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Student Resource

Subject B-6b:
Aircraft Hardware

Copyright 2008 Aviation Australia


All rights reserved. No part of this document may be reproduced, transferred, sold, or
otherwise disposed of, without the written permission of Aviation Australia.

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B-6b Aircraft Hardware

Part-66 Subject

CONTENTS
Definitions

Study Resources

Introduction

Aircraft Fastening Devices

6.5-1

Springs

6.7-1

Bearings

6.8-1

Transmissions

6.9-1

Control Cables

6.10-1

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DEFINITIONS
Define

To describe the nature or basic qualities of.

To state the precise meaning of (a word or sense of a word).

State

Specify in words or writing.

To set forth in words; declare.

Identify

To establish the identity of.

Itemise.

List
Describe

Represent in words enabling hearer or reader to form an idea of an object or process.

To tell the facts, details, or particulars of something verbally or in writing.

Explain

Make known in detail.

Offer reason for cause and effect.

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STUDY RESOURCES
Jeppesen General
Jeppesen Airframe
AC 43.13-1B/ AC 43.13-2A Combined Aircraft Inspection and Repair
B-6b Student Handout
Dale Crane Aviation Mechanic Handbook

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INTRODUCTION
The purpose of this subject is to familiarise you with aircraft hardware, fastening and locking
devices, gears, bearing an transmissions..
On completion of the following topics you will be able to:
Topic 6.5.1

Fasteners - Screw Threads


List types of standard screw threads used in aircraft and identify their thread forms,
dimensions and tolerances.
Describe measuring of screw threads.

Topic 6.5.2

Fasteners - Bolts, Studs and Screws


Identify various types of aircraft bolts and machine screws by specification, markings
and international standards.
Identify and describe the following nut types:

self locking

anchor

standard

Identify types of studs and describe their uses and methods of insertion and removal.
Identify types of self tapping screws.
State the purpose of dowels and describe their application.

Topic 6.5.3

Fasteners - Locking Devices


Identify and state the purpose of the following locking devices:

Topic 6.7

tab and spring washers

locking plates

split pins

pal-nuts

wire locking

quick release fasteners

keys, circlips and cotter pins.

Springs
Identify various types of springs and list materials used in their construction.
State characteristics of springs and list their applications.

Topic 6.8

Bearings
Identify various bearings types and state their purpose.
Define bearing application, loads and materials used in their construction.

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Topic 6.9

Transmissions
Identify gear types and list their application
State the purpose of the following

Gear Ratios.

Reduction and multiplication gear systems.

Driven and driving gears.

Idler gears.

Mesh patterns.

Identify belts, pulleys, chains and sprockets and describe their application.

Topic 6.10

Control Cables
Identify cable types and define the purpose of the following associated components:

End fittings, turnbuckles and compensation devises.

Pulleys and cable systems

Bowden cable and flexible control systems

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TOPIC 6.5.1 AIRCRAFT FASTENING DEVICES


Aircraft hardware is the term used to describe various types of fasteners and miscellaneous
small items used in the manufacture and repair of aircraft. The safe and efficient operation of
any aircraft is greatly dependent upon the correct selection and use of aircraft hardware.
Vibration is always present during aircraft operation. Consequently there must be provision
for safe tying or locking of fasteners to prevent them from vibrating loose in flight, and anyone
involved in aircraft maintenance must be familiar with the methods used.

Aircraft hardware standards


There are various standards used for hardware specifications in the aircraft industry.
The most common standards you will encounter are:
American Standards:

AN (Airforce Navy)

MS (Military Standards)

NAS (National Aerospace Standards).

European or French standards

NSA (NATO Standardisation Agency)

Aircraft manufacturers' standards

BAC (Boeing Aircraft Corporation)

FON (Fokker)

AMS (Aeronautical Materials Specifications)

Standard hardware, which is available from aviation suppliers, is identified by a specification


number. Special fasteners must be replaced with those having the same part number and
not with similar looking standard hardware. Often the difference between a standard and a
special part is the material used to manufacture it or the closer tolerance in its manufacture or
it may be a more critical inspection of the part.
AN fasteners can be replaced by NAS and MS equivalent fasteners. NAS and MS standard
hardware must not be replaced by AN standard hardware.

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Bolts and screws


Various types of fastening devices allow quick dismantling of aircraft parts that must be taken
apart and put back together at frequent intervals. Riveting or welding these parts each time
they are serviced would soon weaken or ruin the joint. Furthermore, some joints require
greater tensile strength and stiffness than rivets can provide. Bolts and screws are two types
of fastening devices which give the required security of attachment and rigidity. Generally,
bolts are used when great strength is required, and screws are used where strength is not the
deciding factor.
Bolts and screws are similar in many ways. They are both used for fastening or holding, and
each has a head on one end and a screw thread on the other. Regardless of these
similarities, there are several distinct differences between the two types of fasteners. The
threaded end of a bolt is always blunt, while that of a screw may be either blunt or pointed.
The threaded end of a bolt usually has a nut secured to it to complete the assembly. The
threaded end of a screw may fit into a female receptacle, or it may fit directly into the material
being secured. A bolt has a fairly short thread section and a comparatively long grip length or
unthreaded portion; whereas a screw has a longer threaded section and may have a clearly
defined grip length. A bolt assembly is generally tightened by turning the nut on the bolt: the
head of the bolt may or may not be designed for turning. A screw is always tightened by
turning its head.
When it becomes necessary to replace aircraft fasteners, a duplicate of the original fastener
should always be used.

Classification of threads
Aircraft bolts, screws and nuts are threaded in either the:
American Standard

ANC (American National Coarse)

ANF (American National Fine)

ANEF (American National Extra Fine)

ANP (American National Pipe

Figure 5.1

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Unified Standard

UNC (Unified National Coarse)

UNF (Unified National Fine)

UNEF (Unified National Extra Fine)

Figure 5.2
British Standard

BSW (British Standard Whitworth)

BSB (British Standard Brass)

BSP (British Standard Pipe)

BSPT (British Standard Pipe Taper)

Figure 5.3
SI Metric
The SI Metric system of threads is generally used on equipment manufactured in Europe. All
metric threads will have the thread form as illustrated

Figure 5.4

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Class of fit
Threads are also designated by class of fit. The class of fit of a thread indicates the tolerance
allowed in manufacturing:

Class 1 is a loose fit.

Class 2 is a free fit.

Class 3 is a medium fit.

Class 4 is a close fit.

Class 5 is a tight fit


NOTE:
Aircraft bolts are almost always manufactured in a Class 3, medium fit.
A Class 4 fit requires a wrench to turn a nut on to a bolt, whereas a Class 1 fit can easily be
turned with the fingers.
Generally, aircraft screws are manufactured with a Class 2 thread fit for ease of assembly.

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TOPIC 6.5.2 FASTENERS BOLTS, STUDS AND SCREWS


THREADED FASTENERS IN AIRCRAFT
Threaded fasteners allow parts to be fastened together with all of the strength unthreaded
fasteners provide. However, unlike rivets, threaded fasteners may be disassembled and
reassembled an almost infinite number of times.

THREAD TYPE AND FITS


Most bolts used in aircraft structures are either general-purpose, internal-wrenching, or closetolerance AN, NAS, or MS bolts. Aircraft bolts, screws, and nuts are threaded in either the
American National Coarse (NC), the American National Fine (NF), the American Standard
Unified Coarse (UNC), or the American Standard Unified Fine (UNF) series.
In addition to being identified as either coarse or fine, threads are also designated by class of
fit from one to five:

A Class 1 thread is a loose fit,

A Class 2 is a free fit,

A Class 3 is a medium fit,

A Class 4 is a close fit, and

A Class 5 fit is a tight fit.

A Class 1 fit allows you to turn the nut all the way down using only your fingers. Wing nuts are
a good example of a Class 1 fit. A Class 4 and 5 fit requires a wrench to turn a nut down from
start to finish. Aircraft bolts are usually fine threaded with a Class 3 fit, whereas screws are
typically a Class 2 or 3 fit.

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DESIGNATION CODES
An aircraft bolt is given a part code indicating its diameter in 1/16 inch increments and its
length in 1/8 inch increments. For example, an AN4-7 identifies a bolt that measures 4/16 or
1/4 inch in diameter and 7/8 inch in length.
For bolts that are longer than 7/8 inch, the code changes. For example, a 1 inch bolt is
identified by a -10 representing 1 inch and no fraction. In other words, there are no -8 or -9
lengths. Dash numbers go from -7 to -10, from -17 to -20, and from -27 to - 30. Therefore, a
bolt that is 1 1/2 inches long is identified by a -14. A bolt with the code AN5-22 identifies an
Air Force-Navy bolt that is 5/16 inch in diameter and 2 1/4 inches long.
Threaded aircraft bolts 1/4 inch in diameter and smaller are dimensioned in screw sizes
rather than 1/8 inch increments.
The AN3 bolt is the exception to this rule. These machine screw sizes range from 0 to 12. A
number 10 fastener has a diameter of approximately 3/16 inch and a number 5 fastener has
a 1/8 inch diameter.

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STANDARD AIRCRAFT BOLTS


A bolt is designed to hold two or more items together. Bolts that are typically used for air
frame structural applications have hex heads and range in size from AN3 to AN2O.
Bolts are identified by their diameter and length. A diameter represents the shank diameter
while the length represents the distance from the bottom of the head to the end of the bolt.
A bolts grip length is the length of the unthreaded portion as shown. If the grip length is
slightly longer than this thickness, washers must be added to ensure that the nut can provide
the proper amount of pressure when it is tightened. If the grip length is substantially less than
the thickness of the materials the bolts threads will extend into the material, resulting in a
weaker joint.
When joining two pieces of material, their combined thickness determines the correct length
of bolt to use.

The diameter of a bolt is indicated by the number immediately following the prefix such as AN.
The dash number of standard bolts indicates length in 1/8 of an inch increment.
AN3-6A:

AN = Air Force / Navy.

3 = Diameter in 1/16 inch

-6 = Length in 1/8 inch

A = Not drilled for split pin (No letter = Drilled for split pin).

