BAM BLOG

What does ADS B out Mean to Aircraft Operators?

The transition to Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast [ADS-B] from radar surveillance ensures better tracking of flights, both in flight and on the ground. Implementation of ADS-B will not only modernize the ATC surveillance system but will ensure that ATC can support larger volumes of airplanes. There are two types of ADS-B in an aircraft: ADS-B in and ADS-B out. Both are important, but as per the mandate by FAA all the aircrafts must be endowed by Automatic Dependent Surveillance out by January 1, 2020.

What is ADS-B out and why it is important for aircraft operators? 

The broadcast system of ADS-B is known as ‘automatic dependent surveillance out. When an aircraft is equipped with this broadcast system, it can transmit all the important data of an aircraft like altitude, airspeed and position to ADS-B ground stations. In order to have the broadcast system, you will need a transmitter which is approved by ADS-B.  

Among the ADS B out transponders, you can either have 978 MHz UAT [Universal Access Transceiver] or 1090 MHz Mode S enabled transponders. For smooth functioning of transponders, your aircraft must have pre-installed Mode S or Mode C transponder with a WAAS-enabled GPS system.  

There is one limitation in using 978 MHz; you will not be able to receive traffic information transmitted on 1090 MHz. The ground stations will translate the information and re-broadcast the information on two frequencies. When you are within ground station range, you need not bother about the frequencies. If you are out of the coverage area, a high-end transmission system working on 1090 MHz is recommended.  

Advantages of ADS B out Solutions 

ADS B out solutions offer several benefits for ATC surveillance.  

  • With an ADS-B out enabled system, an aircraft can automatically communicate the position of the aircraft to the air traffic controllers through ground stations and a satellite system. Within a specific air space, this allows the traffic controllers real-time, precise view of the location, airspeed and altitude of the aircraft. 
  • In air spaces which are completely devoid of radar surveillance, ATC can use the broadcast system to provide 3- and 5-nmi route separation services. Air traffic control will be more efficient reducing both fuel consumption and congestion.  
  • The transmission of automatic dependent surveillance broadcast out is more accurate than the surveillance conducted by conventional radar. Air traffic controllers are now more equipped to decrease the separation distances between ADS-B enabled aircrafts. 
  • With an ADS broadcast system, one can have a clear picture of all the vehicles and airplanes on the ground. As part of airport surface surveillance, this is particularly helpful for ground control of aircrafts. 
  • With an ADS-B enabled interface, one can view the graphical representation of both air traffic and weather displays via TIS-B and FIS-B. FIS-B or Flight Information System Broadcast works with ADS B and offers airspace and weather restriction information to the aircraft operator. The data will stream from the ground stations to the cockpits. 
  • TIS-B or Traffic Information Service Broadcast can operate with both 978 MHz UAT and 1090 MHz Mode S transponders. Once automatic dependent surveillance broadcast out system is installed in your aircraft, you need not pay an additional cost or any subscription fee for either FIS-B or TIS-b as per FAA’s NextGen system.  
  • If you are looking for a service provider for low-cost ADS B out, it is time to do some research. According to an estimate, aircraft owners may need to spend $ 5,000 to install the ads b out solution in their aircrafts, but the cost may vary.  

How can ADS in and out help air traffic surveillance? 

If automatic dependent surveillance broadcast out handles the broadcasting part, ADS-B in is the receiver system. The ADS-B in system cannot function without a pre-equipped automatic dependent surveillance broadcast out system which has an ADS-B receiver with ‘in’ capacity. With the ‘in’ system, your aircraft will not only receive but interpret data from other ADS-B out equipped aircrafts. The data will be displayed either on an Electronic Flight Bag in the cockpit or on the computer screen. 

The traffic receiver of ADS B in helps in translating local airspace information and offers ‘real-time traffic image’ making the aircraft operator aware of the current situation. Often in remote areas, in absence of ground stations, an aircraft which is equipped with both ADS-B out and ADS-B in will have the information from other ADS-B enabled aircrafts.  

