3,000 psi pressure during flight.

On some aircraft, the compressor is operated by an electric motor.

On others, a hydraulic motor is used to drive the compressor.
Compressors must be serviced with oil periodically, as outlined in the
aircraft MIM. An oil level sight gauge is provided on the compressor
(fig. 7-43).

AIR FILTERS. —An air filter is usually located in the line leading into
the system compressor. Additional filters may be located at various
points in the system lines to remove any foreign matter that may
enter the system

Like hydraulic filters, air filters have a removable element and a

built-in relief valve. The relief valve is designed to open and bypass
the air supply around the filter element should the element become
clogged. Some air filters are equipped with the micronic-type
element, which must be replaced periodically. Others have the screen
mesh type, which requires periodic cleaning. The latter type may be
reinstalled after cleaning and drying.

AIR PRESSURE REGULATORS. —A pressure regulator is generally

located in the line between the engine compressor and the
pneumatic system compressor; however, it may be incorporated
within the system moisture separator. Its purpose is to regulate the
pressure of the supply air before it enters the system compressor.
The pressure regulator maintains a stable outlet pressure regardless
of the inlet pressure.

MOISTURE SEPARATORS. —The moisture separator in a pneumatic

system is always located downstream of the compressor. Its purpose
is to remove any moisture caused by the compressor. A complete
moisture separator consists of a reservoir, a pressure switch, a dump
valve, and a check valve, and it may also include a regulator and a
relief valve. The dump valve is energized and de-energized by the
pressure switch. When de-energized, it completely purges the
separator reservoir and lines up to the compressor. The check valve
protects the system against pressure loss during the dumping cycle
and prevents reverse flow through the separator.

RELIEF VALVES. —A relief valve is incorporated in a pneumatic

system to protect the system from overpressurization.
Overpressurization is generally caused by thermal expansion (heat).
Relief valves are generally adjusted to open and close at pressures
slightly above normal system operating pressure. For example, in a
system designed to operate at 3,000 psi, the relief valve might be set
to open at 3,750 psi and reseat at 3,250 psi.

CHEMICAL DRIERS. —Chemical driers are incorporated at various
locations in a pneumatic system. Their purpose is to absorb any
moisture that may collect in the lines and other parts of the system.
Each drier contains a cartridge, which should be blue in color. If
otherwise noted, the cartridge is to be considered contaminated with
moisture and should be replaced.

STORAGE CYLINDERS. —Pneumatic storage cylinders (bottles) are

made of steel and maybe either cylindrical or spherical in shape. Both
types of cylinders are made up of two main parts—the container itself
and a manifold assembly. The container serves as a trap for
moisture, as well as an air storage space. The manifold assembly is
made up of the "in" and "outlet" ports and a moisture drain fitting.
See figure 7-44.

Cooling of the high-pressure air in the storage cylinders will cause

some condensation to collect in them. To ensure positive operation of
systems, storage cylinders must be purged of moisture periodically.
This is accomplished by slightly cracking the moisture drain fitting,
located on the cylinder manifold.

Some aircraft have a pneumatic system that will maintain the

required pressure in these bottles in flight. However, most of these
pneumatic systems require servicing on the ground with an external
source of high-pressure air or nitrogen prior to each flight.

Air storage bottles are serviced in the same manner as accumulators.

Most air bottles have an air filler valve and a pressure gauge. These
systems generally require higher servicing pressure than

Since gases expand with heat and contract when cooled, air storage
bottles are usually filled to a given pressure at ambient temperature.
A graph similar to that shown in figure 7-45 is usually mounted on a
plate or decal on or near the bottle or air filler valve. If the
instruction plate is missing or not readable, the information may be
found in the General Information and Servicing section of the
applicable MIM.

Pressure should be added to air storage bottles slowly in order not to

build up heat from rapid transfer. You should take care to ensure
that air storage bottles are not overinflated

Single-Acting Actuating Cylinder

The single-acting, piston-type cylinder uses fluid pressure to apply

force in only one direction. In some designs of this type, the force of
gravity moves the piston in the opposite direction. However, most

cylinders of this type apply force in both directions. Fluid pressure
provides the force in one direction, and spring tension provides the
force in the opposite direction, In some single-acting cylinders, com-
pressed air or nitrogen is used instead of a spring for movement in
the direction opposite that achieved with fluid pressure. A three-way
directional control valve is normally used to control the operation of
this type of cylinder. To extend the piston rod, fluid under pressure is
directed through the port and into the cylinder. See figure 8-1. This
pressure acts on the surface area of the blank side of the piston, and
forces the piston to the right. This action, of course, extends the rod
to the right, through the end of the cylinder. The actuated unit is
moved in one direction. During this action, the spring is compressed
between the rod side of the piston and the end of the cylinder. Within
limits of the cylinder, the length of the stroke depends upon the
desired movement of the actuated unit.

Double-Acting Actuating Cylinder

Most piston-type actuating cylinders are double-acting, which means

that fluid under pressure can be applied to either side of the piston to
provide movement and apply force in the corresponding direction.
One design of the double-acting, piston-type actuating cylinder is
shown in view A of figure 8-2. This cylinder contains one piston and
piston rod assembly. The stroke of the piston and piston rod
assembly in either direction is produced by fluid pressure. The two
fluid ports, one near each end of the cylinder, alternate as inlet and
outlet, depending upon the "direction of flow from the directional
control valve.

This is referred to as an unbalanced actuating cylinder; that is, there

is a difference in the effective working areas on the two sides of the
piston. Refer to view A of figure 8-2. Assume that the cross-sectional
area of the piston is 3 square inches and the cross-sectional area of
the rod is 1 square inch. In a 2,000 psi system, pressure acting
against the blank side of the piston creates a force of 6,000 pounds
(2,000 x 3). When the pressure is applied to the rod side of the
piston, the 2,000 psi pressure acts on 2 square inches (the cross-
sectional area of the piston less the cross-sectional area of the rod)
and creates a force of 4,000 pounds (2,000 x 2). For this reason, this
type of cylinder is normally installed in such a manner that the blank
side of the piston carries the greater load; that is, the cylinder carries
the greater load during the piston rod extension stroke.

A four-way directional control valve is normally used to control the

operation of this type of cylinder. The valve can be positioned to
direct fluid under pressure to either end of the cylinder, and to allow
the displaced fluid to flow from the opposite end of the cylinder
through the control valve to return/exhaust. The piston of the

cylinder shown in view A of figure 8-2 is equipped with an O-ring seal
and backup rings to prevent internal leakage of fluid from one side of
the piston to the other. Suitable seals and backup rings are also used
between the hole in the end cap and the piston rod to prevent
external leakage. In addition, some cylinders of this type have a felt
wiper ring attached to the inside of the end cap and fitted around the
piston rod to guard against the entrance of dirt and other foreign
matter into the cylinder.


Selector valves are used in a hydraulic system to direct the flow of

fluid. A selector valve directs fluid under system pressure to the
desired working port of an actuating unit (double-acting), and, at the
same time, directs return fluid from the opposite working port of the
actuating unit to the reservoir.

Some aircraft maintenance instruction manuals (MIMs) refer to

selector valves as control valves. It is true that selector valves may
be placed in this classification, but you should understand that all
control valves are not selector valves. In the strict sense of the term,
a selector valve is one that is engaged at the will of the pilot or
copilot for the purpose of directing fluid to the desired actuating unit.
This is not true of all control valves.

Selector valves may be located in the pilot’s compartment and be

directly engaged manually through mechanical linkage, or they
maybe located in some part of the aircraft and be engaged by remote
control. Remote-controlled selector valves are generally solenoid

The typical four-way selector valve has four ports—a pressure port, a
return port, and two cylinder (or working) ports. The pressure port is
connected to the main pressure line from the power pump, the return
port is connected to the reservoir return line, and the two cylinder
ports are connected to opposite working ports of the actuating unit.

Three general types of selector valves are discussed in this chapter.

They are the poppet, slide, and solenoid-operated valves. Practically
all selector valves currently in use come under one of these three
general types.

Poppet-Type Selector Valve

Poppet-type selector valves are manufactured in both the balanced

and unbalanced design. An unbalanced poppet selector valve offers
unequal working areas on the poppets. The larger area of the poppet
is in contact with the working lines of the system; consequently,

when excessive pressure exists within the working lines due to
thermal expansion, the poppet will open. This action allows the
excessive pressurized fluid to flow into the pressure line, where it is
relieved by the main system relief valve.

The balanced poppet selector valve has equal poppet areas. The
poppets will remain in the selected position during thermal
expansion of working line fluid. For this reason, thermal relief valves
are installed in working lines that incorporate balanced poppet
selector valves.

Figure 8-7 shows a typical four-port poppet selector valve. This is a

manually operated valve, and consists of a group of conventional
spring-loaded poppets. The poppets are enclosed in a common
housing and interconnected by passageways to direct the flow of
fluid in the desired direction. The poppets are actuated by cams on a
camshaft, as shown in figure 8-8. They are arranged so that rotation
of the shaft by its controlling lever will open the proper combination
of poppets to direct the flow of hydraulic fluid to the desired port of
the actuating unit. At the same time, fluid will be directed from the
opposite port of the actuating unit, through the selector valve, and
back to the reservoir.

All poppet-type selector valves are provided with a stop for the
camshaft. The stop is an integral part of the shaft, and strikes
against a stop pin in the body to prevent overrunning. A poppet
selector valve housing usually contains poppets, poppet seats,
poppet springs, and a camshaft.

When the camshaft is rotated, either clockwise or counterclockwise

from neutral, the cam lobes unseat the desired poppets and allow a
fluid flow. One cam lobe operates the two pressure poppets, and the
other lobe operates the two return poppets. To stop the rotation of
the camshaft at an exact position, a stop pin is secured to the body,
and extends through a cutout section of the camshaft flange. This
stop pin prevents overtravel by ensuring that the cam lobes stop
rotating when the poppets have been unseated as high as they can
go, where any further rotation would allow them to return to their

The poppet-type selector valve has three positions-neutral and two

working positions. In the neutral position, the camshaft lobes are not
contacting any of the poppets. This position assures that the poppet
springs will hold all four poppets firmly seated. With all poppets
seated, there is no fluid flow through the valve. This action also
blocks the two cylinder ports, so when this valve is in neutral, the
fluid in the unit system is trapped. To allow for thermal expansion
buildup, thermal relief valves must be installed in both working lines.


The purpose of a check valve is to allow the fluid to flow in only one
direction. In some installations, such as brake systems, the check
valve confines fluid under pressure within the desired section of the
hydraulic system. The valve prevents the fluid from reversing its
normal direction of flow. The valve prevents pressure from escaping
into adjacent sections of the system.

Automatic Check Valves

Automatic check valves contain a seat on which a movable body

(ball, cone, or poppet) seats by means of spring tension. See figure
8-12. The valve opens when pressure in the direction of flow
(indicated by an arrow on the body of the valve) is strong enough to
unseat the movable body. Flow in the reverse direction, along with
spring tension, tends to seal the movable body against the valve

When the pressure on the downstream side of the valve exceeds that
on the upstream side, the resultant unbalanced force seals the valve
closed, as shown in view A of figure 8-12. When the pressure is
reversed, the valve is forced open against the tension of the spring,
and the fluid flows freely through the valve, as shown in view B of
figure 8-12. The tension of the spring is relatively weak, and is
intended to be barely sufficient to support the ball in its proper

Bypass Check Valves

Bypass check valves serve the same purpose as automatic check

valves, but are so constructed that they may be opened manually to
allow the flow of fluid in both directions. An example of the possible
use of a bypass check valve is in the line between the hand pump and
the accumulator. bypass check valve in this line would allow hand
pump pressure to be directed to either the accumulator or the
selector valve.


Sequence valves are used to control a sequence of operations; they

ensure that actuating units operate at the proper time and in the
proper sequence. Sequence valves may be mechanically operated or
pressure-operated valves. An example of the use of a sequence valve
is in a landing gear actuating system. In a landing gear actuating
system, the landing gear doors must open before the landing gear
starts to extend. Conversely, the landing gear must be retracted

before the doors close. A sequence valve installed in each landing
gear actuating line performs this function.

Sequence valves may be installed in one or both cylinder lines of an

actuating system, depending upon the type of action desired. A direct
line will go to the first unit to be operated, and a branch line goes
from the sequence valve to the second unit.


All aircraft incorporate emergency systems that provide alternate

methods of operating essential systems required to land the aircraft
safely. These emergency systems usually provide pneumatic or
hydraulic operation of the essential systems; however, in some cases
due to the design, they maybe operated satisfactorily through
mechanical linkage. When using the pneumatic or hydraulic
emergency system, that pressure must be directed to the unit
concerned; emergency pressure must not enter the normal system,
especially if the pneumatic type system is used. To allow operating
pressure to reach the actuating unit and still not enter the other
system, a shuttle valve is installed in the working line to the
actuating unit. The main purpose of the shuttle valve is to isolate the
normal system from the emergency system.

Shuttle valves are located close to the actuating unit concerned. This
location reduces to a minimum the units to be bled and isolates as
much of the normal system from the emergency system as possible.
In some installations, the shuttle valve is an integral part of the
actuating unit.

A typical shuttle valve is shown in figure 8-15. The body contains

three ports-the normal system inlet port, the emergency system inlet
port, and the unit outlet port. A shuttle valve used to operate more
than one actuating cylinder may contain additional unit outlet ports.

Enclosed in the body is a sliding part called the shuttle. It is used to

seal one of the two inlet ports. A shuttle seat is installed at each inlet
port. During operation, the shuttle is held against one of these seats,
sealing off that port. These parts are held in the body by end caps.
External leakage is prevented by an O-ring gasket at each end cap.


Restrictors are used in hydraulic systems to limit the flow of

hydraulic fluid to or from actuators where speed control of the
cylinders is necessary to provide specific actions. If control in one
direction only is desired, a one-way restrictor is used. If restricted

fluid flow both to and from an actuating cylinder is necessary, a two-
way restrictor is installed.

One-Way Restrictor

One-way restrictors provide reduced hydraulic flow in one direction

only, to limit actuating speed of hydraulic cylinders for the purpose
of proper timing or sequence of operation. Also, they provide free
flow of fluid in the opposite direction to permit the actuating cylinder
to actuate at a faster rate of speed during the reverse action of the

One-way restrictors are used in some landing gear systems to

regulate the speed and sequence of landing gear retraction or
extension. If sequenced action (that is, one cylinder to be actuated
before other cylinders on the same line) is desired, one-way
restrictors are placed in the line upstream of all cylinders except one.
Figure 8-16 shows both the one-way and two-way restrictors. The
main parts of a one- way restrictor are the cylindrical body and cap,
which contain a spring-loaded poppet, a cage, and a stainless steel
filter element.

The one-way restrictor allows free flow in one direction and

restricted flow in the opposite direction. Both directions of flow are
indicated by arrows found on the body of the valve.

In a restricted direction, pressurized fluid entering port R (fig. 8-16)

flows through the filter assembly and enters the cage through drilled
passages. Fluid from the interior of the cage is forced through the
poppet’s orifice, thus causing the required metering action. In the
free flow direction, pressurized fluid entering port F overcomes
poppet spring tension and allows fluid to flow past the poppet’s seat,
through drilled passages within the larger flange of the cage, and out
through port R.

Two-Way Restrictor

Two-way restrictors are used to limit the flow of hydraulic fluid

where it is desirable to retard the action of a hydraulic cylinder in
both directions. Figure 8-16 shows two types of two-way restrictors,
one of which has a machined orifice with two integral stainless steel
filters. The other type shown contains an orifice plate between two
stainless steel filters. The filters contained within the restrictors are
identical in construction and provide protection in both directions of
flow. The filter size specification for the two-way restrictor is
identical to those found within one-way restrictors.

Two-way restrictors, regardless of whether they are of the machined
orifice type or of the plate orifice type, operate identically. Fluid
entering either port is filtered prior to flowing through the orifice,
thus protecting the orifice from possible stoppage. As the fluid is
metered through the orifice, the prescribed rate flow is directed out
the opposite port of the restrictor and to the actuating unit.


Pressure-reducing valves are used in hydraulic systems where it is

necessary to lower the normal system operating pressure a specified
amount. Figure 8-17 shows the operation of a pressure-reducing
valve. View A of figure 8-17 shows system pressure being ported to a
subsystem through the shuttle and sleeve assembly. Subsystem
pressurized fluid works on the large flange area of the shuttle, which
causes the shuttle to move to the left after reaching a specified
pressure, thus closing off the normal system. The valve will stay in
this position until the subsystem pressure is lowered, at which time
the shuttle will move to its prior position and allow the required
amount of pressurized fluid to enter the subsystem. During normal
operation of the subsystem, the pressure-reducing valve
continuously meters fluid to the subsystem.


A hydraulic fuse is a safety device. Fuses may be installed at

strategic locations throughout a hydraulic system. They are designed
to detect line or gauge rupture, fitting failure, or other leak-
producing failure or damage.

One type of fuse, referred to as the automatic resetting type, is

designed to allow a certain volume of fluid per minute to pass
through it. If the volume passing through the fuse becomes
excessive, the fuse will close and shut off the flow. When the
pressure is removed from the pressure supply side of the fuse, it will
automatically reset itself to the open position. Fuses are usually
cylindrical in shape, with an inlet and outlet port at opposite ends, as
shown in figure 8-18. A stationary sleeve assembly is con-tained
within the body. Other parts contained within the body, starting at
the inlet port, are a control head, piston and piston subassembly stop
rod, a lock spring, and a lock piston and return spring.

Fluid entering the fuse is divided into two flow paths by the control
head. The main flow is between the sleeve and body, and a
secondary flow is to the piston. Fluid flowing through the main path
exerts a force on the lock piston, causing it to move away from the
direction of flow, This movement uncovers ports, allowing fluid to
flow through the fuse.

The movement of the locking piston also causes a lock spring to
release the piston subassembly stop rod, thus allowing the piston to
be displaced by fluid from the secondary flow. If the flow through the
fuse exceeds a specified amount, the piston, moving in the direction
of flow, will block the ports originally covered by the locking piston,
thus blocking the flow of fluid.

Any interruption of the flow of fluid through the fuse removes the
operating force from the lock piston. This allows the lock piston
spring to return the piston to the original position, which resets the

Proof-Testing Cables

All newly fabricated cables should be tested for proper strength

before they are installed in aircraft The test consists of applying a
specified tension load on the cable for a specified number of minutes.
The proof loads for testing various size cables are given in tables
contained in NAVAIR 01-1A-8. Proof loading will result in a certain
amount of permanent stretch being imparted to the cable. This
stretch must be taken into account when You fabricate cable
assemblies. Cables that are made up long slightly may be entirely too
long after proof loading


Aircraft wheels are made from either aluminum or magnesium alloys.

These materials provide a strong, lightweight wheel that requires
very little maintenance. The wheels used on naval aircraft are of two
general types—divided and remountable flange. Both of these
designs make wheel buildup a fairly simple operation.

The wheels used with tires and tubes have knurled flanges to prevent
the tire from slipping on the wheel. Wheels used with tubeless tires
have the wheel sections sealed by an O-ring, and they use special
valves that are a part of the wheel.


Figure 11-1 shows a typical divided (split) wheel. This type of wheel
is divided into two halves. The two halves are sealed by an O-ring
and held together with nuts and bolts. Each wheel half is statically
balanced. This procedure allows any two opposite halves of the same
size and type to be joined together to form one wheel assembly. If
the outboard half of a wheel is beyond repair, a new outboard half
may be drawn from supply. The new outboard half is then matched to

the old inboard half. This type of wheel is used on nose, main, and
tail landing gears.


The remountable flange wheel is made so one flange of the wheel

can be removed to change the tire. The flange is held in place by a
lockring. The wheel is balanced with the flange mounted on the
wheel. Then, both the wheel and flange are marked. To ensure
proper balance of the wheel during assembly, the two marks should
be lined up. Figure 11-2 shows a typical remountable flange wheel.
This type of wheel is commonly used on the main landing gear.

The similarity of one wheel to another in size and shape is not proof
that the wheels can be inter-changed. One wheel may be designed
for heavy duty while the other may be designed to carry a lighter
load. Also, the wheels may be designed for use with different types
of brake assemblies.


A complete wheel assembly is shown in figure 11-3. The wheel

casting is the basic unit of the wheel assembly. It is to this part that
all other com-ponents are assembled and upon which the tire is

Figure 11-1.—Typical divided (split) wheel assembly.

The demountable flange is attached to the wheel to simplify tire

removal and installation. The remountable flange lockring secures
the flange to the wheel. The flange is fitted into a groove in the
wheel casting.

The bearing cups are shrink-fitted into the hub of the wheel casting,
and are the parts on which the bearings ride. The bearings are
tapered roller bearings. Each bearing is made of a cone and rollers.
This type of bearing absorbs side thrust as well as radial loads and
landing shocks. These bearings must be cleaned and lubricated in
accordance with the NAVAIR 04-10-1 manual.

A three-piece grease retainer keeps the grease in the inboard

bearing and keeps out dirt and moisture. It is composed of a felt seal
and inner and outer closure rings. A lockring secures the assembly
inside the wheel hub.

The hubcap seals the outboard side of the hub. It is secured with a
lockring. On some aircraft, the hubcap is secured with screws.

All wheels designed to be used on the main landing gear are

equipped with braking components. These components are attached
to the wheel casting. They may consist of either a brake drum or
brake drive keys. The wheel shown in figure 11-3 is


Figure 11-10 shows the construction details of a tube-type aircraft

tire. Tubeless tires are similar to tube tires except they have a rubber
inner liner that is mated to the inside surface of the tire. The rubber
liner helps retain air in the tire. The beaded area of a tubeless tire is
designed to form a seal with the wheel flange. Wear indicators have
been built into some tires as an aid in measuring tread wear. These
indicators are holes in the tread area or lands in the bottom of the
tread grooves.

The cord body consists of multiple layers of nylon with individual
cords arranged parallel to each other and completely encased in
rubber. The cord fabric has its strength in only one direction. Each
layer of coated fabric constitutes one ply of the cord body. Adjacent
cord plies in the body are assembled with the cords crossing at
nearly right angles to each other. This arrangement provides a strong
and flexible tire that distributes impact shocks over a wide area. The
functions of the cord body are to give the tire tensile strength, to
resist internal pressures, and to maintain tire shape.

The tread is a layer of rubber on the outer surface of the tire. It

protects the cord body from abrasion, cuts, bruises, and moisture. It
is the surface that contacts the ground.

Figure 11-10.–Sectional view of aircraft tire showing construction


The sidewall is an outer layer of rubber adjoining the tread and

extending to the beads. Like the tread, it protects the cord body from
abrasion, cuts, bruises, and moisture.

The beads are multiple strands of high-tensile strength steel wire
imbedded in robber and wrapped in strips of open weave fabric. The
beads hold the tire firmly on the rims and serve as an anchor for the
fabric plies that are turned up around the bead wires. The chafing
strips are one or more plies of rubber-impregnated woven fabric
wrapped around the outside of the beads. They provide additional
rigidity to the bead and prevent the metal wheel rim from chafing the
tire. Tubeless tires have an additional ply of rubber over the chafing
strips to function as an air seal.

The breakers are one or more plies of cord or woven fabric

impregnated with rubber. They are used between the tread rubber
and the cord body to provide extra reinforcement to prevent bruise
damage to the tire. Breakers are not part of the cord body.

Tread Patterns

There are three tread patterns or tread designs used on naval

aircraft. They are plain, ribbed, and nonskid. A plain tread has a
smooth, uninterrupted surface. A ribbed tread has three or more
continuous circumferential ribs separated by grooves. A nonskid
tread is any grooved or ribbed tread. Other tread designs may be
provided under specific circum-stances or as required by applicable
MS standards or drawing. The most common design used on naval
aircraft is the ribbed pattern.

Tread Construction

The tread construction will usually be one of four types. Other tread
types may be necessary for specific circumstances or as required by
military standards, such as ice and snow treads.

NOTE: Additional safety precautions are required in handling ice and

snow treads.

• Rubber tread. A rubber tread is constructed from 100-percent new

(no reclaim) rubber. It maybe new natural rubber, new synthetic
material, or a blend of new material and new synthetic materials.

• Cut-resistant tread. A cut-resistant tread has improved cut-

resistant properties that are imparted to the tire by incorporating a
barrier into the undertread that resists penetration of cutting

• Reinforced tread. A reinforced tread is constructed with fabric cord

or other reinforcing materials as an integral part of the tread. See
figure 11-11.

• Reinforced cut-resistant tread. A reinforced cut-resistant tread
combines the features of both the cut-resistant and reinforced-tread

Ply Rating

Reference to the number of cord fabric plies in a tire has been

superseded by the term ply rating. This term is used to identify a
tire’s maximum recom-mended load for specific types of service. It
does not necessarily represent the number of cord fabric plies in a
tire. Most nylon cord tires have ply ratings greater than the actual
number of fabric plies in the cord body.

Size Designation

Figure 11-12 shows the points of measurement used to designate the

size of a tire. For example, a tire with a size designation of 26 X 6.6
would have an outside diameter (measurement A) of 26 inches and a
cross-sectional width (measurement B) of 6.6 inches. The letter X
merely separates the two measurements. If the tire’s size
designation were 26 X 6.6-10, then the tire would have a rim
diameter (measurement C) of 10 inches. If only one numerical
designation is used for a tire, you should assume that it is the
outside diameter (measurement A).

Standard Identification Markings

You should be familiar with the markings on the sidewall of a tire.

You will need this information to complete a VIDS/MAF for a tire
change. The

Figure 11-12.—Size designation of tires.

markings engraved or embossed on a sidewall are shown in figure


Most of the markings are self-explanatory, Item 10 has a maximum

of 10 characters. The first four positions show the date of
manufacture in the form of a Julian date (last digit of the year
followed by the day of the year, or 17 Oct 1985 = 5290). The next
positions are completed by the manufacturer and are either numbers
or letters. They are used to create a unique serial number for a
particular tire. The cut limit (11 ) is expressed in thirty-seconds of an
inch and

Figure 11-13.—New tire identification markings.

is used to evaluate the depth of cuts in the thread area. Tires are
marked with a red dot (14) on the sidewall to indicate the
lightweight (balance) point of the tire.


The life of a tire, whether mounted or unmounted, is directly affected

by storage conditions. Tires should always be stored indoors in a
dark, cool, dry room. It is necessary to protect them from light,
especially sunlight. Light causes ultraviolet (UV) damage by breaking
down the rubber compounds. The elements, such as wind, rain, and
temperature changes, also break down the rubber compounds.
Damage from the elements is visible in the form of surface cracking
or weather checking. UV damage may not be visible. Tires can be
protected from light by painting the storeroom windows. Tires must
not be allowed to come in contact with oils, greases, solvents, or
other petroleum products that cause rubber to soften or deteriorate.
The storeroom should not contain fluorescent lights or sparking
electrical equipment that could produce ozone.

Tires should be stored vertically in racks and according to size. See

figure 11-15. The edges of the racks must be smooth so the tire tread
does not rest on a sharp edge. Tires must never be stacked in
horizontal piles. The issue of tires from the storeroom should be
based on age from the date of manufacture so the older tires will be
used first. This procedure helps to prevent the chance of
deterioration of the older tires in stock.


There are two types of inspections conducted on tires. One is

conducted with the tire mounted on the wheel. The other inspection
is conducted with the tire dismounted.

Mounted Inspection

During each daily or special inspection, tires must be inspected for

correct pressure, tire slippage on the wheel (tube tires), cuts, wear,
and general condition. Tires must also be inspected before each flight
for obvious damage that may have been caused during or after the
previous flight.

Maintaining the correct inflation pressure in an aircraft tire is

essential to safety and to obtain its maximum service life. Military
aircraft inner tubes and tubeless tire liners are made of natural
rubber to satisfy extreme low-temperature performance
requirements. Natural rubber is a relatively poor air retainer. This
accounts for the daily inflation pressure loss and the need for
frequent pressure checks. If this check discloses more than a normal
loss of pressure, you should check the valve core for leakage
byputting a small amount of suitable leak detection solution
(Leaktec) or soapy water on the end of the valve and watch for

bubbles. Replace the valve core if it is leaking. If no bubbles appear,
it is an indication that the inner tube (or tire) has a leak. When the
tire and wheel assembly shows repeated pressure loss exceeding 5
percent of the correct operating inflation pressure, it should be
removed from the aircraft and sent to the AIMD or IMA.


Overinflation or underinflation can cause catastrophic failure of

aircraft tire and wheel assemblies. This could result in injury, death,
and/or damage to aircraft or other equipment.

After making a pressure check, you should always replace the valve
cap. Be sure that it is screwed on fingertight. The cap prevents
moisture, salt, oil, and dirt from entering the valve stem and
damaging the valve core. It also acts as a secondary seal if a leak
develops in the valve core.

Tires that are equipped with inner tubes, and operate with less than
150 psi, and all helicopter tube tires must use tire slippage marks.
The slippage mark is a red paint strip 1 inch wide and 2 inches long.
It extends equally across the tire sidewall and the wheel rim, as
shown in figure 11-16. Tires should be inspected for slippage on the
rim after each flight. If the markings do not align within one-fourth
of an inch, the wheel assembly should be replaced and the defective
assembly forwarded to the AIMD or IMA for repair. Failure to correct
tire slippage may cause the valve stem to be ripped from the tube.

Tire treads should be inspected to determine the extent of wear. The

maximum allowable thread wear for tires without wear depth
indicators is when the tread pattern is worn to the bottom of the
tread groove at any spot on the tire. The maximum allowable tread
wear for tires with tread wear indicators is when the tread pattern is
worn either to the bottom of the wear depth indicator or the bottom
of the tread groove. These limits apply regardless of whether the
wear is the result of skidding or normal use.

The tread and sidewall should be examined for cuts and embedded
foreign objects. Figure 11-17 shows the method for measuring the
depth of cuts, cracks, and holes. Glass, stones, metal, and other
materials embedded in the tread should be removed to prevent cut
growth and eventual carcass damage. A blunt awl or screwdriver
maybe used for this purpose. You should be careful to avoid
enlarging the hole or damaging the cord body fabric.


When you are probing for foreign objects, be sure you keep the probe
from penetrating deeper into the tire. Objects being pried from the
tire frequently are ejected suddenly and with considerable force. To
avoid eye injury, safety glasses or a face shield should be worn. A
gloved hand over the object may be used to deflect it.

Aircraft should not be parked in areas where the tires may stand in
spilled hydraulic fluids, lubricating oils, fuel, or organic solvents. If
any of these materials is accidentally spilled on a tire, it should be
immediately wiped with a clean, absorbent cloth. The tires should
then be washed with soap and thoroughly rinsed with water.

Extra care should be taken when you inspect mounted helicopter

tires. Because of the long intervals between tire changes, helicopter
tires are subject to weather and UV damage.

Nylon Flat Spotting

If the aircraft stands in one place under a heavy static load for
several days, local stretching may cause an out-of-round condition
with a resultant thumping during takeoff and landing.

Dual Installations

On dual-wheel installations, tires should be matched according to the

dimensions indicated in table 11-1. Tires vary somewhat in size
between manufacturers and can vary a great deal after being used.
When two tires are not matched, the larger one supports most or all
of the load. Since one tire is not designed to carry this increase in
load, a failure may result.



Main Landing Gear

The typical aircraft landing gear assembly consists of two main

landing gears and one steerable nose landing gear. As you can see in
figure 12-1, a main gearis installed under each wing. Because aircraft
are different in size, shape, and construction, every landing gear is
specially designed. Although main landing gears are designed
differently, all main gear struts are attached to strong members of
the wings or fuselage so that the landing shock is distributed
throughout the main body of the structure. The main gears are also
equipped with brakes that are used to shorten the landing roll of the
aircraft and to guide the aircraft during taxiing.

Nose Landing Gear

On aircraft with tricycle landing gear, the nose gear is retracted

either rearward or forward into the aircraft fuselage. Generally, the
nose gear consists of a single shock strut with one or two wheels
attached. On most aircraft the nose gear has a steering mechanism
for taxiing the aircraft. The mechanism also acts as a shimmy damper
to prevent oscillation or shimmy of the nosewheel. Since the
nosewheel must be centered before it can be retracted into the wheel
well, a centering device aligns the strut and wheel when the weight
of the aircraft is off the gear. Damping, steering, and centering
devices are discussed later in this chapter.


Shock struts are self-contained hydraulic units. They carry the

burden of supporting the aircraft on the ground and protecting the
aircraft structure by absorbing and dissipating the tremendous shock
of landing. Shock struts must be inspected and serviced regularly for
them to function efficiently. This is one of your important

Each landing gear is equipped with a shock strut. In addition to the

landing gear shock struts, carrier aircraft are equipped with a shock
strut on the arresting gear. The shock strut’s primary purpose is to
reduce arresting hook bounce during carrier landings.

Because of the many different designs of shock struts, only

information of a general nature will be included in this chapter. For
specific information on a particular installation, you should refer to
the applicable aircraft MIM or accessories manual.

A typical pneumatic/hydraulic shock strut (metering pin type) is

shown in figure 12-8. It uses compressed air or nitrogen combined
with hydraulic fluid to absorb and dissipate shock, and it is often

Figure 12-8.–Landing gear shock strut (metering pin type).

referred to as the "air-oil" type strut. This particular strut is designed

for use on the main landing gear. As shown in the illustration, the
shock strut is essentially two telescoping cylinders or tubes, with
externally closed ends. When assembled, the two cylinders, known
as cylinder and piston, form an upper and lower chamber for
movement of the fluid. The lower chamber is always filled with fluid,
while the upper chamber contains compressed air or nitrogen. An
orifice (small opening) is placed between the two chambers. The
fluid passes through this orifice into the upper chamber during
compression, and returns during extension of the strut.

Most shock struts employ a metering pin similar to that shown in

figure 12-8 to control the rate of fluid flow from the lower chamber
into the upper chamber. During the compression stroke, the rate of

fluid flow is not constant, but is controlled automatically by the
variable shape of the metering pin as it passes through the orifice.

Figure 12-9.–Landing gear shock strut (metering tube type).

On some types of shock struts now in service, a metering tube

replaces the metering pin, but shock strut operation is the same. An
example of this type of shock strut is shown in figure 12-9.