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STANDARD AIRFRAME BOLTS


Aircraft bolts are available in cadmium-plated nickel steel, corrosion resistant steel, and in
2024 aluminium alloy.
Unless specified, a bolt is made of cadmium-plated nickel steel. A corrosion resistant bolt, on
the other hand, is identified by the letter C inserted between the diameter and length
designations. Aluminium alloy bolts are identified by the letters DD. For example, a bolt that
is 1/4 inch in diameter, 3/4 inch long, and made of cadmium-plated nickel steel is identified by
the code AN4-6. However, if the same bolt is made of corrosion resistant steel it carries the
code AN4C6, whereas an aluminium alloy bolt would be AN4DD6.

In addition to the designation code, most aircraft bolts have a marking on their head
identifying what the bolt is made of and, in many cases, the manufacturer. For example, AN
standard steel bolts are marked with either a raised dash or asterisk in the centre of its
manufactured head, corrosion-resistant steel is marked by a single dash, and AN aluminumalloy bolts are marked with two raised dashes.
The FAA forbids the use of aluminium alloy bolts and alloy steel bolts smaller than AN3 on
structural components. Furthermore, since repeated tightening and loosening of aluminium
alloy bolts eventually ruins their threads, they are not used in areas where they must be
removed and installed frequently. Aluminium alloy nuts can be used with cadmium-plated
steel bolts loaded in shear, but only on land aircraft, not be used on seaplanes.
When hardware was first standardized, almost all nuts were locked onto a bolt with a cotter
pin and, therefore, all bolts had holes drilled near the end of their shank to accommodate a
cotter pin. However, when self-locking nuts became popular, many standard AN bolts were
made without a drilled shank. To help you identify whether or not a bolt has a hole drilled
through it, the letter A is used in the part code.
For example, if an A appears immediately after the dash number the bolt does not have a
hole, However, the absence of an A indicates a hole exists in the shank. As an example, an
AN6C-12A bolt is 3/8 inch in diameter, made of corrosion-resistant steel, 1 1/4 inches long,
and has an undrilled shank.
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Some AN bolts, such as those used to fasten a propeller into a flanged shaft, must be
safetied by passing safety wire through holes drilled through the bolts head. A bolt drilled for
this type of safetying has the letter H following the number indicating its diameter. For
example, the part number AN6H-34A identifies a bolt that is 3/8 inch in diameter, made of
nickel-steel, has a drilled head, is 3 1/2 inches long, and has an undrilled shank.

CLEVIS BOLTS: AN21 TO AN36


To be loaded in shear only. For example, a control cable must be attached to a control horn
with a bolt that is loose enough to allow the cable to pivot freely as the control surface moves,
but not so loose that excess play exists. For these applications a clevis bolt is used.
The AN21 through AN36 clevis bolt has a domed head that is typically slotted or recessed to
accept a screwdriver. A unique feature of a clevis bolt is that only a short portion of the shank
is threaded, and there is a small notch between the threads and the shank. This results in a
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long grip length which increases the bolts shear strength and allows the bolt to rotate more
freely in its hole.
The diameter of a clevis bolt is given in 1/16 inch increments. The length of a clevis bolt is
more critical than that of the other types of bolts and, therefore, it is also measured in 1/16
inch increments with a dash number indicating the length. For example, an AN29-20
identifies a 9/16 inch diameter clevis bolt that is 20/16 (1 1/4) inches long.

EYEBOLTS (AN42 THROUGH AN49)


These bolts are used in applications where external tension loads are to be applied. The
head of this bolt is specially designed for the attachment of a turnbuckle, a clevis, or a cable
shackle. The threaded shank may or may not be drilled for safetying.

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DRILLED-HEAD ENGINE BOLTS: AN73 TO AN81


AN73 through AN81 bolts are hex-headed nickel-steel bolts that are similar in appearance to
the AN3 through AN2O series. However, unlike standard bolts, drilled-head engine bolts
have a thicker head that is drilled with a small hole in each of the flats and in the centre of the
head. As with most bolts, the diameters of drilled-head engine bolts are in 1/16 increments
while bolt lengths are in 1/8 inch increments. The diameter is indicated by the second number
following the AN designation while the bolt length is indicated by a dash number. For
example, a drilled-head engine bolt designated as AN746 has a diameter of 1/4 inch and a
length of 3/4 inch.

CLOSE TOLERANCE BOLTS: AN173 to AN186


Close tolerance bolts are designated AN173 to AN186 and are ground to a tolerance of
+0.0000.0005 inch. This is much tighter then standard AN3 through AN14 bolts which are
manufactured with a tolerance of +0.000 0.0025, or AN16 through AN2O bolts which are
manufactured with a tolerance of +0.000 0.0055 inch. Close tolerance bolts must be used in
areas that are subject to pounding loads or in a structure that is required to be both riveted
and bolted.
Close tolerance bolts carry a triangle mark on their heads and are ground to a much tighter
tolerance than standard bolts.

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INTERNAL WRENCHING BOLTS (MS20004 TO MS20024)


MS20004 through MS20024 internal wrenching bolts are high-strength steel bolts used
primarily in areas that are subjected to high tensile loads. A six-sided hole is machined into
the center of their heads to accept an Allen wrench of the proper size. These bolts have a
radius between the head and shank and, when installed in steel parts, the hole must be
counterbored to accommodate this radius. When an internal wrenching bolt is installed in an
aluminum alloy structure, a MS20002C washer mist he used under the head to provide the
needed bearing area.
The strength of interim wrenching bolts is much higher than that of a standard steel AN bolt
and, for this reason, an AN bolt must never be substituted for an internal wrenching type.

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PRECISION AIRFRAME BOLTS


NAS: National Aerospace Standards (Aerospace Industries Association)
Developed and updated by the National Aerospace Standards Committee Aerospace
Standards include many standards on precision fasteners as well as other aerospace
hardware.

Even Dash number indicate the standard issue length in 1/8 inch Increments.

Grip length is measured from under the head end of the thread.

Odd dash Numbers is a special application bolt = Grip length 1/16 inch longer than
even number used where a standard MS bolt is either too long or too short.

The basic NAS number identifies the part. The suffix letters and dash numbers separate
different sizes, plating material, drilling specifications, etc.
It is necessary to refer to a specific NAS page in the Standards book for the legend.

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MS: Military Standard


All aircraft bolts, except AN bolts, are measured by their grip length, not by their overall
length.
Standard issue bolts have even dash numbers, in most applications these bolts will do but
where the grip length is critical and a (standard) grip is either too long or too short a ODD
Dash number bolt is available.
Aircraft bolts must be fitted correctly, just any length bolt will not do. The load must be on the
shank and not on the thread. Tensile strength of 160,000 psi to 180,000 and a shear strength
of 95,000 psi to 108,000 depending on the type of bolt

STANDARD AIRFRAME BOLTS: NATO Standardisation Agency


The European NSA bolts should not be confused with the American NAS Bolt. Always refer
to the aircraft illustrated parts catalogue when purchasing fasteners, often bolts may look the
same but they are not.
NSA Specification is a FOUR digit number identifying the type of bolt eg NSA5022
The first Dash numbers is the diameter in 1/16 inch eg - 4
The second dash number is the grip length in 1/16 inch eg -22
Example: NSA5022-4-22 is a 1/4 x 1 3/8 Hex head bolt
NOTE: To prevent dangerous cross use between metric and imperial sizes, all western
aerospace bolts are manufactured to imperial specifications.

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NUTS
All nuts used in aircraft construction must have some sort of locking device to prevent them
from loosening and falling off.
There are two basic types of nuts, self-locking and non self-locking. As the name implies, a
self-locking nut locks onto a bolt on its own while a nonself-locking nut relies on either a
cotter pin, check nut, or lock washer to hold it in place.

SELF-LOCKING NUTS
Self-locking nuts, or lock nuts, employ a locking device in their design to keep them from
coming loose. The two general types of self-locking nuts used in aviation are the fiber, or
nylon type (Low Temperature), and the all metal type.
A self-locking nut must be screwed onto a bolt until all of the chamfer on the bolts end
protrudes through the insert. If the bolt is not chamfered, at least one thread but not more
than three threads should protrude through the nut. If more than three threads are exposed,
you risk the danger of bottoming out the nut and undertorqueing the assembly, thus creating
a stress point that could fail. If more than three threads are exposed, either replace the bolt
with one of the correct length or install a washer.
A self-locking nuts dash number specifies both diameter and number of threads per inch. For
example, a -524 represents a self-locking nut that fits a 5/16 inch fine thread bolt with 24
threads per inch.
LOW-TEMPERATURE SELF-LOCKING NUTS
Nylon self-locking nuts should not be used in any location where the temperature could
exceed 250F. However, you may use them on engines in those locations specified by the
engine manufacturer.
AN365 self-locking nuts are used on bolts and machine screws and are held in position by a
nylon insert above the threads. This insert has a hole slightly smaller than the thread
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diameter on which it fits. The nuts Class 3 fit allows it to run down on a bolts threads easily
until the bolt enters the insert.
AN364 nuts resemble the AN365 self locking nut, but they are thin and are approved only for
shear loads, not to be used in tension. AN364 nuts are typically made to be used on clevis
bolts that do not have drilled shanks.

METAL SELF-LOCKING NUTS


In applications where temperatures exceed 250F, all-metal lock nuts, such as the AN363,
are used. Some of these nuts have a portion of their end slot ted and the slots swaged
together. This gives the end of the nut a slightly smaller diameter than its body allowing the
threads to grip the bolt. Others have the end of the nut squeezed into a slightly oval shape,
and as the bolt screws up through the threads it must make the hole round, creating a
gripping action.

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STANDARD NUTS
AN310 CASTLE NUT
These fine-thread nuts are designed to fit on a standard airframe bolt with a Class 3 fit, and
are used when the bolt is subjected to either shear or tensile loads. The size of a nut is
indicated in the part code by a dash number which denotes the size of the bolt it fits. For
example, an AN31O-6 nut fits an AN6 bolt which has a diameter of 3/8 inch.
Castle nuts are available in cadmium-plated nickel steel, corrosion-resistant steel, and2024
aluminum alloy. Unless specified, a castle nut is made of cadmium-plated nickel steel. A
corrosion resistant nut, on the other hand, is identified by the letter C inserted before the
dash number in the part code. Aluminum alloy nuts are identified by the letter U. For
example, the part code AN31OD-6 identifies an aluminum alloy nut that has an inside
diameter of6/16 (3/8) inch.
AN320 SHEAR CASTLE NUT
The AN320 shear castle nut is made of the same material and has the same type of thread
as a AN31O nut. However, shear castle nuts are much thinner than standard castle nuts and,
therefore, are used only for shear loads on clevis bolts. An AN320-6 nut is a shear castle nut
that is used on an AN26 clevis bolt. An aluminum alloy (2024) nut is identified as an AN320fl6.

