Understanding Aircrafts Part By Part

by : Ajeet Khurana

I am not too concerned about a shock absorber or something like that. But when I am 30000 feet above ground, I want all safety related parts to be working perfectly in an aircraft. And instead of being paranoid, I choose to be informed.

So, this article is about Aircraft parts. Knowledge and familiarity should clear some apprehensions that ignorance might create.

Let us begin by exploring the visible parts of an airplane. To begin with, we have the cockpit. This is where the pilot sits and controls the craft. Hence, all navigational controls end up here. This is the heart of all avionics, which is a contraction for aviation electronics. Maybe, I should call it the brain of all avionics as only the final controls reside in the cockpit.

Other than navigational controls, communication and cabin controls are also predominantly available in the cockpit. So, expect to see a lot of dials, knobs, screens, light emitting diodes, bulbs, and switches. If you have ever had an opportunity to look inside a cockpit, even if you were only looking at a photograph, you would certainly have marveled at the extent of gadgetry involved.

Moving behind, you are looking at the glorious fuselage, which is just a fancy word for the plane body. All professions like to create words that make them exclusive. So, while an automobile engineer missed out on an opportunity, the aeronautical engineer chose to call the plane body a fuselage.

As expected, the body presents the physical structure to the plane. But it is not a passive piece of equipment as in the case of a car. Instead, it has sensors for detecting what the outside conditions are like. Additionally, it has signaling and communication equipment connected to it.

A little behind and you reach the engines. It goes without saying that this is where all the muscle is. In addition to providing the rotors and propellers and thrust and torque, the degree of automation in an aeroplane engine is extremely high. Not just should a pilot as well as the auto-pilot, be able to constantly monitor the performance of the engine, they should actually be able to control and influence it.

Then come the wings. Any flying body needs to have wings, unless it is a projectile, such as a rocket. These wings provide balance, stability, and maneuverability. Since wings needs to be mechanically manipulated, they are full of control systems, valves, bearing, pressure points, buffers, and the like.

To continue my simplistic travel down the aircraft's body, let us reach the very end. We are not at the tail. Like the wing it provides stability and balance. But the tail, more specifically the rudder, plays a pivotal role in turning the plane. This mechanism is not like that of a rudder-based boat that has the luxury of traveling in a dense medium, water. But there are similarities.

All in all, the schema of the parts of an airplane is fairly obvious. But the results it generates truly take wings.