Aircraft are equipped with numerous components that allow them to operate optimally. For instance, aircraft require lift to achieve flight. While a majority of the lift produced by aircraft comes from the wings, a portion of it may come from another source: high-lift devices.
Before diving into the peculiarities of such devices, we must cover why lift is important. Lift is the force that directly opposes the weight of an aircraft and keeps the aircraft in the air. While every part of the aircraft generates lift, nothing compares to the amount of lift generated by the wings.
As such, the wings are furnished with different devices, allowing them to produce lift more easily. High-lift devices are aerospace components that enhance or increase the amount of lift generated by aircraft wings. Keep in mind that wings produce lift naturally. This is possible because they are constructed in a way that allows air to move slower over the bottom and top of the wing. This difference in airflow creates a pressure difference that produces lift.
One of the most common types of high-lift devices are wing flaps landing. Wing flaps are located on the trailing edge of an aircraft wing. These hinge-like devices can be extended to increase lift, allowing aircraft to generate ample lift at lower flight speeds; thus, they reduce an aircraft’s stall speed. While first devised in the 1930s, they have been significantly improved for modern adaptation.
Pilots can lower wing flaps to decrease an aircraft’s lift or they can be extended to increase it. It is important to note that extended wing flaps will normally remain flush and aligned with the wings. In addition to wing flaps, another common high-lift device used on aircraft are wing slats.
Similar to wing flaps, pilots can control wing slats by lowering or extending them. However, these two devices are not necessarily the same. For example, wing slats are found on the leading edge of aircraft wings, whereas wing flaps are located on the trailing edge of the wings. Furthermore, with wing slats, aircraft can produce more lift.
To accommodate different aircraft, there are three types of wing slats, those of which include automatic, powered, and fixed. Also called Handley-Page slats, automatic wing slats are designed to extend automatically when the aircraft slows down. Powered wing slats, on the other hand, can be electronically controlled by a pilot in the cockpit. Lastly, fixed wing slats are static in nature, therefore, they remain permanently extended. Regardless of the common types of high lift devices, all wing slats are utilized to increase the amount of lift produced by the wings.
Both wing flaps and wing slats are not ever-lasting components, so they must be routinely checked for wear. As aircraft are continuously subjected to varying environmental conditions that expose its structures to corrosion and other forms of damage, maintenance and inspection programs are critical for such structures.
When examining your aircraft, look over wing assemblies, airframe components, fuselage parts, and other areas, ensuring your aircraft is airworthy. If you find that any part of the aircraft necessitates repair or replacement components, rely on a reputable distributor of aircraft products, such as Alpha NSN.
Alpha NSN is a leading distributor of high lift devices in the aviation industry, all of which have been sourced from top global manufacturers like Omcc Inc., KC Trading Ltd., and Qinetiq Ltd. With over 2 billion ready-to-purchase items in our inventory, customers can easily fulfill their operational needs. At Alpha NSN, we carry superior quality products at low price points, and we make it a priority to get you what you need with rapid lead times. More than that, we operate with AS9120B, ISO 9001:2015, and FAA AC 00-56B accreditation, alongside a strict NO CHINA SOURCING pledge. With this in mind, we choose to only work with over 5000 leading manufacturers that we trust.
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