AN315 PLAIN NUT


The AN315 plain nut has no castellations and, therefore, cannot be held in place using a
cotter pin. Since these fine-thread nuts have no locking provisions, a spring-type lock washer
must be used in combination with the nut. The lock washer applies a spring force to prevent
the nut from shaking loose. AN315 nuts are used with either tensile or shear loads and are
made of either nickel steel, corrosion-resistant steel, and aluminum alloy. The type of
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material used is indicated in the designation code in the same way it is for bolts. In other
words, the absence of an additional letter identifies nickel steel, whereas the letter C
preceding the dash number identifies corrosion resistant steel, and a U identifies 2024
aluminum alloy. Furthermore, plain nuts are made with both right and left-hand threads. For
example, an AN315-7R is a nickel steel nut with right hand threads that fits an AN7 bolt. An
AN315C-4L, on the other hand, is a 1/4 inch diameter corrosion-resistant steel plain nut with
left-hand Threads.
AN316 CHECK NUT
In some instances a plain nut is locked in place using a check nut. A check nut is simply a
second nut that is tightened against the primary nut so it cannot turn off. An AN316 check nut
is made of cadmium-plated steel and is available in both right-and left-hand threads. An
AN316-4R is a right-hand check nut that fits a quarter-inch thread, while an AN316-4L has a
left-hand thread.
AN340 AND AN345 (LIGHT HEX NUTS):
These nuts are used in non-structural applications requiring light tension.
Like theAN315 and AN335, they require a locking device to secure them.
AN355 SLO ENGINE NUT
This nut is designed for use on an aircraft engine and is not approved for airframe use. It is
made of heat-treated steel and has national fine threads that produce a Class 3 fit. It is
available in sizes from AN355-3 (3/16 inch) to AN355-12 (3/4 inch) and has slots cut in it for a
cotter pin.
AN360 PLAIN ENGINE NUT
This engine nut is similar to the AN355 in that it is approved for use on engines only.
However, an AN360 differs from an AN355 in that it does not have cotter pin slots and has a
black rustproof finish. An AN360-7 is a plain engine nut that fits a 7/16 inch bolt.
AN350 WING NUT
Wing nuts are used when it is necessary to remove a part frequently without the use of tools.
Aircraft wing nuts are made of either cadmium-plated steel or brass and are available in sizes
to fit number (gauge) six machine screws up to 1/2 inch bolts. All of these nuts have national
fine threads that produce a Class 2 fit. Nuts for machine screw sizes are designated by the
series number. However, nuts used on bolts have a bolt size given in 1/16 inch increments
followed by the number 16. For example, with an AN3SO-616 wing nut, the -6 indicates that
the nut will fit a 3/8 (6/16) inch bolt.

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ANCHOR NUT
Anchor nuts are permanently mounted nut plates that enable inspection plates and access
doors to be easily removed and installed. To make the installation of an access door easier
where there are a great number of screws, a floating anchor nut is often used. With a floating
anchor nut the nut fits loosely into a small bracket which is riveted to the skin.
Since the nut is free to move within the bracket it aligns itself with a screw. To speed the
production of aircraft, ganged anchor nuts are installed around inspection plate openings.
These are floating-type anchor nuts that are installed in a channel that is riveted to the
structure. Each nut floats in the channel with enough play so that a screw can move the nut
enough to align it.

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TINNERMAN NUTS
Tinnerman nuts are cost-economical nuts that are stamped out of sheet metal. Because of
their semirigid construction, tinnerman nuts can be adapted for use in many situations. For
example, tinnerman nuts are commonly used on light aircraft to mount instruments to the
instrument panel as well as attach inspection panels and cowlings.
Tinnerman nuts used to mount instruments can either be installed in an instrument panel or
in the instrument case itself. To reduce the chance of magnetic interference, the nuts are
made of brass and the cage that holds the nut is constructed of phosphor bronze. If the
instrument is rear mounted, the legs of the nut are long enough to pass through the
instrument case. If the instrument is front mounted, the nut fastens into the screw hole in the
instrument panel.
Anchor type tinnerman nuts are riveted to a structure to hold screws used to secure
inspection plates.
The cowlings on some light aircraft are held on with self-tapping sheet metal screws. To
prevent the sheet metal screws from enlarging the holes in the cowling by repeated insertion
and extraction, a U-type Tinnerman nut is slipped over the edge of the inside cowling so that
it straddles the screw hole. When a screw is tightened into the nut, the spring action of the
nut holds the screw tight.

RIVNUTS
Goodrich Rivnuts were developed by the BE Goodrich Company to attach rubber de-icer
boots to aircraft wing and tail surfaces. To install a rivnut, a hole is drilled in the skin to
accommodate the Rivnut, and a special cutter is used to cut a small notch in the
circumference of the hole. This notch locks the Rivnut into the skin to prevent it from tuning
when it is used as a nut. A Rivnut of the proper grip length is then screwed onto the puller
and inserted into the hole with its key aligned with the keyway cut in the hole. When the
handle of the puller is squeezed, the hollow shank of the Rivnut upsets and grips the skin.
The tool is then unscrewed from the Rivnut, leaving a threaded hole that accepts machine
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screws for attaching a de-icer boot. Rivnuts are now used in many areas on aircraft and the
automotive industry.

STUDS
A stud is a shaft that is threaded at both ends.
They have a short thread on one end and a long thread on the other. The short thread is a
coarse thread and a much tighter fit than the long thread so the stud will remain in place
when the nut on the long end is undone.

Where joints have to be broken frequently, studs are used in place of bolts or screws to
prevent damage to the tapped holes.
Aircraft maintenance manual will give methods of stud removal and installation.

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SCREWS
Screws are probably the most commonly used threaded fastener in aircraft. They differ from
bolts in that they are generally made of lower strength materials but not always. Screws are
typically installed with a loose-fitting thread, and the head shapes are made to engage a
screwdriver or wrench. Some screws have a clearly defined grip length while others are
threaded along their entire length.

There are three basic classifications of screws used in aircraft construction:

machine screws, which are the most widely used;

structural screws, which have the same strength as bolts; and

self-tapping screws, which are typically used to join light weight materials.

MACHINE SCREWS
Machine screws are used extensively for attaching fairings, inspection plates, fluid line
clamps and other light structural parts. The main difference between aircraft bolts and
machine screws is that the threads of a machine screw usually run the full length of the shank,
whereas bolts have an unthreaded grip length.

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Screws normally have a Class 2, or free fit and are available in both national coarse and
national fine threads. The most common machine screws used in aviation are the fillister
head screw, the flat-head screw, the round-head screw, and the truss-head screw.
STRUCTURAL SCREWS

Structural screws are made of alloy steel, are heat treated, and can be used as structural
bolts. They have a definite grip and the same shear strength as a bolt of the same size.
Shank tolerances are similar to AN hex-head bolts, and the threads are National Fine.
Structural screws are available with fillister, flat, or washer heads.
These head types are NOT interchangeable with each other. The correct screwdriver must be
used to avoid damage to the screw head, especially to titanium screws.
Never use a Philips screwdriver on a Torq-set screw, nor a slotted screwdriver on a HiTorque screw.
SELF-TAPPING SCREWS
Self-tapping screws have coarse-threads and are used to hold thin sheets of metal, plastic, or
plywood together. The type-A screw has a gimlet (sharp) point, and the type B has a blunt
point with threads that are slightly finer than those of a type-A screw.

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There are four types of heads available on self-tap-ping screws:

Round head,

Truss head,

Counter sunk head, which is flat on top, and

Counter-sunk oval screw.

The truss-head is rounded, similar to the round head screw, but is considerably thinner.

WASHERS
Washers provide a bearing surface area for nuts, and act as spacers or shims to obtain the
proper grip
length for a bolt and nut assembly. They are also used to adjust the position of castellated
nuts with respect to drilled cotter pin holes in bolts as well as apply tension between a nut
and a material surface to prevent the nut from vibrating loose. The three most common types
of washers used in airframe repair are the plain washer, lock washer, and special washer.

PLAIN WASHERS
All AN washers are in the 900 series. AN960 plain washer provides a smooth surface
between a nut and the material being clamped These washers are made of cadmium-plated
steel, commercial brass (B), corrosion-resistant steel (C), and 2024 aluminium alloy (D). They
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are available in sizes that range from those that fit a number two machine screw to those that
fit a one-inch bolt.
If a thin washer is needed, a light series washer that is one-half the thickness of a regular
washer is available. An example of where a light series washer should be used is if the
castellations of an AN31O nut do not line up with a cotter pin hole
when the nut is properly torqued. In this situation a light series washer can be substituted for
the regular washer to align the holes. A light series washer is identified by the letter 1 added
to the code. For example, the code ANO6OL identifies a light series washer.
When working with wood or composite structures, washers with a large surface area are
used to spread the fastener load over a wider area. These large area washers carry the code
of AN970 and are all made of cadmium-plated steel with inside diameters from 3116 to 1/2
inch.
LOCK WASHERS
In some instances it is not convenient to use self-locking nuts or cotter pins on bolts. For
these applications, a lock washer is often used between the nut and joint surface if the joint is
not structurally critical. Lock washers are made of steel and are twisted so that when a nut is
tightened against it, the spring action of the washer creates a strong friction force between
the bolt threads and those in the nut.
Two types of lock washers are used in aircraft construction. The most common is the AN935
split lockwasher. These washers are available in sizes that fit from a number four machine
screw to a 1/2 inch bolt. The second type of lock washer is the thinner AN936 shakeproof
lock washer which is available with both internal and external teeth.
SPECIAL WASHERS
Some high-strength internal wrenching bolts have a radius between their shaft and the
underside of the bolt head. To provide a tight mating surface, MS20002C countersunk
washers are used under the heads of internal wrenching bolts. These washers have a
countersunk edge to accommodate the radius on the bolt head. Countersunk washers are
made of heat-treated steel and are cadmium plated.
Finishing washers are often used in aircraft interiors to secure upholstery and trim. These
washers have a countersunk face to accommodate flush screws. Finishing washers bear
against a large area to avoid damaging fragile interior components.
In many instances, keyed washers can be used as a safety device. Keyed washers have
small keys or protrusions to engage slots cut into bolts or panels.

