What Are the Different Parts of an Aircraft and What Are Their Functions?
For the uninformed outsider, aircraft can be dizzyingly complex and difficult to understand. Fortunately, this blog is here to break down the different components of an aircraft’s body, and what their purpose is.
The first and most important part of an aircraft is the fuselage. The fuselage
is the main body of the aircraft, to which the other components are attached to, and the part that contains the cargo and passengers.
Placed at the head of the fuselage and near the nose of the aircraft is the cockpit. The cockpit is the control center of the aircraft, where the pilot (or pilots) and crew are situated, and where they manage the aircraft’s various systems and control its flight-path.
The next part is the powerplant. In an aircraft, this takes the form of either a piston engine
(like the engines in automobiles) that drives a propeller, or a gas turbine engine. Either way, the powerplant provides the thrust that propels the aircraft forward, as well as the hydraulic and electric power needed to operate the various systems on the aircraft like interior and exterior lights, control surfaces, avionics, etc.
Located in the belly of the fuselage, the undercarriage includes the aircraft’s landing gear. Consisting of a set of wheels in either a tricycle or tailwheel configuration, the undercarriage supports the aircraft when it is on the ground, taking off, and landing.
Obviously, the wings
are two of the most important parts of an aircraft’s body. Wings are designed to provide lift to the aircraft, allowing it to fly, while also decreasing drag and managing the airflow around the aircraft. They also allow the aircraft to glide if the engines are shut off and let the pilot adjust their descent rate.
Most commercial aircraft also feature horizontal stabilizers at the back of the aircraft, in the tail. Taking the form of a pair of miniature wings mounted on the tail of the aircraft, they control the aircraft’s speed and pitch (how far up or down the nose of the aircraft is pointed).
Paired with the horizontal stabilizers
is the vertical stabilizer, built into the tail of the aircraft. The vertical stabilizer controls the yaw motion of the aircraft, pointing the aircraft’s nose left and right, and also prevents the plane from moving laterally when wind or turbulence affects its flightpath.
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Posted on September 26, 2019