It is a remarkable feat as the aircraft can operate without the help of air traffic services. They can move separately without depending on ground-based infrastructure. As the visibility of aircraft enhances, it not only increases flight safety, but also ensures avoidance of collision. 

Why is the FAA mandate important for aircrafts? 

The US initiative to transform the current surveillance and include the ads b enabled operating system rises from the urge to create an energy-efficient and cost-effective process. Without these changes in air traffic the US economy will incur an additional expense of almost $ 22 billion. This entire initiative of the US government is known as NextGen. This process will create a positive environmental impact by reducing fuel consumption with decreased emission.

In a bid to modernize the prevalent systems in the US national space and decommission the SSRs or Secondary Surveillance Radars, the inclusion of ADS B-effective system is the call of the day. SSR is also not quite effective in remote areas. With an ADS B equipped system, the aircrafts will have a much faster update which allows a faster and better communication system.  

Why can’t you not afford to have the system in your aircraft? 

After the ADS-B mandate becomes effective, aircraft operators without automatic dependent surveillance out system will have to obtain permission/authorization to fly in their designated air space. They need to get the permission at least an hour prior to the flight. If you do not have the authorization, this will be considered as a violation of rule.  

The process of ADS-B out authorization and ADS-B by ATC to fly in the designated airspace are different. Even when you have air clearance from ATC, you will still need an automatic dependent surveillance broadcast out system. 

Presently, the adjustment is all about equipping your aircrafts with automatic dependent surveillance broadcast out system. Pilots see great potential in this system as it allows better ‘situational awareness’.  The real-time precise information enables improvements in efficiency and safety.  

An afterword 

An overwhelming question right now is when and what product to buy and upgrade your system. In case the transponder is broken, it is best to replace it with a fully equipped automatic dependent surveillance broadcast out system. It is a better alternative than spending the money on an outdated Mode-C transponder.  

There will be many products in the market loaded with features. You need to shop in time and from the right service provider. It will be wise to install the system by 2020, so that you conform to the existing regulations.  

Why Upgrading FANS 1/A is a Must to Improve Safety of Aircrafts?

FANS or Future Air Navigation System was first introduced to better the communication and surveillance system in Boeing and Airbus aircrafts operating in remote routes. FANS 1/A has revolutionized the communication system which previously used a High Frequency Radio or HF to transmit information between flight crew and ATC.  

Now, pilots can use FANS 1/A as a real-time tool, where a data link is used to initiate satellite communication for transmitting real-time data. A recent mandate by FAA reveals upgrading FAN 1/A is a must for enhancing the safety and efficiency of aircrafts. 

Benefits of a FANS 1/A-equipped Aircraft 

With a FANS 1/A equipped system, aircrafts can exchange data link-enabled communication with ATC through Iridium or Inmarsat satellites. Business jets have been flying with different versions of CPDLC and ADS-C. CPDLC application ensures smooth exchange of communication between ATC and aircrafts serving as a better alternative to voice communications. ADS-C takes care of the surveillance function, with the latest addition being ADS-B Out that displays an accurate broadcast of the aircraft position via an aircraft transponder.  

The introduction of digital data communication reduces the possibility of human errorThe aircrafts can now fly perfectly at an optimum altitude without burning excess fuel. Accurate data leads to optimized flights plans and dynamic re-routing of airlines. Timely procurement of surveillance data ensures that altitude separation is avoided when airplanes cross tracks 

Improved systems like Dynamic Aircraft Routing Planning and User Preferred Routings save expenses on engine and crew maintenance. An aircraft will have a maximum of 2 CPDLC connections each with a distinctive ATSU. Among the two, only 1 will be active at one point of time. 

FANS 1/A requirements 

Some of the equipments required for implementation of FANS are: 

Communication Management Unit (CMU): 

If you have an existing CMU, you can upgrade it. However, it is important to have an equipped Communication Management Unit for smooth functioning of Data Link. 