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CLEVIS PINS
A clevis pin is used in conjunction with tie-rod terminals and secondary controls which are not
subject to continuous operation.
Clevis pins are secured with a split pin or AN416 safety pin.

A washer must be placed under the split or safety pin

The pin is normally installed with the head up or forward.


This prevents loss should the split pin fail or work out.

DOWELS
A dowel is a solid cylindrical rod, usually made of wood, plastic or metal. In its original
manufactured form, dowel is called dowel rod. Dowel rod is often cut into short lengths called
dowel pins.
Dowels are used where the precision alignment and correct orientation of two mating
surfaces is required.
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There are following types of dowels used in aircraft:

Smooth solid dowels

Hollow dowels

Threaded dowels

Split hollow dowels

Smooth solid dowels: usually steel dowel pins, are made with high quality of metallic products
ensuring the smooth surface finishing and high performance.

Hollow dowels

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DOWEL PIN APPLICATION


Split hollow dowels in some instances are used not only to maintain alignment but also act as
bushings for rotating components.
Smooth sided dowels are press fit installed.

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TOPIC 6.5.3 FASTENERS LOCKING DEVICES


SAFETYING and LOCKING MEDIUMS
Vibration is always present during aircraft operation. Consequently there must be provision
for safetying or locking all fasteners to prevent them vibrating loose in flight.
There are various methods of safetying and locking. The most widely used methods are
safety wire, split pins, lock washers, circlips and special nuts such as self-locking nuts, pal
nuts and jam nuts.

LOCK WASHERS
In some instances it is not convenient to use self-locking nuts or split pins on bolts. For these
applications, a lock washer is often used between the nut and joint surface if the joint is not
structurally critical. Lock washers are made of steel and are twisted so that when a nut is
tightened against it, the spring action of the washer creates a strong friction force between
the bolt threads and those in the nut.

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The AN935 lock washer may be used between the nut and the surface if the joint is not
structurally critical.
The AN936 shake proof washer is thinner than the AN935 lock washer and is available with
both internal and external teeth.

TAB WASHERS
Often used for locking hex head fasteners
A tab must not be bent more than once.
You can re-use multiple tab washers after removing the used tab, dressing sharp edges and
carefully inspecting the remaining tabs for cracks or scoring.

LOCKWIRE
Because aircraft vibrate, there must be some provision for safetying or locking all fasteners to
keep them from vibrating loose. Self-locking nuts are used for the vast majority of
applications in modern aircraft construction, but there are still places where lockwire or split
pins are needed. For example, drilled-head bolts are often used in vibration-prone areas and
are safety wired together.
Lockwiring is a means of securing hardware and components and is a safety method
employed in aircraft maintenance procedures.
The type of lock wire most commonly used is made of stainless steel.
When installing lockwire, the wire should pull the bolt head in the direction of tightening and
should be twisted evenly to the next bolt. After the end of the wire is passed through the head
of the second bolt it is again twisted, this time for about three or four turns. Once this is done,
the excess is cut off and the ends of the wire are bent back where they cannot cut anyone
who passes their hand over the bolts.
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Lock wiring is often used in critical areas, where inspection intervals may be infrequent.

LOCK WIRING METHODS - HAND


Double twist is the most commonly used method as shown above.

When performing by hand pull firmly. Start the twist in close to the fastener, hold ends about
90 degrees apart and twist in a clockwise direction (for RH threads).
In areas where a number of bolts must be safetied, such as a propeller, you may safety wire
the bolts in groups of three. If more than three bolts are safetied together it is difficult to get
the safety wire tight enough to be effective.
Single wire method is used on screws, bolts and nuts in a closely-spaced or closedgeometrical pattern such as a triangle, square, rectangle or circle. May also be used on
electrical systems and on parts that are difficult to reach.

LOCK WIRING METHODS - WIRE TWISTERS


Wire Twisters make lock wiring easy but they can damage the lockwire therefore, they must
be used with care.
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They can twist wire in one direction only when the knob is pulled. To twist in the other
direction, lock the pliers and rotate manually.

LOCKING PLATES
The locking plates are usually secured to an adjacent part of the structure by a screw.
Locking plates may be used repeatedly, provided they remain a good fit around the hexagon
of the nut or bolt.

PAL NUTS
Pal nuts are used with plain nuts to lock them in place

Commonly used to lock piston engine cylinder base nuts

Used in many aircraft applications


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Made from light pressed alloy steel

GRUB SCREWS
Grub screws used as a method of locking two threaded components together

QUICK RELEASE FASTENERS


Quick Release Fasteners provide a vibration resistant joining solution for quick and repetitive
attachment and removal of panels with minimum effort.

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Benefits:

-Locking and unlocking the fastener only requires a quarter turn or a push.

-Fasteners can be locked and unlocked in a matter of seconds - saving time and
reducing costs.

-Vibration resistant - performs well in even the most intensive applications.

CIRCLIPS
A circlip is a spring clip used for both internal and external locking.
They are used for retaining shafts, seals, bearings etc.
Special pliers, are used to open or compress the circlip for insertion and removal.

TAPER PIN

Both the plain and threaded taper pin are used in aircraft structures to make a joint that is
designed to carry shear loads. This type of pin does not allow any loose motion or play. The
AN385 plain taper pin is forced into a hole that has been reamed with a Morse standard taper
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pin reamer and is held in place by friction. It can be safetied by passing safety wire around
the shaft and through a hole drilled in its large end. An AN386 taper pin is similar to the
AN385 except that its small-end is threaded to accept either a self-locking shear nut AN364)
or a shear castle nut (AN320).
Another type of taper pin is one that has a tapered flat side. Used for locating parts onto
shafts flat side lines up with a flat on the shaft.

ROLL Pin
Roll pins are often used to provide locking for a joint where the pin is not likely to be removed
or to lock something onto a shaft such as a handle or lever. A roll pin is made of flat spring
steel that is rolled into a cylinder but the two ends are not Joined. This allows the pin to
compress when it is pressed into a hole and create a spring action that holds the pin tight
against the edge of the hole. To remove a roll pin, it must be driven from a hole with a proper
size pin punch.

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CLEVIS PIN
Clevis, or fiat-head, pins are used for hinge pins in some aircraft control systems. They are
made of cadmium-plated steel and have grip lengths in 1/16 inch increments, When installing
a clevis pin place the head in the up position, place a plain washer over the opposite end,
and insert a split (cotter) pin through the hole to lock the pin in place.

SPLIT PINS
Castellated nuts are locked onto drilled bolts by passing a split pin through the hole and nut
castellations and then spreading the ends of the split pin. They are made of either cadmiumplated carbon steel or corrosion-resistant steel.
There are two methods of securing split pins that are generally acceptable. In the preferred
method, one leg of the split pin is bent up over the end of the bolt, and the other leg is bent
down over one of the flats of the nut. With the second method, the split pin is rotated 90
degrees and the legs wrapped
around the castellations. It is important to note that nuts should never be over-torqued to
make the hole in the bolt align with the castellations. If the castellations in the nut fail to align
with the drilled bolt hole, add washers under the nut until a split pin can be inserted.

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KEYS
Keys are hardened pieces of metal that fit into cut outs (keyways) in wheels, discs, sprockets
or gears. The key aligns the wheel, disc sprocket or gear onto a shaft which also has a
keyway cut into it.

Different types / shapes:

WOODRUFF KEY
The advantage of a woodruff key is once it is placed in the part it won't move.

SQUARE KEY
Square Keys have a tendency to move out of their slot unless retained by a locking device.
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PRATT AND WHITNEY KEY


The Pratt and Whitney key is another key type that once it is placed in the part it won't move.

GIB HEAD KEY

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Gib Head key is tapered and is driven in place when installed.


The Tang governs insertion depth and allows removal. Requires retention in critical
applications.

- End of this Topic

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TOPIC 6.7 SPRINGS


Springs
A spring is an elastic machine component which can be pressed, stretched or twisted by a
force and then return to its original shape when the distorting force is removed. It therefore
stores energy as a function of displacement. Although springs are normally made in an alloy
of steel, often termed spring steel, materials such as rubber or plastic may be used.
A spring is used in a mechanism to exert a force, to store, or to absorb energy. Familiar uses
of springs include:

Supplying motive power, for instance in toy mechanisms, watches and clocks.
Also to close piston engine valves

As a counterbalance, such as a door closing device, and to a certain extent in car


suspension

As a shock absorber, for instance, in flexible couplings

For vibration control, in engine mounts and instrument vibration pads

Force measurement, such as the calibrated springs in weighing machines and


instruments

Retention, for instance as retaining rings, circlips or spring washers

Spring Steel
Spring Steel is a special classification of steel that has great hardness, strength and elasticity
Additional alloying elements are used in spring steel include:

Manganese

Chromium

Silicon

Vanadium

Molybdenum

Common Applications of spring steel include:

Springs

Spring and shake-proof washers

Steel rules

Measuring tapes

Feeler gauges

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Spring Varieties
The variety of spring configurations can be classified under five main types:

flat or leaf

helical

spiral

torsion

disk.

Flat or leaf spring


A leaf spring is a flat beam designed to deflect under load; one end is usually firmly
anchored, while the other is linked by a moveable shackle to the moving machine part.
Loads can be applied in either tension or compression (push or pull); this is one of the main
advantages of the design, illustrated in Figure 7.1. Another advantage is the relatively large
amount of energy the spring can absorb in a small space.

Figure 7.1
The leaf spring type is most commonly seen in automotive rear suspension, as shown in
Figure 7.2. They are also seen as the undercarriage legs of some light aircraft. The stress
concentrations in the centre of the spring can be combated by adding more leafs (Figure 7.2)
or by having a diamond design as shown in Figure 7.3.