Some shock struts are equipped with a dampening or snubbing

device, which consists of a recoil valve on the piston or recoil tube.
The purpose of the snubbing device is to reduce the rebound during
the extension stroke and to prevent a too rapid extension of the
shock strut, which would result in a sharp impact at the end of the

The majority of shock struts are equipped with an axle that is

attached to the lower cylinder to provide for tire and wheel
installation. Shock struts not equipped with axles have provisions on

the end of the lower cylinder for ready installation of the axle
assembly. Suitable connections are also provided on all shock struts
to permit attachment to the aircraft.

A fitting, which consists of a fluid filler inlet and a high-pressure air

valve, is located near the upper end of

Figure 12-10.–Nose gear shock strut.

each shock strut to provide a means of filling the strut with hydraulic
fluid and inflating it with air or nitrogen.

A packing gland designed to seal the sliding joint between the upper
and lower telescoping cylinders is installed in the open end of the
outer cylinder. A packing gland wiper ring is also installed in a
groove in the lower bearing or gland nut on most shock struts to
keep the sliding surface of the piston or inner cylinder free from dirt,
mud, ice, and snow. Entry of foreign matter into the packing gland
will result in leaks. The majority of shock struts are equipped with
torque arms attached to the upper and lower cylinders to maintain
correct alignment of the wheel.

Nose gear shock struts are provided with an upper centering cam
that is attached to the upper cylinder and a mating lower centering
cam that is attached to the lower cylinder. See figure 12-10. These
cams serve to line up the wheel and axle assembly in the straight-
ahead position when the shock strut is fully extended. This prevents
the nosewheel from being cocked to one side when the nose gear is
retracted, preventing possible structural damage to the aircraft.
These mating cams

Figure 12-11.–Shock strut operation.

also keep the nosewheel in a straight-ahead position prior to landing

when the strut is fully extended. Some nose gear shock struts have

the attachments for installation of an external shimmy damper,
which is discussed later in this chapter.

Nose and main gear shock struts are usually provided with jacking
points and towing lugs. Jacks should always be placed under the
prescribed points. When towing lugs are provided, the towing bar
should be attached only to these lugs.

All shock struts are provided with an instruction plate that gives, in a
condensed form, instructions relative to the filling of the strut with
fluid and inflation of the strut. The instruction plate also specifies the
correct type of hydraulic fluid to use in the strut. The plate is
attached near the high-pressure air valve. It is of the utmost
importance that you always consult the applicable aircraft MIMs and
familiarize yourself with the instructions on the plate prior to
servicing a shock strut with hydraulic fluid and nitrogen or air.

Figure 12-11 shows the inner construction of a shock strut and the
movement of the fluid during compression and extension of the strut.
The com-pression stroke of the shock strut begins as the aircraft hits
the ground. The center of mass of the aircraft con-tinues to move
downward, compressing the strut and sliding the inner cylinder into
the outer cylinder. The metering pin is forced through the orifice, and
by its variable shape, controls the rate of fluid flow at all points of
the compression stoke. In this manner, the greatest possible amount
of heat is dissipated through the walls of the shock strut. At the end
of the downward stroke, the compressed air or nitrogen is further
compressed, limiting the compression stroke of the strut. If there is
an insufficient amount of fluid and/or air or nitrogen in the strut, the
compression stroke will not be limited, and the strut will "bottom"
out, resulting in severe shock and possible damage to the aircraft.

The extension stroke occurs at the end of the compression stroke, as

the energy stored in the compressed air or nitrogen causes the
aircraft to start moving upward in relation to the ground and wheels.
At this instant, the compressed air or nitrogen acts as a spring to
return the strut to normal. At this point, a snubbing or dampening
effect is produced by forcing the fluid to return through the
restrictions of the snubbing device (recoil valve). If this extension
were not snubbed, the aircraft would rebound rapidly and tend to
oscillate up and down because of the action of the compressed air. A
sleeve, spacer, or bumper ring incorporated in the strut limits the
extension stroke.


The landing gear drag brace (fig. 12-12) consists of an upper and
lower brace that is hinged at the center to

Figure 12-12.–Landing gear drag brace adjustment.

permit the brace to jackknife during retraction of the gear. The upper
brace pivots on a trunnion attached to the wheel well overhead. The
lower brace is connected to the lower portion of the shock strut outer
cylinder. On the drag brace shown in figure 12-12, a locking
mechanism is used where the lower and upper drag braces meet.
Usually in this type of installation, the locking mechanism is adjusted
so that it is allowed to be positioned slightly overcentered. You must
be able to inspect and adjust landing gear braces and lccking
mechanisms as specified in the applicable MIM.

To adjust the drag brace shown in figure 12-12, you would first
remove the cotter pin and nut (not shown) from the lock arm shaft.
With the drag brace in the full extended position, rotate the eccentric
bushings that are located on each end of the lock arm shaft.

Both bushings must be rotated together to ensure that the high point
of the eccentricity is the same on both bushings. Failure to do this
may result in damage to the equipment or sluggish operation. The
bushings maybe rotated in either direction until the end of the leek
arm shaft, shown as point "A" in figure 12-12, is a distance of 0.003
inch to 0.015 inch from the striker. This clearance is checked with a
feeler gauge.

Other portions of the drag brace are nonadjustable, except for the
length of its down leek cylinder. Figure 12-12 indicates the cylinder
should be adjusted to a length of 12 3/8 inches.

In the design of drag braces, the tendency has been directed toward
lessening the adjustment requirements. In some installations, drag
braces are manufactured to exact dimensions and do not require

Bleeding the System

Bleed the system every time you replace a part or disconnect a line.
Clear the nose gear from the deck with the hydraulic and electrical
power connected. Depress the nose gear steering switch and operate
the rudder pedals. As the nose gear steering cylinder moves, open
and close the extend and retract bleed ports. Do the same with the
relief valve bleed port at the steering cylinder until the hydraulic
fluid is free of air. Cycle the steering system five complete cycles.
Secure the bleed ports and lockwire. Disconnect electrical and
hydraulic power and remove the jack


For efficient operation of shock struts, the proper fluid level and
pneumatic pressure must be maintained. Before you check the fluid
level, you should consult the aircraft MIM. Deflating a strut can be a
dangerous operation unless the servicing personnel are thoroughly
familiar with high-pressure air valves and observe all the necessary
safety precautions.


The high-pressure air valve shown in figure 12-18 is used on most

naval aircraft. This air valve is used on struts, accumulators, and
various other components that must be serviced with high-pressure
air or nitrogen. The following procedures for deflating a typical shock
strut, servicing with hydraulic fluid, and reinflating is for
instructional purposes only. See figure 12-19. For specific aircraft
consult the appropriate aircraft MIM.

1. Position the aircraft so that the shock struts are in the normal
ground operating position. Ensure that personnel workstands, and
other obstacles are clear of the aircraft.

NOTE: Some aircraft must be placed on jacks with their struts

completely extended for servicing.

2. Remove the cap from the air valve, as shown in view A of figure

Figure 12-19.-Servicing a landing gear strut.

Figure 12-20.-Landing gear strut servicing instruction plate.

3. Release the air pressure in the strut by slowly turning the air valve
swivel nut counterclockwise approximately 2 turns. This action can
normally be accomplished with the use of a combination wrench.


When loosening the swivel nut ensure that the 3/4-inch hex body nut
is either lockwired in place or held tightly with a wrench. If the

swivel nut is loosened before the air pressure has been released,
serious injury may result to personnel.

4. Ensure that the shock strut compresses as the air or nitrogen

pressure is released. In some cases, it may be necessary to rock the
aircraft after deflating to ensure complete compressing of the strut.

5. When the strut is fully compressed, the air valve assembly may be
removed by breaking the safety wire and turning the 3/4-inch body
nut counter-clockwise.

6. Use the type of hydraulic fluid specified on the shock strut

inspection plate to fill the strut to the level of the air valve opening.
Figure 12-20 shows the instruction plate found on one type of
aircraft main landing gear strut.

NOTE: The instruction plate may be found on the strut or on the

wheel door near the strut. Improper oil level in the strut chamber
will decrease the shock absorbing capabilities of the strut and could
cause the strut to bottom out during landing. This would damage the
strut and/or wing structure.

7. Reinstall the air valve assembly, using a new O-ring packing.

Torque the air valve body hex nut from 100 inch-pounds to 110 inch-
pounds, as shown in view B of figure 12-19.

8. Lockwire the air valve assembly to the strut, using the holes
provided in the body nut.

9. Inflate the strut, using a regulated high-pressure source of

nitrogen or dry air. Under no circumstances should any type of bottle
gas other than nitrogen or compressed air be used to inflate shock
struts. The amount a strut is inflated depends upon the specific
aircraft strut being serviced. One manufacturer may use a strut
inflation chart, such as the one shown in view D of figure 12-19. The
strut is measured as indicated at dimension "A." This measurement,
in inches, is then located on the bottom of the inflation chart. For
example, locate the measurement of 1.75 inches on the chart. From
this point, vertically trace an imaginary line until it intersects the
curved line. At this point of intersection, horizontally trace a second
imaginary line to the left edge of the chart. The figure indicated at
this point (550 psi) is the required pressure for that particular
extension of the strut.

All aircraft struts are not measured from the same points. View E of
figure 12-19 shows another location where strut extension is
measured. The proper procedure to use will always be found on the

instruction plate attached to the shock strut. If these instructions are
not legible, consult the applicable MIM.

If the strut’s chamber is underpressurized, the strut may not

overcome normal O-ring friction during extension on takeoff. This
condition could prevent the strut from fully extending, thus the
torque scissors limit switch would not actuate to close the electrical
circuit to retract the gear. It would also cause the strut to bottom
during taxiing and landing operations.

If the strut’s chamber is overpressurized, the additional pressure will

tend to keep the strut pressurized after takeoff. On those aircraft
that use shrink mechanisms, the shrink mechanisms may be
overloaded or stall the strut actuator as the gear retracts. If the gear
retracts in the wing without shrinking, due to the failure of the
shrink mechanism, damage to both the wing and landing gear may

10. Tighten the air valve swivel hex nut to a recommended torque of
50-70 inch-pounds.

11. Remove the high-pressure air-line chuck and install the valve cap

Because some aircraft struts require special servicing procedures,

the General Information and Servicing section of the applicable MIM
should always be checked before servicing the shock struts of any


If the fluid level of a shock strut has become extremely low or, if for
any other reason, air is trapped in the strut cylinder, it may be
necessary to bleed the strut during the servicing operation. Bleeding
is performed with the aircraft placed on jacks. In this position, the
shock struts can be extended and compressed during the filling
operation, expelling all of the entrapped air. As mentioned earlier,
certain aircraft must be placed on jacks for routine servicing of the
shock struts. The following is a typical bleeding procedure.

1. Construct a bleed hose that contains a fitting suitable for making

an airtight connection to the shock strut filler opening. The hose
should be long enough to reach from the shock strut tiller opening to
the deck when the aircraft is on jacks.

2. Jack the entire aircraft until all shock struts are fully extended.

3. Release the air or nitrogen pressure in the strut to be bled, as
previously described in this chapter.

4. Remove the air tiller valve assembly.

5. Fill the strut to the level of the filler port with hydraulic fluid.

6. Attach the bleed hose to the filler port, and insert the opposite end
of the hose into a quantity of clean hydraulic fluid.

7. Place an exerciser jack or other suitable single-base jack under

the shock strut jacking point. See view C of figure 12-19. Compress
and extend the strut fully (by raising and lowering the jack) until the
flow of air bubbles from the strut has completely stopped.

NOTE: Compress the strut slowly and allow it to extend by its own

8. Remove the exerciser jack, and then lower and remove all other

9. Remove (he bleed hose from the shock strut.

10. Install the air tiller valve and inflate the strut, as previously


Shock struts should be inspected regularly for leakage of fluid and

for proper extension. Exposed portions of the strut pistons should be
cleaned in the same manner as actuating cylinder pistons during
preflight and postflight inspections. Exposed pistons should be
inspected closely for scoring and corrosion. Excessive leakage of fluid
can usually be stopped by deflating the strut and tightening the
packing gland nut. If leakage still persists after tightening the
packing gland

Figure 12-21.-Landing gear shock strut tools.

nut and reinflating the strut, the strut must be dis-assembled and the
packings replaced.

The tools shown in figure 12-21 are typical of the tools used during
disassembly and assembly of landing gear shock struts. Normally,
each tool is designed for, and should be used only on, one type of
installation. When using wrenches, you must take care to maintain
the lugs of the wrenches in their respective positions.

Slippage of the wrench, when under torquing conditions, may cause

damage to aircraft parts, the tool, or even injury to personnel. NEVER
place extension handles of any type on these tools to increase the
applied force.

These tools, like other special tools, should be kept where they will
not be subjected to rough handling, which could cause mushroomed
or deformed surfaces, making them useless for aircraft repair. Shock
strut disassembly and replacement of packings is a requirement for
advancement to first class; therefore, it is not covered in this training


More viscous a fluid more difficult for it to flow.We understand

viscosity as a property that tends to retard fluid motion It has the

dimensions and units of in the SI system. Viscosity of
a fluid is strongly dependent on temperature and is a weak function
of pressure. For example, when the pressure of air is increased from
1 atm to 50 atm, its viscosity increases only by about 10 percent
allowing one to ignore its dependence on pressure. It is seen that the
viscosity of liquids deceases with temperature while that for the
gases increases with temperature. This difference in behaviour is
explained by the cohesive and intermolecular forces within the fluid.
Liquids are characterized by strong cohesive forces and close packing
of molecules. When temperature increases cohesive forces are
weakened and there is less resistance to motion. Hence viscosity
decreases. With gases, the cohesive forces are very weak and the
molecules are spaced apart. Viscosity is due to the exchange of
momentum between molecules as a result of random motion. As the
temperature increases the molecular activity increases giving rise to
an increased resistance to motion or in other words viscosity

Kinematic Viscosity,

In fluid flow problems viscosity often appears in combination with

density in the form


One of the common examples is Reynolds Number, defined as VL/

being one of the very important parameters in Fluid Dynamics.This
term is referred to as Kinematic Viscosity and has the dimensions

of Viscosity (dynamic viscosity)

The SI physical unit of dynamic viscosity is the pascal-second (Pa·s),

which is identical to 1 N·s/m2 or 1 kg/(m·s).

The cgs physical unit for dynamic viscosity is the poise (P). It is more
commonly expressed, particularly in ASTM standards, as centipoise
(cP). The centipoise is commonly used because water has a viscosity
of 1.0020 cP (at 20 °C; the closeness to one is a convenient

1 poise = 100 centipoise = 1 g/(cm·s) = 0.1 Pa·s.

1 centipoise = 1 mPa·s.

Kinematic viscosity

The SI physical unit of kinematic viscosity is the (m2/s). The cgs

physical unit for kinematic viscosity is the stokes (abbreviated S or
St). It is sometimes expressed in terms of centistokes (cS or cSt).

1 stokes = 100 centistokes = 1 cm2/s = 0.0001 m2/s.


Viscosity in gases arises principally from the molecular diffusion that

transports momentum between layers of flow. The kinetic theory of
gases allows accurate prediction of the behaviour of gaseous
viscosity, in particular that, within the regime where the theory is
applicable:Viscosity is independent of pressure; and Viscosity
increases as temperature increases.


In liquids, the additional forces between molecules become

important. This leads to an additional contribution to the shear stress
though the exact mechanics of this are still controversial. Thus, in
liquids:Viscosity is independent of pressure (except at very high
pressure); and Viscosity tends to fall as temperature increases

The dynamic viscosities of liquids are typically several orders of

magnitude higher than dynamic viscosities of gases


Density is defined as mass per unit volume of the substance. Unit of

density in the SI system is Under ordinary conditions the

density of water is while that for air at C and

atmospheric pressure is .

Density of liquids is somewhat insensitive to the changes in pressure

and temperature. For gases there is a strong dependence of density

on these quantities and is given by the equation of state of the
particular gas.

Specific Volume, v

Specific Volume, v of a fluid is defined as the volume per unit mass

and its numerical value is given by the reciprocal of density.

Specific Weight,

Specific Weight, of a fluid is defined as the weight per unit volume

and is related to density.


where g is acceleration due to gravity. Its units (in SI units) are

Specific Gravity, SG

Specific Gravity, SG of a fluid is the ratio of its density to that of

water under reference conditions, usually at (i.e., .)

Pressure, p

Pressure is the normal force per unit area exerted on the plate.
Dimensions of pressure are F/L2 which is also called a Pascal.
Pressure values read by measuring devices such as a manometer are
the pressure levels above the atmospheric pressure and are called
gauge pressure. When pressure is referred to a vacuum it becomes
an Absolute Pressure being the sum of the gauge pressure and
atmospheric pressure Pressure is the application of force to a
surface, and the concentration of that force in a given area.

More formally, pressure (symbol: p) is defined as the magnitude of

the normal force per unit area.


where p is the pressure, F is the normal force, and A is the area.

Pressure is transmitted to solid boundaries or across arbitrary
sections of fluid normal to these boundaries or sections at every
point. Unlike stress, pressure is defined as a scalar quantity.

The gradient of pressure is force density.

Pressure is sometimes measured not as an absolute pressure, but

relative to atmospheric pressure; such measurements are sometimes
called gauge pressure.

Atmospheric pressure is the pressure above any area in the Earth's

atmosphere caused by the weight of air. As elevation increases,
fewer air molecules are above. Therefore, atmospheric pressure
decreases with increasing altitude.

Hydrostatic pressure

Hydrostatic pressure is the pressure due to the weight of a fluid.

p = ρgh

where ρ (rho) is density of the fluid, g is acceleration due to gravity,

and h is height of the fluid above the point being measured. See also
Pascal's Law.

Stagnation pressure

Stagnation pressure is the pressure a fluid exerts when it is

motionless. Consequently, although a fluid moving at higher speed
will have a lower static pressure, it may have a higher stagnation
pressure. Static pressure and stagnation pressure are related by the
Mach number of the fluid. In addition, there can be differences in
pressure due to differences in the elevation (height) of the fluid. See
Bernoulli's equation.

The pressure of a moving fluid can be measured using a Pitot probe,

or one of its variations such as a Kiel probe or Cobra probe,
connected to a manometer. Depending on where the inlet holes are
located on the probe, it can measure static pressure or stagnation


The SI unit for pressure is the pascal (Pa), equal to one newton per
square metre (N·m-2 or kg·m-1·s-2). This special name for the unit was
added in 1971; before that, pressure in SI was expressed in units
such as N/m².

Non-SI measures (still in use in some parts of the world) include the
pound-force per square inch (psi) and the bar.

Some meteorologists prefer the hectopascal (hPa) for atmospheric

air pressure, which is equivalent to the older unit millibar (mbar).
Similar pressures are given in kilopascals (kPa) in practically all
other fields, where the hecto prefix is hardly ever used. In Canadian
weather reports, the normal unit is kPa. The obsolete unit inch of
mercury (inHg) is still sometimes used in the United States.

The standard atmosphere (atm) is an established constant. It is

approximately equal to typical air pressure at earth mean sea level
and is defined as follows.

standard atmosphere = 101325 Pa = 101.325 kPa = 1013.25


Pascal's law

In a body of equally dense fluid at rest, the pressure is the same for
all points in the fluid so long as those points are at the same depth
below the fluid's surface Formula

The intuitive formulation is that the pressure at the base of a column

of water is due to the weight of the column.

The difference of pressure between two differents heights h1 and h2

is given by :

where ρ (rho) is the density or volumic mass of the fluid, g the

acceleration due to gravity, and h1, h2 are elevations

Work (abbreviated W) is the energy transferred by a force to a

moving object. Work is a scalar quantity, but it can be positive or
negative. It is associated with a change in energy, but not all
changes in energy can be readily analysed in terms of work.In
physics, work is defined as the integral of dot product of force times
infinitesimal translation:

The SI derived unit of work is the joule (J), which is defined as the
work done by a force of one newton acting over a distance of one
metre. The dimensionally equivalent newton-meter (N·m) is
sometimes used instead; however, it is also sometimes reserved for
torque to distinguish its units from work or energy.

Temperature, T

Temperature is a measure of the random molecular motion of the

fluid at a point. The hotter the fluid the more energy is stored in
random motion of molecules.

The unit of temperature is Kelvin (K), as an absolute measure of

thermal energy or Centigrade (oC), as a relative measure with 0
degrees at the freezing point of water.

Velocity, V

Velocity (symbol: v) is a vector measurement of the rate and

direction of motion. The units of Velocity are m/s in the metric
system The average speed v of an object moving a distance d during
a time interval t is described by the formula:

Acceleration is the rate of change of an object's velocity over time.

The average acceleration of a of an object whose speed changes from
vi to vf during a time interval t is given by:

Where vi = an object's initial velocity and vf = the

object's final velocity over a period of time t

Speed (symbol: v) is the rate of motion, or equivalently the rate of

change of position, expressed as distance d moved per unit of time t.

Speed is a scalar quantity with dimensions distance/time; the

equivalent vector quantity to speed is known as velocity. Speed is
measured in the same physical units of measurement as velocity, but
does not contain the element of direction that velocity has. Speed is
thus the magnitude component of velocity.

Units of speed include:metres per second, (symbol m/s), the SI
derived unit kilometres per hour, (symbol km/h) miles per hour,
(symbol mph)

Kinetic energy is energy that a body has as a result of its speed.

Potential energy is stored energy. The energy is stored by doing

work against a force such as gravity or the spring in a clockwork

Energy is a fundamental quantity that every physical system

possesses. Energy of physical system in a certain given state is
defined as the amount of work W needed to change the state of the
system from some initial state (called reference state or reference
level) to the given state. The SI unit for both energy and work is the
joule (J),

Ideal Gas Law

Pressure, density and temperature of a gas are related through an

equation of state. Under ordinary conditions for air,


where p is the absolute pressure the, density, T the absolute

temperature and R is a gas constant. The above equation is called the
Ideal Gas Law or the Perfect Gas Equation. The gases obeying this
equation are called Ideal Gases.

Bernoulli's Principle

The pressure of a fluid (liquid or gas) decreases at points where the

speed of the fluid increases. In other words, Bernoulli found that
within the same fluid, in this case air, high speed flow is associated
with low pressure, and low speed flow with high pressure. This
principle was first used to explain changes in the pressure of fluid
flowing within a pipe whose cross-sectional area varied. In the wide
section of the gradually narrowing pipe, the fluid moves at low
speed, producing high pressure. As the pipe narrows it must contain
the same amount of fluid. In this narrow section, the fluid moves at
high speed, producing low pressure. In fluid dynamics, Bernoulli's

equation, derived by Daniel Bernoulli, describes the behavior of a
fluid moving along a streamline.

v = fluid velocity along the streamline

g = acceleration due to gravity on Earth
h = height from an arbitrary point in the direction of gravity
p = pressure along the streamline
ρ = fluid density

Zeroth-law definition of temperature

While most people have a basic understanding of the concept of

temperature, its formal definition is rather complicated. Before
jumping to a formal definition, let us consider the concept of thermal
equilibrium. If two closed systems with fixed volumes are brought
together, so that they are in thermal contact, changes may take place
in the properties of both systems. These changes are due to the
transfer of heat between the systems. When a state is reached in
which no further changes occur, the systems are in thermal

Now a basis for the definition of temperature can be obtained from

the so-called zeroth law of thermodynamics which states that if two
systems, A and B, are in thermal equilibrium and a third system C is
in thermal equilibrium with system A then systems B and C will also
be in thermal equilibrium (being in thermal equilibrium is a transitive
relation; moreover, it is an equivalence relation).

Therefore, it is useful to establish a temperature scale based on the

properties of some reference system. Then, a measuring device can
be calibrated based on the properties of the reference system and
used to measure the temperature of other systems. One such
reference system is a fixed quantity of gas. The ideal gas law
indicates that the product of the pressure and volume (P · V) of a gas
is directly proportional to the temperature:


where 'T is temperature, n is the number of moles of gas and R is the

gas constant. Thus, one can define a scale for temperature based on
the corresponding pressure and volume of the gas: the temperature
in kelvins is the pressure in pascals of one mole of gas in a container
of one cubic metre, divided by 8.31... In practice, such a gas

thermometer is not very convenient, but other measuring
instruments can be calibrated to this scale.

Equation 1 indicates that for a fixed volume of gas, the pressure

increases with increasing temperature. Pressure is just a measure of
the force applied by the gas on the walls of the container and is
related to the energy of the system. Thus, we can see that an
increase in temperature corresponds to an increase in the thermal
energy of the system. When two systems of differing temperature
are placed in thermal contact, the temperature of the hotter system
decreases, indicating that heat is leaving that system, while the
cooler system is gaining heat and increasing in temperature. Thus
heat always moves from a region of high temperature to a region of
lower temperature and it is the temperature difference that drives
the heat transfer between the two systems.

Temperature in gases

The second law of thermodynamics states that any two given

systems when interacting with each other will later reach the same
average energy. Temperature is a measure of the average kinetic
energy of a system. The formula for the kinetic energy of an atom is:

Thus, particles of greater mass (say a neon atom relative to a

hydrogen molecule) will move slower than lighter counterparts,
but will have the same average energy. This average energy is
independent of the mass because of the nature of a gas, all
particles are in random motion with collisions with other gas
molecules, solid objects that may be in the area and the
container itself (if there is one). A visual illustration of this
from Oklahoma State University makes the point more clear.
Not all the particles in the container have different velocities,
regardless of whether there are particles of more than one
mass in the container, but the average kinetic energy is the
same because of the ideal gas law. In a gas the distribution of
energy (and thus speeds) of the particles corresponds to the
Boltzmann distribution.

An electronvolt is a very small unit of energy, approximately

1.602×10-19 joule.

Second-law definition of temperature

In the previous section temperature was defined in terms of the

Zeroth Law of thermodynamics. It is also possible to define

temperature in terms of the second law of thermodynamics, which
deals with entropy. Entropy is a measure of the disorder in a system.
The second law states that any process will result in either no change
or a net increase in the entropy of the universe. This can be
understood in terms of probability. Consider a series of coin tosses. A
perfectly ordered system would be one in which every coin toss
would come up either heads or tails. For any number of coin tosses,
there is only one combination of outcomes corresponding to this
situation. On the other hand, there are multiple combinations that
can result in disordered or mixed systems, where some fraction are
heads and the rest tails. As the number of coin tosses increases, the
number of combinations corresponding to imperfectly ordered
systems increases. For a very large number of coin tosses, the
number of combinations corresponding to ~50% heads and ~50%
tails dominates and obtaining an outcome significantly different from
50/50 becomes extremely unlikely. Thus the system naturally
progresses to a state of maximum disorder or entropy.


The thermodynamic entropy S, often simply called the entropy in the

context of thermodynamics, is a measure of the disorder present in a
physical system. Equivalently, it can be understood as a measure of
the amount of energy in a system that cannot be used to do work
(the precise meaning of this will be explained in the following
article). The SI unit of entropy is J·K-1 (joules per kelvin), which is
the unit of heat capacity.

Thermodynamic definition of entropy

In this section, we discuss the original definition of entropy, as

introduced by Clausius in the context of classical thermodynamics.
Clausius defined the change in entropy of a thermodynamic system,
during a reversible process in which an amount of heat dQ is
introduced at constant absolute temperature T, as

This definition makes sense when absolute temperature has been


Clausius gave the quantity S the name "entropy"

Measuring entropy

In real experiments, it is quite difficult to measure the entropy of a
system. The techniques for doing so are based on the thermodynamic
definition of the entropy, and require extremely careful calorimetry

Now, we have stated previously that temperature controls the flow of

heat between two systems and we have just shown that the
universe, and we would expect any natural system, tends to progress
so as to maximize entropy. Thus, we would expect there to be some
relationship between temperature and entropy. In order to find this
relationship let's first consider the relationship between heat, work
and temperature. A heat engine is a device for converting heat into
mechanical work and analysis of the Carnot heat engine provides the
necessary relationships we seek. The work from a heat engine
corresponds to the difference between the heat put into the system
at the high temperature, qH and the heat ejected at the low
temperature, qC. The efficiency is the work divided by the heat put
into the system or:


where wcy is the work done per cycle. We see that the efficiency
depends only on qC/qH. Because qC and qH correspond to heat transfer
at the temperatures TC and TH, respectively, qC/qH should be some
function of these temperatures:


Carnot's theorem states that all reversible engines operating

between the same heat reservoirs are equally efficient. Thus, a heat
engine operating between T1 and T3 must have the same efficiency as
one consisting of two cycles, one between T1 and T2, and the second
between T2 and T3. This can only be the case if:

which implies:

q13 = f(T1,T3) = f(T1,T2)f(T2,T3)

Since the first function is independent of T2, this temperature must

cancel on the right side, meaning f(T1,T3) is of the form g(T1)/g(T3)
(i.e. f(T1,T3) = f(T1,T2)f(T2,T3) = g(T1)/g(T2)· g(T2)/g(T3) =

g(T1)/g(T3)), where g is a function of a single temperature. We can
now choose a temperature scale with the property that:


Substituting Equation 4 back into Equation 2 gives a relationship for

the efficiency in terms of temperature:


Notice that for TC = 0 K the efficiency is 100% and that efficiency

becomes greater than 100% below 0 K. Since an efficiency greater
than 100% violates the first law of thermodynamics, this implies that
0 K is the minimum possible temperature. In fact the lowest
temperature ever obtained in a macroscopic system was 20 nK,
which was achieved in 1995 at NIST. Subtracting the right hand side
of Equation 5 from the middle portion and rearranging gives:

where the negative sign indicates heat ejected from the system. This
relationship suggests the existence of a state function, S, defined by:


where the subscript indicates a reversible process. The change of

this state function around any cycle is zero, as is necessary for any
state function. This function corresponds to the entropy of the
system, which we described previously. We can rearranging Equation
6 to get a new definition for temperature in terms of entropy and


For a system, where entropy S may be a function S(E) of its energy E,

the temperature T is given by:


The reciprocal of the temperature is the rate of increase of entropy
with energy

In thermodynamics, a thermodynamic system is in thermodynamic

equilibrium if its energy distribution equals a Maxwell-Boltzmann
distribution. This allows a single temperature to be attributed to the
system. The key idea is that the macroscopic parameters are
unchanging. The term "thermal equilibrium" is also used to describe
this situation.

The process that leads to a thermodynamic equilibrium is called

thermalisation. An example of this is a system of interacting particles
that is left undisturbed by outside influences. By interacting, they
will share energy/momentum among themselves and reach a state
where the global statistics are unchanging in time

The ideal gas law or equation is the equation of state of an ideal gas.
It combines the three primitive gas laws formulated by early physics
researchers. Although roughly accurate for gases at low pressures
and high temperatures, it becomes increasingly inaccurate at higher
pressures and lower temperatures. The equation has the form:

PV = nRT

where P is the pressure of an ideal gas, V is the volume, n is the

number of moles, R is the gas constant[0.08206, in
(atm*liters)/(moles*degrees Kelvin)], and T is its temperature

Some isotherms of an ideal gas (i.e. the relation between pressure P

and volume V at fixed temperature T; plotted for a set of
temperatures, with increasing T from lower to upper curve)

Using statistical mechanics, the ideal gas law can be derived by

assuming that a gas is composed of a large number of small
molecules, with no attractive or repulsive forces. In reality, gas
molecules do interact with attractive and repulsive forces. In fact it
is these forces that result in the formation of liquids.

Volume, also called capacity, is a quantification of how much space
an object occupies. The SI unit for volume is the cubic metre.
American spelling is cubic meter.

The volume of a solid object is a numerical value given to describe

the three-dimensional concept of how much space it occupies. One-
dimensional objects (such as lines) and two-dimensional objects
(such as squares) are assigned zero volume in the three-dimensional

Mathematically, volumes are defined by means of integral calculus,

by approximating the given body with a large amount of small cubes,
and adding the volumes of those cubes. The generalization of volume
to arbitrarily many dimensions is called content. In differential
geometry, volume is expressed by means of the volume form.

Volume and capacity are sometimes distinguished, with capacity

being used for how much a container can hold (with contents
measured commonly in litres or its derived units), and volume being
how much space an object displaces (commonly measured in cubic
mVolume measures: other SI units

A commonly used SI unit for volume is the litre (American spelling

liter), and one thousand litres is the volume of a cubic metre
(American spelling cubic meter), which was formerly termed a stere
and often called a "cube" in engineering slang. A cubic centimetre
(American spelling cubic centimeter) is the same volume as a

etres or its derived units).

Relationship to density

The volume of an object is equal to its mass divided by its average

density. This is a rearrangement of the calculation of density as mass
per unit volume.

The term specific volume is used for volume divided by mass. This is
the reciprocal of the mass density, expressed in units such as cubic
meters per kilogram (m³/kg).

The internal energy of a system (abbreviated E or U) is the total

kinetic energy due to the motion of molecules (translational,
rotational, vibrational) and the total potential energy associated with
the vibrational and electric energy of atoms within molecules or
crystals. Internal energy is a quantifiable state function of a system.
The SI unit of energy is the joule.

For systems consisting of molecules, the internal energy is
partitioned among all of these types of motion. In systems consisting
of monatomic particles, such as helium gas and other noble gases,
the internal energy consists only of the translational kinetic energy
of the individual atoms. Monatomic particles, of course, do not rotate
or vibrate, and are not excited to higher electrical energies, except at
very high temperatures.

From the standpoint of statistical mechanics, the internal energy is

shown to be equivalent to the ensemble average of the total energy
of the system.


Internal energy can not be measured directly; it is only measured as

a change (ΔU). The equation for change in internal energy is


Q is heat input to or output of the system, measured in joules

W is work done on or by the system, measured in joules

A positive value of W represents work done on the system, a

negative value representing work done by the system. Generally
physicists use negative "U" indicating work done by a system;
chemists use positive "U" indicating work done on a system. A
positive value of Q represents heat flow into the system, a negative
value representing heat flow out of the system.

physics, a force is an external cause responsible for any change of a

physical system. For instance, a person holding a dog by a rope is
experiencing the force applied by the rope on his hand, and the cause
for its pulling forward is the force exercised by the rope. The kinetic
expression of this change is, according to Newton's second law,
acceleration, non kinetic expressions such as deformation can also
occur. The SI unit for force is the newton.

