Airplanes are crucial to modern life. They revolutionized transportation and trade and allowed global travel within small amounts of time. To many people, though, they are a mystery. This article will give a brief and simplified overview of an incredibly complex topic if you are interested in how airplanes are built. Continue reading to learn more.
Design and Testing
First, the airplane needs to be designed. Modern aircraft are designed and tested on computers before any physical aspects come into play. Once the theoretical testing is completed, physical models are constructed to scale. The models or just individual parts are subjected to aerodynamic testing to ensure the design is feasible.
After the design phase is complete, the construction can begin. An airplane requires thousands of parts to complete and involves multiple industries, from engine manufacturers to the top fastener distributors. Most aircraft manufacturers are not vertically integrated. There are hundreds of companies that exclusively produce components for aircraft. Compiling all the parts is not enough, though; they obviously must be put together. This is a vital step in the construction process because catastrophe will occur if the welds and fastening methods are not appropriately engineered. The joined materials are tested according to international standards for safety.
Varieties of Aircraft
In airplane manufacturing, there are three categories: combat, commercial and general aviation. Combat aircraft are any military planes owned by state governments. Commercial aircraft are used to transport goods, people or both. They can vary significantly in size and come in many varieties. General aviation is the most diminutive and least powerful variety. They typically use propellers for propulsion and have one or two engines.
There are many categories within the world of airplanes, but they all are constructed using the same general principles. The designing, testing and construction phases require rigorous attention to detail with very little room for error.