Figure 7.2

Figure 7.3
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Helical spring
Sometimes termed a coil spring, this is probably the most common spring type; it is what
usually comes to mind when you talk of springs. Common applications include automotive
suspension (coil over shock), engine valve control and supplying actuating force in a clutch.
The spring is essentially a wire or bar wound into a helix. The ends may be modified or
ground flat so compression can be evenly applied to the spring, or the ends could be shaped
into hooks or eyes so that tension can be applied. These can be seen in Figure 7.4. The coil
spring is designed to act under compression, or tension, rarely both, which would be
detrimental to the spring's life.

Figure 7.4

Compression spring
Compression springs fall into the following general categories based on their overall shape:

Cylindrical, Straight or Standard - All coils are the same diameter. These are the
most common and least expensive compression springs. The ends can be either
open or closed and they can be ground flat, although grinding significantly
increases the cost and is often unnecessary for small wire sizes.

Conical (Tapered) - Coil diameter decreases from one end of the spring to other.
These springs are often used when there is not enough room for a cylindrical
spring. They can be made so that the smaller coils telescope down into the larger
coils as the spring is compressed so that the spring compression springs.

Barrel (Convex) - Tapered so that both ends are smaller than the middle. These
springs can have some of the same advantages as a conical spring with the
added advantage that they are symmetrical.

Hourglass or Concave - Tapered so that both ends are larger than the middle.
These springs can have some of the same advantages as a conical spring with
the added advantage that they are symmetrical. The enlarged end coils may also
help keep the spring centred on a larger diameter hole.

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Figure 7.5

Spiral spring
Spiral springs are commonly seen in two main shapes, both shown in Figure 7.6. The first is
a flat spiral termed an Archimedes spiral, and the other is a conical form which is a
modification of the helical spring.

Figure 7.6
The advantage of the spiral spring is its ability to be deflected in a combination of ways. The
flat spiral can absorb force at a tangent to its axis; that is, it can be wound up to close the
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space between its coils. This is the spring providing motive energy in clocks and clockwork
engines. The conical form can be compressed or stretched, and also reacts to forces at right
angles to its axis.

Torsion bar
The torsion bar spring is essentially a shaft of uniform cross-section that stores energy when
twisted. Some cars use torsion bar suspension, or they are added as after-market
accessories to change the suspension characteristics. The Torsion Bar torque wrench
utilises this principle. The drive square in the torque wrench acts as a torsion bar spring,
which activates gears to show torque on a dial indicator. Figure 7.7 illustrates a simple
example of torsion bar.

Figure 7.7

Disk springs
This classification of springs includes a large family of similar spring types, such as:

Single disk

Multiple disk

Bellville spring

Lock washer

Diaphragm

Disk springs may be used where space is limited and large forces are present; however, they
tend to be difficult to design and manufacture. The single disk handles small deflections. A
stack or multiple disk spring, such as that illustrated in Figure 7.8, is used for greater
deflection.

Figure 7.8

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Well-known disk spring applications include the diaphragm spring in the automotive clutch,
illustrated in Figure 7.9.

Figure 7.9
Another common disk spring variety are the finger washers, wave spring washers and the
shake proof washers shown in Figure 7.10, which provide light locking of nuts and bolts.

Figure 7.10

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Construction
To understand spring construction, you need to understand some common terms. These
terms are listed below and are shown in Figure 7.11.

Coils

Free length

Ground section

Inside diameter

Length inside hooks

Length over coil

Mean diameter

Outside diameter

Pitch

Wire diameter

Figure 7.11

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Compression springs can have closed and ground ends to sit square on surfaces to apply
pressure evenly, or the ends can be open as shown in Figure 7.12.

Figure 7.12

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TOPIC 6.8 BEARINGS


Broadly speaking, bearings can be divided into two major groups:
1. Plain bearings, which have no moving parts and are comprised of a plain cylinder or
flat washer surface, of a material generally softer than the shaft it supports.
2. Rolling element bearings, which are an assembly consisting of hardened rolling
components enclosed in inner and outer cases, called races, between which they roll.
These are further sub-divided into another two major categories:

ball bearings

roller bearings

Characteristics
A good bearing has two characteristics:

It must be made of a material that is strong enough to withstand the pressures


imposed on it, and yet permit the other surface to move with a minimum of wear and
friction.

The parts must be held in position within very close tolerances to provide quiet and
efficient operation, and at the same time permit freedom of motion.

Design and selection of a bearing and the material of its composition depends on the size of
the forces acting on it, whether they are constant or intermittent forces, the type of lubrication
available and the environment in which it will operate. When used in rotating parts, the forces
the bearing may cope with are:

axial

radial

A Bearing is any surface that provides support for, or is supported by, another surface. It is a
part in which a journal, pivot, pin, shaft, or similar device turns, revolves, or slides. The
Bearings in aircraft components are designed to produce a minimum of friction and a
maximum of wear resistance.
Gears are used in conjunction with bearings and shafts to transmit power, change drive
directions, and increase or decrease rotational speed.

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Bearing Loads and Their Effects


Axial Loads
Axial, or thrust loads, act along the shaft being supported, e.g.: pulling or pushing the shaft,
as shown in Figure 8.1.

Figure 8.1

Radial Loads
Radial or journal loads, act at right angles to the shaft, e.g. vertical (hanging) weight on a
horizontal shaft. This is represented in Figure 8.2.

Figure 8.2

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Combination Loads
These are loads which are a combination of both radial and axial. When added, the result
can be portrayed as forces diagonal to the shaft, as illustrated in Figure 8.3.

Figure 8.3

Bearing Supports
A bearing is mounted in a structure; obviously that structure must be adequate to support the
bearing rigidly and withstand all the loading the bearing itself is subjected to. In many cases
it also carries oil galleries to supply the bearing. The machined seat in which the bearing is
held must be cut precisely to hold the bearing to the required tolerance of fit, and not place
unnecessary stress on the bearing by being out of round. In some cases the seat area may
provide a means of locating the bearing, such as a cutout for a tang on a bearing shell, as
shown in Figure 8.4, or a groove for a locating ring.

Figure 8.4

Bearing Types
Bearings are manufactured in many different forms, shapes and sizes to cater for various
loads and requirements. A car is a source of numerous bearing types, from the plain
bearings on the engine crankshaft, the ball bearings in accessories, the rollers and needles in
the gearbox, to taper bearings in the wheel hubs.
The bearing types that will be covered in this topic are:

plain bearings (sleeve or sliding bearings), which includes bushes

anti-friction bearings (rolling or rolling element bearings), which are ball, roller and
needle bearings

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Plain Bearings
In a plain bearing, the most obvious motion between surfaces is one of sliding.
A plain bearing is a broad cylindrical component, of a material softer than the journal of the
shaft it supports. The softer material is often layered onto a steel backing, or it may be
machined into the parent metal of the supporting component, as is the case with items like
camshafts running in aluminium alloy casings. A cylindrical plain bearing is illustrated in
Figure 8.5.

Figure 8.5
A plain bearing is usually designed to take radial loads, sometimes also called journal loads,
which you will recall are those acting at right angles to the axis of the shaft, as shown in
Figure 8.6.

Figure 8.6
Plain bearings often have grooves cut in them, as shown in Figure 8.7, to store and disperse
lubricant, and are sometimes split along their length to allow assembly on a shaft. Note also
the locating tangs mentioned earlier that are used to locate the bearing in its mount.

Figure 8.7

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A split bearing is usually termed a shell bearing; the most common are the big end bearings
and crankshaft bearings of piston engines. These split bearings may be of composite
construction, to meet the requirements of a surface material that will be self lubricating to
take the load at start-up before oil is pumped into the shell, and sufficiently rigid to stand high
radial loads.
A lining material is superimposed onto a steel backing, as illustrated in Figure 8.8. The lining
material could include metals such as:
white metal
silver
lead
Babbitt

Figure 8.8
Alloys of:

copper and lead

aluminium and tin

lead and bronze.

Babbitt, a soft silvery alloy of tin, lead, copper, and antimony is used for main bearing inserts
in some aircraft reciprocating engines.
Plain shell bearings, such as those in Figure 8.9, are used for many crankshafts; camshaft,
con-rod and accessory drive bearings. Their large surface area helps them withstand heavy
shock loadings and they do not require the high precision machining that a rolling element
bearing does, therefore they are relatively inexpensive to produce.

Figure 8.9

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Some plain bearings may be flanged to take thrust and radial load combinations, such as that
shown in Figure 8.10 (A); special plain bearings may act purely to bear thrust loads. An
example of a plain thrust bearing is the thrust washer, shown in Figure 8.10 (B). Thrust
washers are often used to take side loads in gearboxes, behind gears and on the end of
shafts

Figure 8.10

Bushings
Comparatively small removable plain bearings, of a one piece cylindrical sleeve construction,
may be termed a bush or bushing. They may be used to support the smaller shafts of some
engine accessories, the ends of control shafts and rods, or supporting the trunnions of
various systems.
Self lubricating bearings such as the Oilite bush shown in Figure 8.11 (A), fall into this
category. These are made from sintered metal, that is, powdered metal which is pressed
and heated to fuse it into a strong solid material with a sponge-like structure. Lubricant can
be impregnated into the metal to make up almost 30% of its volume. Another impregnated
metal bush variety has grooves and channels cut in it, into which Teflon plastic,
Poly-Tetra-Fluro-Ethylene (PTFE) is packed. This is shown in Figure 8.11 (B).

Figure 8.11
Bushes may also be made entirely of PTFE which is self lubricating, for applications where oil
or grease is dangerous, such as in oxygen systems, or in corrosive environments where
PTFE is chemically stable.
In areas where the temperature is too high for conventional lubricants, a carbon-graphite
bush can be used, but they are brittle and easily chipped or broken. They are used in gas
turbine engine hot-ends or in food processing machinery where non-toxic materials are
essential.

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Plain Bearing Diametrical Clearance


Bushes and plain bearings are designed to have a clearance between the bearing surface
and shaft journal. Figure 8.12 shows this in exaggerated form.