Flight Management System (FMS): 

A proper FMS with MDCU or Multi-function Display Control Unit is essential. It shows SBAS/WAAS and GPS enabled accurate signals to the pilots. The system normally comes equipped with messaging and SATCOM dialing facilities. 

EFIS/Autopilot: 

If the aircraft is already equipped with MCDU or Multi-function Control Display Unit, there will be no alternations the autopilot system. But it should be modified for both notification and display of messages in absence of MCDU. 

Cockpit Voice Recorder: 

A data-enabled Cockpit Voice Recorder along with a CVFDR or a Cockpit and Flight Data Recorder are required to capture the data sent to and fro. This will be crucial for flight’s safety and security as Data Comm will substitute voice communication 

An Inmarsat or Iridium satellite enabled system with WAAS or Wide Area Augmentation System and GPS help in better management of flights.  

Why ADS-B is a must for aircrafts?  

Operators who want to fly their aircrafts without interruption after 2020 must install ADS-B. You will either need a standalone or an integrated transponder for ADS-B requirement. Upgrading to a Mode S transponder can also make the aircraft mandate-compliant but you need to check the required equipment before upgrade.  

Transforming the future of business aviation with FANS 1/A 

If you want to be compliant with both PM-CPDLC and FANS 1/A+, your aircrafts need to update their Communication, Navigation and Surveillance equipments [CNS]. CPDLC handles the communication part of CNSa crucial part for FANS 1/A+ avionics suiteCNS contains a VHF datalink radio or a proper satcom, ADS -C contract, display unit [DCDU] and a datalink control.  

Business aviation will undergo several positive changes with data link communications in CPDLC. Improved air traffic control is just one of them. Eventually, FANS 1/A will transition into CPDLC-only system eliminating the ADS-C. The ADS-B receivers and Iridium NEXT constellation will allow 100% coverage for all aircrafts across the globe.  

FAA allows departure clearance via CPDLC or Controller Pilot Data Link Communications at 57 airports. It is possible for the flight crew to log onto the network just half an hour before the departure time.  

How will FANS 1/A evolve in future? 

Both Airbus and Boeing are ready to meet the second-generation FANS with Fans B [Airbus] and Fans 2 [Boeing]. The improved systems will be part of the new Aeronautical Telecommunications Network protocol. Both Fans B and Fans 2 will include a CMU-based ATN protocol resulting in a reliable and faster data link.  

The mandate of 2020 is targeted at increasing efficiency in air traffic by streamlining traffic in case of congestion. With the upgrade in FAN 1/A+ there will be less delays for aircrafts waiting for clearances on the ground. Better tracking of aircrafts and timely communications also enable improved performance and greater safety.  

But one must remember that every aircraft is unique with a distinct set-up and a unique configuration. There will be some equipments which will already be compliant with the 2020 mandate. Other aircrafts might need a complete overhaul. But each aircraft will definitely benefit from CPDLC installation as enhanced data comm capabilities are going to make business aviation safe. 

After 2020, it will be the age of PBN or performance-based navigation as per CNS operational requirements. The primary goal of Next-Gen is to create a PBN-enabled national airspace. After ADS-B, it will be the age of PBN capability as most aircrafts will be disallowed from flying in certain airspaces without PBN in their flight management system.  

5 Common Aircraft Painting Problems and their Solutions

Paint is an integral part of an aircraft. Aircraft painting protects the airframe’s integrity and influences the airplane’s weight. When an aircraft is painted properly, its exposed surfaces have greater resistance to dirt and corrosion, and oil doesn’t stick to the surface quickly. Hence, it’s easier to maintain and clean the aircraft.  

However, there are certain issues that may arise during the painting process of any object. These issues are particularly troublesome and visible on aircraft surfaces. Here we have discussed some of the common problems encountered during aircraft painting and ways to address them. 