Enthalpy (symbolized H, also called heat content) is the sum of the

internal energy of matter and the product of its volume multiplied by
the pressure. Enthalpy is a quantifiable state function, and the total
enthalpy of a system cannot be measured directly; the enthalpy
change of a system is measured instead. Enthalpy is a
thermodynamic potential, and is useful particularly for nearly-
constant pressure process, where any energy input to the system

must go into internal energy or the mechanical work of expanding
the system.


Enthalpy is defined by the following equation:


H is the enthalpy, measured in joules

U is the internal energy, measured in joules
P is the pressure of the system, measured in pascals
V is the volume, measured in cubic metres

The total enthalpy of a system cannot be measured directly; the

enthalpy change of a system is measured instead. Enthalpy change is
defined by the following equation:


ΔH is the enthalpy change, measured in joules

Hfinal is the final enthalpy of the system, measured in joules. In
a chemical reaction, Hfinal is the enthalpy of the products.
Hinitial is the initial enthalpy of the system, measured in joules.
In a chemical reaction, Hinitial is the enthalpy of the reactants.

Enthalpy is most useful when pressure is held constant through

exposure to the surroundings, to analyse reactions that increase the
volume of the system, causing it to do mechanical work on the
surroundings and lose energy. Conversely, reactions that cause a
decrease in volume cause the surroundings to do work on the
system, and an increase in the energy of the system. In this case,
enthalpy change may be expressed as:

DH = DU + P DV


D may indicate an infinitesimal change (often denoted "d") or a

finite difference (often denoted "Δ").

Regardless of whether the external pressure is constant,

infinitesimal enthalpy change obeys:

dH = T dS + V dP

(where S is the entropy) so long as the only work done is through

volume change. Since the expression T dS always represents transfer
of heat, it makes sense to treat the enthalpy as a measure of the
total heat in the system, so long as the pressure is held constant; this
explains the term heat content.

For an exothermic reaction at constant pressure, the system's

change in enthalpy is equal to the energy released in the reaction,
including the energy retained in the system and lost through
expansion against its surroundings. Similarly, for an endothermic
reaction, the system's change in enthalpy is equal to the energy
absorbed in the reaction, including the energy lost by the system and
gained from compression from its surroundings.

Standard enthalpy

The standard enthalpy change of reaction (denoted Ho or HO)is the

enthalpy change that occurs in a system when 1 equivalent of matter
is transformed by a chemical reaction under standard conditions.

A common standard enthalpy change is the standard enthalpy

change of formation, which has been determined for a vast number
of substances. The enthalpy change of any reaction under any
conditions can be computed, given the standard enthalpy change of
formation of all of the reactants and products. Other reactions with
standard enthalpy change values include combustion (standard
enthalpy change of combustion) and neutralisation (standard
enthalpy change of neutralisation).

Mechanical power

In physics, power (symbol: P) is the amount of work W done per unit

of time t. This can be modeled as an energy flow, equivalent to the
rate of change of the energy in a system, or the time rate of doing
work, as defined by

P is power
E is energy or work W
t is time

The units of power are therefore energy divided by time.

SI unit

The SI unit of power is the watt, which is equal to one joule per

Non-SI units

Non-SI units of power include horsepower (HP), Pferdestärke (PS),

cheval vapeur (CV) and foot-pounds per minute. One unit of
horsepower is equivalent to 33,000 foot-pounds per minute, or the
power required to lift 550 pounds one foot in one second, and is
equivalent to about 746 watts. Other units include: dBm, logarithmic
measure with 1 milliwatt as reference; kilocalorie per hour (often
referred to as Calories per hour

The horsepower (hp) is the name of several non-metric units of

power. In scientific discourse the term "horsepower" is rarely used
due to the various definitions and the existence of an SI unit for
power, the watt (W). However, the idea of horsepower persists as a
legacy term in many languages, particularly in the automotive
industry for listing the maximum power of internal-combustion

The various types of horsepower (metric) are:

Horsepower (hp)

According to the most common definition of horsepower, one

horsepower is defined as exactly:

1 hp = 745.69987158227022 W

A common memory aid is based on the fact that Christopher

Columbus first sailed to the Americas in 1492. The memory aid states
that 1 hp = 1/2 Columbus or 746 W.

In fourteen hundred and ninety-two

Columbus sailed the ocean blue.
Divide that son-of-a-gun by two
And that's how many watts there are in a horsepower.

The horsepower was first used by James Watt during a business

venture where his steam engines replaced horses. It was defined
that a horse can lift 33,000 pounds force with a speed of 1 foot per
minute: 33,000 ft·lbf·min−1. This is sometimes called a mechanical
horsepower to distinguish it from the other definitions of horsepower

Put into perspective, a healthy human can sustain about 0.1

horsepower. Most observers familiar with horses and their

capabilities estimate that Watt was a bit optimistic; few horses could
maintain that effort for long.

Simpler formulae

In the simplest case, that of a body moving in a steady direction, and

acted on by a force parallel to that direction, the work is given by the


F is the force and

s is the distance traveled by the object.

The work is taken to be negative when the force opposes the motion.
More generally, the force and distance are taken to be vector
quantities, and combined using the dot product:

where φ is the angle between the force and the displacement vector.

This formula holds true even when the force acts at an angle to the
direction of travel. To further generalize the formula to situations in
which the force and the object's direction of motion changes over
time, it is necessary to use differentials, d, to express the
infinitesimal work done by the force over an infinitesimal
displacement, thus:

The integration of both sides of this equation yields the most general
formula, as given above.

The centripetal force is the force pulling an object toward the center
of a circular path as the object goes around the circle. An object can
travel in a circle only if there is a centripetal force on it.

In the case of an orbiting satellite the centripetal force is its weight

and acts toward the satellite's primary; in the case of an object at the
end of a rope, the centripetal force is the tension of the rope and acts
towards whatever the rope is anchored to.

Centripetal force must not be confused with centrifugal force. In an

inertial reference frame (not rotating or accelerating), the centripetal

force accelerates a particle in such a way that it moves along a
circular path. In a corotating reference frame, a particle in circular
motion has zero velocity. In this case, the centripetal force appears
to be exactly cancelled by a pseudo-force, the centrifugal force.
Centripetal forces are true forces, appearing in inertial reference
frames; centrifugal forces appear only in rotating frames.

Centripetal force must not be confused with central force either.

Objects moving in a straight line with constant speed also have

constant velocity. However an object moving in an arc with constant
speed has a changing direction of motion. As velocity is a vector of
speed and direction, a changing direction implies a changing velocity.
The rate of this change in velocity is the centripetal acceleration.
Differentiating the velocity vector gives the direction of this
acceleration towards the center of the circle.

By Newton's second law of motion, as there is an acceleration there

has to be a force in the direction of the acceleration. This is the
centripetal force, and is equal to:

(where m is mass, v is velocity, r is radius of the circle, and the

minus sign denotes that the vector points to the center of the circle
and ω = v / r is the angular velocity)

Centripetal means towards the center.

There are two different definitions for the term Centrifugal force. One
is that centrifugal force is one of the fictitious forces that appears to
act on an object when its motion is viewed from a rotating frame of
reference. Another, less popular definition is that Centrifugal force is
the reaction force exerted by an object moving in a circular path
upon the object that is causing its circular motion, according to
Newton's Third Law.

The force that maintains circular motion is called centripetal force. If

no force is exerted on an object, it moves in a straight line at a
constant speed. To make the object deviate from that straight path
into in a circular one, a centripetal ("center seeking") force must be
exerted at right angles to the object's velocity, directed toward the

center of the circle. Since this causes a change in the direction of the
object's velocity, the centripetal force causes a corresponding
centripetal acceleration, also toward the center.

When viewed from an Inertial Frame of Reference, what is really

happening is that the passenger's inertia resists any change of
motion and keeps the passenger moving along the initial straight line
of motion. From this point of view, the only reason that the
passenger is pushed to the outside of the car is that the person is
still travelling in a straight line, and the car has accelerated. Once the
passenger hits the door of the car, the car is then able to apply the
centripetal force on the passenger to accelerate him or her around
the turn with the car. Friction between the seat of the car and the
seat of the passenger's pants is also a component of the centripetal
force, and at lower speeds, where passengers do not slide, friction
accounts for all of it. In turn, the passenger also exerts a reaction
force upon the door: according to the alternative definition, this
would also be called a centrifugal force.

Confusion has emerged over the term centrifugal force because of

these two quite different definitions. According to one definition,
centrifugal force acts on the object and is a fictitious force, that only
exists in rotating frames of reference. The other force that has been
referred to as centrifugal force is the real reaction force exerted by
the object.

In physics, a force is an external cause responsible for any change of

a physical system. For instance, a person holding a dog by a rope is
experiencing the force applied by the rope on his hand, and the cause
for its pulling forward is the force exercised by the rope. The kinetic
expression of this change is, according to Newton's second law,
acceleration, non kinetic expressions such as deformation can also
occur. The SI unit for force is the newton.

The rate of change of speed with respect to time is termed


In physics, momentum is a physical quantity related to the velocity

and mass of an object.

Momentum can be defined as "mass in motion." All objects have

mass, so if an object is moving, then it has momentum. The amount
of momentum that an object has depends two variables: the mass of
the moving object and its velocity. This can be written as:

Momentum = mass × velocity

In physics, the symbol for momentum is a small p; so the above
equation can be rewritten as:


where m is the mass and v the velocity. The SI unit of momentum is

kilogram metres per second (kg m/s). The equation shows that an
object with twice the mass of another object travelling at the same
velocity would have twice the momentum. An object travelling twice
as fast as another in the same direction with the same mass would
have twice the momentum.

The velocity of an object is given by its speed and its direction. This
means that if the direction of an object changes, its velocity changes.
Likewise if the speed changes, the velocity also changes. Because
momentum depends on velocity, it too has a magnitude and a
direction: it is a vector quantity. For example the momentum of a 5
kg bowling ball would have to be described by the statement that it
was moving westward at 2 m/s. It is insufficient to say that the ball
has 10 kg m/s of momentum; the momentum of the ball is not fully
described until information about its direction is given.

A change in an object's momentum is known as an impulse:

The impulse (mass × change in velocity) = force applied × the time

over which the force was applied.

Kinetic energy is energy that a body has as a result of its speed.

It is formally defined as work needed to accelerate a body from rest

to a velocity v. Having gained this energy during its acceleration, the
body maintains this kinetic energy unless its speed changes. The
same amount of work would also be required to return the body to a
state of rest from that velocity.

Potential energy is stored energy. The energy is stored by doing

work against a force such as gravity or the spring in a clockwork

Newton's first law: law of inertia

When no force acts on an object (or when the forces acting on it

cancel), it moves in a straight line at constant speed.

This law is also called the Law of Inertia or Galileo's Principle.

Newton's second law: fundamental law of dynamics

The acceleration of an object equals the total force acting on it,

divided by its (constant) mass, .

Where m is the mass of the object in question, is the total force

acting on the object is the object's acceleration, i.e., the rate of
change of its velocity with respect to time

When the forces on the object all act along the same line, they can be
added as positive and negative numbers, depending on their
direction. When they do not all act along the same line, the total
must be found by vector addition.

The quantity m, or mass, is a characteristic of the object. The greater

the total force acting on an object, the greater the change in its
acceleration will be. This equation, therefore, indirectly defines the
concept of mass.

In the equation, F = ma, a is directly measurable but F is not. The

second law only has meaning if we are able to assert, in advance, the
value of F. Rules for calculating force include Newton's law of
universal gravitation.

Newton's second law can also be stated in terms of momentum as

. The physical meaning of this equation is that objects
interact by exchanging momentum, and they do this via a force.
When the mass of an object is varying, this form is valid, and the
form is not. The statement in terms of momentum is also
valid in special relativity if we express the momentum as ,

where γ is .

Newton's first law appears to be a special case of the second law,

and Newton may have stated the first law separately simply in order
to throw down the gantlet to the Aristotelians. However, many
modern physicists prefer to think of the First Law as defining the
reference frames in which the other two laws are valid. These
reference frames are called inertial reference frames or Galilean
reference frames, and are moving at constant velocity, that is to say,
without acceleration. (Note that an object may have a constant
speed and yet have a non-zero acceleration, as in the case of uniform
circular motion. This means that the surface of the Earth is not an
inertial reference frame, since the Earth is rotating on its axis and
orbits around the Sun. However, for many experiments, the Earth's

surface can safely be assumed to be inertial. The error introduced by
the acceleration of the Earth's surface is minute.)

An illustration of Newton's third law. The skaters' forces on each

other are equal in magnitude, and in opposite directions. Although
the forces are equal, the accelerations are not: the less massive
skater will have a greater acceleration. In terms of conservation of
momentum, the total momentum is zero before they push off,
because they aren't yet moving, and zero after they push off,
because the momenta have opposite signs, and the momentum of the
less massive skater (small m, large v) cancels the momentum of the
more massive skater (large m, small v).

Newton's third law: law of reciprocal actions

Whenever one body exerts force upon a second body, the second
body exerts an equal and opposite force upon the first body.


Momentum is conserved, i.e., momentum cannot be created or

destroyed, but only transferred from one object to another.

The two forces in Newton's third law are of the same type, e.g., if the
road exerts a forward frictional force on an accelerating car's tires,
then it is also a frictional force that Newton's third law predicts for
the tires pushing backward on the road.

Newton's third law should not be interpreted as a prediction that

forces always cancel, or that equilibrium always exists. When objects
A and B interact, the forces referred to are acting on different
objects: A's force on B, and B's on A. We add forces acting on the
same object, not on different objects, so it doesn't make sense
physically to say that these two forces add up to zero.

The forces acting between particles A and B lie along parallel lines,
but need not lie along the line connecting the particles. One example
of this is a force on an electric dipole due to a point charge, when the
dipole points in a direction perpendicular to the line connecting the
point charge and the dipole. The force on the dipole due to the point
charge is perpendicular to the line connecting them, so there is a
reaction force on the point charge in the opposite direction, but these
two force vectors are parallel and, even when extended to a line,
they never cross each other in space.

The gas laws are a set of laws that describe the relationship between
thermodynamic temperature (T), pressure (P) and volume (V) of
gases. Three of these laws, Boyle's law, Charles's law, and Gay-
Lussac's law come together to form the combined gas law, which
with the addition of Avogadro's law later gave way to the ideal gas
law. Other important gas laws include Dalton's law of partial
pressures. The kinetic theory of gases, Graham's law of effusion, and
root mean square velocity all explain how individual molecules in a
gas act and their relation to pressure, volume, and temperature.

A gas which obeys these gas laws exactly is hypothetical and is

known as an ideal gas (or perfect gas). An ideal gas does not exist,
however, some gases follow the laws more closely than others given
standard conditions.

The most important gas law is the ideal gas law which states that:

-where: P is pressure in atmospheres (atm) or kilopascals (kPa) V is

volume in liters n is the number of moles of gas R is the ideal gas
constant in L atm/mol K or kPa/mol K T is temperature in kelvins.

Other gas laws, such as van der Waals equation, seek to eliminate
the value differences between the ideal gas laws and the actual
gases. The van der Waals equation alters the ideal gas law to more
truely reflect how actual gases function using a series of calculated
values called van der Waals constants.

Boyle's law (sometimes called the Boyle Mariotte law) is one of the
gas laws

Boyle's Law states that the product of the volume and pressure of an
ideal gas is constant, given constant temperature. Expressed
mathematically, the formula for Boyle's law is:

-where: V is volume of the gas. P is the pressure of the gas. k is a

To maintain the constant during an increase in pressure of a gas, at

fixed temperature, requires that the volume decrease. Conversely,
reducing the pressure of the gas increases the volume.

The exact value of the constant need not be known to make use of
the law in comparison between two volumes of the same amount of
gas at equal temperature:

Boyle's law, Charles's Law, and Gay-Lussac's Law form the combined
gas law. The three gas laws in combination with Avogadro's Law can
be generalized by the ideal gas law.

Charles's law (sometimes called the Law of Charles and Gay-Lussac)

is one of the gas laws

Charles law states that, at constant pressure, the volume of a given

mass of a gas at 0 degrees Celsius increases or decreases by 1/273
times its volume for every degree Celsius rise or fall in temperature.
The formula for this law is:

-where:V is the volume. T is the temperature (measured in kelvins).

k is a constant.

To maintain the constant, k, during heating of a gas at fixed

pressure, the volume must increase. Conversely, cooling the gas
decreases the volume. The exact value of the constant need not be
known to make use of the law in comparison between two volumes
of gas at equal pressure:

The Reynolds number is the most important dimensionless number in

fluid dynamics and provides a criterion for determining dynamic
similitude. Where two similar objects in perhaps different fluids with
possibly different flowrates have similar fluid flow around them, they
are said to be dynamically similar.

It is named after Osborne Reynolds (1842-1912), who proposed it in
1883. Typically it is given as follows:


With: vs - mean fluid velocity, L - characteristic length (equal to

diameter 2r if a cross-section is circular), μ - (absolute) dynamic
fluid viscosity, ν - kinematic fluid viscosity: ν = μ / ρ, ρ - fluid
density. The Reynolds number is the ratio of inertial forces (vsρ) to
viscous forces (μ/L) and is used for determining whether a flow will
be laminar or turbulent. Laminar flow occurs at low Reynolds
numbers, where viscous forces are dominant, and is characterized by
smooth, constant fluid motion, while turbulent flow, on the other
hand, occurs at high Reynolds numbers and is dominated by inertial
forces, producing random eddies, vortices and other flow

The transition between laminar and turbulent flow is often indicated

by a critical Reynolds number (Recrit), which depends on the exact
flow configuration and must be determined experimentally. Within a
certain range around this point there is a region of gradual transition
where the flow is neither fully laminar nor fully turbulent, and
predictions of fluid behaviour can be difficult. For example, within
circular pipes the critical Reynolds number is generally accepted to
be 2300, where the Reynolds number is based on the pipe diameter
and the mean velocity vs within the pipe, but engineers will avoid any
pipe configuration that falls within the range of Reynolds numbers
from about 2000 to 4000 to ensure that the flow is either laminar or

Laminar flow is when a fluid flows in parallel layers, with no

disruption between the layers. In fluid dynamics, laminar flow is a
flow regime characterized by high momentum diffusion, low
momentum convection, and pressure and velocity independence from
time. It is the opposite of turbulent flow. The (dimensionless)
Reynolds number characterizes whether flow conditions lead to
laminar or turbulent flow.For example, consider the flow of air over
an airplane wing. The boundary layer is a very thin sheet of air lying
over the surface of the wing (and, for that matter, all other surfaces
of the airplane). Because air has viscosity, this layer of air tends to
adhere to the wing. As the wing moves forward through the air, the

boundary layer at first flows smoothly over the streamlined shape of
the airfoil. Here the flow is called the laminar layer.

As the boundary layer approaches the centre of the wing, it begins to

lose speed due to skin friction, and it becomes thicker and turbulent.
Here it is called the turbulent layer. The process of a laminar
boundary layer becoming turbulent is known as boundary layer
transition.The point at which the boundary layer changes from
laminar to turbulent is called the transition point. Where the
boundary layer becomes turbulent, drag due to skin friction is
relatively high. As speed increases, the transition point tends to
move forward. As the angle of attack increases, the transition point
also tends to move forward. One way to limit the size and effect of
the turbulent region is to use swept-back "delta" wings. This is
particularly important in supersonic aircraft.

In fluid dynamics, turbulence or turbulent flow is a flow regime

characterized by low momentum diffusion, high momentum
convection, and rapid variation of pressure and velocity in space and
time. Flow that is not turbulent is called laminar flow. The
(dimensionless) Reynolds number characterizes whether flow
conditions lead to laminar or turbulent flow.

Consider the flow of water over a simple smooth object, such as a

sphere. At very low speeds the flow is laminar; i.e., the flow is
smooth (though it may involve vortices on a large scale). As the
speed increases, at some point the transition is made to turbulent
("chaotic") flow. In turbulent flow, unsteady vortices appear on
many scales and interact with each other. Drag due to boundary
layer skin friction increases. The structure and location of boundary
layer separation often changes, sometimes resulting in a reduction of
overall drag. Because laminar-turbulent transition is governed by
Reynolds number, the same transition occurs if the size of the object
is gradually increased, or the viscosity of the fluid is decreased, or if
the density of the fluid is increased.

In physics and fluid mechanics, the boundary layer is that layer of

fluid in the immediate vicinity of a bounding surface. In the
atmosphere the boundary layer is the air layer near the ground
affected by diurnal heat, moisture or momentum transfer to or from
the surface. On an aircraft wing the boundary layer is the part of the
flow close to the wing. The Boundary layer effect occurs at the field
region in which all changes occur in the flow pattern. The boundary
layer distorts surrounding nonviscous flow. It is a phenonomen of
viscous forces. This effect is related to the Leidenfrost effect and the
Reynolds number.


The aerodynamic boundary layer was discovered by Ludwig Prandtl

at the beginning of the twentieth century and represents one of the
greatest discoveries in the history of aerodynamics. Two effects must
to be considered. First, the boundary layer adds to the effective
thickness of the body, through the displacement thickness hence
increasing the pressure drag. Secondly, the shear forces at the
surface of the wing create skin friction drag.

At high Reynolds numbers, typical of full-sized aircraft, it is desirable

to have a laminar boundary layer. This results in a lower skin friction
due to the characteristic velocity profile of laminar flow. However,
the boundary layer inevitably thickens and becomes less stable as
the flow develops along the body, and eventually becomes turbulent,
the process known as boundary layer transition. One way of dealing
with this problem is to suck the boundary layer away through a
porous surface. This can result in a reduction in drag, but is usually
impractical due to the mechanical complexity involved.

At lower Reynolds numbers, such as those seen with model aircraft,

it is relatively easy to maintain laminar flow. This gives low skin-
friction, which is desirable. However, the same velocity profile which
gives the laminar boundary layer its low skin friction also causes it to
be badly affected by adverse pressure gradients. As the pressure
begins to recover over the rear part of the wing chord, a laminar
boundary layer tends to separate from the surface. Such separation
causes a large increase in the pressure drag, since it greatly
increases the effective size of the wing section. In these cases, it can
be advantageous to deliberately trip the boundary layer into
turbulence at a point prior to the location of laminar separation. The
fuller velocity profile of the turbulent boundary layer allows it to
sustain the adverse pressure gradient without separating. Thus,
although the skin friction is increased, overall the drag is decreased.
Special wing sections have also been designed which tailor the
pressure recovery so that laminar separation is reduced or even
eliminated. This represents an optimum compromise between the
pressure drag from flow separation and skin friction the induced

Types of drag are generally divided into three categories: parasitic

drag, lift-induced drag and wave drag. Parasitic drag includes form
drag, skin friction and interference drag. Lift-induced drag is only
relevant when wings or a lifting body are present, and is therefore
usually discussed only in the aviation perspective of drag. Beyond
these two kinds of drag there is a third kind of drag, called wave
drag, that occurs when the solid object is moving through the fluid at
or near the speed of sound in that fluid. The overall drag of an object

is characterized by a dimensionless number called the drag
coefficient, and is calculated using the drag equation. Assuming a
constant drag coefficient, drag will vary as the square of velocity.
Thus, the resultant power needed to overcome this drag will vary as
the cube of velocity

Parasitic drag is drag caused by moving a solid object through a

fluid. Parasitic drag is made up of many components, the most
prominent being form drag. Skin friction and interference drag are
also major components of parasitic drag.

In aviation, induced drag tends to be greater at lower speeds

because a high angle of attack is required to maintain lift. However,
as speed increases the induced becomes much less, but parasitic
drag necessarily increases because the fluid is flowing faster. At even
higher speeds in the transonic, wave drag enters the picture. Each of
these forms of drag changes in proportion to the others based on
speed. The combined overall drag curve therefore shows a minimum
at some airspeed - an aircraft flying at this speed will be at or close
to its optimal efficiency. Pilots will use this speed to maximise
endurance (minimum fuel consumption), or maximise gliding range
in the event of an engine failure.

In aerodynamics, form drag, profile drag, or pressure drag, is a

component of parasitic drag. The general size and shape of the body
is the most important factor in form drag; bodies with a larger
apparent cross-section will have a higher drag than thinner bodies.
"Clean" designs, or designs that are streamlined and change cross-
sectional area gradually are also critical for achieving minimum form

drag. Form drag follows the drag equation, meaning that it rises with
the square of speed, and thus becomes more important for high
speed aircrat

In physics, the drag equation gives the drag experienced by an

object moving through a fluid.

where D is the force of drag, Cd is the drag coefficient (a

dimensionless constant, e.g. 0.25 to 0.45 for a car), ρ is the density
of the fluid*, v is the velocity of the object relative to the fluid, and
A is the reference area.

In aerodynamics, skin friction is the component of parasitic drag

arising from the friction of the fluid against the "skin" of the object
that is moving through it. Skin friction is a function of the interaction
between the fluid and the skin of the body, as well as the wetted
surface, or the area of the surface of the body that would become
wet if sprayed with water flowing in the wind. As with other
components of parasitic drag, skin friction follows the drag equation
and rises with the square of the velocity.

Interference drag

In aerodynamics, interference drag is a component of parasitic drag

which is caused by vortices. Whenever two surfaces meet at a sharp
angle on an airplane, the airflow has a tendency to form a vortex.
Accelerating the air into this vortex causes drag on the plane, and
the resulting low pressure area behind the plane also contributes.
Thus, the primary method of reducing interference drag is
eliminating sharp angles by adding fairings which smooth out any
sharp angles on the aircraft. As with other components of parasitic
drag, interference drag follows the drag equation and rises with the
square of the velocity.

Wave drag is an aerodynamics term that refers to a sudden and very

powerful form of drag that appears on aircraft flying at high-subsonic
speeds. Wave drag is caused by the formation of shock waves around
the aircraft. Shock waves radiate away a considerable amount of
energy, energy that is "seen" by the aircraft as drag. Although shock
waves are typically associated with supersonic flow, they can
actually form at much lower speeds at areas on the aircraft where
the Bernoulli effect accelerates local airflow to supersonic speeds
over curved areas. The effect is typically seen at speeds of about
Mach 0.8, but it is possible to notice the problem at any speed over

that of the critical mach of that aircraft's wing. The magnitude of the
rise in drag is impressive, typically peaking at about four times the
normal subsonic drag.

These research projects were quickly put to use by aircraft

designers. One common solution to the problem of wave drag due to
the wings was to use a swept-wing, which had actually been
developed before WWII and used on some German wartime designs
(none of which saw service). Sweeping the wing to the rear makes it
appear thinner and longer in the direction of the airflow, making a
"normal" wing shape closer to that of the von Kármán ogive, while
still remaining useful at lower speeds where curvature and thickness
are important.

One does not have to sweep the wing, it is possible to build a wing
that is simply extremely thin.

Lift-induced drag

In aerodynamics, lift-induced drag, or more simply, induced drag, is

a drag force arising from the generation of lift by wings or a lifting
body during flight.Induced drag will be present whenever the wings
are producing lift. To that extent, it is often said that induced drag is
a part of lift. It arises from the downwash induced by the wingtip and
trailing edge vortices which, for a given amount of lift being
produced, tilts the total reaction force further backwards through the
induced downwash angle. This extra rearward tilt, in effect,
increases the length of the drag vector and it is this increase in drag
which is known as induced drag. Obviously, the smaller the angle of
induced downwash, the lower will be the induced drag.

There are a number of factors affecting induced drag:

Aspect Ratio

High aspect ratio wings produce smaller vortices and, in comparison

with a wing of lower aspect ratio, proportionally less of the airflow
swept by the longer span is affected by the vortices. Consequently,
the induced downwash angle when averaged over the whole of the
high aspect ratio wing, is smaller and the induced drag is low. To
minimise lift-induced drag, gliders have very high aspect ratios.

Wing Planform

For a wing of given span, an elliptical planform produces the smallest

vortices and therefore the lowest induced drag.However, for wings
with straight leading and trailing edges, the judicious use of taper

and washout of the wing sections toward the tips can produce a
similar reduction in induced drag.

Coefficient of Lift

From the pilot's point of view, where the aspect ratio and planform of
the aircraft are fixed, the important factors in determining induced
drag are angle of attack, airspeed and aircraft weight. These are
incorporated in the induced drag formula which can be seen to have
a powerful effect on the amount of induced drag generated.

Angle of attack
Induced drag increases as the angle of attack is increased. The
strength of the vortices is determined by the pressure
difference above and below the wing. When the wing is at the
zero-lift angle of attack (AoA -2° / CL = 0) there are no
vortices and therefore no induced drag. As the angle of attack
is increased, vortices form and increase in strength up to the
angle of attack for CL Max, typically 16° (varies between
aircraft). Induced drag therefore increases with angle of attack
to be at a maximum at the stalling angle.
Induced drag is inversely proportional to the square of the
indicated airspeed (IAS). This is the opposite to the effect of
airspeed on parasite drag, which is directly proportional to
IAS². When the factors of angle of attack and airspeed are
combined, induced drag is greatest at low airspeeds and at
high angles of attack.
Increased weight means that higher angles of attack must be
used to produce a given amount of lift for a given speed.
Induced drag increases in proportion to weight squared (W²).

An alternative way of looking at induced drag is as follows. The

production of vortices is an inevitable consequence of the production
of lift with a wing of finite span. These vortices result in an induced
downwash which is over and above the downwash necessary to
produce lift. To produce a rotary motion of any fluid requres energy
— an example is the energy requred to stir a large volume of water in
a drum with some sort of paddle. In flight, the energy required to
create the vortices must be sourced from somewhere. Ultimately,
that demand is placed on the engine by requiring higher power to be
used to offset the induced drag when it is desired to maintain a given

Some airliners and many gliders have small fins at the wing tips
winglets to minimise the vortices. Wingtip tanks have a similar

Induced drag must be added to the parasitic drag to find the total
drag. As discussed above, induced drag becomes less of a factor the
faster the aircraft flies because at higher speeds a smaller angle of
attack is required for the same amount of lift. The opposite occurs
with parasitic drag (the drag caused simply by pushing the aircraft
through the air), which increases with speed. The combined overall
drag curve therefore shows a minimum at some airspeed — an
aircraft flying at this speed will be at or close to its optimal

In aerodynamics, the aspect ratio is an airplane's wing's span

divided by its standard mean chord (SMC). It can be calculated more

easily, however as span squared divided by wing area:

Informally, a "high" aspect ratio indicates long, narrow wings,

whereas a "low" aspect ratio indicates short, stubby wings.

Aspect ratio is a powerful indicator of the general performance of a

wing. Wingtip vortices greatly deteriorate the performance of a wing,
and by reducing the amount of wing tip area, making it skinny or
pointed for instance, you reduce the amount of energy lost to this
process, and increase the lift generated by the wing.

High aspect-ratio wings reduce the amount of induced drag relative

to the amount of lift produced.

Why don't all aircraft have high aspect-ratio wings? There are
several reasons:

Structural: the deflection along a high aspect-ratio wing tends to be

much higher than for one of low aspect ratio, thus the stresses and
consequent risk of fatigue failures are higher - particularly with
swept-wing designs.

Maneuverability: a high aspect-ratio wing will have a lower roll rate

than one of low aspect ratio, due to higher drag and greater moment
of inertia, thus rendering them unsuitable for fighter aircraft.

Stability - low aspect ratio wings tend to be more naturally stable

than high-aspect ratios. This confers handling advantages, especially
at slow speeds.

Practicality - low aspect ratios have a greater useful internal volume,

which can be used to house the fuel tanks, retractable landing gear
and other systems.

Lift consists of the sum (technically the negative product) of all the
fluid dynamic forces on a body normal (i.e. perpendicular) to the
direction of the external flow around that body.

Reaction due to accelerated air

In air (or comparably in any fluid), lift is created as an airstream

passes by an airfoil and is deflected downward. The force created by
this deflection of the air creates an equal and opposite force upward
on an airfoil (see Newton's third law.) The deflection of airflow
downward during the creation of lift is known as downwash. (Note:
Confusingly, the term "downwash" has two somewhat different
meanings with regard to aircraft. See downwash for a more complete

It is important to note that the acceleration of the air does not simply
involve the air molecules "bouncing off" the bottom of the airfoil.
Rather, air molecules closely follow both the top and bottom surfaces
of the airfoil, and so the airflow is deflected downward. In fact, the
acceleration of the air during the creation of lift can also be described
as a "turning" of the airflow.

Bernoulli's principle

The force on the wing can also be examined in terms of the pressure
differences above and below the wing. (This method of explanation is
mathematically equivalent to the Newton's 3rd law explanation as
developed above.) The relationship between the velocities and
pressures above and below the wing are nearly predicted by
Bernoulli's equation


A third way of calculating lift is a mathematical construction called

circulation. Again, it is mathematically equivalent to the two
explanations above. It is often used by practicing aerodynamicists as
a convenient quantity, but is not often useful for a layperson's
understanding. The circulation is the line integral of the velocity of
the air, in a closed loop around the boundary of an airfoil. It can be
understood as the total amount of "spinning" (or vorticity) of air
around the airfoil. When the circulation is known, the section lift can
be calculated using:

where ρ is the air density, V is the free-stream airspeed, and Γ is the


The Helmholtz theorem states that circulation is conserved. When an
aircraft is at rest, there is no circulation. As the flow speed increases
(that is, the aircraft accelerates in the air-body-fixed frame), a
vortex, called the starting vortex, forms at the trailing edge of the
airfoil, due to viscous effects in the boundary layer. Eventually the
vortex detaches from the airfoil and gets swept away from it
rearward. The circulation in the starting vortex is equal in magnitude
and opposite in direction to the circulation around the airfoil.
Theoretically, the starting vortex remains connected to the vortex
bound in the airfoil, through the wing-tip vortices, forming a closed
circuit. In reality the starting vortex gets dissipated by a number of
effects, as do the wing-tip vortices far behind the aircraft.

Coefficient of lift

When the coefficient of lift is known, for instance from tables of

airfoil data, lift can be calculated using the Lift Equation:


CL is the coefficient of lift, ρ is the density of air (1.225 kg/m3 at sea

level)* V is the freestream velocity, that is the airspeed far from the
lifting surface A is the surface area of the lifting surface L is the lift
force produced.

This equation can be used in any consistent system. For instance, if

the density is measured in kilograms per cubic metre, the velocity is
measured in metres per second, and the area is measured in square
metres, the lift will be calculated in newtons. Or, if the density is in
slugs per cubic foot, the velocity is in feet per second, and the area is
in square feet, the resulting lift will be in pounds force.