Figure 8.12
Diametrical clearance is minimal in aircraft bearings, and rarely exceeds 0.003 thousandths
of an inch, dependent on bearing size and use. Within the clearance, a film of lubricant is
maintained while the shaft is moving. The film is designed to completely separate the moving
surfaces to ensure friction is reduced to only that present in the lubricant itself, and also to
cushion shock loadings.
During start-up of an engine, the journal surface may rest on the bearing metal and friction
will be relatively high. This should be the only time that wear occurs in the bearing.

Anti-friction Bearings
Commonly called rolling element bearings, roller and ball bearings are grouped as antifriction bearings due to their ability to almost entirely eliminate friction. These bearings are
produced in a variety of forms for various uses. Rolling element bearings offer a number of
advantages over plain bearings as follows:

they have very low starting friction

they carry heavy loads

they are suitable where reversing or oscillating movements occur

they run cooler than plain bearings

They create much less friction than a plain bearing.


Standard types of rolling element bearings you may expect to see on aircraft are:

roller

ball

These are pictured in Figure 8.13 (A) and (B) respectively.

Figure 8.13

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Ball Bearings
In this type of bearing, finely machined balls of surface hardened steel roll within inner and
outer rings. The clearance is closely controlled and a cage (retainer) may be used to
separate the balls.
As seen in Figure 8.14, the major components of a standard ball bearing are the:

outer ring, or race

inner ring, or race

rolling elements, in this case, balls

retainer

Figure 8.14

Figure 8.15

The outer ring may have an external groove for a snap-ring to retain it in its installed position.
The outer corners may be chamfered to aid installation. The manufacturer will precisely
machine the external faces if the bearing is to be installed in a double, or duplex, situation as
displayed in Figure 8.15.
Internally, the races may be especially deep grooved to take thrust/radial load combinations.
Shields, or seals, can be fitted to the races to retain lubricant and protect the bearing from
contamination. The races may also be machined in such a way internally or externally to
make them self-aligning.
With a wide variety of sizes, tolerances and features, it is vital that the correct bearing for the
application be used. Part numbers and other identifying marks will usually be found ground
or etched on the outer race face, as shown in Figure 8.16.

Figure 8.16

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Ball Bearing Uses


Ball bearings are used in accessory drives, gearing, and in any application where a narrow
bearing is required, which is capable of withstanding high speeds and operating with very low
friction drag. Their drawbacks are cost and diametrical size. Because of their point contact,
they are not good at bearing heavy oscillating loads which would cause stress at the tiny area
on which the bearing presses into the race.

Angular Contact Ball Bearings.


Angular contact ball bearings, depending on the angle, can handle high thrust loads in
combination with moderate radial loads. These bearings can be mounted singly back-toback, face-to-faced, or in tandem.

Figure 8.17

Roller Bearings
Roller Bearing can be Cylindrical, Needle, Tapered or Spherical type. All roller bearings
utilise rolling elements that are cylindrical and follow a flat raceway. As well as carrying high
radial loads they also handle shock loads better than ball bearings. Examples of roller
bearings are pictured in Figure 8.18.

Figure 8.18
Guiding lands or shoulders on the inner or outer races retain the rollers, and a separating
retainer keeps each roller apart from its neighbours. Figure 8.19 shows a typical cylindrical
roller bearing, along with common terminology for roller bearings. Cylindrical roller bearings
have the highest radial load and speed capacity compared with other roller bearings.

Figure 8.19
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Needle Roller Bearings


A type of roller bearing in which the rolling element has a length significantly greater than its
diameter is termed a needle roller bearing. An assembly is pictured in Figure 8.20.

Figure 8.20
Needle roller bearings support heavy radial loads and occupy less space diametrically than
an equivalent roller bearing.
Needles have a slightly higher co-efficient of friction because of the number of rolling
surfaces, but are used where weight is undesirable and compactness required: e.g. in
automotive gearboxes and transmission shafts. Needle roller bearings can run directly on
journals.
Un-caged Needle rollers cannot run at high speeds. Because the rollers are not separated,
effective lubrication is difficult to achieve at high RPM allowing the rollers to make metal to
metal contact. commonly used in universal joints and as hinge bearings.
Caged needle roller bearings can carry heavy radial loads and are used in gearboxes,
crankshaft main and con-rod bearings, heavy accessories and areas requiring a heavy load
capacity bearing with a diameter less than an equivalent ball bearing. Caged needle roller
bearings that are oil lubricated (either splash or pressure fed) can be run at high speed.
Caged needle roller bearings that are lubricated with grease cannot be run at high speed,
effective lubrication is difficult to achieve at high RPM allowing the rollers to skid and make
metal to metal contact.

Roller Bearing Uses


Roller and needle bearings can carry heavy radial loads and are used in gearboxes,
crankshaft main and con-rod bearings, heavy accessories and areas requiring a heavy load
capacity bearing with a diameter less than an equivalent ball bearing. Their drawbacks are
lower speed (more so with needle rollers), cost and width.

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Tapered Roller Bearings


These bearings are very rugged and are capable of supporting heavy radial and thrust
combination loads. A tapered roller bearing, Figure 8.21, has its cylindrical rollers arranged
with their axis at an angle to the shaft axis.

Figure 8.21
The outer race is known as a cup, the inner a cone. The ratio of thrust to radial loading can
be catered for by designing the bearing with a variation in the angle of taper chosen.
For Example:
A heavy thrust load with little radial load requires a large taper angle. (Figure 8.22 A)
Slight thrust loads with heavier radial loading would require only a small taper angle. (Figure
8.22 B)

Figure 8.22
Purely radial loads are not supported by taper roller bearings as the rings would tend to be
forced apart. The internal clearance in these bearings is adjustable during installation,
making them tolerant to some minor misalignment.
Tapered roller bearings are used on car front wheels, aircraft wheels and helicopter rotor
masts. They may be fitted on their own or in pairs to take loads in either direction, such as in
the automotive differential in Figure 8.23.

Figure 8.23
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Self Aligning Bearings


Often a shaft may be misaligned during rotation due to loading deflection, for instance, on the
main bearings of aircraft piston engine crankshafts, as indicated in Figure 8.24.

Figure 8.24
Another situation is when movement is in more than one plane, e.g.: some
control rod joints. Figure 8.25 shows a cutaway control rod joint.

Figure 8.25
In these situations, when movement is in more than one plane, a bearing which can align
itself to a changing axis is required. A number of solutions are used; Figure 8.26 shows a
curved outer race with a double row of balls. Because of the movement of the inner race, this
type cannot support heavy loads, and they are difficult to fit with end covers for lubricant
retention or protection.

Figure 8.26
A similar roller bearing, which can carry loads comparable to a similar sized rigid bearing and
allow considerable shaft flexing, also has a curved outer journal, as shown in Figure 8.27.

Figure 8.27

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By making the rollers barrel-shaped or spherical, the inner race, rollers, and retainer can be
made self-aligning to the outer ring. It can be done in two ways; with a convex roller
curvature as shown in Figure 8.28 (A), or a concave roller curve as in Figure 8.28 (B).

Figure 8.28
As mentioned before, a self-aligning requirement is found in control rod end bearings, Figure
8.29 shows two solutions.

Figure 8.29
Thrust Bearings
So far we have only considered bearings designed to support combination radial/thrust loads
such as deep groove ball and tapered rollers and flanged plain bearings. We saw in plain
bearings that a thrust washer is designed to take purely thrust loads; rolling element bearings
have a corresponding equivalent.
Ball, roller and needle bearings designed for purely thrust loads have the tracks of their races
aligned to bear the thrust loading along the axis, as is shown by the roller bearing in Figure
8.30, and the ball bearing of Figure 8.31.

Figure 8.30-

Figure 8.31

This type of bearing is often used mounted vertically to support heavy machinery on work
shop floors e.g. a radial arm drill press, or in variable pitch propellers which employ them
between the propeller hub barrel and the blade butt to bear centrifugal force and permit the
blade to swivel.
If radial loading is expected, a normal bearing must be mounted alongside the thrust bearing.
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A needle thrust bearing has a very high load capacity and can also take limited radial loads, if
the needle rollers are tapered as well as being spherically contoured, as pictured in Figure
8.32.

Figure 8.32
Thrust bearings are used in engine prop shafts, behind and supporting helical cut gears,
(Figure 8.33), which tend to be forced out of engagement because of their tooth shape, and
are also used as helicopter mast bearings.

Figure 8.33

Diametrical Clearance
This is provided within very strict tolerances to allow for lubricant passage, movement, and
heat expansion, as well as to allow for fitting methods, which will be explained later in this
topic. Ball and roller bearings are often classified according to their tolerance grouping.

Bearing Retention Methods


In order for rolling element bearings to operate correctly, the inner and outer rings must seat
correctly in or on their respective shafts and housings. The ease with which the shaft can be
placed into position, or removed, is termed its fit. A loose fit means it can be mounted and
removed with ease, probably with a manual push. However in many cases a fit termed an
interference fit is required by the bearings operating environment.

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Interference Fit
This is defined as a fit between two parts in which the part being put into a bore is larger than
the bore itself. A bush designed for a slight interference fit is shown in Figure 8.34. In order
to fit them together the bore can be expanded by heating and/or the part shrunk by chilling.
When the two components match again in temperature they are tightly fitted together. No
additional hardware is required for fitting; however the area around the bore may be subject
to tensile stress.

Figure 8.34
The turbine shaft of a gas turbine engine may use a bearing that is fitted after immersion in a
bath of heated oil where it expands, when at a specified temperature it is removed from the
oil bath and quickly slipped onto its shaft. As it cools to shaft temperature it shrinks securely
onto the shaft.
Heavy interference fits reduce the internal clearance of the bearing, which if not designed for,
will result in bearing failure. Loose fitting results in excess creep, which may damage the
housing, and also causes noisy operation.

Circlips
To prevent axial movement of the bearing in the housing, a circlip can be used. A groove
may be machined in the outer ring to locate the circlip, as shown in Figure 8.35.

Figure 8.35

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Alternately, the circlip may be located in a groove in the housing bore itself, as shown in
Figure 8.36.

