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Aircraft Hydraulic Systems

in Aircraft Systems

There are multiple applications for aircraft hydraulic systems use in aircraft, depending on the complexity of the aircraft. For example, hydraulics is often used on small airplanes to operate wheel brakes, retractable landing gear, and some constant-speed propellers. On large airplanes, hydraulics is used for flight control surfaces, wing flaps, spoilers, and other systems.

A basic aircraft hydraulic system consists of a reservoir, pump (either hand, electric, or engine driven), a filter to keep the fluid clean, selector valve to control the direction of flow, relief valve to relieve excess pressure, and an actuator. [Figure 6-36]

Basic hydraulic system

Figure 6-36. Basic hydraulic system.

The hydraulic fluid is pumped through the system to an actuator or servo. A servo is a cylinder with a piston inside that turns fluid power into work and creates the power needed to move an aircraft system or flight control. Servos can be either single-acting or double-acting, based on the needs of the system. This means that the fluid can be applied to one or both sides of the servo, depending on the servo type. A single-acting servo provides power in one direction. The selector valve allows the fluid direction to be controlled. This is necessary for operations such as the extension and retraction of landing gear during which the fluid must work in two different directions. The relief valve provides an outlet for the system in the event of excessive fluid pressure in the system. Each aircraft hydraulic system incorporates different components to meet the individual needs of different aircraft.

A mineral-based hydraulic fluid is the most widely used type for small aircraft. This type of hydraulic fluid, a kerosene-like petroleum product, has good lubricating properties, as well as additives to inhibit foaming and prevent the formation of corrosion. It is chemically stable, has very little viscosity change with temperature, and is dyed for identification. Since several types of hydraulic fluids are commonly used, an aircraft must be serviced with the type specified by the manufacturer. Refer to the AFM/POH or the Maintenance Manual.

1 maner October 20, 2010 at 10:18 am

could you give more information about hydraulic indicator?

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