The term downwash has two nearly unrelated meanings within the
field of aerodynamics.One meaning, used most often by non-
engineers, refers to the forcing of air downward during the creation
of lift. This usage is most common with regard to helicopters where
the effect is most dramatic.The other meaning, used most often by
engineers, refers to the flow of air over the tip of a wing and is a
critical component in the creation of wing tip vortices.

In fluid dynamics, Bernoulli's equation, derived by Daniel Bernoulli,

describes the behavior of a fluid moving along a streamline.

v = fluid velocity along the streamline
g = acceleration due to gravity on Earth
h = height from an arbitrary point in the direction of gravity
p = pressure along the streamline
ρ = fluid density

These assumptions must be met for the equation to apply:Inviscid

flow − viscosity (internal friction) = 0 Steady flow Incompressible
flow − ρ = constant. (There exists a second form of Bernoulli's
equation that is applicable for compressible flow, which makes use of
the thermodynamic enthalpy.)

Generally, the equation applies along a streamline. For irrotational

flow, it applies throughout the entire flow field.

The decrease in pressure simultaneous with an increase in velocity,

as predicted by the equation, is often called Bernoulli's principle.

Wingtip vortices are vortices that develop at the edge of a wing as it

flies through the air (or potentially another fluid). Wingtip vortices
dramatically reduce the lift generated by the wing, and are therefore
critically important in aerospace engineering.

Cause and Effects

As a wing flies through the air, it generates a low pressure zone on

top of the wing through the Bernoulli effect. Fluids naturally flow
from high to low pressure and the relatively high pressure air below
the wing has a natural tendency to flow to the top of the wing. The
air naturally cannot flow around the leading or trailing edge of the
wing due to airspeed, but it can flow around the end. Consequently,
air flows from below the wing, out around the edge to the top of the
wing in a circular fashion. This raises the pressure on top of the wing
and lowers the overall lift that the wing can produce.

Luckily, wingtip vortices only affect the portion of the wing closest to
the end. Thus, the longer a wing is, the smaller the affected fraction
of it will be. As well, the shorter the chord of the wing, the less
opportunity air will have to form vortices. This means that for an
airplane to be most efficient, it should have a very high aspect ratio.
However, increasing the wingspan reduces the manoueverability of
the aircraft, which is why combat and aerobatic planes usually
feature short, stubby wings despite the efficiency losses.

Another method of reducing wingtip vortices is winglets, as seen on
a number of modern airliners such as the Airbus A340. Winglets work
by interfering with the formation of the vortex, thereby effectively
increasing the aspect ratio of the wing. Winglets can yield very
worthwhile economy improvements on long distance flights

A vortex is a spinning turbulent flow (or any spiral whirling motion)

with closed streamlines. The shape of media or mass rotating rapidly
around a center forms a vortex. It is a flow involving rotation about
an axis (not always oriented vertically though; sometimes
possessing a horizontal axis).


The term washout can have various meanings. In aviation, washout

refers to the practice of building a wing with a slight twist, reducing
the angle of incidence from root to the wingtip. The effect of this
twist is that when the aircraft begins to stall, the wing's root does so
before the tips. When this occurs the ailerons are still in smooth
airflow, allowing the pilot to maintain roll control.

The primary benefit of washout is to increase the range of speeds at

which the aircraft is stable and controllable. Without washout, a
stalling aircraft is in danger of rolling out of control into an
unrecoverable spin.

An angle of incidence is the angle between a beam incident on a

surface and the normal (line perpendicular to the surface at the point
of incidence).

Another common usage is in aviation, where it refers to the angle

between the wing's chord (aircraft) and the longitudinal axis of an
aircraft (a fixed value). Fig.2 shows a side view of part of an
aeroplane. The angle of attack, which is the angle the wing chord
presents to the airflow in flight.

Stall (flight)

In aerodynamics, a stall is a condition in which an excessive angle of

attack causes loss of lift due to disruption of airflow.

An aircraft in flight is usually not pointed directly into the oncoming

airflow. The angle (when viewed from the side of the aircraft)
between the airflow and the wing is called the angle of attack (not to
be confused with the pitch angle). If a pilot allows the angle of
attack to become too large, the airflow will be unable to remain
attached to the wing and it will begin to separate from the wing,
creating a dramatic loss of lift. This condition is known as a stall.

Stall recovery usually involves reducing the angle of attack to
"break" the stall, and adding power to begin a climb

Rigorous definition

A stall is a condition in aerodynamics and aviation where the angle

between the wing's chord line and the relative wind, defined as the
angle of attack, exceeds the critical angle of attack. The critical angle
of attack is the maximum angle of attack on the lift coefficient versus
angle-of-attack curve, and it defines the boundary between the
wing's linear and nonlinear regimes. Flow separation begins to occur
at this point, decreasing lift, increasing drag, and changing the
wing's pitching moment. A fixed-wing aircraft during a stall will
experience buffeting, a change in pitching moment (nose up or nose
down depending on tailplane configuration), and changes in most
stability derivatives.

Aileron control of roll becomes less effective, whereas its (inverse)

control of yaw increases, making adverse yaw even more
pronounced. Roll-yaw coupling becomes more pronounced as roll due
to sideslip angle predominates. Pitch and roll damping decrease due
to lower dynamic pressure, and strong nonlinearities in the airflow.

Increasing the angle of attack between an airfoil and the airflow

causes the lift and drag produced to increase. This can continue until
a point is reached where maximum lift is generated and this is
known as the stall or stall angle. Any further increase in angle does
not produce a corresponding increase in lift but will in fact lead to a
sudden reduction in lift, a change in pitching moment or a wing drop.
This is due to flow separation occurring on the upper surface of the
airfoil, and therefore the critical angle of attack is dependent not only
on the geometry of the configuration, but on the Reynolds number
and surface roughnes

Typical behavior of most airfoils.


The graph shows that the greatest amount of lift is produced just
before the critical angle of attack is reached (which in early 20th
century aviation is called the "burble point") . This angle is 17.5
degrees in this case but changes from aircraft to aircraft. The graph
shows that as the critical angle of attack is exceeded, the lift
produced by the wing decreases significantly. The aerofoil is now

Note that this graph shows the stall angle, yet in practice most pilots
discuss stalling in terms of airspeed. This is because in general terms
one can relate the angle of attack to airspeed - a lower speed
requires a greater angle of attack to produce the necessary lift and
vice versa. Thus as speed falls, AoA increases, until the critical angle
is reached. The airspeed at which this occurs is the stalling speed of
the aircraft in that particular configuration. Deploying flaps/slats
decreases the stall speed to allow the aircraft to land at a slower

Aerodynamic description of a stall

Stalling an aeroplane

An aeroplane can be made to stall in any pitch attitude or bank angle

or at any airspeed but is commonly practised by pilots reducing the
speed to the stall speed, at a safe altitude. Stall speed varies on
different airplanes and is represented by color codes on the air speed
indicator. As the plane flies at this speed the angle of attack must be
increased to prevent any loss of altitude or gain in airspeed (which
corresponds to the stall angle described above). The pilot will notice
the flight controls have become less responsive and may also notice
some buffeting, an aerodynamic vibration caused by the airflow
starting to detach from the wing surface.

In most light aircraft, as the stall is reached the aircraft will start to
descend (because the wing is no longer producing enough lift to
support the aeroplane's weight) and the nose will pitch down.
Recovery from this stalled state usually involves the pilot decreasing
the angle of attack and increasing the air speed, until smooth air flow
over the wing is resumed. Normal flight can be resumed once
recovery from the stall is complete.

The most common stall-spin scenarios occur on takeoff (departure

stall) and during landing (base to final turn). Stalls also occur during

a go-around maneuver if the pilot does not properly respond to the
out-of-trim situation resulting from the transition from low power
setting to high power setting at low speed. Stall speed is increased
when the upper wing surfaces are contaminated with ice or frost.

A special form of asymmetric stall in which the aircraft also rotates

about its yaw axis is called a spin. A spin will occur if an aircraft is
stalled and there is an asymmetric yawing moment applied to it. This
yawing moment can be aerodynamic (sideslip angle, rudder, adverse
yaw from the ailerons), thrust related (p-factor, one engine
inoperative on a multi-engine non-centerline thrust aircraft), or from
any number of possible sources of yaw.

Symptoms of an approaching Stall

One symptom of an approaching stall is slow and sloppy controls. As

the speed of the airplane decreases approaching the stall, there are
less air particles moving over the wing and therefore less will be
deflected by the control surfaces (ailerons, rudder and elevator) at
this slower speed. There may be slight buffeting of the controls as
the stall is reached. The stall warning will sound, in most aircraft 5 to
10 knots above the stall speed.

Stalling characteristics

Different aircraft types have different stalling characteristics. A

benign stall is one where the nose drops gently and the wings remain
level throughout. Slightly more demanding is a stall where one wing
stalls slightly before the other, causing that wing to drop sharply,
with the possibility of entering a spin. A dangerous stall is one where
the nose rises, pushing the wing deeper into the stalled state and
potentially leading to an unrecoverable deep stall.

Stall warning and safety devices

Airplanes can be equipped with a variety of devices to prevent or

postpone a stall or to make it less (or in some cases more) severe, or
to make recovery easier.

A slight twist can be introduced to the wing with the leading edge
near the wing tip twisted downward. This is called washout and
causes the wing root to stall before the wing tip. This makes the stall
gentle and progressive. Since the stall is delayed at the wing tips,
where the ailerons are, roll control is maintained when the stall

The wing can be built with aerodynamic twist; the airfoil changes
shape toward the wing tip in such a way that the wing tip has a

lower stall speed than the wing root. This serves the same purpose
as washout.

A stall strip is a small sharp-edged device which, when attached to

the leading edge of a wing, encourages the stall to start there in
preference to any other location on the wing. If attached close to the
wing root it makes the stall gentle and progressive; if attached near
the wing tip it encourages the aircraft to drop a wing when stalling.

Vortex generators, tiny strips of metal or plastic placed on top of the

wing near the leading edge, lower the stall speed by preventing flow
separation over the top of the wing.

An anti-stall strake is a wing extension at the root leading edge

which generates a vortex on the wing upper surface to postpone the

A stick-pusher is a mechanical device which prevents the pilot from

stalling an aeroplane by pushing the controls forwards as the stall is

A stick-shaker is a similar device which shakes the pilot's controls to

warn of the onset of stall.

A stall warning is an electronic or mechanical device which sounds an

audible warning as the stall speed is approached. The majority of
aircraft contain some form of this device that warns the pilot of an
impending stall. The simplest such device is a 'stall warning horn',
which consists of either a pressure sensor or a movable metal tab
that actuates a switch, and produces an audible warning in response.

An angle of attack limiter or an "alpha" limiter is a flight computer

that automatically prevents pilot input from causing the plane to rise
over the stall angle. Some alpha limiters can be disabled by the pilot.

If a forward canard is used for pitch control rather than an aft tail,
the canard is designed to stall at a slightly higher speed than the
wing (i.e. the canard stalls first). When the canard stalls, the nose
drops, lowering the angle of attack thus preventing the wing from
stalling. Thus the wing virtually never stalls.

If an aft tail is used, the wing is designed to stall before the tail. In
this case, the wing can be flown at higher lift coefficient (closer to
stall) to produce more overall lift

Flight dynamics is the study of orientation of air and space vehicles

and how to control the critical flight parameters, typically named
pitch, roll and yaw.

Pitch is rotation around the lateral or transverse axis. This axis is
parallel to the wings, thus the nose and tail both pitch up or down.

Roll is rotation around the longitudinal axis—an axis drawn through

the body of the vehicle from tail to nose. This is also known as bank.

Yaw is rotation about the normal axis—an axis perpendicular to the

pitch and roll axes. If an airplane model placed on a flat surface is
spun or pivoted around the center of mass (coordinate origin) it
would be described as yawing.

Ailerons are hinged flaps attached to the trailing edge of an airplane

wing, usually near the wingtips. They are used to control the aircraft
in roll. The two ailerons are interconnected so that one goes down
when the other goes up: the downgoing aileron increases the lift on
its wing while the upgoing aileron reduces the lift on the other wing,
producing a rolling moment about the aircraft's longitudinal axis. The
word aileron is French for "little wing."An unwanted side-effect of
aileron operation is adverse yaw - a yawing moment in the opposite
direction to the turn generated by the ailerons. In other words, using
the ailerons to roll an aircraft to the right would produce a yawing
motion to the left. The yaw occurs because the down-going aileron
will increase the angle of attack of the upgoing wing, increasing both
lift and drag (Form + Induced). Conversely, the wing with the
upgoing aileron will see a small increase in drag (Form), as well as
the intended reduction in lift.

Adverse yaw can be countered with the aircraft's rudder (a co-

ordinated turn), but can also be reduced with clever design. If the
upgoing aileron moves further upwards than the downgoing aileron
moves down, it will create extra profile drag on that wing and try to
yaw the aircraft into the turn. This set-up is known as "differential
aileron". Another solution is to use a "Frise aileron", where the up
going aileron also projects a section downwards below the wing,
again increasing drag on the inside of the turn.

Modern airliners tend to have a second set of inboard ailerons much

closer to the fuselage, which are used at high speeds. Some aircraft
use spoilers to achieve the same effect as ailerons.

Flaps are hinged surfaces on the trailing edge of an airplane wing

which, when deployed, increase the lift (and drag) of a wing. They
are usually used while landing to allow the aircraft to fly more slowly
and to steepen the approach to the landing site.

Types include:

Plain flap - rotates on a simple hinge.

Split flap - upper and lower surfaces are separate, the lower surface
operates like a plain flap, but the upper surface stays immobile or
moves only slightly.

Fowler flap - slides backwards before hinging downwards, thereby

increasing both camber and chord, creating a larger wing surface
better tuned for lower speeds.

Slotted flap - systems made up of several individual Fowler flaps,

which combine to form a single, much more powerful, flap.

Blown flaps - systems that blow engine air over the upper surface of
the flap at certain angles to improve lift characteristics.

In aviation, a planform is the shape and layout of an airplane's wing.

Of all the myriad planforms used, they can typically be grouped into
those used for low-speed flight, found on general aviation aircraft,
and those used for high-speed flight, found on many military aircraft
and airliners.

Low-speed planforms

The primary concern in low speed flight is the aspect ratio, the
comparison of the length of the wing measured out from the
fuselage, span, compared to the length from front to back, chord.
Wings with higher aspect ratios, that is, wings that are longer and
skinnier, have lower drag for any given amount of lift than a wing of
the same area that is shorter and fatter. This is due to an effect
known as induced drag, caused by airflow over the tip of the wing. As
the size of the tip decreases compared to the wing's overall size, the
magnitude of the induced drag is reduced.

There are other ways to reduce induced drag as well, mostly by

changing the shape of the wing to reduce the size of the tip.A
practical and simple compromise is to taper the wing towards the tip,
a feature that can be found on almost all modern aircraft (including

High-speed planforms

At higher speeds nearing the speed of sound, a new form of drag

appears: wave drag. Wave drag is considerably more powerful than
induced drag, and must be avoided at all costs in order to improve
performance. Doing so demands a wing that is as thin as possible,
with a slowly changing profile over a wide chord. Of course this is
basically the opposite goal to low speed wings, which presents a

Just as on the lower speed designs, making the "perfect" high speed
planform is difficult for practical reasons. In this case a very thin
wing makes it difficult to use the internal room for storage of fuel
and landing gear, as well as making the wing considerably less stiff
torsionally as well as leading to increased induced drag when flying

Solutions to this problem come in many forms, notably the use of the
swept-wing and delta-wing, both of which "fool" the air into thinking
it is flowing over a thinner wing with more chord.

Speed of sound

The speed of sound c (from Latin celeritas, "velocity") varies

depending on the medium through which the sound waves pass. It is
usually quoted in describing properties of substances (e.g. see the
article on sodium).

More commonly the term refers to the speed of sound in air. The
speed varies depending on atmospheric conditions; the most
important factor is the temperature. The humidity has very little
effect on the speed of sound, while the static sound pressure (air
pressure) has none. Sound travels slower with an increased altitude
(elevation if you are on solid earth), primarily as a result of
temperature and humidity changes.

Stagnation pressure

Stagnation pressure is the pressure a fluid exerts when it is

motionless. Consequently, although a fluid moving at higher speed
will have a lower static pressure, it may have a higher stagnation
pressure. Static pressure and stagnation pressure are related by the
Mach number of the fluid. In addition, there can be differences in
pressure due to differences in the elevation (height) of the fluid. See
Bernoulli's equation.

The pressure of a moving fluid can be measured using a Pitot probe,

or one of its variations such as a Kiel probe or Cobra probe,
connected to a manometer. Depending on where the inlet holes are
located on the probe, it can measure static pressure or stagnation

Shock wave

In fluid dynamics, a shock wave is a nonlinear or discontinuous

pressure wave. It can also be when the actual molecular or particle
speed is moving faster than the wave propagation speed (space
shuttle through air). They can and do transport and transmit

tremendous amounts of energy (hundreds of Megawatts per square
meter for shocks generated by nuclear explosions).

In compressible fluids such as air, disturbances such as the pressure

changes caused by a solid object moving through the medium will
propagate through the fluid as pressure waves traveling at the speed
of sound. When the cause of the disturbance is moving slowly
relative to the speed of sound, the pressure wave takes the form of
conventional sound waves. The pressure waves enable the fluid to
redistribute itself to accommodate the disturbance, and the fluid
behaves similarly to an incompressible fluid.

However, when a disturbance moves faster than the pressure waves

it causes, fluid near the disturbance cannot react to it or "get out of
the way" before it arrives. The properties of the fluid (density,
pressure, temperature, velocity, etc.) thus change almost
instantaneously as they adjust to the disturbance, creating thin
disturbance waves called shock waves and shock heating.

Shock waves are not sound waves; a shock wave takes the form of a
very thin membrane (sheet of energy) on the order of micro-meters
in thickness. The pressure excursion within the shock wave is so
extreme that it causes the speed of sound within the wave to change.
Shock waves in air are heard as a loud "crack" or "snap" noise. Over
time a shock wave can change from a nonlinear wave into a linear
wave, degenerating into a conventional sound wave as it heats the
air and loses energy. The sound wave is heard as the familiar "thud"
or "thump" of a sonic boom, commonly created by the supersonic
flight of aircraft.

There are two types of shock waves: normal shocks and oblique
shocks. A normal shock extends perpendicular to the flow of fluid,
and the flow goes from supersonic upstream of the shock wave to
subsonic downstream. An oblique shock is formed at an angle to the
flow, and although the component of flow perpendicular to the
oblique shock goes from supersonic to subsonic in crossing the wave,
the tangent component of flow is not affected, so the net flow may
remain supersonic downstream of an oblique shock wave.

A cage around the engine reflects any shock waves. A spike behind
the engine converts them into trust.

To generate lift a supersonic airplane has to produce at least two

shock waves: One over-pressure downwards wave, and one under-
pressure upwards wave. Withcomb’s area rule states, we can reuse
air displacement without generating additional shock waves. In this
case the fuselage reuses some displacement of the wings.


Any speed over the speed of sound, which is approximately 343 m/s,
1,087 ft/s, 761 mph or 1,225 km/h in air at sea level, is said to be
supersonic. Speeds greater than 5 times the speed of sound are
sometimes referred to as hypersonic. The aircraft's design was

revolutionary introducing many innovations which are still used on
today's supersonic aircraft. The single most important development
was the all-moving tailplane which allowed control to be maintained
at supersonic speeds;


A tailplane is a small lifting surface located behind the main lifting

surfaces of a fixed-wing aircraft.

An aeroplane must be in balance longitudinally in order to fly. This

means that the net effect of all the forces acting on the aeroplane
produces no overall pitching moment about the centre of gravity.
Without a tailplane there would be only one combination of speed
and centre of gravity position for which this requirement was met.
The tailplane provides a balancing force to maintain equilibrium for
different speeds and centre of gravity positions. Because the
tailplane is located some distance from the centre of gravity, even
the small amount of lift it produces can generate a large pitching
moment at the centre of gravity.


An aeroplane with a wing only is normally unstable in pitch

(longitudinal stability). This means that any disturbance (such as a
gust) which raises the nose produces a nose-up pitching moment
which tends to raise the nose further. With the same disturbance, the
presence of a tailplane produces a restoring nose-down pitching
moment which counteracts the natural instability of the wing and
make the aircraft longitudinally stable. A stable aeroplane can be
flown "hands-off" and will maintain the same altitude and pitch


A tailplane has a hinged flap called an elevator, which allows the

pilot to control the amount of lift produced by the tailplane. This in
turn causes a nose-up or nose-down pitching moment on the aircraft,
which is used to control the aircraft in pitch.


In aircraft a T-tail is an arrangement of the tail control surfaces with

the horizontal surfaces (tailplane and elevators) mounted to the top
of the fin, rather than the more common location on the fuselage at
the base of the fin. The resulting arrangement looks like a T when
viewed from the front, hence the name.


The tailplane surfaces are kept well out of the airflow behind the
wing, giving smoother flow, more predictable design characteristics,
and better pitch control. This is especially important for planes
operating at low speed, where clean airflow is required for control.

The effective distance between wing and tailplane can be increased

without a significant increase in the weight of the aircraft. The
distance between the two planes gives the "leverage" by which the
tailplane can control the aircraft's pitch attitude - with a greater
distance, smaller, lighter tailplanes and elevators can be used.

The tail surfaces are mounted well out of the way of the rear
fuselage, permitting this site to be used for the aircraft's engines.


The aircraft will tend to be much more prone to a dangerous deep

stall condition, where blanking of the airflow over the tailplane and
elevators by a stalled wing can lead to total loss of pitch control. For
similar reasons, T-tailed aircraft can be much more difficult to
recover from a fully-developed spin.

The fin must be made considerably stronger and stiffer to support

the forces generated by the tailplane. This inevitably makes it
heavier as well.

The control runs to the elevators are more complex. The elevator
surfaces are much more difficult to casually inspect from the ground.
In aircraft fitted with an ejector seat and a

Elevator (aircraft)

Elevators are control surfaces, usually at the rear of an aircraft,

which control the aircraft's orientation by changing the pitch of the
aircraft, and so also the angle of attack of the wing. An increased
angle of attack will cause a greater lift to be produced by the profile
of the wing, and (if no power is added or available), a slowing of the
aircraft. A decreased angle of attack will produce an increase in
speed (a dive). There may be separate elevators on each side,
operating in unison. The elevator or elevators may be the only pitch
control surface present, or may be hinged to a fixed or adjustable
surface called a stabilizer.In some aircraft the elevator is in the front,
ahead of the wing; this type of configuration is called a canard The
canard type is more efficient, since the forward surface produces
upward lift. The main wing is also less likely to stall, as the forward

control surface is configured to stall before the wing, causing a pitch
down and reducing the angle of attack of the wing.

Stabilizer (aircraft)

For aircraft, the horizontal stabilizer is a fixed or adjustable surface

from which an elevator may be hinged, while a vertical stabilizer
(also called a fin) is fixed to the aircraft and supports the rudder. For
aircraft with a v-tail each stablizer/fin will support a "ruddervator",
combining the functions of the rudder and the elevator.


A rudder is a device used to steer a ship or other watercraft. In its

simplest form, a rudder is a flat sheet of material attached with
hinges to the ship's stern. A tiller - basically, a stick or pole - is
attached to the top of the rudder to allow it to be turned in different

Deep stall

Deep stall is a dangerous condition that affects certain aircraft

designs, notably those with a T-tail configuration. In these designs,
the turbulent wake of a stalled main wing "blanks" the horizontal
stabilizer, rendering the elevators ineffective and preventing the
aircraft from recovering from the stall

Spin (flight)

In flying, a spin is a special case of a stall, with the aircraft

descending rapidly and rotating about a vertical axis. It is
characterized by low airspeed, a high rate of descent, and high yaw
and roll rates. In most aircraft, a spin is a stable condition that will
continue until the aircraft descends into the ground unless the pilot
takes action to recover from it.

A spining aircraft has a large positive angle of attack (resulting in the

stall) and usually a large nose-down pitch angle. A spin can be
entered in any attitude, however; a negative angle of attack in a spin
is called an "inverted spin". A spin in which the nose is more-or-less
level with the horizon is a "flat spin." Flat spins can be very difficult
to recover from because there is little or no smooth airflow over the
control surfaces. In many aircraft a flat spin is unrecoverable.

A spin will occur if an aircraft is stalled and there is an asymmetric

yawing moment applied to it. This yawing moment can be
aerodynamic (sideslip angle, rudder, adverse yaw from the ailerons),
thrust related (p-factor, one engine inoperative on a multi-engine
non-centerline thrust aircraft), or from any number of possible
sources of yaw.

This may happen during an uncoordinated turn or other maneuver.
An aircraft may be deliberately spun for purposes of training, test
flying, or aerobatics. A spin is usually entered by flying the aircraft
into a stall condition. As the stall point is reached, the rudder (and
sometimes opposite aileron) is used to yaw the aircraft. It is a
common misconception that the outboard wing is still flying while
the inner wing is stalled; in reality both wings are stalled.


In an aircraft, the fuselage is the main body section that holds crew
and passengers or cargo. In single engine aircraft it will usually
contain an engine, athough in some amphibious aircraft the single
engine is mounted on a pylon attached to the fuselage. The fuselage
also serves to position control and stabilization surfaces in specific
relationships to lifting surfaces, required for aircraft stability and

Fuselages are constructed using three types of structures:

A box truss structure. The structural elements resemble those of a

bridge, with emphasis on using linked trianglular elements. The
aerodyamic shape is completed by additional elements called formers
and stringers and is then covered with fabric and painted. Most early
aircraft used this technique with wood and wire trusses and this type
of structure is still in use in many lightweight aircraft using welded
steel tube trusses. This method is especially suitable for amateur
built aircraft kits, where a complete welded truss structure is
delivered with the fitting of other components, covering, and
finishing completed by the user, as it ensures that a robust, uniform
load bearing structure is within the completed aircraft.

A monocoque shell. In this, the exterior surface of the fuselage is

also the primary structure. A typical early form of this was built using
moulded plywood, where the layers of plywood are formed over a
"plug" or within a mold, A later form of this structure uses fiberglass
cloth impregnated with polyester or epoxy resin. A simple form of
this used in some amateur built aircraft uses rigid expanded foam
plastic with a fiberglass covering, eliminating the necessity of
fabricating molds, but requiring more effort in finishing.

Semi-monocoqe. This is the preferred method of constructing an all

aluminum fuselage. First, a series of formers in the shape of the
fuselage cross sections are held in position on a rigid fixture. These
formers are then joined with lightweight longitudinal elements called
stringers. These are in turn covered with a skin of sheet aluminum,
attached by riveting or by bonding with special adhesives. The
fixture is then disassembled and removed from the fuseleage, which

is then fitted out with wiring, controls, and interior equipment such
as seats and luggage bins. Most modern large aircraft are built using
this technique, but use several large sections constructed in this
fashion which are then joined with fasteners to form the complete
fuselage. As the accuracy of the final product is determined largely
by the costly fixture, this form is suitable for series production,
where a large number of identical aircraft are to be produced.

Both monocoque and semi-monocoque are referred to as "stressed

skin" structures as all or a portion of the load is taken by the surface

Aerodynamic heating

Aerodynamic heating is the heating of a solid body produced by

passage of air or other gases over the body. It is caused by friction
and by compression processes and significant chiefly at high speeds.

Mach number

Mach number (Ma) (pronounced as "mack" in International English

or "mock" in the American English) is defined as a ratio of speed to
the speed of sound in the medium in case. The Mach number is
commonly used both with objects travelling at high speed in a fluid,
and with high-speed fluid flows inside channels such as nozzles,
diffusers or wind tunnels. As it is defined as a ratio of two speeds, it
is a dimensionless number. At standard sea level conditions, Mach 1
is 1,225 km/h (765.6 MPH) in the atmosphere.

Since the speed of sound increases as the temperature increases, the

actual speed of an object travelling at Mach 1 will depend on the fluid
temperature around it.

It can be shown that the Mach number is also the ratio of inertial
forces (also referred to aerodynamic forces) to elastic force

Critical mach

Critical mach is a aeronautics term that refers to the speed at which

some of the airflow on a wing becomes supersonic. When this occurs
the distribution of forces on the wing changes suddenly and
dramatically, typically leading to a strong nose-down force on the
aircraft. This effect led to a number of accidents in the 1930s and
1940s, when aircraft in a dive would hit critical mach and continue to
push over into a steeper and steeper dive. This problem is often
lumped in with the catch-all phrase compressibility.

Wings generate much of their lift due to the Bernoulli effect; by
speeding up the airflow over the top of the wing, the air has less
density on top than on the bottom, leading to a net upward force.
The relative difference in speed is due largely to the wing's shape, so
the difference in speed remains a fairly constant ratio over a wide
range of speeds.

But if the air speed on the top of the wing is faster than on the
bottom, there will be some speed where the air on top reaches the
speed of sound. This is the critical mach. When this happens shock
waves form on the upper wing at the point where the flow becomes
supersonic, typically behind the midline of the chord. Shock waves
generate lift of their own, so the lift of the wing suddenly moves
rearward, twisting it down. This effect is known as mach tuck.

The actual speed of critical mach varies from wing to wing. In

general a thicker wing will have a lower critical mach, because a
thicker wing accelerates the airflow more than a thinner one.

Today a compromise design is used, the swept-wing. This design

"fools" the air into thinking it's flowing over a thin wing, which is in
fact fairly thick. Swept-wings are used on almost all aircraft that fly
in the transonic, and is a common feature of almost all airliners and
modern fighter aircraft.

It is possible to see the mach line on an airliner visually, as these

aircraft fly beyond the critical mach in crusing flight. The shock wave
extends vertically from the wing, and the change in density is enough
to make it operate as a lens. By looking at straight lines running
parallel to the wing you can often spot a discontinuity where the line
"jumps". Roads are an excellent marker for this.

Chord (aircraft)

In reference to aircraft, chord refers to the distance between the

front and back of a wing, measured in the direction of the normal
airflow. These front and back points are referred to as the leading
edge and trailing edge.

Standard mean chord (SMC) is defined as wing area divided by wing


where S is the wing area and b is the span of the wing.

Mean aerodynamic chord (MAC) is defined as

The ratio of the chord of a wing to its width (or span) is known as the
aspect ratio an important indicator of the lift-induced drag the wing
will create. In general planes with higher aspect ratios - wide skinny
wings - will have less drag. This is why gliders have long wings.

Swept wing

A swept-wing is a wing planform used on high-speed aircraft that

spend a considerable portion of their flight time in the transonic.
Simply put, a swept-wing is a wing that is bent back at some angle,
instead of sticking straight out from the fuselage. They were initially
used only on fighter aircraft, but have since become almost universal
on all jets, including airliners and business jets. As an aircraft
approaches the speed of sound, an effect known as wave drag starts
to appear. This happens because the air which would normally follow
a streamline around the aircraft no longer has time to "know" about
the approaching object and simply hits it directly. This results in
greatly increased drag. Research into the nature of this effect led to
the conclusion that it was reduced by having the profile of the
aircraft change as slowly as possible, what we today refer to as
fineness ratio. To account for this in their designs, aerospace
engineers use the Whitcomb area rule, leading to long highly-tapered

When a swept-wing travels at high speed, the airflow has little time
to react and simply flows over the wing. However at lower speeds
there is more time for motion and a strong streamline, and with the
front of the wing angled, some of the air is pushed to the side
towards the wing tip. At the wing root, by the fuselage, this has little
noticeable effect, but as you move towards the tip the airflow is
pushed sidewise not only by the wing, but the sidewise moving air
beside it. By the time you reach the tip the airflow is moving along
the wing instead of over it, a problem known as spanwise flow.

The problem with spanwise flow is that the lift of the wing is
generated by the airflow over it from front to rear. As an increasing
amount travels spanwise, the amount flowing front to rear is
reduced, leading to a loss of lift. Normally this is not much of a
problem, but as the plane slows for landing the tips can actually drop
below the stall point even at speeds where stalls should not occur.
When this happens the tip stalls, and since the tip is swept to the
rear, the net lift moves forward. This causes the plane to pitch up,
leading to more of the wing stalling, leading to more pitch up, and so

The solution to this problem took on many forms. One was the
addition of a strip of metal known as a wing fence on the upper
surface of the wing to redirect the flow to the rear (see the MiG-15
as an example), another closely related design was to add a dogtooth
notch to the leading edge (Avro Arrow). Other designs took a more
radical approach, including the XF-91 Thunderceptor's wing that
grew thicker towards the tip to provide more lift there, and the
British-favoured compound sweep or scimitar wing that reduced the
sweep along the span, used on their V Bombers.

Modern solutions to the problem no longer require "custom" designs

such as these, but are taken as a whole with the need for shorter
takeoff and landing than the early large jets. The addition of leading
edge slats and large compound flaps to the wings have largely
resolved the issue. On fighter designs, the addition of leading edge
extensions, included for high manoeuvrability, also serve to add lift
during landing and reduce the problem.

The swept-wing also has several more mundane problems. One is

that for any given length of wing, the actual span from tip-to-tip is
shorter than the same wing that isn't swept. Low speed drag is
strongly correlated with the aspect ratio, the span compared to
chord, so a swept wing always has more drag at lower speeds.
Another concern in the torque generated at the fuselage, as much of
the wing's lift lies behind where the root connects to the plane.
Finally, while it is fairly easy to run the main spars of the wing right
through the fuselage in a straight wing design to use a single
continuous piece of metal, this is not possible on the swept wing
because the spars will meet at an angle.


In fluid dynamics, a streamline is a line which is everywhere tangent

to the velocity of the flow. This can be contrasted with a pathline,
which is the trajectory that an imaginary infinitesimally small point
would make if it followed the flow of the fluid in which it was
embedded, and a streakline, which is the current location of all fluid

particles that have passed through a particular spatial point in the
past. In steady (time-independent) flow, the streamlines, pathlines,
and streaklines coincide. A scalar function whose contours define the
streamlines is known as the streamfunction.

