Different Parts Used For Aircraft Construction
While there are a great number of aircraft types that range from small personal trainers to large military transports, there are many core aircraft components that may be found across most fixed-wing aircraft regardless of type. Often, these include major components such as the fuselage, wings, engines, and other primary structures and systems that provide for heavier-than-air flight. As aircraft undergo heavy stressors during operations, it is important that such components are engineered to withstand the loads that they must endure, all while remaining as light as possible.
When constructing aircraft fuselages, or the body of the aircraft, the most common styles that are used include truss, monocoque, and stressed skin. Truss fuselage construction comes in the form of a rigid framework composed of members to mitigate deformation from loads. To protect the structure, fabrics are often used to cover the truss frame. While welded steel tubing is the most common material used for truss construction, aluminum is also popular. For monocoque aircraft fuselages, frames, bulkheads, and formers are implemented to bear loads with the strength of the skin or covering. The stressed skin fuselage, also referred to as semi-monocoque construction, is similar to monocoque construction, though differs in its use of longerons to increase tension and compression resistance. With stressed skin, a combination of the truss and monocoque forms is made.
When constructing aircraft wings, it is critical that they too can withstand the immense stressors that they are subjected to during flight, often in the form of bending and twisting loads. While aircraft wings may differ in their materials and direction depending on application, they may also vary in their number. Biplanes are those that utilize two pairs of wings that are placed one on top of the other, and they provide great rigidity and strong construction. Braced monoplanes are common to high-wing type aircraft, and they utilize struts connected to the fuselage to prove structural support. The last type of aircraft wing design comes in the form of cantilever wings, which are similar to braced monoplanes but are devoid of outer bracing.
No matter the design and construction that is chosen for a given aircraft, it must utilize some power source to be capable of sustained, heavier-than-air flight. Across all aircraft types, the most common engines include the turboprop, turbojet, turboshaft, turbofan, and ramjet engines. While the gas aircraft turbine engine serves many current and early aircraft, we have since seen the rise of multiple new types that come in many shapes and sizes, each providing either own benefits and drawbacks to their respective aircraft types. While many aircraft engine types may differ from each other, they all provide for the common goal of generating mechanical power to produce propulsion. Currently, the lightweight piston engine and gas aircraft turbine engine types serve as the most popular choice for implementation.