Figure 8.36

Retaining Plates
A retaining plate is sometimes used if high strength axial location is required. A plate is fitted
over the bore in the housing in which the bearing is located, and is secured by studs, nuts or
bolts onto the housing. It in turn secures the bearing against an internal shoulder in the
housing, also provides sealing for lubricant, and prevents ingress of contaminants. A variety
of retaining plate is illustrated in Figure 8.37.

Figure 8.37

Advantages
The advantages of bearing retaining plates are:

high axial retention capacity

used when interference fits cannot be utilised

no affect on bearing internal clearance

bearing replacement will not damage housing

easy to install replacement bearings

Disadvantages
Disadvantages of retaining plates are:

housing requires bolt holes

raises residual stress levels in the housing

it adds weight and requires more space

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Staking
Airframe and control bearings are retained by interference fits, but these may not be sufficient
to hold the bearing in place with significant axial loads and/or vibration. There are a number
of approved staking methods that may be used; however these should never be used to
compensate for poor interference fits.

Impression Staking
This consists of the deformation of the bearing housing using a staking punch (a tool
designed for the job). The metal is impressed around the circumference of the bearing in
such a way as to force it into the chamfer at the top of the bore in the housing around the
bearing outer race, as shown in Figure 8.38. In some circumstances the shaft may be
staked (Figure 8.39).

Figure 8.38

Figure 8.39

Figure 8.40 shows the staking method used on a flying control surface control rod.

Figure 8.40

Advantages

no added weight or space

easy bearing installation

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Disadvantages

can affect bearing clearances

induces high residual stresses

bearing removal can damage the housing

Swaging
A special roller tool rolls the metal circumference of the housing over the bearing outer race
edge; this is shown in Figure 8.41.

Figure 8.41
Alternately a sleeve fitted between the bearing and housing may be swaged, as shown in
Figure 8.42.

Figure 8.42
The advantages and disadvantages of swaging are much the same as for impression staking.
Approved staking tools must be used. Centre-punches, chisels or screw-drivers will severely
damage housings and bearings. The staking process must be carried out in accordance with
maintenance manual instructions.

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TOPIC 6.9 GEARS and GEAR TRAINS - TRANSMISSIONS


Gears are used in conjunction with bearings and shafts to transmit power, change drive
directions and increase or decrease rotational speed.
Spur Gears Straight cut
The spur gear is your everyday gear, they have straight teeth which are parallel to the axis of
the shaft, and connect parallel shafts only. Spur gears are simple to manufacture but can be
noisy in operation. When two spur gears of different sizes mesh together, the larger gear is
called a wheel, and the smaller gear is called a pinion. Figure 9.1 is an example.

Figure 9.1
The gear being driven, such as the propeller shaft in Figure 9.2, will rotate in the opposite
direction to the driving (crankshaft) gear.

Figure 9.2
Spur Gears - Helical Cut
A modification of the spur gear, helical gears also connect parallel shafts but have their teeth
cut at an angle or helix to the gear shaft axis. This can be seen in Figure 9.3. They can carry
heavier loads at higher speeds than equivalent sized spur gears and run more smoothly and
quietly.

Figure 9.3

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Single helical gears produce end thrust as they mesh, because the gear wants to slide along
the shaft in the direction of the tooth angle. The shaft on which they are mounted requires
thrust bearings, one of the applications for the bearing you learned about in a previous topic.
You may see double helical, or herringbone gears designed to balance thrust forces and
eliminate the need for thrust bearings. As you can see in Figure 9.4, the V pattern of the
gear teeth gives the gear its name, supposedly resembling the skeletal remains of a herring.
A more appropriate description might compare them to the tread pattern of mud gripping
tyres.

Figure 9.4

Bevel Gears
Bevel gears are used between intersecting shafts and can be designed for any angle of
intersection. Spiral bevel gears, with their curved teeth, are quieter and smoother in
operation and can carry greater loads than equivalent size straight or spur bevel gears.
Figure 9.5 shows examples of straight bevel gears (A) and spiral bevel gears (B).
The teeth of bevel gears are formed on a conical blank. The theoretical point of intersection
is termed the apex and the teeth of bevel gears converge on the apex.

Figure 9.5

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Hypoid Gears
These are a progression of the spiral bevel gear theme. As shown in Figure 9.6, they are
similar but the axis of the shafts are not on the same plane and therefore do not intersect.
Originally designed for automotive use in differentials, they suffer from heavy sliding contact
and require an extreme pressure (EP) lubricant in most cases. They are however, quieter
and smoother in operation than spiral bevel gears.

Figure 9.6

Worm Gears
This type of gear connects non-intersecting shafts, usually but not always at right angles. As
shown in Figure 9.7, they use a worm-screw, shaped like a thread cut on the shaft, to drive a
worm-wheel which is very similar to a spur gear. The speed ratio is calculated by dividing the
number of thread starts on the worm-screw into the number of teeth on the worm-wheel gear.
Worm gears offer high reductions in single steps, they are quiet and can carry heavy loads,
however they are inefficient compared to other gears due to the large sliding movement of
their teeth. At reductions over about 20:1, the gear-wheel cannot drive the worm screw.

.
Figure 9.7

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Rack and Pinion


This gear system is used to transmit motion between a rotating spur gear and a linear
toothed rack. A common use is in many car steering systems.
Figure 9.8 is an example of a rack and pinion gear assembly.

Figure 9.8

Sector Gear
As shown in Figure 9.9, a sector gear is used when only part of the rotation of the output
shaft is required. A sector is simply part of a complete circle, and as illustrated, only part of
what would be a full circular gear is used for the sector gear.

Figure 9.9

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Reduction Gear Assembly


Engines must operate at relatively high speeds for maximum efficiency. Propellers must
operate at lower speeds for maximum efficiency.
Therefore, reduction gears are used to allow both the engine and the propeller to operate
within their most efficient revolutions per minute.
Reduction gears are classified by the number of step used to bring about the speed
reduction. A single reduction gear is a gear mechanism consisting of a pair of gears or a
small drive gear (pinion), which directly drives a large (bull) gear.
For example, in a 2-to-1 single reduction gear, the number of teeth on the driven gear is twice
that of the driving pinion.

Epicyclic (Planetary) Gears


Primarily used as reduction gearing in aircraft engines, epicyclic gearing is also found in a
cars automatic gearbox. Epicyclic gearing is a gear arrangement using an inner sun gear,
planetary gears fixed to a spider, and an outer gear ring. The term epicyclic is derived from
epi meaning upon, and cycle, a circle. Similarly, planetary gives an indication of gears
circling a central gear in the same manner as planets orbiting a sun.
As reduction gearing, it has the advantage over a spur gear set by keeping the propeller of an
aircraft engine on the same axis as the engine output shaft.
Two arrangements which may be used are:

spur planetary

bevel epicyclic

Spur planetary
As shown in Figure 9.10, in this system all gears are mounted in the same plane with the
outer ring having internal spur teeth. Differing ratios of input to output shaft RPM (or direction
of rotation), may be achieved by locking the ring gear, sun gear or spider; and/or using the
ring gear, sun gear or spider for the input/output.

Figure 9.10
This system is mostly used in reduction gearing assemblies.

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Bevel Epicyclic
Bevel gears are mounted on the spider (the branched shaft forming the mounting axles of the
small gears at either end).
The gear system is longer but of smaller diameter than a spur planetary.
Figure 9.11 shows a bevel epicyclic gear assembly. Again, varying ratios and change in
direction of rotation may be achieved if any of the sub-assemblies are locked, or made to
supply the input/output, during the design of the system.

Figure 9.11

Differential Gears
Differential gearing is similar to bevel planetary; however the end gears are usually of the
same size (as shown in Figure 9.12).
Any of the three shafts can be input or output, and there can be arrangements of:

two inputs and one output

one input and two outputs

one input and one output with the other shaft fixed

Double input differential gears are used in some aircraft control systems and instruments to
either add two angular movements or find the difference between them.

Figure 9.12

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Gear ratio / speed ratio relationship


A gear is a toothed wheel transmitting motion from one shaft to another. If the
interconnected or meshed gears are of different radii, and consequently have differing
numbers of teeth, the speed of rotation of the shafts will differ. For example, in Figure 9.13,
because gear (A) has 24 teeth and gear (B) has 12 teeth, (B) will always rotate at twice the
speed of (A). Shaft speed is usually stated in revolutions per minute (RPM).

Figure 9.13
The speed ratio of a car gearbox is given as the number of engine revolutions (input) for one
revolution of the tailshaft (output). Similarly the back axle ratio is given as the number of
revolutions of the tailshaft (input) for one revolution of the driving wheels (output).
We know that with geared drives the relative speed of two meshed gears (rpm) depends on
the ratio of teeth on each gear. The convention for the gear ratio of two meshed gears is:
number of teeth on driving gear
number of teeth on driven gear
Therefore from Figure 9.11 if gear A is the driving gear and gear B is the driven gear, the
gear ratio is
24
12

= 2:1

However the speed ratio (rpm) is directly opposite and would therefore be 1: 2.

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Idler Gears
These may also be termed intermediate gears. Idlers are used between two other gears to
either:

make the output gear rotate in the same direction as the input

to link gears when there is a distance between them

The presence of an idler gear makes no difference to the ratio of speed between the input
and output. In the following diagram, Figure 9.14, gear (B) is an idler gear, it is both a driven
and a driving gear, however if (A) is the input and (C) the output, the gear ratio is still 8/24 or
1: 3 (speed ratio 3: 1). The only part the idler plays is to transfer the drive and make (C)
rotate in the same direction as (A).

Figure 9.14
However, we are often concerned with gear trains that have various arrangements of large
and small gears in sequence, as shown in Figure 9.15. But nothing changes, if gear A is the
driving and gear E is the driven, all the gears in between (B,C,D) are idler gears and have no
effect on the gear ratio (or speed ratio/rpm) between A and E.