Streamlines are frame-dependent. That is, the streamlines observed

in one inertial reference frame are different from those observed in
another inertial reference frame. For instance, the streamlines in the
air around a aircraft wing are defined differently for the passengers
in the aircraft than for an observer on the ground. When possible,
fluid dynamicists try to find a reference frame in which the flow is
steady, so that they can use experimental methods of creating
streaklines to identify the streamlines. In the aircraft example, the
observer on the ground will observe unsteady flow, and the
observers in the aircraft will observe steady flow, with constant

By definition, streamlines defined at a single instant in a flow do not

intersect. They cannot begin or end inside the fluid.

A region bounded by streamlines is called a stream tube. Because the

streamlines are tangent to the flow velocity, fluid that is inside a
stream tube must remain forever within that same stream tube.

Knowledge of the streamlines can be useful in fluid dynamics. For

example, Bernoulli's principle, which expresses conservation of
mechanical energy, is only valid along a streamline. Also, the
curvature of a streamline is an indication of the pressure change
perpendicular to the streamline. The instantaneous center of
curvature of a streamline is in the direction of increasing pressure,
and the magnitude of the pressure gradient can be calculated from
the curvature of the streamline.

Engineers often use dyes in water or smoke in air in order to see

streaklines, and then use the patterns to guide their design
modifications, aiming to reduce the drag. This task is known as
streamlining, and the resulting design is referred to as being
streamlined. Streamlined designs, like steam locomotives,
streamliners and human bodies are often esthetically pleasing to the
eye. The Streamline Moderne style, an 1930s and 1940s offshoot of
Art Deco, brought flowing lines to architecture and design of the era.

The same terms have since become common vernacular to describe

any process that smooths an operation. For instance, it is common to
hear references to streamlining a business practice, or operation.

Control reversal

Control reversal is an adverse affect on the controllability of aircraft.

To the pilot it appears that the controls have reversed themselves; in
order to roll to the left, for instance, they have to push the control
stick to the right, opposite of the normal direction.

There are several causes for this problem: pilot error, effects of high
speed flight, incorrectly connected controls, and various coupling
forces on the aircraft.

Pilot error is the most common cause of control reversal. In unusual

attitudes it is not uncommon for the pilot to become disoriented and
start feeding in incorrect control movements in order to regain level
flight. This is particularly common when using helmet mounted
display systems, which introduce graphics that remain steady in the
pilot's view, notably when using a particular form of attitude display
known as an inside-out display.

Incorrectly connected controls is another common cause of this

problem. It is a recurring problem after maintenance on aircraft,
notably homebuilt designs that are being flown for the first time
after some minor work. However it is not entirely uncommon on
commercial aircraft, and has been the cause of several near-

Another version of the problem occurs when the amount of airflow

over the wing becomes great enough that the force generated by the
ailerons is enough to twist the wing itself. For instance when the
aileron is deflected upwards in order to make that wing move down,
the wing twists in the opposite direction. The net result is that the
airflow is directed down instead of up and the wing moves upward,
opposite of what was expected. This form of control reversal is often
lumped in with a number of "high speed" effects as compressibility.

Wing fence

A Polish Sukhoi Su-20, with large wing fences on inner wings.

Wing fences, also known as boundary layer fences and potential

fences are fixed aerodynamic devices attached to aircraft wings. Wing
fences are flat metal plates fixed to the upper surfaces (and often
wrapping around the leading edge) parallel to the airflow. They work
by obstructing the cross flow along the the wing and preventing the
entire wing from stalling at once. They are commonly seen on swept-
wing aircraft, as they remedy the stall characteristics of swept wings.
Critical Mach number

The Critical Mach number (Mcr) is the maximum Mach number

(airspeed in relation to the speed of sound - Mach 1.0) which a
subsonic aircraft can attain whilst still remaining controllable by the

At the Critical Mach number, local airflow over the airframe reaches
the speed of sound (due to the airflow speeding-up to go around
various curvatures in the aircraft structure) and creates shock waves
sufficient to affect the airflow over the control surfaces, resulting in
a loss of control, although the aircraft itself may still be flying

Vortex generator

After-market Micro Dynamics vortex generators mounted on the wing

of a Cessna 182K

A vortex generator is an aerodynamic surface, basically a small vane,

that creates a vortex. They can be found in many devices, but the
term is most often used in aircraft design.

Vortex generators are added to the front of a swept-wing in order to

maintain steady airflow over the control surfaces at the rear of the
wing. They are typically rectangular or triangular, about a centimetre
or two in size, and run in lines chordwise at about the thickest part of

the wing. They can be seen on the wings and vertical tails of many

The purpose of the generators are to stick out of the stagnant air
near the surface of the wing, and into the freely moving air outside
the boundary layer. This layer is typically quite thin, but dramatically
reduces speed of the airflow towards the rear of the wing. The
generators mix the free stream with the stagnant air to get it moving
again, providing considerably more airflow at the rear of the wing
and thereby providing the control surfaces with more power. This
process is typically referred to as re-energizing the boundary layer.

Air jet vortex generators work on a different principle. They direct a

jet of air into the boundary layer, thereby re-energising it.


The wingspan (or just span) of an airplane is the distance from the
left wingtip to the right wingtip. For example, the Boeing 777 has a
wingspan of about 60 m (200 feet). Planes with a longer wingspan
are generally more efficient because they suffer less induced drag
and their wingtip vortices do not affect the wing as much. However,
the long wings mean that the plane has a greater moment of inertia
about its longitudinal axis and therefore cannot roll as quickly and is
less manouverable. Thus, combat aircraft and aerobatic planes
usually opt for shorter wingspans to increase manouverability. Since
the amount of lift that a wing generates is proportional to the area of
the wing, planes with short wings must correspondingly have a
longer chord. An aircraft's ratio of its wingspan to chord is therefore
very important in determining its characteristics, and aerospace
engineers call this value the aspect ratio of a wing.


In geometry, the dihedral is the angle between two planes. See

dihedral angle.

Dihedral is the upward angle of an aircraft's (or bird's) wings from

root to tip, as viewed from directly in front of or behind the aircraft.
Downward angled wings are said to have anhedral.

Dihedral on the wings and tailplane of a Boeing 737

The purpose of dihedral is to confer stability in the roll axis. A

popular but erroneous explanation for how it works is that if the
aircraft is perturbed such that one wing is lowered relative to the
other, dihedral causes the lower wing to increase its surface area
relative to the airflow, thus increasing its lift. This acts to oppose the
original roll motion. An alternative way to visualize this is to imagine
that the aircraft is sitting in the bottom of a shallow V-shaped "slot"
in the air, thanks to the angle of the wings. This position is naturally
stable. This explanation is often put forward in many books
"explaining" aeronautical principles, but it is wholly false.

The true explanation for the action of dihedral is this: If a

disturbance causes an aircraft to roll away from its normal position,
the aircraft will sideslip in the direction of the down-going wing. This
creates an airflow component along the length of the wing from tip
to root. The dihedral angle can be seen as presenting a positive angle
of attack to this lateral flow, hence generating some additional lift. It
is this lift which restores the aircraft to its normal attitude. The
apparent increase in surface area is in fact an illusion and
contributes no additional lift.

Most aircraft in the civilian or transport sector use dihedral for

stability. Military combat aircraft, in contrast, often have flat wings
or anhedral. This reduces inherent stability but increases
manoeuvrability. Many military aircraft are in fact inherently
unstable, and only fly due to the constant vigilance of on-board

Anhedral on a Harrier GR7

A side effect of dihedral can be roll-coupling, a tendency for an

aircraft to "corkscrew" through the air under certain conditions. This
rolling motion, called a dutch roll, is unpleasant to experience for
those flying, and can lead to loss of control or can overstress an
aircraft. A certain amount of anhedral can combat this effect.
Pronounced anhedral is also often seen on aircraft with a high
mounted wing, such as the BAe 146, Lockheed Galaxy and others. In
such designs, the high mounted wing itself confers roll stability (due
to the pendulum effect of the fuselage, engines, etc), so additional
dihedral is not required. In fact such designs can be excessively
stable, so the anhedral is added to cancel out some of the roll
stability to ensure that the aircraft can be easily manoeuvred.

An alternative to dihedral for the wing as a whole is to cant the

wingtips or outer section of the wing upwards instead. This has the
same effect. It is commonly seen on gliders, and some other aircraft.
The McDonnell Douglas F-4 Phantom II is one such example, unique
among fighters for having dihedral wingtips.

Dutch roll

Dutch roll is one of an aircraft's flight dynamic modes (others include

phugoid, short period, and spiral divergence). It involves a coupling
of roll and yaw which is normally well damped in most light aircraft.
Some aircraft with well-damped dutch roll modes can experience a
degradation in damping as airspeed and altitude increase. Dutch roll
stability can be artificially increased by the installation of a yaw-
damper (commonly referred to incorrectly as a yaw-dampener).

The Dutch Roll mode can be excited by any use of aileron or rudder,
but for flight test purposes it is usually excited with a rudder doublet
or singlet. Some larger aircraft are better excited with aileron inputs.
Periods can range from a few seconds for light aircraft to a minute or
more for airliners.

The name comes from the movement that (Dutch) skaters make
when skating on ice.

Dutch roll is also the name (considered by professionals to be a

misnomer) given to a coordination maneuver generally taught to
student pilots to help them improve their crosswind-landing
technique. The airplane is alternately rolled as much as 60-degrees
left and right while opposite rudder is applied to keep the nose of the
airplane pointed at a fixed point. (This technique is more commonly
referred to as a slip. If the airspeed is allowed to decay the aircraft
can stall, and the crossed controls can cause it to spin.)


A phugoid is one of the flight dynamics modes of an aircraft (others

include short period, dutch roll, and spiral divergence). It consists of
a (theoretically) constant angle of attack exchange of airspeed and
altitude. It can be excited by an elevator singlet resulting in a pitch
increase with no change in trim from the cruise condition. As speed
decays, the nose will drop below the horizon. Speed will increase,
and the nose will climb above the horizon. Periods can vary from
under 30 seconds for light aircraft to more than a few minutes for
larger aircraft. Microlight aircraft typically show a phugoid period of
15-25 seconds, and it has been suggested that birds and model
aeroplanes show convergence between the phugoid and short period
modes. A classical model for the phugoid period can be simplified to
about (0.85 x speed in knots) seconds, but this only really works for
larger aircraft.

Commonly known as porpoising, phugoids are often demonstrated to

student pilots as an example of the speed stability of the aircraft and
the importance of proper trimming. When it occurs, it's a pure
nuisance mode, and in lighter aeroplanes (typically showing a
shorter period) it can be a cause of Pilot Induced Oscillation, or PIO.

An interesting characteristic of the phugoid is that it occurrs at

effectively constant Angle of Attack (AoA), although in practice AoA
actually varies by a few tenths of a degree. This means that the
stalling AoA is never exceeded, and it's possible (in the <1g section
of the cycle) to fly at speeds below the known stalling speed.

The name apparently is an example of poor Latin translation by

Lanchester, a British aerodynamicist who first predicted it. The Latin
verb for "to flee" (fugio) was used when what was desired was the
Latin verb for "to fly".

For a dramatic example of phugoids, read about the United Airlines

Flight 232 incident, where an engine failure caused total hydraulic

system failure. The crew flew the aircraft with throttle only.
Suppressing the phugoid tendency was particularly difficult.


An airfoil (in American English, or aerofoil in British English) is the

shape of a wing or blade (of a propeller or ship's screw or sail) as
seen in cross-section. It is used to provide lift or downforce,
depending on its application. Subsonic-flight airfoils have a
characteristic shape with a rounded leading edge, followed by a
sharp trailing edge, and often with camber.

The historical evolution of airfoil sections, 1908 - 1944, NASA

Lift and Drag curves for a typical airfoil

An inverted airfoil will create a downward pressure on an automobile

or other motor vehicle, improving its traction and keeping it on the
ground. The term "lift" can mean a force generated in any direction
in any medium. Any thin object with a positive angle of attack, such
as a flat plate or the deck of a bridge, will generate lift. Airfoils
though are more efficient, generating lift with the least drag. A lift
and drag curve obtained in wind tunnel testing is show on the right.

Airfoil design is a major facet of aerodynamics. Various airfoils serve
different flight regimes. A supercritical airfoil, with its low camber,
reduces transonic drag divergence, while a symmetric airfoil may
better suit frequent inverted flight. Supersonic airfoils are much
more angular in shape and can have a very sharp leading edge. While
sharper leading edged airfoils produce stiffer and lighter wings, large
rounder edges increase wing volume for fuel. Moveable high-lift
devices, flaps and slats are fitted to airfoils on most aircraft. New
airfoil design techniques continue to develop.

Various systems have been devised to describe and characterise

airfoils — the most common and prevalent is the NACA system.
Before this, various ad-hoc systems were used. An example of a
general purpose airfoil that finds wide application, and predates the
NACA system is the Clark-Y.

Slats are small aerodynamic surfaces on the leading edge of an

airplane wing which, when deployed, allow the wing to operate at a
higher angle of attack. Lift is a product of angle of attack and speed,
so by deploying slats an aircraft can fly slower or take off and land in
a shorter distance. They are usually used while landing or performing
manoeuvres which take the aircraft close to the stall, but are usually
retracted in normal flight to minimise drag.

The position of the leading edge slats on an airliner (Airbus A310). In

this picture, the slats are extended.

Types include:

Automatic - the slat lies flush with the wing leading edge until
reduced aerodynamic forces allow it to extend by way of springs
when needed. This type is typically used on light aircraft.

Fixed - the slat is permanently extended. This is rarely used, except

on specialist low-speed aircraft (see: slot).

Powered - the slat extension can be controlled by the pilot. This is

commonly used on airliners.

The chord of the slat is typically only a few percent of the wing
chord. They may extend over the outer third of the wing or may
cover the entire leading edge. Slats work by increasing the camber of
the wing, and also by opening a small gap (the slot) between the slat
and the wing leading edge, allowing a small amount of high-pressure
air from the lower surface to reach the upper surface, where it helps
postpone the stall.

The slat has a counterpart found in the wings of some birds, the alula
– a feather or group of feathers which the bird can extend under
control of its "thumb".

Subsonic aerodynamics

In a subsonic aerodynamic problem, all of the flow speeds are less

than the speed of sound. This class of problems encompasses nearly
all internal aerodynamic problems, as well as external aerodynamics
for most aircraft, model aircraft, and automobiles.

In solving a subsonic problem, one decision to be made by the

aerodynamicist is whether or not to incorporate the effects of
compressibility. Compressibility is a description of the amount of
change of density in the problem. When the effects of compressibility
on the solution are small, the aerodynamicist may choose to assume
that density is constant. The problem is then an incompressible
problem. When the density is allowed to vary, the problem is called a
compressible problem. In air, compressibility effects can be ignored
when the Mach number in the flow does not exceed 0.3. Above 0.3,
the problem should be solved using compressible aerodynamics.

Transonic aerodynamics

Transonic aerodynamic problems are defined as problems in which

both supersonic and subsonic flow exist. Normally the term is
reserved for problems in which the characteristic Mach number is
very close to one.

Transonic flows are characterized by shock waves and expansion
waves. A shock wave or expansion wave is a region of very large
changes in the flow properties. In fact, the properties change so
quickly they are nearly discontinuous across the waves.

Transonic problems are arguably the most difficult to solve. Flows

behave very differently at subsonic and supersonic speeds, therefore
a problem involving both types is more complex than one in which
the flow is either purely subsonic or purely supersonic.

Supersonic aerodynamics

Supersonic aerodynamic problems are those involving flow speeds

greater than the speed of sound. Calculating the lift on the Concorde
during cruise can be an example of a supersonic aerodynamic

Supersonic flow behaves very differently from subsonic flow. The

speed of sound can be considered the fastest speed that
"information" can travel in the flow. Gas travelling at subsonic speed
diverts around a body before striking it, it can be said to "know" that
the body is there. Air cannot divert around a body when it is
travelling at supersonic speeds. It subsonic flow and a diffuser in
supersonic flow). Subsonic flow additional shock waves. In this case
the fuselage reuses some displacement of the wings. ]]


The corrosion is the deterioration of a metal due to chemical or
electrochemical action that converts it into metallic compound such
oxide, hydroxide or sulfate.
The corrosion is more likely to occur or to spread as the airplane
ages and, if not controlled, can reduce the capability of the structure
to carry the required loads.
Four conditions must exist before corrosion can occur:
a. Presence of a metal tending to corrode (anode).
b. Presence of dissimilar conductive material (cathode) with less
to corrode.
c. Presence of conductive liquid.
d. Electrical contact between the anode and the cathode.
The elimination of any of these conditions will stop corrosion.


Corrosion damage classifications are defined as follows for a given
area of the aircraft and a given operating environment:
· No corrosion findings between successive inspections.

· Corrosion findings characterized by discoloration or pitting with
depth of approximately 0.025mm (0.001 inch).
· Mild corrosion findings whose cumulative material during
successive inspection exceeds the allowable damage limits.
· Corrosion findings due to accidental causes as corrosive liquid
spillage or others.
· Corrosion findings similar to mild corrosion but with some blister or
flaking. Depth of the corrosion may be as deep as 0.25 mm (0.01
inch) maximum.

· Corrosion findings with general appearance as moderate corrosion
but with severe blistering exfoliation or flaking. Depth of the
corrosion is greater than 0.25 mm (0.01 inch).
Some areas of the aircraft are prone to corrosion due to the
particular structural detail, to dissimilar metal, build-up of moisture,
engine exhaust gas deposit, accumulation of water, debris, loose
fasteners, hydraulic fluids, ineffective drain holes plugged by dirt,
grease, abrasion, etc.
The main areas prone to corrosion are
· Door areas.
· Lavatories, galley and luggage compartment understructure.
· Internal surface of fuselage lower panels.
· Landing gear wheel wells.
· Joint with steel, C.RE.S, nickel or titanium fasteners.
· Batteries compartment.
· Rear pressure bulkhead.
· Electrical connectors.
· Lap joints and butt joints.
· Trailing edge. open areas.

These areas should be checked for corrosion whenever possible and
the causes that favour corrosion eliminated (water accumulation,
spillage of any kind, dirt, plugged drain holes, etc.).
The extent and the depth of any corrosion must be clearly identified.
The visual inspection is the most common means to detect corrosion
If the visual inspection is deemed not effective (hidden corrosion
suspected) adequate inspection technique or disassembling shall be
The most common means of inspection, other than visual inspection,
to detect corrosion are:
Eddy current inspection.
Eddy current (primarily low frequency) can be used to detect
thinning due to corrosion and cracks in multilayered structure. Low
frequency eddy current can be used to detect corrosion in underlying
structure because the Eddy current will penetrate in the second layer
with sufficient sensitivity for approximate results.
X-RAY inspection.
The X-RAY technique is effective for severe or moderate-to severe
corrosion but its use is limited for mild-to-moderate corrosion. In any
case X-RAY requires qualified and certified personnel to obtain
reliable results.
Ultrasonic inspection
Ultrasonic inspection provides sensitive detection capability for
corrosion damage detection when access is available to a surface
with a continuous bulk of material exposed to corrosion. Ultrasonic
inspection is commonly used to detect exfoliation, stress corrosion
cracks and general thinning of material. Trained personnel must
conduct the examination if any useful information has to be derived
from indicating devices. Use of calibration block may be required.

If the corrosion findings are MODERATE CORROSION, the Corrosion

Control and Prevention Program is considered not effective.
Adjustment (decrease of the threshold/interval of inspections),
based on the specific experience, shall be made to the
Program to maintain the corrosion findings during successive
· If the corrosion findings are SEVERE CORROSION, immediate
actions to define the causes of such corrosion shall be implemented,
inspection extended to the rest of the fleet shall be performed and
adjustment to the Corrosion Control and Prevention Program may
be made to bring the level of corrosion between successive
· Depending of the corrosion occurrence related to the environment
and operational severity conditions, the frequency of the inspections
given in the Baseline Maintenance Program shall be adjusted on the
base of the operator specific experience.

Severe local corrosion along faying surface.
Penetration of oxygen and corrosive agent into a joint.
Efficient sealing of faying surfaces from corrosiveve substances.
Destruction of natural protective film over large surfaces and loss of
metal from surface followed by dark coloured oxidation.
Abrasion of metal under load in humid environmental conditions.
Detail design and protective treatment, material selection.
Powder-like white or grey deposits.
Two dissimilar metals in contact.
Detail design, protective treatment, special assembly techniques.
(Sealing, electrical insulation of metals).
Holes in metal surface.
Halogen ions present in attacking electrolyte (corrosive agent),
destroying surface treatment.
Protective treatment.
Normally only perceived by cracking.
Chemical action along grain boundaries within the material
Difference in electrical potential between grain and grain boundaries.
Material selection and protective treatment.

Flaking and loss of metal thickness.
Swelling and flaking at grain ends exposed by machining.
Pre-heat treatment and material selection.

Paint bulging and longitudinal propagation of blisters on surface.
Paint damage.
Corrosion resistant primer, restoration of paint system.


Local surface attack or formation of deposits such as fungi.
Growth of micro-organisms in moisture traps.
Detail design, protective treatment and assembly techniques, use of
inhibitors in primers, etc.
Normally only perceived by cracking with fast crack propagation
leaving bare metal subject to corrosion.
Residual stress from manufacturing process or stress concentrations
due to design features.
Material selection and handing care, detail design and assembly
techniques, background surface protection.
C. Operating procedure
(1) Surface preparation
· Masking of non-corroded adjacent areas by installing plastic
screens secured with adhesive tape.
· Cleaning and degreasing with cotton cloth moistened in solvent.
· Paint stripping:
- Chemical stripping (external areas, isolated parts, areas with fixed
Use paint stripper COMORCAP B7 or equivalent stripping shall be
followed by rinsing with solvent.
- Mechanical stripping: (in box-type structures or difficult-toreach
areas) use emery cloth or scotchbrite pads.
Rinse off with clear water.
(2) Removal of corrosion
This operation comprises two successive phases:
(a) Mechanical action (See SRM Chapter 51-21-58)
Use of steel wire brushes is prohibited.
· Rub down using scotchbrite pads or emery cloth. Grade selection
will depend on corrosion extent. Finish off using the finest grade.
· For extensive corrosion use nylon brushes (recommended), cutters,
grinding wheels.
NOTE 1: Take care not to heat the surface by an excessive rotation

NOTE 2: Refer to specific SRM chapters for information concerning
permissible damage depth.
NOTE 3: For large surfaces and in the event of filiform corrosion,
VACUBLAST treatment with glass beads is recommended.
b) Chemical action (Ref. NOTE below)
· Remove dust and degrease with solvent.
· Using a brush, apply chromic acid anhydride solution (chromic acid
(10%) + demineralized water) to the damaged area.
· Allow solution to act for 10 mn.
· Rinse off with demineralized water and rub down with a nylon
brush to eliminate dark yellow coloration.
· Wipe off with cloth.
Dry off with dry oil-free air.
NOTE: If rinsing cannot be performed correctly and in cases where
the chromic acid anhydride solution may reach inaccessible
structural stackings, do not apply chemical action.
(3) Checking of corrosion removal
Using a magnifying glass, check for evidence of corrosion and for
presence of cracks.
In doubt, conduct dye-penetrant or Eddy-current inspection.
(4) Neutralization
· Apply potassium dichromate solution (3% + demineralized water)
with brush.
· Allow solution to act until surface is dry.
· Rinse off with demineralized water and rub down with a nylon
brush to eliminate yellow traces.
(5) Final step
Overall rinsing with demineralized water and drying off with dry
oilfree air.
(6) Paint touch-up
The time elapsed between the drying phase and paint application
shall be as short as possible.
If this operation is delayed, the area treated against corrosion shall
be protected to prevent any external contamination.
· Perform paint touch-up as follows:
- Wash primer P99 or A 166 ASTRAL/SIKKENS.
NOTE:Wash primer can be replaced by application of Alodine 1200.
In this case, after Alodine application rinse off with clear water (do
not rub) and dry off with dry oil-free air.
· Apply protective finish scheme relevant to the zone:
- primer,
- top coat,
- livery.
Accomplishment of this process is applicable to steel types having
the following characteristics:
· Low-alloy steels with main added element < 5% and total alloy
elements < 10%.

· Bare metal condition (no cadmium plating, no chop process).
· Tensile strength < 130 hb or 1300 MPa.
A. Equipment and materials
· Non-metallic pad (scotchbrite very fine grade).
· Abrasive paper (fine 400 grade).
· Deoxidizing agents (equivalent products):
- Rust removing phosphating agent DERCAM SARL DERCAM
- Chlorinated or ketonic solvent (MEK, baltane).
B. Operating procedure
(1) Surface preparation
· Masking of non-corroded adjacent areas by installation of plastic
screens secured with adhesive tape.
· Mechanical removal of corrosion by rubbing with scotchbrite and
abrasive pads. (Ref. SRM 51-21-58).
(2) Deoxidation
· Remove dust and clean with solvent.
· Brush apply either DERCAM or ARDROX Type 140 (these two
products are ready for use) and rub well into surface using
scotchbrite pad. If part is removable, immerse it in the deoxidizing
· Allow to act for 30 min. and repeat application.
Within one hour, the action of the product causes an attenuation of
the corrosion but the attack is not sufficient to reach the uncorroded
metal substrate. Several hours are then necessary to obtain complete
neutralization of corrosion products and superficial phosphating of
metal (white or greyish film).
(3) Checking of corrosion removal and phosphating action
· Using suitable light source, make certain that all areas have been
(4) Final steps
· Overall rinsing off with demineralized water.
· Drying off with dry oil-free air.
(5) Paint application
As the phosphate film is a treatment for painting, apply suitable
protection scheme to the component.
NOTE: Installation of part (sealed or with PR sealant) or application
of protective finishing shall be performed immediately after corrosion

Aluminum alloys (2024 and 7075) are generally used on ATR, with
different heat treatment.
The 7000 series aluminum alloys used on the ATR are heat treated to
produce either T6, T73 or T76 tempers. T73 has excellent stress
corrosion and exfoliation corrosion resistance. T76
temper has strength between T73 and T6, with high exfoliation
corrosion resistance and intermediate stress corrosion resistance.

Aluminum alloys = The metal is generally electro chemically
anodized with Chromic Acid Anodizing (CAA) or with Phosphoric Acid
Anodizing (PAA) Clad parts in the
fuselage are treated with alodine 1200 or wash primer (Chemical
Conversion Coating - CCC).
Titanium alloy = This totally corrosion resistant metal is not
protected unless in contact with a different material and in this case,
it is sand blasted and painted. Small parts are
treated by sulfuric acid anodizing or ionic vapor deposit processes.
Steel = Generally, cadmium plating.
· No relative motion:
- Corrosion resistant steel/corrosion resistant steel: passivation,
- Alloy steel/alloy steel: cadmium plating,
- Steel/aluminum: cadmium plating of the steel part,
- Aluminum alloy/carbon fiber:
. glass fiber/kevlar/tedlar layer and primer on the carbon part, .
anodizing + primer on the aluminum alloy part, . wet assembly of
fasteners + interfay sealant.
· Relative motion: chromium plating of the steel part.
Parts not accessible to cadmium plating: phosphating, plus grease or
oil protection.
Stainless steels: no protection, except for contacts with other
· All bonded parts are treated by phosphoric acid anodizing (instead
of being only pickled as was common practice on last generation
· The wing tanks are treated by chromic acid anodizing and painted
(primer loaded with chromate).


In a turbojet all of the air passing through the engine goes through
the combustion chambers. Generally turbojets are arranged around a
central shaft, running the length of the engine, with the compressor
and turbine connected to the shaft at opposite ends. In the middle of
the engine is a combustion area, typically in the form of a number of
individual "flame tubes" or "cans". The combustion area is either
annular or can-annular (a series of burner cans arranged in a ring),
with annular predominating in larger more modern engines


The compressor adds energy to the air flow, at the same time
squeezing it into a smaller space (increasing its pressure), slowing it
down, and increasing its temperature

Fuel burning

The burning process in the cans is significantly different from that in

a piston engine. In the piston engine the burning gases are confined
to a small volume and, as the fuel burns, the pressure increases
dramatically. In a turbojet the air and fuel mixture passes,
unconfined, through a can. As the mixture burns its volume increases
dramatically and the pressure actually decreases (in the convergent
duct) as the gases accelerate towards the rear of the engine.

In detail, the fuel-air mixture must be brought almost to a stop so

that a stable flame can be maintained, this occurs just after the
beginning of the combustion chamber. The aft part of this flame front
is allowed to progress rearward in the engine. This ensures that the
rest of the fuel is burned as the flame becomes hotter when it leans
out, and because of the shape of the combustion chamber the flow is
accelerated rearwards. Some pressure drop is unavoidable, as it is
the reason why the expanding gases travel out the rear of the engine
rather than out the front. Less than 25% of the air is involved in
combustion, in some engines as little as 12%, the rest acting as a
reservoir to soak up the heating effect of the fuel burning.


Another difference between piston engines and jet engines is that

the peak flame temperature in a piston engine is experienced only
momentarily, and for a small portion of the entire cycle. The can in a
jet engine is exposed to the peak flame temperature continuously
and operates at a pressure high enough that a stoichiometric fuel-air
ratio would melt the can and everything downstream. Instead, jet
engines run a very lean mixture, so lean that it would not normally
support combustion. A central core of the flow is mixed with enough
fuel to burn readily. The cans are carefully shaped to maintain a layer
of fresh unburned air between the metal surfaces and the central
core. This unburned air mixes into the burned gases to bring the
temperature down to something the turbine can tolerate.


After the cans, the gases are allowed to expand through the turbine.
In the first stage the turbine is largely a reaction turbine (similar to a
pelton wheel) and rotates because of the impact of the hot gas

stream. Later stages are convergent ducts that accelerate the gas
rearward and gain energy from that process. Pressure drops, and
energy is transferred into the shaft. The turbine's rotational energy is
used to drive the compressor to compress the intake air and some
shaft power is extracted to drive accessories like fuel, oil, and
hydraulic pumps. The pressure drop through the turbine is much
lower than the pressure rise through the compressor because the
flow volume in the turbine is so much higher (since fuel has been
added), which in turn is due to the higher temperature. In a turbojet
almost two thirds of all the power generated by burning fuel is used
by the compressor to compress the air for the engine.


The efficiency of a jet engine is strongly dependent on the pressure

drop through the turbine and nozzle. To achieve the largest possible
drop, the engine operates at the highest possible compression ratio.
Higher compression ratios imply higher compressor outlet
temperatures and thus higher flame temperatures. The tolerable
temperature limit is set by the turbine blades—usually the first stage.
Modern turbine blades are single crystal metals with hollow interiors.
Cooler air from the compressor is blown through the hollow interior
of the blades. In a modern engine the turbine inlet temperature will
typically be around 1,700 °C, higher than the melting temperature of
the blade material (around 1,600 °C). Even higher temperature
operation will require not only better materials but also some means
of eliminating the oxides of nitrogen that form at such high
combustion temperatures.

After the turbine, the gases are allowed to expand and accelerate
further through the exhaust nozzle. In some turbojets the gases may
actually transition to supersonic flow in the nozzle, in which case the
nozzle will be a converging-diverging nozzle. A subsonic nozzle
converges all the way to the end. Some supersonic military jets have
variable nozzles that can change from subsonic to supersonic flow in
different flight regimes.

Theory of operation of Turbine

A working fluid contains potential energy (pressure head) and kinetic

energy (velocity head). The fluid may be compressible or non-
compressible. Several physical principles are employed by turbines to
collect this energy;

Silicon nitride turbine wheel for use in small turbogenerators

Impulse turbines change the direction of flow of a high velocity fluid

jet. The resulting impulse spins the turbine and leaves the fluid flow
with diminished kinetic energy. There is no pressure change of the
fluid in the turbine blades. Pressure head is changed to velocity head
by accelerating the fluid with a nozzle, prior to hitting the turbine
blades. Pelton wheels and de Laval turbines use this concept.
Impulse turbines do not require a pressure casement around the
runner, since the fluid jet is prepared by a nozzle prior to hitting the
turbine. Newton's second law describes the transfer of energy for
impulse turbines.

Reaction turbines develop torque by reacting to the fluid's pressure

or weight. The pressure of the fluid changes as it passes through the
turbine. A pressure casement is needed to contain the working fluid
as it acts on the turbine runner, or the turbine must be fully
immersed in the fluid flow (wind turbines). The casing contains and
directs the working fluid, and for water turbines, maintains suction
imparted by the draft tube. Francis turbines and most steam turbines
use this concept. For compressible working fluids, multiple turbine
stages may by used to efficiently harness the expanding gas.
Newton's third law describes the transfer of energy for reaction

Turbine designs will use both these concepts to varying degrees

whenever possible. Wind turbines use a foil to generate lift from the
moving fluid and impart it to the rotor (this is a form of reaction),
they also gain some energy from the impulse of the wind, by
deflecting it at an angle. Crossflow turbines are designed as an
impulse machine, with a nozzle, but in low head applications
maintain some efficiency through reaction, like a traditional water

The primary numerical classification of a turbine is its specific speed.
This number describes the speed of the turbine at its maximum
efficiency with respect to the power and flow rate. The specific speed
is derived to be independent of turbine size. Given the fluid flow
conditions and the desired shaft output speed, the specific speed can
be calculated and an appropriate turbine design selected.

The specific speed, along with some fundamental formulas can be

used to reliably scale an existing design of known performance to a
new size with corresponding performance.

Combustion chamber

A combustion chamber is part of an engine in which fuel is burned


CFM56-3 turbofan, lower half, side view.

Boeing 747 jet engine up close

The turbofan is a type of airplane engine which is evolved from the

axial-flow turbojet engine essentially by increasing the size of the
first-stage compressor to the point where it acts as a ducted multiple
thin propeller (or fan) blowing air past the "core" of the engine.

If the propeller is better at low speeds, and the turbojet is better at

high speeds, it might be imagined that at some speed range in the
middle a mixture of the two is best. Such an engine is the turbofan
(originally termed bypass turbojet by the inventors at Rolls Royce).
Turbofans essentially increase the size of the first-stage compressor
to the point where they act as a ducted fan (or propeller) blowing air
past the "core" of the engine. The difference between a ducted fan

and a propeller is that the duct slows the air before it arrives at the
fan. As both propeller and fan blades must operate subsonically to be
efficient, ducted fans allow efficient operation at higher vehicle

The bypass ratio (the ratio of bypassed air mass to combustor air
mass) is an important parameter for turbofans.