Aircraft Painting Problems – Causes and Solutions 

1. Poor Adhesion 

The causes of poor adhesion include: 

  • Improper preparation and cleaning of the aircraft surface that needs to be finished 
  • Incompatibility of the primer with the topcoat 
  • Application of wrong primer 
  • Improper mixing of the materials 
  • Selecting a reducer of wrong grade or improper thinning of coating material 
  • Contamination of air supply and/or spray equipment 

Correcting poor adhesion calls for removing the finish completely, determining and rectifying the cause, and refinishing the affected area completely. 

2. Blushing 

The milky dull haze appearing in paint finish is blushing. This trouble arises when moisture gets trapped in paint. Blushing is formed when the solvents evaporate quickly from the sprayed coat, leading to a temperature drop that condenses water in the air. Usually, it occurs when the humidity level is more than 80%. There may be some other causes too that include: 

  • Extremely high air pressure at spray gun 
  • Use of improper reducer (fast drying) 
  • Improper temperature (above 95 °F or below 60 °F) 

If you notice blushing during painting, you can add a slow-drying reducer to your paint mixture and respray the area. In case you find blushing after drying of the finish, you need to sand down the area and repaint it.  

3. Pinholes 

Pinholes are groups of holes or tiny holes occurring in the finish surface due to trapped moisture, air or solvents. Examples of causes include: 

  • Using an improper reducer or thinner, either too slow that causes solvents to be trapped by subsequent topcoats or too fast that involves quick drying of the surface and trapping of solvents 
  • Poor techniques of spraying that lead to excessively wet or heavy paint coats that tend to trap solvent or moisture under the finish 
  • Contaminants in air lines or the paint 

If you notice pinholes occurring during aircraft painting, you need to evaluate the painting technique and equipment before continuing. On drying, the surface should be sanded smooth and then repainted. 

4. Orange Peel 

The occurrence of a bumpy surface similar to an orange’s skin, is referred to as “orange peel”. Several factors may be responsible for this painting issue, with improper adjustment of spray gun being the first. Other causes include: 

  • Forced drying method employing heat or fans, which is too quick 
  • Non-uniform mixture of material 
  • The wrong reducer type for the ambient temperature or the reducer not being enough (too thick) 
  • Spray painting when substrate or ambient temperature is too cold or too hot 
  • The flash time being too less between coats 

In case of light orange peel, it can be buffed out or wet sanded using polishing compound. However, in extreme cases, you need to sand it smooth and then respray.  

5. Sags and Runs 

Sags and runs usually occur when too much paint is applied to a surface by moving the spray gun across the surface too slowly or holding the gun very close to the surface. Below are the other causes: 

  • Incorrect setting of the air-paint mixture in the spray gun 
  • Too much of reducer in paint (very thin) 

To avoid sags and runs, follow the recommended thinning guidelines for the coatings applied as well as ensure that you follow the correct spray gun techniques, particularly on projected edges and vertical surfaces. If the sags and runs are dry, sand them out and repaint the surface.   

 

Wrap Up 

Considering the significance of painting on airplanes, the paint job must be performed carefully by skilled aircraft painters to avoid the above mentioned or other types of aircraft painting problems.  

Boca Aircraft Maintenance, one of the reputed aircraft painting companies located in Florida, has well-experienced aircraft painters providing excellent aviation painting services. If you are looking for reliable aircraft paint shops to give your airplane a fresh coat of paint, contact us or give us a call today! 

6 Things to Know About Private Jet Maintenance

Routinely scheduled aircraft maintenance is crucial for maintaining an aircraft’s airworthiness. In the case of cars, maintenance is optional, but in the case of private jets, every jet has its specific maintenance timeline. Private jet maintenance and the inspections necessary must be completed within this timeline. 

These inspections are outlined by several governing groups including the FAA, aircraft manufacturer, and Maintenance Review Board. These governing groups are responsible for ensuring that the implementation of maintenance standards is carried out for overall aircraft safety. If the required aircraft maintenance is not in place, an airplane is “grounded” legally (unable to fly).  

