AS9120B, ISO 9001:2015, and FAA AC 0056B ACCREDITED

What Are Avionics?

Avionics, or aviation electronics, are devices and systems implemented in aircraft to replace the traditional mechanical and analog equipment used by pilots. With avionics, the flight crew can execute an operation safely and efficiently, regardless of whether a mission is to transport passengers between destinations or intercept a hostile aircraft. There are many reasons as to why avionics are advantageous, examples including their offered safety, all weather options, fuel reduction capabilities, improved performance and handling, and much more. To help you become more familiar with avionics equipment, we will cover the most common types that are found in most aircraft.

The most important avionics are categorized as core systems, and they are apparatuses directly used by pilots during most operations. The display system is a crucial element of avionics, providing visualization of aircraft system data for the pilot. A display system may come in the form of a head up display (HUD), helmet mounted display (HMD), or head down display (HDD).

Communications systems are also paramount for safe operations as they establish communication from one aircraft to another, or a ground base. Radio transmitters and receivers were the first generation of communication avionics, and the frequencies used depend on the aircraft and the form of communication. Medium and long range communication is common, each ranging from 30-100 MHz and 2-30 MHz respectively. Meanwhile, military aircraft typically use ultra-high frequencies ranging from 250-400 MHz. In modern days, satellite communication systems are the most popular for their reliability.

The flight control system is also a core avionics system, and it composes auto stabilizer systems, FBW flight control systems, and more. Alongside flight control systems are the aircraft state sensor systems that enhance control and navigation, and these air data quantities come in the form of the altitude, calibrated airspeed, vertical speed, true airspeed, mach number, and airstream incidence angle. To get such quantities, the air data computing system relies on sensors and indicators such as a sensor altitude device or a vertical speed indicator.

There are other various avionics that enhance navigation capabilities, and these include the inertial reference system and the navigation system. The inertial reference system allows for the attitude and direction of heading to be tracked with ease, and this is done through the use of gyros and accelerometers. The navigation system, meanwhile, offers information such as an aircraft’s ground speed, track angle, and position. Navigation systems come in two types, those of which are dead reckoning and position fixing systems. DR navigation systems are further broken down into various subtypes, and they determine the position of the aircraft based on its last known position coupled with its speed and direction.

The autopilot and flight management system are both apparatuses that are often talked about, and they relieve the pilot of some of their workload so that they can focus on the most important aspects of flight. For civil aircraft, the FMS was first introduced during the 1980s. With such systems, pilots are provided with flight planning, navigation management, engine control to maintain planned speeds, control of the aircraft flight path, low fuel consumption, and proper 3D positioning for air traffic control.

For fighter jets and military aircraft specifically, integrated avionics and weapon systems are important. Generally the functional requirements of the avionics and weapons system are robust, including the need for weapon launch or firing management, optimal sensor management and control, computation for navigation and fire control, and efficient communication between systems and sensors for all inputs to be received. With a proper avionics and weapon system, fighter jet pilots can execute military missions with ease.

Alongside such examples, many other avionics systems are present in aircraft, including identification systems, pilot controls, electronic countermeasure systems, and more. Despite consistent advancements being made to avionics and their related systems, all still face normal wear and tear over time. As a result, it is important to regularly inspect and maintain your avionics for the means of upholding safety and airworthiness. If you find that a system has begun to falter or fail, let the experts at Stacked NSN help you secure all the replacement parts you need for MRO operations with time and cost savings.

Stacked NSN is a website owned and operated by ASAP Semiconductor, and we are a leading online distributor of aircraft parts. Stocking items from leading global manufacturers that we trust, we have over 2 billion new, used, obsolete, and hard-to-find items readily available for purchase at any time. With our RFQ service, customers can request quotes for their comparisons with ease, and responses are always given within 15 minutes of receiving a completed form. If you have any questions or concerns regarding our offerings, give us a call or email at your earliest convenience, and we would be happy to assist you. At Stacked NSN, we are more than just a dependable distributor; we are your strategic sourcing partner for all your operational needs.


June 25, 2024
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