If your business has an aircraft or wants to get into the aircraft business, you will benefit from learning the different components and systems. These components and systems have differences depending on the type of aircraft, but most aircraft share several commonalities, including engines, control surfaces, flight instruments, avionics, the fuselage and fuel systems. Once you understand the basic terms relating to aircraft components and systems, you can start to learn the specifics relating to your aircraft.
AvionicsAvionics, or aviation electronics, refers to the electrical instruments you can find in an aircraft's cockpit. Avionics includes the pilot's radio, beacons, landing lights, engine controls, radar, navigation aids, and a variety of other electronics.
Control surfacesThe control surfaces of an aircraft are the parts of the plane's wings and tail that move. Control surfaces include ailerons, horizontal stabilizers, vertical stabilizers, flaps, the rudder, and the elevator. Not every plane will have the same configuration, but these are the basic control surfaces. For example, some planes don't have flaps.
Allstar Network has a diagram of an airplane's control surfaces. Below the diagram, you'll find the definitions for each control surface and explanations detailing how the parts work and what they do. NASA also has a detailed diagram that outlines the different control surfaces you'll find on most planes.
FuselageFuselage is the main body of an aircraft. Passengers, pilot and crew all sit in the fuselage. The fuselage is generally cylindrical in shape.
To learn more, visit wiseGEEK, which describes an aircraft's fuselage in greater detail.
Flight instrumentsThe six main flight instruments pilots need to know to fly a plane include attitude indicator, airspeed indicator, altimeter, turn coordinator, vertical speed indicator, and heading indicator. These flight instruments relay crucial information to pilots.
Ron Gruner explains how each of these six flight instruments function.
Aircraft fuel systemAn aircraft's fuel system includes the fuel tanks, lines, primer, pump, and gauges, as well as any other part of the fuel distribution and monitoring system.
Visit PilotFriend for a description on the different parts of common aircraft fuel systems.
Aircraft enginesAircraft engines come in varying shapes and sizes. The two most common types of engines are gas turbine engines and piston engines.
Thai Technics lists and defines the different types of gas turbine engines, while the United States Centennial of Flight Commission discusses piston engines.