Performing private jet maintenance is not as simple as getting your car to a mechanic. There are several factors that need to be considered for private aircraft maintenance. If you are one of the private jet owners, following are some of the things you need to know about private jet maintenance 

Things to Know About Private Jet Maintenance

1. Who Regulates Private Aircraft Maintenance?  

Private jets, like all aircraft maintenance, must comply with the high standards of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) as well as the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). These two governing bodies prepared the Safety Oversight Manual (SOR), which determines that the airworthiness of an aircraft meets standards irrespective of the location of its operation. The state in which an airplane is registered validates airworthiness of the aircraft by issuing certification.  

2. When does a Private Aircraft Require Inspection?  

The state of aircraft registry requires periodic inspections to be performed to determine the aircraft’s continued airworthiness. The frequencies of inspections are determined by the state, but they still must comply with the SOR. Inspection times can be once every 100 flight hours or once every 12 months.   

3. What should be the Frequency of Maintenance?  

The frequency of private jet maintenance requirements varies for all airplanes. According to the SOR, preventive maintenance should be carried out on airplanes flying 25 hours or less. At 100 flight hours, minor maintenance should be carried out. Aircraft maintenance frequency depends on several factors like aircraft age, storage facilities, climate change, and operation.  

4. Certification and Regulation of Mechanics

Mechanics performing maintenance of aircraft are regulated by the state in which they work through standards defined by the ICAO and FAA. Mechanics are required to be certified in repair and maintenance. The equipment and tools, which are tested and approved, can only be used by certified mechanics. While performing aircraft servicing, mechanics are required to strictly follow the maintenance manual of the manufacturer.   

5. Keeping Records Properly

Records of repair and maintenance are the sole proof aircraft operators and jet owners have, to show airworthiness. Records are legally required for the appliances, propeller, engine, and airframe. The things that must be there are a description of the job, the completion date, FAA certificate type, the signature of a certified mechanic, and signature of the individual who approves the airworthiness of the aircraft.   

6. The Place of Private Jet Maintenance and Repairs Matter  

Some maintenance works on a private aircraft can be carried out anywhere you land. The state in which you have registered your private jet may have different hourly or annual requirements which require all the mechanical work to be carried out in the state of register. Irrespective of where you get your private jet maintenance performed, it must be done by a qualified and certified mechanic who utilizes approved equipment and work station as well as records everything.  

  

Over the lifetime of a private jet, several maintenance jobs will be performed on it ranging from thorough overhauls to light checks. With a reliable aircraft maintenance services provider by their side, jet owners can experience the highest degree of aircraft safety, value, and service. 

Boca Aircraft Maintenance is a reputed aircraft maintenance company based in Florida, which offers expert private jet maintenance services owing to their highly experienced technicians and dedicated facility. Reach out to us with your private plane maintenance requirements. Call us today!

What to Know About FANS 1/A+ and ATN-B2

With air traffic increasing steadily, we need a more efficient air traffic management system. FANS (Future Air Navigation System) has emerged as an innovative technology for handling rising air traffic. The current air traffic management system relies on navigational aids, voice communications, and radar, and would eventually be ineffective in handling the estimated increase in air traffic. Since 1983, Boeing was trying to develop FANS to address the problem. The working of FANS is based on space-based navigation and communication. FANS 1/A+ is an evolved version of FANS and is capable to offer efficient air traffic management. 

FANS 1/A+: Evolved Version of FANS Aviation System 

In 1983, ICAO (International Civil Aviation Organization) began trying to set up a Datalink architecture in its FANS (Future Air Navigation Systemstructure. This advancement became the protocol standard and architecture of oceanic communications network in which early Satcom and HF reigned. Boeing – a user of ACARS (Aircraft Communications Addressing and Reporting System) – built FANS-1 to ARINC 622 binary data format. This was followed by the development of FANS-A by Airbus. These two systems were combined later and have evolved to FANS-1/A+.  

Boeing (FANS-1) employed the principles of ADS (Automatic Dependent Surveillance) and early CPDLC making use of the existing ACARS. It should be noted that ADS includes automatic surveillance like position reporting, while CPDLC includes communication using text as data and not voice, for authorizations and clearance requests. 