Turbofans (especially high bypass engines) are relatively quiet

compared to turbojets. The noise of a jet engine is strongly related to
the velocity of the air coming out the exhaust. A turbofan has a
larger mass flow of air for a given thrust than a turbojet, so the
exhaust velocity will be slower and hence the turbofan engine will be
quieter than an equivalent turbojet. Jet aircraft are often considered
loud, but a conventional piston engine or a turboprop engine
delivering the same power would be much louder. (NASA has a web
page with details on jet noise.)

Advantages-----1) increased thrust at fwd. speed similer to

turboprop result in short take off, weight falls between turbojet and
turboprop, ground clearanes are less then turboprop, TSFC and sp.
Wt. fall bet. Turbojet and turboprop resulting in good operating
economy.superior to turbojet in hot da performance.

Low-bypass turbofans

Early turbojet engines were very fuel-inefficient, as their

compression ratio was limited. Improved materials, and the
introduction of twin compressors such as in the Pratt & Whitney JT3C
engine, increased the compression ratio and thus the thermodynamic
efficiency of engines, but led to a poor propulsive efficiency, as pure
turbojets have a low-mass, high velocity exhaust.

.Imagine a retrofit situation where a new low bypass ratio, mixed

exhaust, turbofan is replacing an old turbojet, in a particular military
application. Say the new engine is to have the same airflow and net
thrust (i.e. same specific thrust) as the one it is replacing. A bypass
flow can only be introduced if the turbine inlet temperature is
allowed to increase, to compensate for a correspondingly smaller
core flow. Improvements in turbine cooling/material technology
would facilitate the use of a higher turbine inlet temperature, despite
increases in cooling air temperature, resulting from a probable
increase in overall pressure ratio.

Efficiently done, the resulting turbofan would probably operate at a

higher nozzle pressure ratio than the turbojet, but with a lower
exhaust temperature to retain datum net thrust. Since the
temperature rise across the whole engine (intake to nozzle) would

be lower, the (dry power) fuel flow would also be reduced, resulting
in a better specific fuel consumption (SFC).

High-bypass turbofan engines

The introduction of variable compressor stators enabled high

pressure ratio compressors to work surge-free at all throttle
settings. This innovation made its debut in the General Electric J79, a
single-shaft turbojet for supersonic military aircraft. When variable
stators were combined with multiple compressors, dramatic
increases in overall pressure ratio became possible. Higher turbine
inlet temperatures (through improvements in turbine
cooling/material technology) enabled relatively small mass flow gas
generators to be employed, thus making high-bypass turbofan
engines feasible, with bypass ratios of 5 or more.

The first high-bypass turbofan engine was the General Electric TF39,
built to power the Lockheed C-5 Galaxy military transport aircraft.
The civil General Electric CF6 engine used a related design. Other
high-bypass turbofans are the Pratt & Whitney JT9D, the three-shaft
Rolls-Royce RB211 and the CFM International CFM56.

The tremendously higher thrust provided by high-bypass turbofan

engines also made civil wide-body aircraft practical and economical.
In addition to the vastly increased thrust, these engines are also
generally quieter. This is not so much due to the higher bypass ratio,
but as to the use of low pressure ratio, single stage, fans, which
significantly reduce specific thrust and, thereby, jet velocity. The
combination of a higher overall pressure ratio and turbine inlet
temperature improves thermal efficiency. This together with a lower
specific thrust (better propulsive efficiency) leads to a lower specific
fuel consumption.

For reasons of fuel economy, and also of reduced noise, almost all of
today's jet airliners are powered by high-bypass turbofans.

The Soviet Union's engine technology was less advanced than the
West's and its first wide-body aircraft, the Ilyushin Il-86, was
powered by low-bypass engines. The Yakovlev Yak-42, a medium-
range, rear-engined aircraft seating up to 120 passengers was the
first Soviet aircraft to use high-bypass engines.

Technical Discussion

Specific Thrust (net thrust/intake airflow) is an important parameter

for turbofans and jet engines in general. Imagine a fan (driven by an
appropriately sized electric motor) operating within a pipe, which is
connected to a propelling nozzle. Fairly obviously, the higher the Fan

Pressure Ratio (discharge pressure/inlet pressure), the higher the
jet velocity and the corresponding specific thrust. Now imagine we
replace this set-up with an equivalent turbofan - same airflow and
same fan pressure ratio. Obviously, the core of the turbofan must
produce sufficient horsepower to drive the fan via the Low Pressure
(LP) Turbine. If we choose a low (HP) Turbine Inlet Temperature for
the gas generator, the core airflow needs to be relatively high to
compensate. The corresponding bypass ratio is therefore relatively
low. If we raise the Turbine Inlet Temperature, the core airflow can
be smaller, thus increasing bypass ratio. Raising turbine inlet
temperature tends to increase thermal efficiency and, therefore,
improve fuel efficiency.

Naturally, as altitude increases there is a decrease in air density and,

therefore, the net thrust of an engine. There is also a flight speed
effect, termed Thrust Lapse Rate. The net thrust (Fn) of an jet engine
(a mixed exhaust turbofan, say) is basically:

Fn = m * (Vjfe - Va)


m intake mass flow

Vjfe fully expanded jet velocity (in the exhaust plume)

Va aircraft flight velocity

With a high specific thrust (e.g. fighter) engine, the jet velocity is
relatively high, so intuitively one can see that increases in flight
velocity have less of an impact upon net thrust than a medium
specific thrust (e.g. trainer) engine, where the jet velocity is lower.

Thrust growth on civil turbofans is usually obtained by increasing fan

airflow, thus preventing the jet noise becoming too high. However,
the larger fan airflow requires more horsepower from the core. This
can be achieved by raising the Overall Pressure Ratio (combustor
inlet pressure/intake delivery pressure) to induce more airflow into
the core and by increasing turbine inlet temperature. Together, these
parameters tend to increase core thermal efficiency and improve fuel

Recent developments in blade technology

The turbine blades in a turbofan engine are subject to high heat and
stress, and require special fabrication. New material construction
methods and material science have allowed blades, which were
originally polycrystalline (regular metal), to be made from lined up
metallic crystals and more recently mono-crystalline blades, which
can operate at higher temperatures with less distortion.

Turbofan engine manufacturers

Bypass ratio

In aeronautical engineering, and jet engine design in particular,

bypass ratio is a common measurement that compares the amount of
air deliberately "blown past" the engine to that moving through the
core. For instance, an engine that blows two kilograms of air around
the engine for every kilogram that passes through it is said to have a
bypass ratio of 2. Higher bypass ratios generally infer better specific
fuel consumption as an increasing amount of thrust is being
generated without burning more fuel.

Jet engines are generally able to create considerably more energy

than they can use in moving air through the engine core. This is
because the limiting factor is the temperature at the turbine face,
and that is a function of the total amount of fuel burned. Increasing
airflow, and thus thrust, would imply burning more fuel and
generating higher temperatures. It is possible to increase the airflow
by burning "too much" fuel or adding water in front of the turbine to
cool it, but both methods lead to incomplete combustion and very
poor fuel efficiency. This was nevertheless common for some time to
produce added thrust on takeoff, which is why older aircraft appear
so smoky in films.

Today almost all jet engines include some amount of bypass. For
"low speed" operations like airliners modern engines use bypass
ratios up to 17, while for "high speed" operations like fighter aircraft
the ratios are much lower, around

Specific fuel consumption

Specific fuel consumption, often shortened to SFC, is an engineering

term that is used to describe the fuel efficiency of an engine design.
It measures the amount of fuel needed to provide a given power for
a given period.

SFC is dependent on the engine design, with differences in the SFC
between different engines tending to be quite small. For instance,
typical gasoline engines will have a SFC of about 0.5 lb/(hp·h) (0.3
kg/(kW·h) = 83 g/MJ), regardless of the design of a particular
engine. One exception to the rule is that the SFC within a particular
class of engine will vary based on the compression ratio, an engine
with a higher compression ratio will deliver a better SFC because it
extracts more power from the fuel. Diesel engines have better SFCs
than gasoline largely because they have much higher compression
ratios, the way they burn their fuel is actually less efficient.


There are a large number of types of jet engines, which get

propulsion from a high speed exhaust jet. Some examples are as

Type Description Advantages Disadvantages

water jet Squirts water Can run in shallow Can be less efficient
out the back of water, powerful, than a propeller
a boat less harmful to
Thermojet Most primitive Very inefficient and
airbreathing underpowered
jet engine
Turbojet Generic term Simplicity of design Basic design,
for simple misses many
turbine engine improvements in
efficiency and
Turbofan Power tapped Quieter due to Greater complexity
off exhaust greater mass flow (additional ducting,
used to drive and lower total usually multiple
bypass fan exhaust speed, shafts), large
more efficient for a diameter engine,
useful range of need to contain
subsonic airspeeds heavy blades. More
for same reason subject to FOD and
ice damage.
Different degrees of
bypass are possible
- this is the design
most commonly
used on commercial

Rocket Carries own Very few moving very low specific
propellant parts, Mach 0 to impulse- typically
onboard, emits Mach 25+, efficient 100-450 seconds.
jet for at very high speed Typically requires
propulsion (> Mach 10.0 or so), carrying oxidiser
thrust/weight ratio onboard which
over 100, relatively increases risks.
simple, no air inlet,
doesn't require
atmosphere, high
compression ratio,
very high speed
Ramjet Intake air is Very few moving Must have a high
compressed parts, Mach 0.8 to initial speed to
entirely by Mach 5+, efficient function, inherently
speed of at high speed (> inefficient at slow
oncoming air Mach 2.0 or so), speeds due to poor
and duct shape lightest of all compression ratio,
(divergent) airbreathing jets difficult to arrange
(thrust/weight ratio shaft power for
up to 30 at optimum accessories,
speed) difficult to engineer
to be efficient over
a wide range of
Turboprop Strictly not a High efficiency at Limited top speed
(Turboshaft jet at all- a gas lower subsonic (aeroplanes),
similar) turbine engine airspeeds(300 knots somewhat noisy,
is used as plus), high shaft complexity of
powerplant to power to weight propeller drive, very
drive large yaw
(propeller) (aeroplane) if
shaft engine fails
Propfan Turboprop Higher fuel Development of
engine drives efficiency, some propfan engines has
one or more designs are less been very limited,
propellers. noisy than typically more noisy
much like a turbofans, could than turbofans,
turbofan but lead to higher- complexity
without speed commercial
ductwork aircraft, popular in
the 1980s during
fuel shortages,
Pulsejet Air enters a Very simple design, Noisy, inefficient
divergent-duct commonly used on (low compression

inlet, the front model aircraft ratio), works best
of the at small scale,
combustion valves need to be
area is shut, replaced very often
fuel injected
into the air
exhaust vents
from other end
of engine
Pulse Similar to a Maximum Extremely noisy,
detonation pulsejet, but theoretical engine parts subject to
engine combustion efficiency extreme mechanical
occurs as a fatigue, hard to
detonation start detonation,
instead of a not practical for
deflagration, current use
may or may
not need
Integral Essentially a Mach 0 to Mach Similar efficiency to
rocket ramjet where 4.5+ (can also run rockets at low
ramjet intake air is exoatmospheric), speed or
compressed good efficiency at exoatmospheric,
and burnt with Mach 2 to 4 inlet difficulties, a
the exhaust relatively
from a rocket undeveloped and
unexplored type,
cooling difficulties
Scramjet Intake air is can operate at very still in development
compressed high Mach numbers stages, must have a
but not slowed (Mach 8 to 15)[1] very high initial
to below speed to function
supersonic, (Mach >6), cooling
intake, difficulties, inlet
combustion difficulties, very
and exhaust poor thrust/weight
occur in a ratio (~2), airframe
single difficulties, testing
constricted difficulties
Turborocket An additional Very close to Airspeed limited to
oxidizer such existing designs, same range as
as oxygen is operates in very turbojet engine,
added to the high altitude, wide carrying oxidizer
airstream to range of altitude like LOX can be

increase max and airspeed dangerous
Precooled Intake air is Very high Exists only at the
jets / LACE chilled to very thrust/weight ratios lab protoyping
low are possible (~14) stage. Examples
temperatures together with good include RB545,
at inlet fuel efficiency over SABRE, ATREX
a wide range of
airspeeds, mach 0-

Air intakes

See also: Inlet cone

Supersonic inlets: Normal shock is not isentroph

For aircraft travelling at supersonic speeds, a design complexity

arises, since the air ingested by the engine must be below supersonic
speed, otherwise the engine will "choke" and cease working. This
subsonic air speed is achieved by passing the approaching air
through a deliberately generated shock wave (since one
characteristic of a shock wave is that the air flowing through it is
slowed). Therefore, some means is needed to create a shockwave
ahead of the intake.

The earliest types of supersonic aircraft featured a central shock

cone, called an inlet cone, which was used to form the shock wave..
The same approach can be used for air intakes mounted at the side
of the fuselage, where a half cone serves the same purpose with a
semicircular air intake, as seen on the F-104 Starfighter and BAC
TSR-2. A more sophisticated approach is to angle the intake so that
one of its edges forms a leading blade. A shockwave will form at this
blade, and the air ingested by the engine will be behind the
shockwave and hence subsonic. The Century series of US jets
featured a number of variations on this approach, usually with the

leading blade at the outer vertical edge of the intake which was then
angled back inwards towards the fuselage. Typical examples include
the Republic F-105 Thunderchief and F-4 Phantom.

Later this evolved so that the leading edge was at the top horizontal
edge rather than the outer vertical edge, with a pronounced angle
downwards and rearwards. This approach simplified the construction
of the intakes and permitted the use of variable ramps to control the
airflow into the engine. Most designs since the early 1960s now
feature this style of intake, for example the F-14 Tomcat, Panavia
Tornado and the Concorde.

Axial-flow compressor

The axial flow compressor is an improvement on the centrifugal

compressor previously used in turbine engines,though small and
micro turbines use centrifugal compressors with relative advantages
(in terms of pressure ratios achieveable per stage of compression).
The key improvement is that axial flow compressors work without
radically changing the direction of gas flow. It can handle large
volume of airflow but it is more susceptible to FOD, IT is expensive
and heavy in weight as compered to centrifugal compressor.

Diagram of an axial flow compressor

An axial flow compressor typically has a set of fixed inlet guide vanes
to condition the incoming gas. There are then multiple compressor
stages, each consisting of a set of rotating blades (much like a
propeller) that force the gas to the rear, and then a set of fixed
stator blades that condition the air ready for the next compressor

The gas conditioning done by the stator blades is needed to ensure

reasonable efficiency. Without the stator blades the gas would rotate
with the rotor blades giving a big drop in efficiency.

Axial flow compressors are typically used in the compression stage of
turbine engines. Their disadvantages (low increase in pressure at
each stage) are outweighed by their advantages (multi-stages are
very compact, they do continuous compression, and they are easy to

A spool is defined as group of compressor stage, a shaft and one or

more turbine stage linked mechanically and rotating at same speed.

Centrifugal compressor

Also called a radial blower, squirrel cage, or squirrel wheel

compressor, a centrifugal compressor consists of an axle to which is
mounted a cylindrical assembly of compressor blades. The
compressor operates by using the centrifugal force applied to an air
mass to achieve compression. Centrifugal compressors are used
throughout industry because they have few moving parts, are very
energy efficient, and give higher airflow than a similarly sized
reciprocating compressor. Their primary drawback is that they
cannot achieve the high compression ratio of reciprocating
compressors without multiple stages. Centrifugal compressors are
more suited to continuous-duty applications such as ventilation fans,
air movers, cooling units, and other uses that require high volume
but fairly low pressures. While technically centrifugal blowers can
operate in reverse, due to blade design and other factors their
efficiency is greatly reduced. Centrifugal blowers are used in some
small jet turbine engines; when similar blowers are used in pipelines
they are sometimes called jets.

Big centrifugal compressors are used for gas transportation in gas

pipelines all around the world. They have the following operating
limits: Minimum Operating Speed: is the minimum speed for
sustentation, below this value the compressor stops or goes to the
called "Idle Speed". Maximum Allowable Speed: is the maximum
design speed for the compressor, beyond this value the vibrations
increase rapidly, becoming dangerous for the equipment. Stonewall
or Choke: this occurs when the velocity of the gas approaches its
sonic speed somewhere in the compressor (it may occur at the
impeller inlet or at the vaned diffuser inlet). It is generally not
detrimental to the compressor. Surge: normally occurs at about 50%
of design inlet capacity at design speed, is the point at which the
impeller cannot add enough power to overcome the discharge
pressure. This causes flow reversal (surge), high vibration,
temperature increases, and rapid changes in axial thrust that can
damage the labyrinth seals or even the driver.

Advantages ------

1) Low weight 2) ruggedness and therefore resistance to
FOD 3) SIMPLICITY AND LOW COST 4) High compressor
ratio per stage( with a limited no. of stages)

Free Power turbine--- has no mechanical connectionto the primary

and gas generator turbine, which, in this turn only used to turn
compressor in order to to supply high enegy gases to drive free
power turbine. Design lend itself to variable speed opertion better
then single shaft and it produces high torque at low free power
turbine speed. It also has an advantage of requiring no clutch when
starting or when load is applied. On the other hand single or fixed
shaft engine when used as turboprop allow rapid response rate. The
free shaft engine even aat running at idle power is running at same
rpm as it is at 100%. All that is required to obtain maximum power
to increase fuel flow and propeeler blade angle. Also fixed shaft will
burn less fuel as compered to free turbine as there is no fludic
coupling to create inefficienices.


A diagram showing how a turboprop works.

A Turboprop (Turbo-propeller) or turboshaft engine is a type of gas

turbine. It differs from a turbofan in that the design is optimized to
produce rotating shaft power in order to drive a propeller, instead of
thrust from the exhaust gas.

A jet engine consists of a set of compressor fans that compress the

intake air, a flameholder where the combustion happens, and
another set of fans (a set of turbine stages) at the rear to catch some
of the hot exhaust and use it to drive the initial compressor fans.

By adding another turbine stage to the engine, all of the jet exhaust
can be used for rotary force rather than jet thrust. Coupling this
second (or third) turbine stage to a propeller makes for a very
efficient engine due to the inherent efficiency of a propeller at low
speeds. This is called a turboprop, and can be found on many smaller

commuter planes, cargo planes, and helicopters (where it is often
known as a turboshaft).

While most modern turbojet and turbofan engines use axial-flow

compressors, turboprop engines usually contain at least one state of
centrifugal compression.

A Rolls-Royce RB.50 Trent on a test rig at Hucknall, in March 1945

Propellers lose efficiency as aircraft speed increases, which is why

turboprops are not used on higher-speed aircraft. However,
turboprops are far more efficient than piston-driven propeller

Advantges – 1) high propulsive efficieney at low air speeds, wich

result in shorter take off but fals of rapidly as airspeed increases..
Engine is able to develop high thrust at low airspeeds because
propeller can accelarate large quantity of air at zero fwd. velocity of
A/C. 2) heavy in weght 3) lowest TSFC.4) large frontal area of
propeller and engine neccisates use of longer landing gear for low
wing A/C but does not increase parasite drag5) possibility of
efficient reverse thrust.

To overcome the loss in efficieny by formation of shock wave

propeller blade of small diameter multi bladed wide chord propeller
are more efficient.

Brayton cycle

The Brayton cycle is a cyclic process generally associated with the

gas turbine. Like other internal combustion power cycles it is an open
system, though for thermodynamic analysis it is a convenient fiction
to assume that the exhaust gases are reused in the intake, enabling
analysis as a closed system.


A Brayton-type engine consists of three components:

• A gas
• A mixing
• An expander

In the original 19th century Brayton engine ambient air is drawn into
a piston compressor, where it is pressurized; a theoretically
isentropic process. The compressed air then runs through a mixing
chamber where fuel is added, a constant-pressure process. The
heated, pressurized air and fuel mixture is then ignited in an
expansion cylinder and gives up its energy, expanding through a
piston/cylinder; another theoretically isentropic process. Some of the
work extracted by the piston/cylinder is used to drive the
compressor through a crankshaft arrangement.

The term Brayton cycle has more recently been given to the gas
turbine engine. This also has three components:

• A gas
• A burner (or
• An expansion

Ambient air is drawn into the compressor, where it is pressurized—a

theoretically isentropic process. The compressed air then runs
through a combustion chamber, where fuel is burned, heating that
air—a constant-pressure process, since the chamber is open to flow
in and out. The heated, pressurized air then gives up its energy,
expanding through a turbine (or series of turbines)—another
theoretically isentropic process. Some of the work extracted by the

turbine is used to drive the compressor.

Since neither the compression nor the expansion can be truly

isentropic, losses through the compressor and the expander
represent sources of inescapable working inefficiencies.

In general, increasing the compression ratio is the most direct way

to increase the overall power output of a Brayton system.



An engine's air inlet duct is normally considered an airframe part and
made by aircraft manufacturer . During flight operation , it is very
important to the engine performance . Engine thrust can be high only
if the inlet duct supplies the engine with the required airflow at the
highest posible pressure . The inlet duct has two engine functions
and one aircraft function .
First : it must be able recover as much of the total pressure of the
free air stream as posible and deliver this pressure to the front of the
engine compressor .
Second : the duct must deliver air to the compressor under all
flight conditions with a little turbulance .
Third : the aircraft is concerned , the duct must hold to a
minimum of the drag.
The duct also usually has a diffusion section just ahead of the
compressor to change the ram air velocity into higher static pressure
at the face of the engine . This is called ram recovery . The inlet duct
is built generally in the divergent shape (subsonic diffuser).

Supersonic Duct
The supersonic duct proplems start when the aircraft begins to fly at
or near the speed of sound. At this speeds sonic shock waves are
developed which , if not controlled , will give high duct loss in
pressure and airflow , and will set up vibrating conditions in the inlet
duct called inlet " buzz " . Buzz is an airflow instability caused by the
shock wave rapidly being alternately swallowed and expelled at the
inlet of the duct. Air enters the compressor section of engine must be
slow to subsonic velocity. At supersonic speeds the inlet does the job
by slowing the air with minimize energy loss and the temperature
At transonic speeds the inlet duct is designed to keep shock waves
out of the duct. This is done by locating the inlet duct behind a spike
or probe which create the shock wave infront of inlet duct. This
normal shock wave will produce a pressure rise and velocity
decrease to subsonic speeds .

At higher mach numbers, the single normal shock wave is very

strong and causes a great reduction in the total pressure recoverd by
the duct and excessive air temperature rise inside the duct. The
oblique shock wave will be used to slow the supersonic velocity down
but still supersonic , the normal shock wave will drop the velocity to
subsonic before the air enter to the compressor. Each reduce in
velocity will increase a pressure. At very high mach number , the
inlet duct must set up one or moreoblique shocks and a normal
The combustion of fuel and air at normal atmospheric pressure will
not produce sufficient energy enough to produce useful work . The
energy released by combustion is proportional to the mass of air

consumed and its pressure. Therefore , higher pressure are needed
to increase the efficiency of the combustion cycle . On the jet engines
must rely upon some other means of compression .

Although centrifugal compressors are used in many jet engine , the

efficiency level of a single stage is relatively low . The multistage of
centrifugal compressor is better , but still do not compare with those
axial flow compressors . Some small modern turboshaft and
turboprop engines achieve good results by using a combination of
axial flow and centrifugal compressor.
Centrifugal compressor
Centrifugal compressors operate by taking in outside air near their
hub and rotating it by means of an impeller . The impeller , which is
usually an aluminum alloy , guides the air toward the outer
circumference of the compressor , building up the velocity of the air
by means of high rotational speed of the impeller . The compressor
consists of three main parts:
1) Impeller
2) A Diffuser
3) A Comprssor Manifold
Air leaves the Impeller at high speed , and flows through the diffuser
which converts high velocity , kinetic energy to low velocity , high
pressure energy . The diffuser also serves to direct airflow to the
compressor manifold which acts as collector ring. They also delivery
air to the manifold at a velocity and pressure which will be
satisfactory for use in the burner section of the engine.

Axial compressor
The air in an axial compressor flows in an axial direction through a
series of rotating rotor blades and stationary stator vanes. The flow
path of an axial compressor decreases in cross-section area in the
direction of flow , reducing the volume of the air as compression

progresses from stage to stage of compressor blades .

The air being delivered to the face of compressor by the air inlet
duct, the incoming air passes through the inlet guide vanes . Air upon
entering the first set of ratating blades and flowing in axial direction,
is deflected in the direction of rotation . The air is arrested and turn
as it is passed on to a set of stator vanes , following which it is again
picked up by another set of rotating blades , and so on , through the
compressor . The pressure of the air increases each time that it
passes through a set of rotors and stators .
The aerodynamic principles are applied to the compressor blade
design in order to increase efficiency . The blades are treated as
lifting surfaces like aircraft wings or propeller blades . The cascade
effect is a primary consideration in determining the airfoil section ,
angle of attack , and the spacing between blades to be used for
compressor blade disign . The blade must be designed to withstand
the high centrifugal forces as well as the aerodynamic loads to which
they are subjected . The clearance between the rotating blades and
their outer case is also very important . The rotor assembly turns at
extreamely high speed , and must be rigid , well aligned and well
balance .
Compressor Surge and Compressor Stall
This characteristic has been called both " Surge " and " Stall " in the
past , but is more properly called SURGE when it is response of the
entire engine. The word stall applies to the action occuring at each
individual compressor blade. Compressor surge , also called
Compressor stall , is a phenomenon which is difficult to understand
because it is usually caused by complex combination of factors . The
basic cause of compressor surge is fairly simple , each blade in an
axial flow compressor is a miniature airplane wing which , when
subjected to a higher angle of attack , will stall just as an airplane
stalls. Surge may define as results from an unstable air condition
within the compressor. Pilot or engine operator has no instrument to
tell him that one or more blades are stalling. He must wait until the
engine surges to know that. The unstable condition of air is often
caused from air piling up in the rear stages of the compressor. Surge
may become sufficiently pronounce to cause lound bangs and engine
vibration. In most case , this condition is of short duration , and will
either correct itself or can be corrected by retarding the throttle or
power lever to Idle and advanncing it again , slowly. Among other
things , to minimize the tendency of a compressor to surge , the

compressor can be "unload" during certain operating conditions by
reducing the pressure ratio across the compressor for any giving
airflow. One method of doing this is by bleeding air from the middle
or toward the rear of the compressor. In dual axial compressor
engines , air is often bled from between the low and the high
pressure compressor. Air bleed ports are located in the compressor
section. These ports are fitted with automatic , overboard bleed
valves which usually operate in a specified range of engine RPM.
Some large engine have been provided with variable-angle stators
( variable stators) in a few of the forward compressor stages. The
angle of these vanes change automatically to prevent the choking of
the downstream compressor stages as engine operating conditions


The diffuser has an expanding internal diameter to decrease the

velocity and increase the static pressure of air . The air leaving
compressor , then through a diffuser section . The diffuser prepares
the air for entry the combustion section at low velocity to permit
proper mixing with fuel . Ports are built in the diffuser case through
which compressor discharge air is bled off from the aircraft engine .

On dual compressor engines , bleed air for service functions is also

taken from additional ports located between the low and high
compressors , or at intermediate stages in the high pressure
compressor case . Air is bled from most engine vented over board out
of the primary air flow path during certain engine operating
conditions to prevent compressor surge .This is called over board and
must not be confused with the air remove from the engine to perform
service function .


Fuel is introduced into the air stream at the front of the burners in
spray form , suitable for rapid mixing with air for combustion. The
fuel is carried from outside the engine , by manifold system , to
nozzles mounted in the burner cans .

Primary and secondary fuel manifolds are often used on large

engines . The primary manifold provides sufficient fuel for low thrust
operation. At high thrust , the secondary , or main manifold cuts in ,
and fuel commences to flow through both primary and secondary
elements of double-orifice nozzle. Usually , primary fuel is sprayed
through a single orifice at the center of nozzle. Secondary fuel is
sprayed through a number of orifices in a ring around the center


There are three basic types of burner systems in use today. They are
can type , annular type and can-annular type. Fuel is introduced at
the front end of the burner. Air flows in around the fuel nozzle and
through the first row of combustion air holes in the liner. The air
entering the forward section of the liner tends to recirculate and
move up stream against the fuel spray. During combustion , this
action permits rapid mixing and prevents flame blowout which acts
as a continuous pilot for the rest of the burner.

There are usually has only two igniter plugs in an engine. The igniter
plug is usually locate in the up stream region of the burner. About 25
percent of the air actually takes part in the combustion process. The
gases that result from the combustion have temperatures of 3500
degree F. Before entering the turbine , the gases must be cooled to
approximately half this value , up to the designed of turbine
materials involved. Cooling is done by diluting the hot gases with
secondary air that enters through a set of relative large holes located
toward the rear of the liner.


The turbine in all modern jet engines , regardless of the type of

compressor used , are of axial flow design.

The turbine extract kinetic energy from the expanding gases as the
gases come from the burner , converting this energy into shaft
horsepower to drive the compressor and the engine accessory.
Nearly three fourths of all energy available from the product of
combustion is needed to drive the compressors.

The turbine wheel is one of the most highly stressed parts in the
engine. Not only must it operateat temperature 1700 degree F, but it
must do so under severe centrifugal loads imposed by high rotational
speeds of over 40000 rpm for small engines to 8000 rpm for a larger
engines.The engine speed and turbine inlet temperature must be
accurately controlled to keep the turbine within safe operating limits.
The turbine assembly is made of two main parts , the disk and the
blades. The disk or wheel is statically and dynamically balanced and
unit specially alloyed steel usually containing large percentages of
chromium , nickle , and cobalt. The blades are attached to the disk by
means of a " fir tree " design to allow for different rates of expansion
between the disk and the blade while still holding the blade firmly
against centrifugal loads. The blade is kept from moving axially
either by rivets , special locking tabs or devices , or another turbine

The blade is shrouded at the tip. The shrouded blades form a band
around the perimeter of the turbine which serves to reduce blade
vibrations. The shrouds improve the airflow characteristics and
increase the efficiency of the turbine. The shrouds also serve to cut
down gas leakage around the tips of the turbine blades.


A larger total thrust can be obtained from the engine if the gases are
discharged from the aircraft at a higher velocity than is permissible
at the turbine outlet. An exhaust duct is therefore added , both to
collect and straighten the gas flow as it comes from the turbine and
to increase the velocity of the gases before they are discharged from
the exhaust nozzle at the rear of the duct.

Increasing the velocity of the gases increases their momentum and
increase the thrust produced.The duct is essentially a simple ,
stainless steel , conical or cylinder pipe .

The tail cone helps smooth the flow. A conventional convergent type
of exhaust duct is capable of keeping the flow through the duct
constant at velocity not to exceed Mach 1.0 at the exhaust nozzle.


The afterburner , whose operation is much like a ram-jet , increases

thrust by adding fuel to the exhaust gases after they have passed
through the turbine section. At this point there is still much
uncombined oxygen in the exhaust. Only approximately 25 percent of
the air passing through the engine is consumed by the combustion.
The remainder or 75 percent , of the air is capable of supporting
additional combustion if more fuel is added. The resultant increase in
the temperature and velocity of gases therefore boosts engine
thrust. Most afterburners will produce an approximately 50 percent
more thrust. Afterburning or " hot " operation or " reheating " is
used only for a time limited operation of takeoff , climb , and
maximum burst speed.


Since Fuel flow adds some mass to the air flowing through the engine

, this must be added to the basic of thrust equation . Some formular
do not consider the fuel flow effect when computing thrust because
the weight of air leakage is approximately equal to the weight of fuel
added . The following formular is applied when a nozzle of engine is "
choked " , the pressure is such that the gases are treveling through it
at the speed of sound and can not be further accelerated . Any
increase in internal engine pressure will pass out through the nozzle
still in the form of pressure . Even this pressure energy cannot turn
into velocity energy but it is not lost .


The Jet engine is much more sensitive to operating variables . Those

1.) Engine rpm.
2.) Size of nozzle area.
3.) Weight of fuel flow.
4.) Amount of air bled from the compressor.
5.) Turbine inlet temperature.
6.) Speed of aircraft (ram pressure rise).
7.) Temperature of the air.
8.) Pressure of air
9.) Amount of humidity.
Note ; item 8,9 are the density of air .


Station designations are assigned to the varius sections of gas

turbine engines to enable specific locations within the engine to be
easily and accurately identified. The station numbers coincide with
position from front to rear of the engine and are used as subscripts
when designating different temperatures and pressures at the front ,
rear , or inside of the engine. For engine configurations other than

the picture below should be made to manuals published by the
engine manufacturer.

N = Speed ( rpm or percent )

N1 = Low Compressor Speed
N2 = High Compressor Speed
N3 = Free Turbine Speed
P = Pressure
T = Temperature
t = Total
EGT = Exhaust Gas Temperature
EPR = Engine Pressure Ratio ( Engine Thrust in term of EPR ). Pt7 /
Ex.: Pt 2 = Total Pressure at Station 2 ( low pressure compressor
inlet )
Pt 7 = Total Pressure at Station 7 ( turbine discharge total pressure

Requirements \ Commonly Used Materials

This graphic demonstrates the Displays how man hours are
how the temperature fluxuates expected out of an engine today.
during take-off, flight, and
landing. Hot times are
experienced during take-off and


Requirements: Commonly used material:

Fan Blades - Polymer Composite or

1. High strength. Titanium alloys.
2. Lightweight (Safety precaution Containment - Nickel-based alloys,
in case it blows up). Polymer Composite, or Titanium
3. Be able to handle a direct blow alloys.
without breaking (bird strike).
4. Temperature range: ~ -50 -
100° F

Fan containment
1. Absorbent.
2. Compact.
3. Preferably a layered structure.
4. Temperature range: 400 - 500°


Requirements: Commonly used material:

1. 200 to 300 hot hours. Blades - Titanium alloys (cold

2. Temperature range: 800 - side). Nickel-based alloy or
1200° F Titanium alloy (hotter end).
Disk - Titanium alloys (cold) and
Disk Nickel-based alloy (hot).
1. High strength.
2. Resist centrifugal stress.
3. Resist fatigue.


Requirements: Commonly used material:

Combustor Currently - Nickel-based alloy.

1. 18,000 to 20,000 hours. Future - Ceramic composite.
2. 9,000 hot hours.
3. Average temperature around
2,800° F.

