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4 Key Components of an Aircraft’s Electrical System

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Understanding how an aircraft’s electrical system works is crucial for any aviator. After all, without electricity, an airplane can’t fly!

You wouldn’t want to be the pilot who can’t explain to the passengers why the plane is stuck on the ground, would you? This blog post will look at the four key components of an aircraft’s electrical system and how they work together to keep your plane in the air.

The Battery

The battery provides power to the aircraft when the engine is off. It is usually in the nose section of the plane. You can think of the battery as the heart of the electrical system. Without it, there would be no power to start the engine or to run any of the electrical systems on the plane.

There are two types of batteries used in aircraft: lead-acid batteries and nickel-cadmium batteries. Lead-acid batteries are cheaper and weigh less, but they require more maintenance than nickel-cadmium batteries.

The Alternator

The alternator is what provides power to the aircraft when the engine is on. It is on or near the engine and gets its power from a driveshaft. The alternator charges the battery and powers the static inverter. Without the alternator, the battery would eventually run out of power, and the electrical systems on the plane would start to fail.

The Static Inverter

The static inverter converts direct current (DC) into alternating current (AC). This inverter is necessary because most aircraft’s electrical components run on AC. The static inverter is usually near the battery. You might wonder why the electrical system needs to convert DC to AC. After all, wouldn’t it be simpler to use AC from the start?

The reason is that AC is more efficient than DC in long-distance power transmission. In an aircraft, the battery is usually located in the nose, while the electrical components are in the tail. By converting DC to AC, the static inverter reduces the power lost in transmission. The battery doesn’t have to work as hard, and the electrical system can run more efficiently.

Circuit Breakers

Circuit breakers protect the aircraft’s electrical system from damage by breaking the circuit if too much current flows through it. Circuit breakers are throughout the plane, often near electrical components.

These are just a few things to know about an aircraft’s electrical system. Pilots must understand how the system works to troubleshoot problems and get the right electrical system parts from an aviation parts supplier when necessary.

Seattle Aviation Solutions can be your one-stop shop for all your aircraft electrical system needs. We carry various aircraft parts and supplies, whether you are looking for commercial or business aviation parts. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help keep your aircraft flying.

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