ATN-B2 

Similar to Airbus (FANS-A) and Boeing (FANS-1), ICAO had been engaged in a separate FANS effort, primarily based on a newer ATN (Aeronautical Telecommunications Network) set of standards and protocols. This development was referred to as ATN-B1 (Baseline 1). It’s important to understand this nomenclature as now both the Data Comm paths of ATN-B1 and FANS 1/A+ are combined to form ATN-B2.  

In ATN-B2, the continental focused ATN-B1 and oceanic focused FANS 1/A+ are brought together. ATN-B2 is still being developed by EUROCAE WG 78 and FAA RTCA sub-committee SC 214. ATN-B2 consists of advanced services, like Dynamic RNP, 4D Trajectories, and Advanced Flight Interval Management.  

Benefits of Future Air Navigation System 

DataLink services don’t depend on voice, so there are no concerns related to voice over, data update times, ATC and pilot workload, out of range radar, out of range VHF, HF limitations, and interpretation of words.  

DataLink services of FANS are automated as well as highly flexible to the users on the ground and in the air. FANS aviation system saves time, diminishes operating costs, and improves safety. Furthermore, besides Data Comm, FANS air navigation system helps with other aspects of NextGen, such as surveillance, improved traffic flow, and navigation.  

 

Wrap Up 

FANS-1/A+ is an innovative air navigation system that can help aircraft navigate efficiently and safely even the more congested airspaces. Boca Aircraft Maintenance, a leading airplane maintenance company in Florida, can provide expert FANS-1/A+ installation services. Get your aircraft equipped with this revolutionary technology to enhance your aircraft’s performance.  

ADS-B Aviation Technology: Things to Know

Countries across the globe are trying to implement a more efficient way to track aircraft. Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B) has emerged as a useful technology to accomplish this job. ADS-B aviation technology would replace radar eventually as the primary method of surveillance for separation of aircraft and monitoring of Air Traffic Control (ATC).  

Regulations mandating ADS-B technology have been published by the US and some other countries, on aircraft flying in their regions based on differing schedules. Some countries which do not require ADS-B equipment yet have designated special airspace and routes to the aircraft that voluntarily equip.  

The ADS-B Out technology allows ground vehicles and equipped aircraft to broadcast their altitude, position, velocity, and identification to ATC and other aircraft. ADS-B In technology enables aircraft to receive such information.   

ADS-B aircraft technology provides important information that helps prevent and project traffic conflicts.  

Things to Know About ADS-B Aviation System: 

Key Advantages of ADS-B Aviation Technology 

  • Expanding ATC surveillance to more regions 
  • Increasing the efficiency and capacity of airspace 

Working of ADS-B Aviation Technology 

In the US, vehicles and airplanes equipped with ADS-B exchange information on either of two frequencies – 1090 MHz or 978 MHz. Traffic Collision and Avoidance Systems (TCAS) and Mode S and A/C transponders use 1090 MHz. The message elements of Mode S are extended by ADS-B, adding information about an aircraft as well as its position. The extended squitter is referred to as 1090ES. 1090ES was chosen as the global standard for ADS-B by an international technical advisory committee.  

The FAA is upgrading and deploying ground networks systematically. ADS-B Out can be attained in the US through two methods. The first method is using next generation of transponders that operate on the band of 1090 MHz. The second method is making use of a new technology known as Universal Access Transceiver (UAT). UAT works on 978 MHz and is applicable to aircraft flying below 18,000 feet in the US.  

In the US, as per the ADS-B mandate, all airplanes must have ADS-B Out installed in them by January 1, 2020.  

Equipment Needed for ADS-B Aviation Technology 

Depending on how old your aircraft is, the equipment may be complex or simple. Moreover, some elements might already be on your aircraft. The ADS-B system would need at least one WAAS-capable GPS receiver connected to the transponders directly. The transponders will require upgradation to be compliant.  