Combustor liner
1. Stresses due to thermal
gradient heat.
2. Transient stresses due to
takeoff and cool down situations.
3. Resist oxidation.


Requirements: Commonly used material:

1. Rotational strength. Disk - Nickel-based alloy

2. Pressure loading. Blades - Single crystal Nickel-
3. High temperatures. based alloy with thermal barrier
4. Resist Creep. coating.
5. Resist Oxidation.
6. Temperature range: 1000 - 2000°


Requirements: Commonly used material:

1. High Temperatures. Nickel-based alloy

2. Temperature range: 1000 -
1200° F


Requirements: Commonly used material:

1. High Temperature. Nickel-based alloy

2. Temperature range: 1200 - Titanium alloy
2400° F Ceramic matrix composite


The turbojet is the engine in most common use today in high-speed,
high-altitude aircraft, not in Army aircraft. With this engine, air is
drawn in by a compressor which raises internal pressures many
times over atmospheric pressure. The compressed air then passes
into a combustion chamber where it is mixed with fuel to be ignited
and burned. Burning the fuel-air mixture expands the gas, which is
accelerated out the rear as a high-velocity jet-stream. In the turbine
section of the engine, the hot expanded gas rotates a turbine wheel
which furnishes power to keep the compressor going. The gas
turbine engine operates on the principle of intake, compression,
power, and exhaust, but unlike the reciprocating engine, these
events are continuous. Approximately two-thirds of the total energy
developed within the combustion chamber is absorbed by the turbine
wheel to sustain operation of the compressor. The remaining energy
is discharged from the rear of the engine as a high velocity jet, the
reaction to which is thrust or forward movement of the engine. The
turbojet is shown schematically in figure 1.3.


Keeping in mind the basic theory of turbine engines, compare the

advantages and disadvantages of the turbine engine with the piston
or reciprocating engine. The advantages are covered in the
subparagraphs below, and disadvantages are discussed in the next

• Turbine engines have a higher power-to-weight Power-to-

weight ratio. ratio than reciprocating engines. An example of
this is the T55-L-l11. It weighs approximately 650 pounds and
delivers 3, 750 shaft horsepower. The power-to-weight ratio
for this engine is 5.60 shp per pound, where the average
reciprocating engine has a power-to-weight ratio of
approximately .67 shp per pound.
• Less maintenance. Maintenance per hour of operation is
especially important in military operations. Turbine engines
require less maintenance per flying hour than reciprocating
engines generally do. As an aircraft maintenance officer, this
advantage will appeal to you because of a greater aircraft
availability and lower maintenance hour to flying hour ratio.
The turbine engine also has fewer moving parts than a
reciprocating engine; this is also an advantage over the
reciprocating engine.
• Less drag. Because of the design, the turbine engine has a
smaller frontal area than the reciprocating engine. A
reciprocating engine requires a large frontal area which causes
a great deal of drag on the aircraft. Turbine engines are more
streamlined in design, causing less drag. Figure 1.6 shows one
of the two nacelles that contain reciprocating engines in the old

CH-37 cargo helicopter. Figure 1.7 shows the smaller frontal
area of the turbine engines that power the CH-47 Chinook
helicopter. Because of this, the engine nacelles are more
streamlined in design, causing less drag.
• Cold weather starting. The turbine engine does not require any
oil dilution or preheating of the engine before starting. Also,
once started, the reciprocating engine takes a long time to
warm up to operating temperatures, whereas the turbine
engine starts readily and is up to operating temperature
• Low oil consumption. The turbine engine, in general, has a
lower rate of oil consumption than the reciprocating engine.
The turbine engine does not require the oil reservoir capacity
to be as large as the reciprocating engine's; because of this, a
weight and economy factor is an additional advantage.


Just like everything else, along with the advantages or the good, we
have to take the disadvantages or the bad. This also holds true with
the turbine engine. The disadvantages of the turbine engine are
discussed in the following subparagraphs.

• Foreign object damage. One of the major problems faced by the

turbine engine is foreign object damage (FOD). A turbine
engine requires tremendous quantities of air. This air is sucked
into the engine at extremely high velocities, and it will draw up
anything that comes near the inlet area. The turbine engines
used in Army aircraft are fitted with filters around the engine
inlet to prevent foreign objects from entering the engine and
damaging the compressor vanes. However, even with this
precaution, FOD is still a menace to turbine engine operation,
as shown in figure 1.8.
• High temperatures. In the combustion chamber, the
temperature is raised to about 3, 500° F. in the hottest part of
the flame. Because this temperature is above the melting point
of most metals, proper cooling and flame dilution must be
employed at all times to insure that the engine is not damaged.
• Slow acceleration. The acceleration rate of a turbine engine is
very slow in comparison with that of a reciprocating engine.
The pilot must be aware of the time lag in the turbine engine
acceleration between the instant when power is requested and
when power is available.
• High fuel consumption. Turbine engines are very uneconomical
when it comes to the amount of fuel they consume. The
Lycoming T53 turbine engine, for instance, uses approximately
1.5 gallons per minute of fuel. Compare it to a reciprocating

engine of approximately the same horsepower which has a fuel
consumption rate of 1 gallon per minute.
• Cost. The initial cost of a turbine engine is very high when
compared to the cost of a reciprocating engine. For example
the T53-L-13B engine costs about $63,000, and the cost of a
reciprocating engine of approximately the same horsepower is


The compressor is the section of the engine that produces an

increase in air pressure. It is made up of rotating and stationary vane
assemblies. The first stage compressor rotor blades accelerate the
air rearward into the first stage vane assemblies. The first stage vane
assemblies slow the air down and direct it into the second stage
compressor rotor blades. The second stage compressor rotor blades
accelerate the air rearward into the second stage vane assemblies,
and so on through the compressor rotor blades and vanes until air
enters the diffuser section. The highest total air velocity is at the
inlet of the diffuser. As the air passes rearward through the diffuser,
the velocity of the air decreases and the static pressure increases.
The highest static pressure is at the diffuser outlet.

The compressor rotor may be thought of as an air pump. The volume

of air pumped by the compressor rotor is basically proportional to the
rotor rpm. However, air density, the weight of a given volume of air,
also varies this proportional relationship. The weight per unit volume
of air is affected by temperature, compressor air inlet pressure,
humidity, and ram air pressure*. If compressor air inlet temperature
is increased, air density is reduced. If compressor air inlet pressure
is increased, air density is increased. If humidity increases, air
density is decreased. Humidity, by comparison with temperature, and
pressure changes, has a very small effect on density. With increased
forward speed, ram air pressure increases and air temperature and
pressure increase.

*ram air pressure - free stream air pressure provided by the forward
motion of the engine.

Compressor efficiency determines the power necessary to create the

pressure rise of a given airflow, and it affects the temperature
change which takes place in the combustion chamber. Therefore, the
compressor is one of the most important components of the gas
turbine engine because its efficient operation is the key to overall
engine performance. The following subparagraphs discuss the three
basic compressors used in gas turbine engines: the centrifugal-flow,
the axial-flow, and axial-centrifugal-flow compressors. The axial-

centrifugal-flow compressor is a combination of the other two and
operates with characteristics of both.

• Centrifugal-flow compressor. Figure 1.12 shows the basic

components of a centrifugal-flow compressor: rotor, stator, and
compressor manifold.

Figure 1.12. Typical Single-stage Centrifugal Compressor

As the impeller (rotor) revolves at high speed, air is drawn into the
blades near the center. Centrifugal force accelerates this air and
causes it to move outward from the axis of rotation toward the rim of
the rotor where it is forced through the diffuser section at high
velocity and high kinetic energy. The pressure rise is produced by
reducing the velocity of the air in the diffuser, thereby converting
velocity energy to pressure energy. The centrifugal compressor is
capable of a relatively high compression ratio per stage. This
compressor is not used on larger engines because of size and weight.

Because of the high tip speed problem in this design, the centrifugal
compressor finds its greatest use on the smaller engines where
simplicity, flexibility of operation, and ruggedness are the principal
requirements rather than small frontal area and ability to handle
high airflows and pressures with low loss of efficiency.

• Axial-flow compressor. The air is compressed, as the name

implies, in a direction parallel to the axis of the engine. The
compressor is made of a series of rotating airfoils called rotor
blades, and a stationary set of airfoils called stator vanes. A
stage consists of two rows of blades, one rotating and one
stationary. The entire compressor is made up of a series of
alternating rotor and stator vane stages as shown in figure

Figure 1.13. Axial-flow Compressor.

Axial flow compressors have the advantage of being capable of very

high compression ratios with relatively high efficiencies; see figure
1.14. Because of the small frontal area created by this type of
compressor, it is ideal for installation on high-speed aircraft.
Unfortunately, the delicate blading and close tolerances, especially
toward the rear of the compressor where the blades are smaller and
more numerous per stage, make this compressor highly susceptible
to foreign-object damage. Because of the close fits required for
efficient air-pumping and higher compression ratios, this type of
compressor is very complex and very expensive to manufacture. For
these reasons the axial-flow design finds its greatest application
where required efficiency and output override the considerations of
cost, simplicity, and flexibility of operation. However, due to modern
technology, the cost of the small axial-flow compressor, used in
Army aircraft, is coming down.

Figure 1.14. Compressor Efficiencies and Pressure Ratios.

• Axial-centrifugal-flow compressor. The axial-centrifugal-flow
compressor, also called the dual compressor, is a combination
of the two types, using the same operating characteristics.
Figure 1.15 shows the compressor used in the T53 turbine
engine. Most of the gas turbine engines used in Army aircraft
are of the dual compressor design. Usually it consists of a five-
or seven-stage axial-flow compressor and one centrifugal-flow
compressor. The dual compressors are mounted on the same
shaft and turn in the same direction and at the same speed.
The centrifugal compressor is mounted aft of the axial
compressor. The axial compressor contains numerous air-foil-
shaped blades and vanes that accomplish the task of moving
the air mass into the combustor at an elevated pressure.

Figure 1.15. Axial-Centrifugal-Flow Compressor.

As the air is drawn into the engine, its direction of flow is changed by
the inlet guide vanes. The angle of entry is established to ensure that
the air flow onto the rotating compressor blades is within the stall-
free (angle of attack) range. Air pressure or velocity is not changed
as a result of this action. As the air passes from the trailing edge of
the inlet guide vanes, its direction of flow is changed due to the
rotational effect of the compressor. This change of airflow direction
is similar to the action that takes place when a car is driven during a
rain or snow storm. The rain or snow falling in a vertical direction
strikes the windshield at an angle due to the horizontal velocity of
the car.

In conjunction with the change of airflow direction, the velocity of

the air is increased. Passing through the rotating compressor blades,
the velocity is decreased, and a gain in pressure is obtained. When
leaving the trailing edge of the compressor blades, the velocity of the
air mass is again increased by the rotational effect of the
compressor. The angle of entry on to the stationary stator vanes
results from this rotational effect as it did on the airflow onto the

Passing through the stationary stator vanes the air velocity is again
decreased resulting in an increase in pressure. The combined action
of the rotor blades and stator vanes results in an increase in air
-pressure; combined they constitute one stage of compression. This
action continues through all stages of the axial compressor. To retain
this pressure buildup, the airflow is delivered, stage by stage, into a
continually narrowing airflow path. After passing from the last set of
stator vanes the air mass passes through exit guide vanes. These
vanes direct the air onto the centrifugal impeller.

The centrifugal impeller increases the velocity of the
air mass as it moves it in a radial direction.

• Compressor stall. Gas turbine engines are

designed to avoid the pressure conditions that
allow engine surge to develop, but the
possibility of surge still exists in engines that
are improperly adjusted or have been abused.
Engine surge occurs any time the combustion
chamber pressure exceeds that in the diffuser,
and it is identified by a popping sound which is
issued from the inlet. Because there is more
than one cause for surge, the resultant sound
can range from a single carburetor backfire pop
to a machinegun sound.

Engine surge is caused by a stall on the airfoil

surfaces of the rotating blades or stationary vanes of the
compressor. The stall can occur on individual blades or vanes or,
simultaneously, on groups of them. To understand how this can
induce engine surge, the causes and effects of stall on any airfoil
must be examined.

All airfoils are designed to provide lift by producing a lower pressure

on the convex (suction) side of the airfoil than on the concave
(pressure) side. A characteristic of any airfoil is that lift increases
with an increasing angle of attack, but only up to a critical angle.
Beyond this critical angle of attack, lift falls off rapidly. This is due
largely to the separation of the airflow from the suction surface of
the airfoil, as shown in the sketch. This phenomenon is known as
stall. All pilots are familiar with this condition and its consequences
as it applies to the wing of an aircraft. The stall that takes place on
the fixed or rotating blades of a compressor is the same as the
stalling phenomenon of an aircraft wing.


Centrifugal - flow compressors are usually made of titanium. The

diffuser is generally manufactured of a stainless steel alloy. A close
fit is important between the compressor and its case to obtain
maximum compressor efficiency. Correct rotor assembly balancing is
essential for safe operation because of the high rpm. Balancing the
rotor can be accomplished by removing metal from specified areas of
the compressor or by using balancing weights installed in holes in
the hub of the compressor. On some engines where the compressor
and turbine wheel are balanced as a unit, special bolts and nuts
having slight variations in weight are used.

Axial-flow compressors are constructed of many different materials,
depending upon the load and temperature under which the unit must
operate. The rotor blades are generally cast of stainless-steel alloy.
Some manufacturers use mdybdenum coated titanium blades to
dampen vibrations on some stages of rotor blades. The clearance
between the rotor blades and the outer case is most important. Some
companies coat the inner surface of the compressor case with a soft
material that can be worn away by the blades as they expand
because of the heat generated from compressing the air. This type of
compressor uses the "wear-fit" method to form its own clearance
between the compressor case and the rotor blade tip.

Methods of attaching the blade to the disk or hub vary between

manufacturers, with the majority using some variation of the dove-
tail method to hold the rotor blades to the disk. Various other
methods are used to anchor the blades in place. Some blades do not
have a tight fit in the disk, but rather are seated by centrifugal force
during engine operation. By allowing the blades to move, vibrational
stress is reduced during start and shutdown. Stator vanes, shown in
figure 1.16, can be either solid or hollow construction, and are
connected together at their tips by a shroud. This shrouding serves
two purposes. First, it provides support, and second, it provides the
necessary air seal between rotating and stationary parts. Most
manufacturers use the split compressor cases, while some others
favor a weldment, forming a continuous case. The advantages of the
split case lie in the fact that the compressor and stator blades are
readily available to inspection. The one-piece case offers simplicity
and strength because it is one piece; in most instances, it is a
principal structural part of the engine and is usually made of cast
aluminum, magnesium, or steel. Figures 1.16 and 1.17 show
shrouded compressor stators in both the split case and the one-piece


Today, three basic combustion chambers are in use. They are the
annular combustion chamber, the can type, and the combination of
the two called the can-annular. Variations of these basic systems are
used in a number of engines. The three systems are discussed
individually in the following subparagraphs. The most commonly
used gas turbine engine in Army aircraft is the annular reverse-Row
type. The combustion section contains the combustion chambers,
igniter plugs, and fuel nozzles or vaporizing tubes. It is designed to
burn a fuel-air mixture and deliver the combusted gases to the
turbine at a temperature which will not exceed the allowable limit at
the turbine inlet.

Fuel is introduced at the front end of the burner in a highly atomized
spray from the fuel nozzles. Combustion air flows in around the fuel
nozzle and mixes with the fuel to form a correct fuel-air mixture. This
is called primary air and represents approximately 25 percent of total
air taken into the engine. The fuel-air mixture which is to be burned
is a ratio of 15 parts of air to 1 part of fuel by weight. The remaining
75 percent of the air is used to form an air blanket around the
burning gases and to lower the temperature. This temperature may
reach as high as 3500° F. By using 75 percent of the air for cooling,
the temperature operating range can be brought down to about half,
so the turbine section will not be destroyed by excessive heat. The
air used for burning is called primary air- and that for cooling is
secondary air. The secondary air is controlled and directed by holes
and louvers in the combustion chamber liner.

Igniter plugs function only during starting, being cut out of the
circuit as soon as combustion is self-supporting. On engine
shutdown, or, if the engine fails to start, the combustion chamber
drain valve, a pressure-actuated valve, automatically drains any
remaining unburned fuel from the combustion chamber. All
combustion chambers contain the same basic elements: a casing or
outer shell, a perforated inner liner or flame tube, fuel nozzles, and
some means of initial ignition. The combustion chamber must be of
light construction and is designed to burn fuel completely in a high
velocity airstream. The combustion chamber liner is an extremely
critical engine part because of the high temperatures of the flame.
The liner is usually constructed of welded high-nickel steel. The most
severe operating periods in combustion chambers are encountered in
the engine idling and maximum rpm ranges. Sustained operation
under these conditions must be avoided to prevent combustion
chamber liner failure.

• The annular-type combustion chamber shown in figure 1.18 is

used in engines of the axial-centrifugal-flow compressor
design. The annular combustion chamber permits building an
engine of a small and compact design. Instead of individual
combustion chambers, the primary compressed air is
introduced into an annular space formed by a chamber liner
around the turbine assembly. A space is left between the outer
liner wall and the combustion chamber housing to permit the
flow of secondary cooling air from the compressor. Primary air
is mixed with the fuel for combustion. Secondary (cooling) air
reduces the temperature of the hot gases entering the turbine
to the proper level by forming a blanket of cool air around
these hot gases.

Figure 1.18. Annular-type Combustion Chamber.

The annular combustion chamber offers the advantages of a larger

combustion volume per unit of exposed area and material weight, a
smaller exposed area resulting in lower pressure losses through the
unit, and less weight and complete pressure equalization.

• The can-type combustion chamber is one made up of individual

combustion chambers. This type of combustion chamber is so
arranged that air from the compressor enters each individual
chamber through the adapter. Each individual chamber is
composed of two cylindrical tubes, the combustion chamber
liner and the outer combustion chamber, shown in figure 1.19.
Combustion takes place within the liner. Airflow into the
combustion area is controlled by small louvers located in the
inner dome, and by round holes and elongated louvers along
the length of the liner. Airflow into the combustion area is
controlled by small louvers located in the inner dome, and by
round holes elongated louvers along the length of the liner.

Figure 1.19. Can-type Combustion Chamber (Cutaway).

Through these openings flows the air that is used in combustion and
cooling. This air also prevents carbon deposits from forming on the
inside of the liner. This is important, because carbon deposits can
block critical air passages and disrupt airflow along the liner walls
causing high metal temperatures and short burner life.

Ignition is accomplished during the starting cycle. The igniter plug is

located in the combustion liner adjacent to the start fuel nozzle. The
Army can-type engine employs a single can-type combustor.

• Can-annular combustion chamber. This combustion chamber

uses characteristics of both annular and can-type combustion
chambers. The can-annular combustion chamber consists of an
outer shell, with a number of individual cylindrical liners
mounted about the engine axis as shown in figure 1.20. The
combustion chambers are completely surrounded by the airflow
that enters the liners through various holes and louvers. This
air is mixed with fuel which has been sprayed under pressure
from the fuel nozzles. The fuel-air mixture is ignited by igniter
plugs, and the flame is then carried through the crossover
tubes to the remaining liners. The inner casing assembly is
both a support and a heat shield; also, oil lines run through it.

Figure 1.20. Can-Annular Combustion Chamber.


A portion of the kinetic energy of the expanding gases is extracted by

the turbine section, and this energy is transformed into shaft
horsepower which is used to drive the compressor and accessories.
In turboprop and turboshaft engines, additional turbine rotors are
designed to extract all of the energy possible from the remaining
gases to drive a powershaft.

• Types of turbines. Gas turbine manufacturers have

concentrated on the axial-flow turbine shown in figure 1.21.
This turbine is used in all gas-turbine-powered aircraft in the
Army today. However, some manufacturers are building
engines with a radial inflow turbine, illustrated in figure 1.22.
The radial inflow turbine has the advantage of ruggedness and
simplicity, and it is relatively inexpensive and easy to
manufacture when compared to the axial-flow turbine. The
radial flow turbine is similar in design and construction to the
centrifugal-flow compressor described in paragraph 1.19a.
Radial turbine wheels used for small engines are well suited for
a higher range of specific speeds and work at relatively high

Figure 1.21. Axial-flow Turbine Rotor.

Figure 1.22. Radial Inflow Turbine.

The axial-flow turbine consists of two main elements, a set of

stationary vanes followed by a turbine rotor. Axial-flow turbines may
be of the single-rotor or multiple-rotor type. A stage consists of two
main components: a turbine nozzle and a turbine rotor or wheel, as
shown in figure 1.21. Turbine blades are of two basic types, the
impulse and the reaction. Modern aircraft gas turbines use blades
that have both impulse and reaction sections, as shown in figure

Figure 1.23. Impulse-Reaction Turbine Blade.

The stationary part of the turbine assembly consists of a row of

contoured vanes set at a predetermined angle to form a series of
small nozzles which direct the gases onto the blades of the turbine
rotor. For this reason, the stationary vane assembly is usually called
the turbine nozzle, and the vanes are called nozzle guide vanes.

• Single-rotor turbine. Some gas turbine engines use a single-

rotor turbine, with the power developed by one rotor. This
arrangement is used on engines where low weight and
compactness are necessary. A single-rotor, single-stage turbine
engine is shown in figure 1.24, and a multiple-rotor, multiple-
stage turbine engine is shown in figure 1.25.

Figure 1.24. Single-rotor,Single-stage Turbine.

Figure 1.25. Multiple-rotor,Multiple-stage Turbine.

• Multiple-rotor turbine. In the multiple-rotor turbine the power

is developed by two or more rotors. As a general rule, multiple-
rotor turbines increase the total power generated in a unit of
small diameter. Generally the turbines used in Army aircraft
engines have multiple rotors. Figure 1.26 illustrates a
multistage, multiple-rotor turbine assembly.

Figure 1.26. Multirotor - Multistage Turbine.


The turbine rotor is one of the most highly stressed parts in the
engine. It operates at a temperature of approximately 1,700° F.
Because of the high rotational speeds, over 40,000 rpm for the
smaller engines, the turbine rotor is under severe centrifugal loads.
Consequently, the turbine disk is made of specially alloyed steel,

usually containing large percentages of chromium, nickel, and cobalt.
The turbine rotor assembly is made of two main parts, the disk and

Nozzle vanes may be either cast or forged. Some vanes are made
hollow to allow cooling air to flow through them. All nozzle
assemblies are made of very high-strength steel that withstands the
direct impact of the hot gases flowing from the combustion chamber.

The turbine blades are attached to the disk by using the "fir tree"
design, shown in figure 1.27, to allow for expansion between the disk
and the blade while holding the blade firmly to the disk against
centrifugal loads. The blade is kept from moving axially either by
rivets or special locking devices. Turbine rotors are of the open-tip
type as shown in figure 1.27, or the shroud type as shown in figure

Figure 1.28. Turbine Blade "Fir

Figure 1.27. Turbine Wheel Open Tree Root" Shroud.

The shroud acts to prevent gas losses over the blade tip and
excessive blade vibrations. Distortion under severe loads tends to
twist the blade toward low pitch, and the shroud helps to reduce this
tendency. The shrouded blade has an aerodynamic advantage in that
thinner blades can be used with the support of the shroud.
Shrouding, however, requires that the turbine run cooler or at
reduced rpm because of the extra mass at the tip.

Blades are forged or cast from alloy steel and machined and carefully
inspected before being certified for use. Manufacturers stamp a
"moment weight" number on the blade to retain rotor balance when
replacement is necessary. Turbine blade maintenance and
replacement are covered in a separate lesson.


On most gas turbine engines, fuel is introduced into the combustion
chamber through a fuel nozzle that creates a highly atomized and
accurately shaped spray of fuel suitable for rapid mixing and
combustion. Most engines use either the simplex or the duplex
nozzle. The exception to this is the Lycoming T53-L-11 engine which
uses vaporizer tubes in place of fuel nozzles. Each type of nozzle is
discussed in the following subparagraphs.

• Simplex nozzle. Figure 2.4 illustrates a typical simplex nozzle;

as its name implies, it is simpler in design than the duplex
nozzle. Its big disadvantage lies in the fact that a single orifice
cannot provide a satisfactory spray pattern with the changes in
fuel pressure.

• Duplex nozzle. Because the fuel-flow divider and the duplex

nozzle work hand in hand, the description of these units is
combined. The chief advantage of the duplex nozzle is its
ability to provide good fuel atomization and proper spray
pattern at all fuel pressures. For the duplex nozzle to work,
there must be a fuel-flow divider to separate the fuel into low
(primary) and high (secondary) pressure supplies. Single-entry
duplex nozzles have an internal flow divider and require only a
single fuel manifold, while, as shown in figure 2.5, dual-entry
fuel nozzles require a double fuel manifold. The flow divider,
whether self-contained in each nozzle, or installed separately
with the manifold, is usually a spring-loaded valve set to open
at a specific fuel pressure. When the pressure is below this
value, the flow divider directs fuel to the primary manifold.
Pressures above this value cause the valve to open and fuel is
allowed to flow in both manifolds. A fuel flow divider is shown
in figure 2.6. In addition, an air shroud surrounding the nozzle,
as shown in figure 2.7, cools the nozzle tip and improves
combustion by retarding the accumulation of carbon deposits
on the face. The shroud also helps to contain the flame in the
center of the liner.

5.3 Propeller types

There are four common families of propeller, which I will introduce

to you. They are fixed pitch, ground adjustable, in flight adjustable
and constant speed. The last two are both examples of variable pitch

What is pitch?

Propeller theory includes a variety of concepts that may at times be

called pitch. Pitch can refer to the blade angle with respect to a flat
plane, the distance that a propeller will advance through the air for

each rotation or the amount of "bite" that the blade has on the air.
Essentially these concepts all describe the same thing. To use our
automobile analogy, pitch is like the gear ratio of the gearbox. The
important thing to note with pitch, is that it is available in a wide
variety of degrees, or 'amounts', much like different gear ratios. To
demonstrate, consider the following examples:

• A fine pitch propeller has a low blade angle, will try to

move forward a small distance through the air with
each rotation, and will take a 'small' bite of the air. It
requires relatively low power to rotate, allowing high
propeller speed to be developed, but achieving only
limited airspeed. This is like having a low gear in your

• A coarse pitch propeller has a high blade angle, will try

to advance a long distance through the air with each
rotation, and will take a big 'bite' of the air. It requires
greater power to rotate, limiting the propeller speed
that can be developed, but achieving high airspeeds.
This is like having a high gear in your automobile.

Fixed Pitch Propeller

With a fixed pitch propeller, the pitch of the propeller is fixed

from manufacture. The performance of your aircraft is
determined on the day your propeller is fitted, and is going to
be limited within the constraints of the propeller. An analogy
with an automobile is as though you had only one gear. Often
when choosing a fixed pitch propeller for your aircraft,
manufacturers give you a choice of either a climb or a cruise
prop. A climb propeller has a relatively fine pitch and a cruise
propeller has a relatively coarse pitch. This is like a car
manufacturer giving you a choice of a low or a high gear. Either
you will be really slow off the mark, or your engine is going to
have to be red-lined to get anywhere at a reasonable speed.

Ground Adjustable Propeller

Many propellers manufactured and sold for ultralight and

experimental aircraft are ground adjustable. These propellers
have the advantage of being able to have their pitch set before
each flight if required, taking into account the type of flying
you intend to do. More usually however they are used as a low
cost way to try out various pitches and settle on the propeller
pitch that best suits your aircraft and your style of flying. This
can be compared to having a gearbox in your car that you can
only change before you set out on your journey.

Variable Pitch Propeller

With a variable pitch propeller, you really have choices. To use

the automobile analogy again, your car now has a real gearbox
that you can change gear with on the go. (I hope that your car
can do this at least!) In addition, rather than being limited to 4
or 5 gears, you can utilise any pitch along the continuum from
maximum to minimum. The pitch of the propeller may be
controlled in flight to provide improved performance in each
phase of flight. Typically you would take-off in a fine pitch (low
gear) allowing your engine to develop reasonable revs, before
increasing the pitch (change up gears) as you accelerated to
your cruising speed. You'll end up with the propeller at a
relatively coarse pitch, (high gear) allowing the miles to pass
beneath you at a rapid rate, while your engine is gently ticking
over at a comfortable speed.
This feature of a variable pitch propeller will provide you with
performance advantages, including:

• Reduced take-off roll and Improved climb

performance. Fine pitch allows the engine to
reach maximum speed and hence maximum
power at low air speeds. Vital for take-off, climb,
and for a go-around on landing.

• Improved fuel efficiency and greater range.

Coarse pitch allows the desired aircraft speed to
be maintained with a lower throttle setting and
slower propeller speed, so maintaining efficiency
and improving range.

• Higher top speed. Coarse pitch will ensure your

engine does not overspeed while the propeller
absorbs high power, producing a higher top

• Steeper descent and shorter landing roll. With a

fine pitch and low throttle setting, a slow turning
propeller is able to add to the aircraft's drag, so
slowing the aircraft quicker on landing.

Variable pitch propellers actually come in a variety of versions. These

different versions refer to the different ways that they are controlled,
and include:

• Two-position propeller.
• In flight adjustable propeller.

• Automatic propeller.
• Constant speed propeller.

A couple of these are now of historic interest only, so lets

concentrate on the two most common options these days; the in
flight adjustable operation and the constant speed propeller.

The in flight adjustable propeller allows the pilot to directly vary the
pitch of the propeller to the desired setting. Combined with the
throttle control, this control allows a wide variety of power settings
to be achieved. A range of airspeeds can be maintained while
keeping the engine speed within limits. While rare in larger aircraft,
the in flight adjustable propeller is the most common type of variable
pitch propeller that is encountered in sport aviation.

When operated in manual mode, the Airmaster propeller is an

example of an in flight adjustable propeller.

Constant Speed Propeller

The constant speed propeller is a special case of variable pitch, which

is considered in a family of its own, and offers particular operating

With constant speed control, the pitch of the variable pitch propeller
is changed automatically by a governor. After the pilot sets the
desired engine/propeller speed with the propeller speed control, the
governor acts to keep the propeller speed at the same value. If the
governor detects the propeller speed increasing, it increases the
pitch a little to bring the speed back within limits. If the governor
detects the propeller speed decreasing, it decreases the pitch a little
to bring the speed again back within limits. This operation may be
compared to an automatic gearbox in an automobile, where the
gears are changed automatically to keep the engine operating at a
reasonable speed.

(The governor or constant speed unit [CSU] may be an electronic

device which detects the rotational speed of a slip-ring incorporated
in the propeller hub and controls operation of a
servomotor/leadscrew pitch change actuator in the hub assembly: or
it may be an hydraulic fly-ball governor attached to the engine, using
engine oil to operate a hydraulic pitch change piston in the hub
assembly. In the first case the cockpit control device is likely to be
knobs and switches, in the hydraulic system the governor is likely to
be cable operated from a cockpit lever. . . . JB)

A constant speed propeller will automatically deliver you the

advantages outlined above for variable pitch propellers, with almost

no control required from the pilot. Once a propeller/engine speed is
selected, the pilot is able to control the power purely with the
throttle (actually controlling manifold pressure, which then
determines power output) and the controller will act to keep the
propeller/engine speed at the selected setting.

While allowing the pilot to ignore the propeller for most of the time,
the pilot must still choose the most appropriate engine/propeller
speed for the different phases of flight.

Take-off, go-around and landing. A high speed setting is used when

maximum power is needed for a short time such as on take-off. The
high speed setting may also be used to keep the propeller pitch low
during approach and landing, to provide the desired drag and be
ready for a go-around should it be required.

Climb and high speed cruise. A medium speed setting is used when
high power is needed on a continuous basis, such as during an
extended climb, or high speed cruise.

Economic cruise. A low speed setting is used for a comfortable cruise

with a low engine speed. This operation produces low fuel
consumption and longer range, while the advantages of low noise
and low engine wear are also enjoyed.

Special Pitch Modes

As well as the ability to vary the pitch of the propeller to optimise the
aircraft performance, some variable pitch propellers have some other
special modes of operation that can be very useful in certain

Feather. A feathering propeller can alter the pitch of the blades up to

almost 90 degrees. That is, the blade pitch is changed so that they
have their leading edge pointing right into the direction of flight,
offering minimum resistance to the airflow. This mode allows the
propeller rotation to be stopped, without adding excessive drag to
the aircraft. Feather may be used to improve the performance of the
aircraft after the failure of an engine, but more usually in light
aircraft it is used in motor glider applications. Here the engine is
used to gain altitude, before the engine is switched off, the propeller
feathered, and then gliding flight commenced.

Reverse. A reversing pitch propeller can alter the pitch of the blades
to a negative angle. That is, the blade pitch is changed so that they
have their leading edge pointing slightly opposite to the direction of
flight. This mode allows reverse thrust to be developed by the
propeller. In larger commuter and transport aircraft this feature is

often used to slow the aircraft rapidly after landing, but in
sport aircraft it is more usually used to enhance
manoeuvring on the ground. A popular application is in
seaplanes, where the ability to manoeuvre backwards, and
sometimes to reduce the thrust to nothing, is especially

5.4 Propeller theory

The forces. Propeller blades are constructed using aerofoil

sections to produce an aerodynamic force, in a similar
manner to a wing. Consequently the blades are subject to
the same aerodynamics – induced drag, parasite drag, wingtip
vortices, lift/drag ratios at varying aoa, pressure distribution
changing with aoa etc. There is a difference in application because, in
flight, the propeller has rotational velocity added to the translational
[forward] velocity thus the flight path of any blade section is a spiral
– a helical flight path.

The diagram at left represents a blade section in flight and rotating

around the shaft axis. Because of the different application it doesn't
serve much purpose to express the resultant aerodynamic force as
we would for a wing, with the components acting perpendicular (lift)
and parallel (drag) to that flight path, as in the upper figure. So we
represent the aerodynamic force component acting forward and
aligned with the aircraft's longitudinal axis as the thrust force, and
that component acting parallel to the direction of rotation as the
propeller torque force.

As you see in the lower figure the component of the lift acting in the
rotational plane has now been added to the drag to produce the
'propeller torque force' vector. The remaining forward acting portion
of lift is then the thrust. That is why propeller efficiency is usually no
greater than 80 – 85%, not all the lift can be used as thrust and the
propeller torque force consumes quite a bit of the shaft horse power.
The propeller torque and the engine torque will be in balance when
the engine is operating at constant rpm in flight.