Figure 9.15

Direction of Rotation
Notice the direction of rotation of gears in Figure 9.15. Direction of rotation can be simply
calculated by counting the number of gears between the driving gear, and the gear in
question. The following can then be applied:

for even numbers of gears from the input gear, rotation is opposite the first gear

for odd numbers of gears, the direction of rotation is with the first gear

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B-6b Aircraft Hardware

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Spur planetary

Figure 9.16
This system is mostly used in reduction gearing assemblies.
In figure 9.16 the ring gear is the drive and the sun gear is the driven, in this instance the
reduction ratio (speed ratio) would be as follows (note, we are not talking about gear ratio):
Number of teeth on ring gear + number of teeth on sun gear
Number of teeth on ring gear
If the ring gear has 72 teeth and the sun gear has 36 teeth (note the planetary gears are
irrelevant), the reduction ratio (speed ratio) would be
72 + 36

= 1.5: 1

72
However reduction ratios are usually expressed in whole numbers and would therefore be 3:
2.
Reduction gears are classified by the number of steps used to bring about the speed
reduction. For example, a gear mechanism consisting of a pair of gears or a small gear
(pinion) driven by the engine shaft, which directly drives a large (bull) gear on the propeller
shaft, is called a single-reduction gear

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Belts, Chains, Sprockets


Chains Control chains are found in a number of applications in aircraft control systems.
Usually they are found where there is a short distance between two hardware items, (two
torque tubes for example) or the system requires a relatively large amount of force to operate
and it is not practical for a small cable run to be installed.
The cockpit pedestal area, as pictured below, is a common place to find short chain
assemblies.

Figure 9.17
Like bicycle chains, aircraft control chains are made up of multiple links and can be joined
together to make an endless loop. They can also be of a terminating type a single length
with a start and finish.
Aircraft chains, however, tend to be manufactured to closer tolerance and have more rigorous
inspection criteria They also have components such as chain keepers, similar to cable
guards, to stop the chain from coming off the sprockets
They have drive sprockets and idler sprockets and a method of re-tensioning the assembly

Figure 9.18
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Aircraft control chains are usually of the roller type. Rollers are free to rotate around bushes
which hold the inner link plates together.
Pins are mounted in the outer plates, which are clamped together to join the whole assembly.

Figure 9.19

Chains are sized according to pitch,


width and roller diameter.
Pitch refers to the distance between
the axis of each roller.
Figure 9.20
Nonreversible chains (i.e. not a continuous loop) are joined or connected using end-fittings
similar to cable terminals, and can only be fitted in one direction.

Figure 9.21
Like cables, chain guards can be fitted to sprockets to prevent the chain from coming adrift
when tension is reduced.
Stop pieces on the chain guard and non-interchangeable end connectors can prevent the
incorrect installation of non-reversible chains

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Sprockets
Sprockets are used in many aircraft systems and in a variety of different applications.

Figure 9.22
Sprockets (depending on their application) are usually made from;

Steel or,

Alloy.

but can be manufactured from,

Hard fibre material or,

Plastic.

Their primary roll is to convert rotary motion into linier motion and/or linier motion into rotary
motion. Also where long chain systems are used they act as support for the chain in the form
of an idler sprocket.

Idler Sprocket
An idler sprocket is a non-driving sprocket used to support the chain run.

IDLER SPROCKET

Figure 9.23
Sprocket teeth are spaced to align with chain pitch.
The number of teeth on the drive sprocket compared to number of teeth on the sprocket
being driven determines the gearing ratio of the chain system.
e.g. a drive sprocket has 36 teeth and the driven sprocket has 12 teeth. The driven sprocket
rotates 3 times for every drive sprocket rotation.

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Belts
Drive belts are used in a number of applications (example - found in helicopter drive
systems). They come in many different shapes and designs.

Figure 9.24
Belt drives carry less load than chain drives. However, they do not require lubrication, are
more shock resistant, and they are quieter and smoother in operation
All belts are a variation of two types :

Vee belts

non-slip toothed belt

Toothed Belt

Vee Belt
Figure 9.25
Belt drives can come in single or multiple belt and pulley systems.

Figure 9.26

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Figure 9.27

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Backlash
Backlash is the clearance or play between two gears in mesh. A certain amount is required
for lubricant penetration between the teeth of the gears, and to allow for thermal expansion of
the gear train. Figure 9.28 shows exactly where backlash occurs.

Figure 9.28
Gear backlash must be established in accordance with the relevant maintenance manual.
Excessive backlash can be caused by worn gear teeth or improper meshing of teeth or
bearings which do not support the gears properly. Some of the effects of incorrect backlash
are:

Excessive backlash can result in severe impact on the gear teeth from sudden stopping
or reversal of load. In Figure 9.29, the gears are set too far apart causing excessive
backlash. This will cause broken gear teeth, gear bouncing and gear noise.

Figure 9.29

Too little backlash, as shown in Figure 9.30, will cause excessive loading on the gear
teeth, lubricant will be forced from the gear surface and premature failure will result.

Figure 9.30

A measurable amount of backlash can be detected by hand if one gear is held and the
other rocked. Usually this is minimal and a Dial Test Indicator (DTI) is set up to
measure it. A typical gear may have .003 to .004 inch backlash. The correct backlash
will be given in the maintenance publications which must be followed.

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Screw Jacks
A screw thread that can be used to give high mechanical advantage is known as a screw
jack.
Screw jacks convert rotational movement into linear movement.
In some applications they are called screw jack actuators or linear actuators
There are 3 basic types :
1

The worm and peg mechanism


The worm and peg
mechanism is not used much
because excessive backlash
often results from localised
wear on the peg and worm
screw
Figure 9.31

2.

The worm and nut mechanism


The worm and nut mechanism
type is often used on aircraft. It
usually has an Acme or square
thread. Actuation is by turning the
shaft to drive the nut, or by turning
the nut to drive the shaft.

Figure 9.32
3.

The recirculating ball mechanism

Figure 9.33
This type is a low friction variation of the worm and nut mechanism. It is sometimes known as
a ball screw actuator. The closed pathway for the ball bearings allow them to continually
circulate along the mating grooves of the shaft and nut, to thus reduce friction when the
mechanism is actuated. This form of screw jack is most commonly used in aircraft for many
applications in particular the flap drive system.
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Control Rods
Push-pull rods have many system applications. For example, the aileron and trim tab
mechanism above has at least three adjustable push-pull rods.

Figure 9.34
Push-pull rods and their adjustable end-fittings create a type of rigid linkage that eliminates
the problem of varying tension in a control system. They permit the transfer of compression
(push) or tension (pull) forces.
Push-pull rods are usually made of seamless aluminium alloy tubing. Some are of a fixed
length, but most have at least one adjustable end.

The type of rod shown has


threaded rod ends riveted to
the tube.
Adjustable rod ends are
screwed onto the threaded
ends and locked with a check
nut
Figure 9.35

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Adjustable push-pull rod may have;

left-hand threaded end and a right-hand threaded end.

Allows shortening or lengthening the rod when altering system rigging.

The checknuts are loosened, enabling the rod to be turned without disturbing the rod eye
ends

Pull push rods can have


fixed or adjustable ends.
Figure 9.36

Bellcranks
Bellcranks are used to;

Transmit force or motion


and

Permit a change in
direction of that force or
motion.

Figure 9.37
The bellcrank pivots on bearings mounted on a shaft.
There is usually no adjustment possible to the bellcrank, although the push-pull rods can be
adjustable to enable correct system rigging.

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Torque Tubes
This view of an aircraft rudder shows a torque tube and torque arm.

Figure 9.38
The torque arm receives the linear motion input from the control system and causes the
torque tube to rotate. Thus the torque arm and torque tube can be said to have converted
linear motion to rotary motion.
A torque can transmit force across a long distance.
The torque tube is directly connected to the control surface and causes it to move.
Torque tubes and torque arms are usually of fixed length, diameter and angle. They are
usually not adjustable.
Note - also the adjustable push-pull rods connecting the rudder balance lever to the rudder
balance tab.

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TOPIC 6.10 CONTROL CABLES


Cables
Cables are the most widely used linkage in primary control systems because they offer
advantages over other types of control:
Strong, light weight and flexible, they are easy to route through sharp turns.

Disadvantages of cables include:

Tension must be adjusted regularly because the cables tend to stretch over time.
Prone to wear at points of contact i.e. pulleys, bellcranks, quadrants etc.
Tension varies with temperature changes.

All aircraft control cable is preformed - that is, the wires are shaped in a spiral form before the
strands and the cables are wound together. This means if the cable is cut, the wires will not
spring out.
A cable is made up of strands which, in turn, are made up of individual wires.
(Refer to Jeppesen Airframe P1-41)

Cable Guards
All cable pulleys should be fitted with guards to prevent the cable from jumping out of the
pulley groove if the cable tension drops off.

Figure 10.1
The two main types of cable guards or cable keepers are shown.
Care should be taken to ensure that the guard runs close, but does not contact the
pulley or cable.

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Cable Tensioning Devices


With temperature variations, the aircraft structure and control cables expand or contract at
different rates.
When this happens, there is a tendency for the cable tension to alter. This is compensated
by fitting cable tension regulators which use extension or compression of springs to adjust
the position of free-pivoting cable quadrants.

Figure 10.2
If the structure expands at a greater rate than the cables, the cables will tend to tighten.
As cable tension increases past the value of the spring tension, the spring will compress,
allowing the quadrants to move with the cables.
When a control input is made, the cables are pulled from one side only. The links keep the
whole unit rigid. The quadrants then turn in unison.
When rigging the cable system, a temperature scale on the tension regulator makes
allowance for ambient temperature.

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Figure 10.3 - Fokker 28 or F100 aileron tension regulator


Bowden Cables
Flexible cables that run inside an outer sleeve are called Bowden or Teleflex cables.
Bicycle brake cables are an example the outer sleeve is fixed at both ends and the cable is
attached to a handle and the brake caliper. When the handle is pulled, the cable runs free
inside the sleeve and actuates the caliper.
This type of cable is used on aircraft where there is not enough room for cable pulleys.
The cables flexibility makes it ideal for an area such as a cockpit area, where there is not
enough room for cable pulleys and push-pull rods are impractical because of the curving path
the control system must follow.

Figure 10.4
The steel cable can either be a push-pull type or can rotate, driving a screw jack. The outer
casing of the cables protect the inner cable from damage. If the outer casing is bent,
however, the inner cable will not travel freely.
Likewise, if the outer casing is chafed through, the inner cable is likely to be damaged.
Both these situations is cause for rejection of the assembly.

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Figure 10.5 - Bowden Cable used for rudder pedal adjustment.

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