The Most Common Uses of Pulleys in Aircraft

While many aspects of aircraft are becoming ever increasingly electrical, there are still countless mechanical devices that perform operations paramount to conducting a standard flight operation. For many aircraft, pulleys are a common mechanical device that is able to apply a pulling force through the use of a wheel and cable assembly. With a pulley, connected objects can be pulled and provided tension with ease, allowing for pilots to manage various important assemblies and systems. In this blog, we will discuss the most common aircraft applications that pulleys serve so that you may better understand their importance and uses.

Wing flaps are a staple of aircraft design, coming in the form of adjustable surfaces that are situated near the back edge of each wing structure. Through the actuation of wing flaps, pilots can govern the stalling speed of the aircraft. Additionally, wing flaps are also useful for minimizing the distance that an aircraft travels during takeoff or landing operations. As pilots need to be able to manage the wing flaps from the cockpit, a system of pulleys are used for raising and lowering such flight surfaces.

Ailerons are another wing-situated flight surface that pilots commonly use each flight, and they too can be managed with the use of pulley systems. While ailerons are also near the back edge of the aircraft’s wings, they are a bit closer to the tip. Additionally, there will often only be a single aileron surface on each wing, and they always adjust in opposite directions from one another. As such, if one aileron is raised with a pulley, the other is lowered. This allows for the aircraft to bank, and control is provided to the pilot in the cockpit through pulleys and more.

Landing gear is paramount for an aircraft’s ability to safely land and traverse on ground surfaces, yet they can often cause a high amount of drag when situated in the flow of air during flight. To mitigate drag, many aircraft feature the ability to deploy and retract landing gear, and this is often made possible through the use of pulleys. When an aircraft takes off from a runway and gains altitude, the pilot will activate the pullets to raise the landing gear system. Once it comes time to deploy the landing gear once again before touching down, the pulleys can be actuated again to safely lower the assembly.

While such examples constitute the primary uses of a pulley in the aviation sector, there are still many other uses for such devices. For instance, aircraft may use pulleys in numerous other areas to position components, provide travel adjustment, and enact tension. As many important controls are made possible through the use of pulleys, it is crucial that they are well maintained and inspected on a regular basis. If you are ever conducting maintenance and find that you need replacement parts to effectively service your aircraft, look no further than Aerospace Unlimited.

Aerospace Unlimited is a premier purchasing platform belonging to the ASAP Semiconductor family of websites, and we are your best solution for all the pulleys, drums, and other mechanical devices that you require for your aircraft. With our purchasing power and expertise, we can help you save time and money when sourcing top manufacturer parts and products. Even if you happen to be facing a time constraint, we can expedite the shipping process through the use of our expansive supply chain network. If you have any questions or concerns regarding our offerings or services, we encourage you to give us a call or email at your earliest convenience. At Aerospace Unlimited we are more than just a reputable distributor of parts; we are your strategic sourcing partner.


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