There are other forces acting on the blades during flight, turning
moments that tend to twist the blades and centrifugal force for
example. The air inflow at the face of the propeller disc also affects
propeller dynamics.

Blade angle and pitch

Although all parts of the propeller, from the hub to the blade tips,
have the same forward velocity, the rotational velocity – and thus
the helical path of any blade station – will depend on its distance
from the hub centre. Consequently, unless adjusted, the angle of

attack, will vary along the length of the blade. Propellers
operate most efficiently when the aoa at each blade station
is consistent (and, for propeller efficiency, that giving the
best lift drag ratio) over most of the blade, so a twist is
built into the blades to achieve a more or less uniform aoa.

The blade angle is the angle the chord line of the aerofoil
makes with the propeller's rotational plane and is
expressed in degrees. Because of the twist the blade angle will vary
throughout its length so normally the standard blade angle is
measured at the blade station 75% of the distance from the hub
centre to the blade tip. The angle between the aerofoil chord line and
the helical flight path (the relative airflow) at the blade station is, of
course, the angle of attack and the angle between the helical flight
path and the rotational plane is the angle of advance or helix angle.
The aoa and helix angle vary with rotational and forward velocity.

The basic dimensions of propellers for light aircraft are usually stated
in the form of number of blades, diameter and pitch with the latter
values given in inches. e.g. 3 blade 64" × 38". The pitch referred to is
the geometric pitch which is calculated, for any blade station but
usually the 75% radius position, thus:

Geometric pitch = the circumference (2 π r) of the propeller disc at

the blade station multiplied by the tangent of the blade angle. Thus it
is the distance the propeller – and aircraft – would advance during
one revolution of the propeller if the blade section followed a path
extrapolated along the blade angle.
e.g. For a blade station 24 inches from the hub centre [0.75r] and a
14° blade angle, the circumference = 2 × 3.14 × 24 = 150 inches and
tangent 14° = 0.25. Thus the geometric pitch is 150 × 0.25 = 38
inches. Propellers are usually designed so that all blade stations have
much the same geometric pitch.

Designers may establish the ideal pitch of a propeller which is the

theoretical advance per revolution which would cause the blade
aerofoil to be at the zero lift aoa; thus it would generate no thrust
and, ignoring drag, is the theoretical maximum achievable aircraft

The velocity that the propeller imparts to the air flowing through its
disc is the slipstream and slip used to be described as the difference
between the velocity of the air behind the propeller ( i.e. accelerated
by the propeller) and that of the aircraft. Nowadays slip has several
interpretations, most being aerodynamically unsatisfactory, but you
might consider it to be the difference, expressed as a percentage,
between the ideal pitch and the advance per revolution when the the

propeller is working at maximum efficiency in conversion of engine
power to thrust power. Slip in itself is not a measure of propeller
efficiency; as stated previously propeller efficiency is the ratio of the
thrust power (thrust × aircraft velocity) output to the engine power

The runaway propeller

As a propeller system increases in complexity then the possibilities

for malfunction increase. A problem associated with constant speed
propellers is governor failure during flight which, in most
installations, will cause the propeller blades to default to a fine pitch
limit. This greatly reduces the load on the power plant, and the
engine will immediately overspeed, particularly if in a shallow dive.
The rpm of an overspeeding engine – sometimes referred to as a
'runaway prop' – will quickly go way past red-line rpm and, unless
immediate corrective action is taken, the engine is likely to self
destruct and/or the propeller blades depart the hub due to the
increased centrifugal force.

The corrective action is to immediately close the throttle and reduce

to minimum flight speed by pulling the nose up. (But see 'Recovery
from flight at excessive speed'). Once everything is settled down fly
slowly, consistent with the fine pitch setting, to a suitable airfield
using minimum throttle movements. (The constant speed propeller
fitted to a competition aerobatic aircraft usually defaults to the
coarse pitch limit to prevent overspeeding but an immediate landing
is required.)

Blade Face is the surface of the propeller blade that corresponds to

the lower surface of an airfoil.

Thrust Face is the curved surface of the airfoil.

Blade Shank (Root) is the section of the blade nearest the hub.
Blade Tip is the outer end of the blade fartest from the hub.
Plane of Rotation is an imaginary plane perpendicular to the shaft.
It is the plane that contains the circle in which the blades rotate.

Blade Angle is formed between the face of an element and the

plane of rotation. The blade angle throughout the length of the blade
is not the same. The reason for placing the blade element sections at
different angles is because the various sections of the blade travel at
different speed. Each element must be designed as part of the blade
to operate at its own best angle of attack to create thrust when
revolving at its best design speed

Blade Element are the airfoil sections joined side by side to form
the blade airfoil. These elements are placed at different angles in
rotation of the plane of rotation.
The reason for placing the blade element sections at different
angles is because the various sections of the blade travel at different
speeds. The inner part of the blade section travels slower than the
outer part near the tip of the blade. If all the elements along a blade
is at the same blade angle, the relative wind will not strike the
elements at the same angle of attack. This is because of the different
in velocity of the blade element due to distance from the center of
The blade has a small twist (due to different angle in each
section) in it for a very important reason. When the propeller is
spinning round, each section of the blade travel at different speed,
The twist in the peopeller blade means that each section advance
forward at the same rate so stopping the propeller from bending.
Thrust is produced by the propeller attached to the engine
driveshaft. While the propeller is rotating in flight, each section of
the blade has a motion that combines the forward motion of the
aircraft with circular movement of the propeller. The slower the
speed, the steeper the angle of attack must be to generate lift.
Therefore, the shape of the propeller's airfoil (cross section) must
chang from the center to the tips. The changing shape of the airfoil
(cross section) across the blade results in the twisting shape of the

Relative Wind is the air that strikes and pass over the airfoil as
the airfoil is driven through the air.
Angle of Attack is the angle between the chord of the element and
the relative wind. The best efficiency of the propeller is obtained at
an angle of attack around 2 to 4 degrees.
Blade Path is the path of the direction of the blade element

Pitch refers to the distance a spiral threaded object moves

forward in one revolution. As a wood screw moves forward when
turned in wood, same with the propeller move forward when turn in
the air.
Geometric Pitch is the theoritical distance a propeller would
advance in one revolution.

Effective Pitch is the actual distance a propeller advances in one
revolution in the air. The effective pitch is always shorter than
geometric pitch due to the air is a fluid and always slip.
Forces and stresses acting on a propeller in flight
The forces acting on a propeller in flight are :
1. Thrust is the air force on the propeller which is parallel to the
directionof advance and induce bending stress in the propeller.
2. Centrifugal force is caused by rotation of the propeller and
tends to throw the blade out from the center.
3. Torsion or Twisting forces in the blade itself, caused by the
resultant of air forces which tend to twist the blades toward a lower
blade angle.

The stress acting on a propeller in flight are :

1. Bending stresses are induced by the trust forces. These
stresses tend to bend the blade forward as the airplane is moved
through the air by the propeller.
2. Tensile stresses are caused by centrifugal force.
3. Torsion stresses are produced in rotating propeller blades by
two twisting moments. one of these stresses is caused by the air
reaction on the blades and is called the aerodynamic twisting
moment. The another stress is caused by centrifugal force and is
called the centrifugal twisting moment.
Control and Operation (page 1)
Propeller Control
basic requirement: For flight operation, an engine is demanded to
deliver power within a relatively narrow band of operating rotation
speeds. During flight, the speed-sensitive governor of the propeller
automatically controls the blade angle as required to maintain a
constant r.p.m. of the engine.
Three factors tend to vary the r.p.m. of the engine during
operation. These factors are power, airspeed, and air density. If the
r.p.m. is to maintain constant, the blade angle must vary directly
with power, directly with airspeed, and inversely with air density.
The speed-sensitive governor provides the means by which the
propeller can adjust itself automatically to varying power and flight
conditions while converting the power to thrust.
Fundamental Forces : Three fundamental forces are used to
control blade angle . These forces are:
1. Centrifugal twisting moment, centrifugal force acting on a
rotating blade which tends at all times to move the blade into low
2. Oil at engine pressure on the outboard piston side, which
supplements the centrifugal twisting moment toward low pitch.
3. Propeller Governor oil on the inboard piston side, which
balances the first two forces and move the blades toward high pitch
Counterweight assembly (this is only for counterweight
propeller) which attached to the blades , the centrifugal forces of the
counterweight will move the blades to high pitch setting
Constant Speed, Counterweight Propellers
The Counterweight type propeller may be used to operate either as a
controllable or constant speed propeller. The hydraulic
counterweight propeller consists of a hub assembly, blade assembly,
cylinder assembly, and counterweight assembly.
The counterweight assembly on the propeller is attached to
the blades and moves with them. The centrifugal forces obtained
from rotating counterweights move the blades to high angle setting.
The centrifugal force of the counterweight assembly is depended on
the rotational speed of the propellers r.p.m. The propeller blades
have a definite range of angular motion by an adjusting for high and
low angle on the counterweight brackets.
Controllable : the operator will select either low blade angle or

high blade angle by two-way valve which permits engine oil to flow
into or drain from the propeller.

Constant Speed : If an engine driven governor is used, the

propeller will operate as a constant speed. The propeller and engine
speed will be maintained constant at any r.p.m. setting within the
operating range of the propeller.

Governor Operation (Constant speed with counterweight ) the

Governor supplies and controls the flow of oil to and from the
propeller. The engine driven governor receives oil from the engine
lubricating system and boost its pressure to that required to operate
the pitch-changing mechanism. It consists essentially of :
1. A gear pump to increase the pressure of the engine oil to the
pressure required for propeller operation.
2. A relief valve system which regulates the operating pressure in
the governor.
3. A pilot valve actuated by flyweights which control the flow of
oil through the governor
4. The speeder spring provides a mean by which the initial load
on the pilot valve can be changed through the rack and pulley
arrangement which controlled by pilot.
The governor maintains the required balance between all three
control forces by metering to, or drain from, the inboard side of the
propeller piston to maintain the propeller blade angle for constant
speed operation.

The governor operates by means of flyweights which control the
position of a pilot valve. When the propeller r.p.m. is below that for
which the governor is set through the speeder spring by pilot , the
governor flyweight move inward due to less centrifugal force act on
flyweight than compression of speeder spring. If the propeller r.p.m.
is higher than setting , the flyweight will move outward due to
flyweight has more centrifugal force than compression of speeder
spring . During the flyweight moving inward or outward , the pilot
valve will move and directs engine oil pressure to the propeller
cylinder through the engine propeller shaft.

Principles of Operation (Constant Speed with Counterweight

The changes in the blades angle of a typical constant speed with
counterweight propellers are accomplished by the action of two
forces, one is hydraulic and the other is mechanical.
1. The cylinder is moved by oil flowing into it and opposed by
centrifugal force of counterweight. This action moves the
counterweight and the blades to rotate toward the low angle positon.
2. When the oil allowed to drain from the cylinder , the
centrifugal force of counterweights take effect and the blades are
turned toward the high angle position.
3. The constant speed control of the propeller is an engine driven
governor of the flyweight type
Control and Operation (page 2)
Governor Operation Condition
On-Speed Condition

The on-speed condition exists when the propeller operation
speed are constant . In this condition, the force of the flyweight (5)
at the governor just balances the speeder spring (3) force on the
pilot valve (10) and shutoff completely the line (13) connecting to
the propeller , thus preventing the flow of oil to or from the

The pressure oil from the pump is relieved through the relief valve
(6). Because the propeller counterweight (15) force toward high
pitch is balanced by the oil force from cylinder (14) is prevented from
moving, and the propeller does not chang pitch
Under-Speed Condition
The under-speed condition is the result of change in engine r.p.m.
or propeller r.p.m.which the r.p.m. is tend to lower than setting or
governor control movement toward a high r.p.m. Since the force of
the flyweight (5) is less than the speeder spring (3) force , the pilot
valve (10) is forced down. Oil from the booster pump flows through
the line (13) to the propeller. This forces the cylinder (14) move
outward , and the blades (16) turn to lower pitch, less power is
required to turn the propeller which inturn increase the engine r.p.m.
As the speed is increased, the flyweight force is increased also and
becomes equal to the speeder spring force. The pilot valve is move
up, and the governor resumes its on-speed condition which keep the
engine r.p.m. constant.

Over-Speed Condition
The over-speed condition which occurs when the aircraft altitude
change or engine power is increased or engine r.p.m. is tend to
increase and the governor control is moved towards a lower r.p.m. In
this condition, the force of the flyweight (5) overcomes the speeder
spring (3) force and raise the pilot valve (10) open the propeller line
(13) to drain the oil from the cylinder (14). The counterweight (15)
force in the propeller to turn the blades towards a higher pitch. With
a higher pitch, more power is required to turn the propeller which
inturn slow down the engine r.p.m. As the speed is reduced, the
flyweight force is reduced also and becomes equal to the speeder
spring force. The pilot valve is lowered, and the governor resumes its
on-speed condition which keep the engine r.p.m. constant.

Flight Operation
This is just only guide line for understanding . The engine or aircraft
manufacturers' operating manual should be consulted for each
particular aircrat.
Takeoff : Placing the governor control in the full forward position
. This position is setting the propeller blades to low pitch angle
Engine r.p.m. will increase until it reaches the takeoff r.p.m. for
which the governor has been set. From this setting , the r.p.m. will
be held constant by the governor, which means that full power is
available during takeoff and climb.
Cruising : Once the crusing r.p.m. has been set , it will be held
constant by the governor. All changes in attitude of the aircraft,
altitude, and the engine power can be made without affecting the
r.p.m. as long as the blades do not contact the pitch limit stop.
Power Descent : As the airspeed increase during descent, the
governor will move the propeller blades to a higher pitch inorder to
hold the r.p.m. at the desired value.
Approach and Landing : Set the governor to its maximum cruising
r.p.m. position during approach. During landing, the governor control
should be set in the high r.p.m. position and this move the blades to
full low pitch angle.
Control and Operation (page 3)
Hydromatic Propellers

Basic Operation Principles : The pitch changing mechanism of
hydromatic propeller is a mechanical-hydraulic system in which
hydraulic forces acting upon a piston are transformed into
mechanical forces acting upon the blades.

Piston movement causes rotation of cam which incorporates a bevel

gear (Hamilton Standard Propeller) . The oil forces which act upon
the piston are controled by the governor
Single Acting Propeller: The governor directs its pump output
against the inboard side of piston only, A single acting propeller uses
a single acting governor. This type of propeller makes use of three
forces during constant speed operation , the blades centrifugal
twisting moment and this force tends at all times to move the blades
toward low pitch , oil at engine pressure applied against the
outboard side of the propeller piston and this force to supplement
the centrifugal twisting moment toward the low pitch during
constant speed operation., and oil from governor pressure applied
against the inboard side of the piston . The oil pressure from
governor was boosted from the engine oil supply by governor pump
and the force is controlled by metering the high pressure oil to or
draining it from the inboard side of the propeller piston which
balances centrifugal twisting moment and oil at the engine pressure.
Double Acting Propeller: The governor directs its output either
side of the piston as the operating condition required. Double acting
propeller uses double acting governor. This type of propeller , the
governor pump output oil is directed by the governor to either side of
the propeller piston.

Principle Operation of Double Acting :
Overspeed Condition : When the engine speed increases above
the r.p.m. for which the governor is set . Oil supply is boosted in
pressure by thr engine driven propeller governor , is directed against
the inboard side of the propeller piston. The piston and the attached
rollers move outboard. As the piston moves outboard , cam and
rollers move the propeller blades toward a higher angle , which
inturn, decreases the engine r.p.m.
Underspeed Condition : When the engine speed drops below the
r.p.m. for which the governor is set. Force at flyweight is decrease
and permit speeder spring to lower pilot valve, thereby open the oil
passage allow the oil from inboard side of piston to drain through the
governor. As the oil from inboard side is drained , engine oil from
engine flows through the propeller shaft into the outboard piston
end. With the aid of blade centrifugal twisting moment, The engine
oil from outboard moves the piston inboard. The piston motion is
transmitted through the cam and rollers . Thus, the blades move to
lower angle
The Feathering System
Feathering : For some basic model consists of a feathering pump,
reservoir, a feathering time-delay switch, and a propeller feathering
light. The propeller is feathered by moving the control in the cockpit
against the low speed stop. This causes the pilot vave lift rod in the
governor to hold the pilot valve in the decrease r.p.m. position
regardless of the action of the governor flyweights. This causes the
propeller blades to rotate through high pitch to the feathering

Some model is initiated by depressing the feathering button. This
action, auxiliary pump, feather solinoid, which positions the
feathering valve to tranfer oil to feathering the propeller. When the
propeller has been fully feathered, oil pressure will buildup and
operate a pressure cutout switch which will cause the auxiliary pump
stop. Feathering may be also be accomplished by pulling the engine
emergency shutdown handle or switch to the shutdown position.
Unfeathering : Some model is accomblished by holding the feathering
buttn switch in the out position for about 2 second . This creates an
artificial underspeed condition at the governor and causes high-
pressure oil from the feathering pump to be directed to the rear of
the propeller piston. As soon as the piston has moved inward a short
distance, the blades will have sufficient angle to start rotation of the
engine. When this occurs , the un-feathering switch can be released
and the governor will resume control of the propeller.

To move an airplane through the air, thrust is generated by some kind of propulsion
system. Beginning with the Wright brothers' first flight, many airplanes have used
internal combustion engines to turn propellers to generate thrust. Today, most general
aviation or private airplanes are powered by internal combustion (IC) engines, much
like the engine in your family automobile. When discussing engines, we must consider
both the mechanical operation of the machine and the thermodynamic processes that
enable the machine to produce useful work. On this page we consider the
thermodynamics of a four-stroke IC engine.

To understand how a propulsion system works, we must study the basic

thermodynamics of gases. Gases have various properties that we can observe with our
senses, including the gas pressure p, temperature T, mass, and volume V that contains
the gas. Careful, scientific observation has determined that these variables are related
to one another, and the values of these properties determine the state of the gas. A
thermodynamic process, such as heating or compressing the gas, changes the values of
the state variables in a manner which is described by the laws of thermodynamics. The
work done by a gas and the heat transferred to a gas depend on the beginning and
ending states of the gas and on the process used to change the state. It is possible to
perform a series of processes, in which the state is changed during each process,
282 but
the gas eventually returns to its original state. Such a series of processes is called a
cycle and forms the basis for understanding engine operation.
Centrifugal force

• Causes the greatest stress

• Tends to pull the blades from the hub
• The greater the RPM, the greater the stress

1. Thrust bending force

Bends the blade forward at the tips due to high thrust and thin
blade cross section
2. Torque bending force

o Tends to bend the blade back against the direction of

o Not significant unless you are considering the power
pulses of a recip engine.

3. Aerodynamic twisting moment (ATM)

o Tends to twist blade to a higher blade angle

o Caused because center of lift is ahead of center of
o More apparent at higher angles of attack, and is used by
some design to aid in feathering. (Center of lift moves
forward as angle of attack increases.)

4. Centrifugal twisting moment (CTM)

o Tends to decrease blade angle

o Caused by all parts of a rotating mass attempting to move
in the same plane of rotation
o Stronger force than ATM
o Used on some designs to decrease blade angle

Vibrational force

• During operation, aerodynamic and mechanical forces are

present setting up blade vibrations. These blade vibrations
cause the blades to flex which, in turn, causes work hardening
and metal fatigue.
• Aerodynamic forces cause vibrations primarily at the tip where
transonic speeds occur. (example: 72" prop. 2850 RPM-tip
velocity is 610 mph)
• Mechanical vibrations are induced by engine power pulses
o This is more detrimental than aerodynamic vibrations

o Engine-induced vibration is from power pulse from
o This vibration tends to bend the blades back and forth.
The blades can withstand this, unless something happens
to increase the force acting on it.
o Recognized causes are:
1. Rough running engine
2. Over speed
3. Over boost or excessive M.P.
4. Surface damage
5. Unacceptable straightening
6. Continued operation at an unfavorable RPM
• A Prop is like tuning fork. It has natural vibration frequencies,
which are determined by shape and thickness of blade.
o If engine vibrations coincide with prop frequency, a
situation called resonance peak occurs.
o Resonance peak can be so excessive that if continued,
prop will fail.
o Resonance peak can cause tip to vibrate over a gap of
several inches.
o Designers fine tune and match prop to engine and
o Red band on tachometer indicates RPM range of
unfavorable resonance. Don't operate in red band. May be
deceptively smooth or quiet. Tachometer inaccuracy can
lead to problems here.
o Engineers attempt to design prop so that these resonance
peaks occur outside of the engine operating range. This is
why it is critical that only approved prop, engine and
airframe combinations be used

Properties of jet fuel

Fluidity Obviously, jet fuel must be able to flow freely from fuel
tanks in the wings to the engine through an aircraft's fuel system.
Fluidity is a general term that deals with the ability of a substance to
flow, but it is not a defined physical property. Viscosity and freezing
point are the physical properties used to quantitatively characterize
the fluidity of jet fuel.
Jet fuel is exposed to very low temperatures both at altitude –
especially on polar routes in wintertime – and on the ground at

locations subject to cold weather extremes. The fuel must retain its
fluidity at these low temperatures or fuel flow to the engines will be
reduced or even stop.

Viscosity Viscosity is a measure of a liquid's resistance to flow

under pressure, generated either by gravity or a mechanical source.
"Thin" liquids, like water or gasoline, have low viscosities; "thick"
liquids, like maple syrup or motor oil, have higher viscosities. The
viscosity of a liquid increases as its temperature decreases.

Jet fuel at high pressure is injected into the combustion section of

the turbine engine through nozzles. This system is designed to
produce a fine spray of fuel droplets that evaporate quickly as they
mix with air. The spray pattern and droplet size are influenced by
fuel viscosity. If it is too high, an engine can be difficult to relight in
flight. For this reason, jet fuel specifications place an upper limit on

Fuel viscosity influences the pressure drop in the fuel system lines.
Higher viscosities result in higher line pressure drops, requiring the
fuel pump to work harder to maintain a constant fuel flow rate. Fuel
viscosity also influences the performance of the fuel system control

Freezing Point Because it is a mixture of more than a thousand

individual hydrocarbons, each with its own freezing point, jet fuel
does not become solid at one temperature the way water does. As
the fuel is cooled, the hydrocarbon components with the highest
freezing points solidify first, forming wax crystals. Further cooling
causes hydrocarbons with lower freezing points to solidify. Thus, the
fuel changes from a homogenous liquid, to a liquid containing a few
hydrocarbon (wax) crystals, to a slush of fuel and hydrocarbon
crystals, and, finally, to a near-solid block of hydrocarbons. The
freezing point of jet fuel is defined as the temperature at which the
last wax crystal melts, when warming a fuel that has previously been
cooled until wax crystals form. Thus the freezing point of fuel is well
above the temperature at which it completely solidifies.

The primary criterion for fuel system performance is pumpability –

the ability to move fuel from the fuel tank to the engine. Pumpability
is influenced both by fuel fluidity and fuel system design. In lieu of a
fuel system flow simulation test, the industry uses freezing point as
an indicator of a fuel's low-temperature pumpability. Jet fuel
typically remains pumpable approximately 4ºC to 15ºC (8ºF to 27ºF)
below its freezing point.1

The U.S. Air Force is evaluating the use of additives that may prevent
the formation of large wax crystals that are responsible for reduced

fuel flow.

Volatility Volatility is a fuel's tendency to vaporize. Two physical

properties are used to characterize fuel volatility: vapor pressure and
distillation profile. A more volatile fuel has a higher vapor pressure
and lower initial distillation temperatures.

Volatility is important because a fuel must vaporize before it can

burn. However, too high a volatility can result in evaporative losses
or fuel system vapor lock.

Volatility is one of the major differences between kerosene-type and

wide-cut jet fuel. Kerosene-type jet fuel is relatively non-volatile. It
has a Reid vapor pressure2 of about 1 kiloPascal (kPa)[0.14 pound
per square inch (psi)]. Wide-cut jet fuel has a Reid vapor pressure as
high as 21 kPa (3 psi).

Wide-cut jet fuel is better suited for cold weather applications

because it has a lower viscosity and freezing point than kerosene-
type jet fuel. In such applications, evaporative losses are less of a

Non-corrosivity Jet fuel contacts a variety of materials during

distribution and use. It is essential that the fuel not corrode any of
these materials, especially those in aircraft fuel systems. Typically,
fuel tanks are aluminum, but fuel systems also contain steel and
other metals. Fuel tanks may also have sealants or coatings, and
elastomers are used in other sections of the fuel system. Engine and
airframe manufacturers conduct extensive fuel compatibility testing
before approving a material for fuel system use.

Corrosive compounds potentially present in jet fuel include organic

acids and mercaptans. The specifications limit these classes of
compounds. By-products of microbial growth also can be corrosive
(see Microbial Growth).

Contamination from trace amounts of sodium, potassium, and other

alkali metals in the fuel can cause corrosion in the turbine section of
the engine.

Four-stroke cycle

The Otto cycle is characterized by four strokes, or straight

movements alternately, back and forth, of a piston inside a cylinder:

1. intake (induction) stroke

2. compression stroke

3. power (combustion) stroke
4. exhaust stroke

The cycle begins at top dead centre (TDC), when the piston is
furthest away from the crankshaft. On the first stroke (intake) of the
piston, a mixture of fuel and air is drawn into the cylinder through
the intake (inlet) port. The intake (inlet) valve (or valves) then
close(s) and the following stroke (compression) compresses the
fuel-air mixture.

The air-fuel mixture is then ignited, usually by a spark plug for a

gasoline or Otto cycle engine or by the heat and pressure of
compression for a Diesel cycle or compression ignition engine, at
approximately the top of the compression stroke. The resulting
expansion of burning gases then forces the piston downward for the
third stroke (power) and the fourth and final stroke (exhaust)
evacuates the spent exhaust gases from the cylinder past the then-
open exhaust valve or valves, through the exhaust port.

Valve timing

In its original configuration, the four-stroke engine relies entirely on

the piston's motion to draw in fuel and air (naturally aspirated
engine) and to force out the exhaust gasses. As the piston descends
on the intake (inlet) stroke, the increasing volume within the
cylinder causes a partial vacuum which draws in the air/fuel mixture.
This relies on atmospheric pressure. The intake valve then closes, the
piston ascends, and the mixture is compressed and ignited, causing
the piston to descend again. As the exhaust valve opens, the piston
ascends once more and forces the exhaust gases out. This was the
technique used in early four-stroke engines. It was soon discovered,
however, that at rotational speeds approaching 100 revolutions per
minute (RPM) or greater, the exhaust gasses could not change
direction quickly enough to exit past the exhaust valve by the
piston's motion alone.

At high rotational speeds, consistent flow through the intake and

exhaust ports is maintained by allowing the intake and exhaust
valves to be open simultaneously at top dead center (known as valve
overlap). The momentum of the exhausting gas maintains the
outward flow and creates a suction effect on the cylinder known as
scavenging, helping to draw the intake charge into the cylinder. In
order to retain efficiency, however, the exhaust valve must be closed
soon enough so that too much fuel/air mixture from the intake port
is not drawn into the engine's exhaust, wasting fuel. In a high-power
situation such as racing, where high engine speeds and forced
induction are common, this wasted fuel charge can serve to cool the
exhaust valve and prevent detonation.

After ignition of the fuel/air charge, as the piston approaches bottom
dead center, combustion slows. Just before the charge is finished
burning, the exhaust valve is opened at approximately twenty
degrees of crankshaft rotation before bottom dead centre (BDC). This
allows the still expanding gas inside the cylinder to push out through
the exhaust port, starting exhaust flow and giving the exhaust flow
momentum. Though a small amount of force is lost through the
exhaust port that could be driving the piston, the force that the
piston must exert on the gas to exhaust them from the cylinder is
reduced, resulting in increased efficiency.

Exhaust systems in many situations are a compromise between cost

of production, optimum flow, low emissions, and low noise levels.
Also, exhaust gas must be kept away from the air that the engine's
driver or pilot or operator breathes. Restrictions in an exhaust
system, including emissions equipment, mufflers, and simple exhaust
tubing can restrict proper exhaust flow. In multi-cylinder
applications, in which many cylinders share a common exhaust pipe,
pressure waves created by cylinders exhausting gas can impede flow
of exhaust from other cylinders. Since this prevents exhaust gas
from exiting the cylinder, the overlap of the intake valve can result in
reversion, when exhaust gas enters the intake port. The internal
pressure problems due to a multi-cylinder engine sharing a common
intake plenum can be overcome by using a carburetor or injector for
each cylinder.

Accomplishing maximum volumetric efficiency for a given engine is

not a formulaic process. Variables such as flow rates , overlap, valve
lift, porting specifications and the location of valve events create a
large set of variables. Different intake and exhaust equipment is
tested at different speeds and loads, and the end result is usually a
compromise between power, emissions, and cost, except in
situations where maximum power is desired regardless of cost or
emissions (such as racing.) The new volumetric efficiency and valve
run are in animations

[edit] Valve train

The valves are typically operated by a camshaft, which is a rod with a

series of projecting cams (lobes), each with a carefully calculated
profile designed to push the valve open by the required degree at the
right moment and to hold it open as required as the camshaft
rotates. Between the valve stem and the cam is a tappet, a cam
follower, which accommodates variations in the line of contact of the
cam. The location of the camshaft varies, as does the quantities.
Some engines have overhead cams, or even dual overhead cams, as
in the illustration below, in which the camshaft(s) directly actuate(s)
the valves through a tappet. This design is typically capable of higher

engine speeds due to fewer moving parts in the valve train. In other
engine designs, the cam shaft is placed in the crankcase and its
motion transmitted by a push rod, rocker arms, and valve stems.

Valve clearance adjustment

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Wikipedia's guide to writing better articles for suggestions.

The valve clearance refers to the small gap between the valve lifter
and the valve stem (or the rocker arm and the valve stem) that acts
as an expansion joint in the valve train. Less expensive engines have
the valve clearance set by grinding the end of the valve stem during
engine assembly and is not adjustable afterwards. More expensive
engines have an adjustable valve clearance although the clearance
must be inspected periodically and adjusted if required. Incorrect
valve clearance will adversely affect running of the engine and may
result in burned valves and engine damage.

If the valve clearance is too wide the engine will be noisy and can
also cause undue wear to the camshaft and valve lifter contact areas.
The pushrods can also bend. If the clearance becomes wide enough
valve timing will be changed and the result will be poor engine
performance. If the valve clearance is too narrow it can cause

A narrow valve clearance will not allow for heat expansion and will
result in the failure of the valve to close on its seat. This results in
the failure of the combustion chamber to seal and thus poor
compression and power. The valve will also become hot and it can

Some valve clearances are adjusted when the engine is cold, others
when the engine is hot, according to manufacturer specifications.
Some engines have different clearances on the exhaust and intake
valves. Since the exhaust valves become hotter they will expand
more so the exhaust valves will normally have the larger of the two

Valve clearance is measured when the piston is at Top Dead Centre

of the compression stroke as then all the cylinder's valves are in the
closed position. The valve lifter will be resting on the heel of the cam

Overhead engines adjust the valve clearance with an adjustable

rocker arm or by placing shims between the can follower and the

valve stem. With the valve cover removed a feeler gauge in
accordance with the specification must pass through the clearance
space. If the feeler gauge will not fit in, then the clearance is too
small. If the blade of the feeler gauge fits in too loose then the
clearance is too big. The feeler gauge should fit in and out with a
slight drag.

Most modern engines have hydraulic valve lifters that do not need
any valve clearance to be set.

Brake horsepower (bhp)

Brake horsepower (bhp) is the measure of an engine's horsepower

without the loss in power caused by the gearbox, generator,
differential, water pump and other auxiliaries. Thus the prefix
"brake" refers to where the power is measured: at the engine's
output shaft, as on an engine dynamometer. The actual horsepower
delivered to the driving wheels is less. An engine would have to be
retested to obtain a rating in another system. The term "brake"
refers to the use of a band brake to measure torque during the test
(which is multiplied by the engine speed in revs/sec and the
circumference of the band to give the power).

Shaft horsepower (shp)

Shaft horsepower is the power delivered to the propellor shaft of a

ship or turboprop airplane. This may be measured, or estimated from
the indicated horsepower given a standard figure for the losses in
the transmission (typical figures are around 10%). This metric is
uncommon in the automobile industry, through drivetrain losses can
be significant.

[edit] Effective horsepower (ehp)

Effective horsepower is the power converted to useful work. In the

case of a vehicle this is the power actually turned into forward

In automobiles, effective horsepower is often referred to as wheel

horsepower. Most automotive dynamometers measure wheel
horsepower and then apply a conversion factor to calculate net or
brake horsepower at the engine. Wheel horsepower will often be 5-
15% lower than the bhp ratings because of a loss through the

Labyrinth seal

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For more uses of the word labyrinth, see Labyrinth

A simple labyrinth seal

A labyrinth seal is a mechanical seal that fits around a shaft to

prevent the leakage of oil or other fluids.

A labyrinth seal is composed of many straight threads that press

tightly inside another shaft, or stationary hole, so that the fluid has
to pass through a long and difficult path to escape. Sometimes
'threads' exist on the outer and inner portion. These interlock, to
produce the long characteristic path to slow leakage. For labyrinth
seals on a rotating shaft, a very small clearance must exist between
the tips of the labyrinth threads and the running surface.

Labyrinth seals on rotating shafts provide non-contact sealing action

by controlling the passage of fluid through a variety of chambers by
centrifugal motion, as well as by the formation of controlled fluid
vortices. At higher speeds, centrifugal motion forces the liquid
towards the outside and therefore away from any passages.
Similarly, if the labyrinth chambers are correctly designed, any liquid
that has escaped the main chamber, becomes entrapped in a
labyrinth chamber, where it is forced into a vortex-like motion. This
acts to prevents its escape, and also acts to repel any other fluid.
Because these labyrinth seals are non-contact, they do not wear out.

Turbines use labyrinth seals due to the lack of friction, which is

necessary for high rotational speeds.

Labyrinth seals are also found on pistons, which use them to store oil
and seal against combustion explosions, as well as on other non-
rotating shafts. In these applications, it is the long and difficult path
and the formation of controlled fluid vortices plus some limited
contact-sealing action that creates the seal.