ADS-B Out Technology 

The broadcast portion of ADS-B technology is referred to as ADS-B OutADS-B Out equipped airplanes will transmit aircraft information continuously, like location, altitude, and airspeed to the ADS-B ground stations. The minimum necessary equipment for ADS-B Out flight technology is an ADS-B-approved transmitter – a 1090 MHz Mode S transponder or 978 MHz UAT to be used with a Mode S or Mode C transponder installed previously. 

ADS-B In Technology 

The system’s receiver part is referred to as ADS-B In. Aircraft equipped with ADS-B In can receive and interpret the ADS-B Out data of other participating aircraft on an Electronic Flight Bag or a computer screen. The function of ADS-B In needs an approved system of ADS-B Out as well as an ADS-B receiver with “in” ability. Furthermore, for graphic traffic and weather displays, a display interface compatible with ADS-B will be required. 

 

Wrap Up 

ADS-B aviation technology helps provide airspace users with a more accurate traffic understanding. It’s a highly useful technology helping optimize aircraft performance. If you are an aircraft owner in the United States, get ADS-B flight tracker system installed in your airplane promptly.  

5 Types of Primers Used in Aircraft Painting and Finishing

The value of primers iaircraft painting and finishing is usually underestimated and misunderstood as it is invisible after application of the topcoat finish. Nevertheless, a primer serves as the foundation of finish. The role of primer is bonding to the surface, inhibiting metal corrosion, and providing an anchor point for coats of the finish.  

The primer pigments should either be anodic to surface of the metal or passivate the metal surface if moisture is present. The binder and the finish coats should be compatible with each other. Primers for surfaces that are nonmetallic, don’t require passivating or sacrificial pigments.  

Following are some of the chief primer types used for aircraft painting and finishing. 

Primers for Aircraft Painting and Finishing 

1. Wash Primers

Wash primers are coating of phosphoric acid in a solution of alcohol, vinyl butyral resin, and other ingredients. These primers give water-thin coatings, have very low amounts of solids, and have no filling qualities. The functions of these primers are passivating the surface, providing corrosion resistance temporarily, and offering an adhesive base for next coatings, like an epoxy or urethane primer.  

Wash primers have remarkable corrosion protection qualities and don’t need sanding. The recoat timeframe for some of them is very short that should be taken into account while painting larger airplanes. Follow the manufacturers’ instructions to get satisfactory results.  

2. Gray Enamel Undercoat

This is a nonsanding, single component primer compatible with various topcoats. Gray enamel undercoat has a high corrosion resistance, dries quickly without any shrinkage, and fills minor imperfections.  

3. Red Iron Oxide

An alkyd resin-based primer coating, red oxide primer was developed to be used over steel and iron in mild environmental conditions. You can apply it over rust which is free of grease, oil, and loose particles. This primer type’s use is limited in aviation industry.  

4. Epoxy

A thermosetting, synthetic resin, epoxy produces hard, tough, chemical-resistant adhesives and coatings. Epoxy uses a catalyst for activating the product chemically, but it’s not identified as hazardous as it doesn’t contain any isocyanates. This primer type can be employed as a nonsanding sealer/primer over bare metal. It’s softer compared to urethane and has a good chip resistance. Epoxy is recommended to be used over steel tube frame airplanes before installing fabric covering. 

5. Zinc Chromate

A corrosion resistant pigment, zinc chromate can be added in primers made of various types of resins, like alkyd, polyurethane, and epoxy. Zinc chromate of older type can be distinguished by its bright yellow hue as compared to the current brand primers that usually have a light green color. Zinc chromate reacts with metal surfaces because of moisture present in the air, forming a passive layer which prevents corrosion. At one time, zinc chromate was the standard primer for painting of airplanes. However, it has now been replaced due to environmental concerns and the emergence of new formula primers.  

 

These are the key types of primers used in aircraft painting and finishing. If you are looking for airplane painting services, Boca Aircraft Maintenance can provide you quality aircraft painting and finishing services. Being one of the leading aircraft painting companies in Florida, we specialize in aircraft exterior painting.

Checklist for Spring Aircraft Maintenance: 7 Things You Need to Do

It’s important to maintain the mechanical safety standards of an aircraft all round the year. However, springtime is a particularly significant time to perform a thorough aircraft maintenance, since spring comes after a long span of inactivity and cold. Before pulling out your airplane from the hangar for spring/summer flying season, there are several things you need to address and check. Following is a list of things you need to do as part of your spring aircraft maintenance. 

Checklist for Spring Aircraft Maintenance 

1. Review the Maintenance Records of your Aircraft 

The first step in the spring maintenance of your aircraft should be reviewing its maintenance history. Find out what preventative maintenance and repairs have been carried out recently. Also check out if there are any aircraft repairs which had been postponed but should be done. Now is the right time for doing them, particularly any safety repairs based on FAA Airworthiness Directives. These are aircraft safety repairs required by FAA for flying a plane legally. 

2. Examine Battery and Other Electrical Accessories 

If the battery’s condition or age is in question, check it and replace if necessary. A rule of thumb to follow should be removing and inspecting the batter after every 50 hours of use. Moreover, examine the condition of the mounting apparatus and the battery leads. Check other electrical accessories too that include radio and antenna, wiring at terminals, circuit breakers, and circuits.  

3. Examine the Fuel System and Change the Oil 

Even if your aircraft’s gas tank was filled and oil changed before laying it up for winter, it’s crucial to check your plane’s fuel system and do an oil change in spring before starting with flying again. Oil may become acidic leading to corrosion and pitting of the components like bearings and cam lobes. Rust may mix with oil resulting in extensive engine damage.  

Furthermore, examine the fuel system. The fuel filter should be removed, cleaned, and replaced if necessary. Check for any condensation in fuel tanks, which may happen if there is air in the tanks and tanks were not full. Corrosion can be caused by water at the bottom of a tank. In case static vent covers and pitot were installed prior to the winter, they should be removed now. Check that master switches are back on and fuel cocks are open. Additionally, check: 

  • Fuel gauge for any damage 
  • Fuel valve for leaks or damages 
  • Fuel drain for any foreign matter or water 
  • Fuel lines for leaks or damages 
  • Condition of fuel tanks and the straps 

Although a fuel system flush and an oil change may appear to be a redundant expense at the moment, they can save you from way more costly repairs later on. 

4. Inspect Wear and Pressure of Tires 

Like in case of car tires, air pressure tends to decrease over time for aircraft tires. Ensure that the tires of your airplane are at the recommended psi. In addition, inspect the tires visually for bald spots and tread wear. Examine the wheel brake assembly also for strut condition and leaks. 

5. Test the Landing Gear, Propeller, Tail Fins, and Wing Flaps 

Ensure that the landing gear doors, landing gear, tail fins, wing flaps, and propeller assembly are all working well. Check that no components or parts are dirty, damaged or loose.  

6. Check for Structural Damage 

If you had hangared your aircraft inside, there are low chances that it suffered any winter damage. However, it’s always wise to do a walkaround before starting with flying. Check out for any structural damage or hairline cracks on the wings and fuselage caused by contact with another aircraft or wind. Examine seals and gaskets to ensure they are not dried out or corroded. Additionally, check the cowling and air intake, pilot tube, stall warning vent, and the static ports for any animals, as birds and small rodents may have made nests in these areas and other places. 

7. Wash Well 

Last but not the least, give your aircraft a good interior cleaning and exterior washing. Ensure that no foreign materials or dirt interfere with the operations of the tail fin and wing flap. While washing windows, remember to wash in up and down motion rather than swirling in circles since that may cause scratches on the windows. 

 

Wrap Up 

So, before you begin with flying, make sure you carry out a proper spring plane maintenance by following the above steps. Proper aircraft maintenance ensures optimal performance of an airplane.  

You may also consider seeking the assistance of a reliable company providing aircraft maintenance services. Boca Aircraft Maintenance provides high quality aircraft maintenance services and specializes in spring aircraft maintenance program 

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