Shopping for hardware parts for aircraft should never be taken lightly. If you’re building a custom aircraft, here’s what should be foremost on your list:
When it comes to aircraft hardware, go for quality. Opting for anything else could compromise airplane functions and flying safety. Always go for aircraft grade hardware. They demonstrate better tensile strength, which is a must for aircraft applications and operations, says Fastener Dimensions.
Know the terms
There are different standards aircraft hardware. AN means Air force-Navy or Army-Navy. MS stands for Military Standard and then you have NAS which stands for National Aerospace Standards. You’ll need to make sure the parts you buy meet and measure up to those standards. This way, you’ll be able to install the right parts in the right places.
Before you buy any piece of hardware, make sure you check the specifications. Know the strength and dimensions along with the tolerance levels it can withstand. Read up on the kind of finish applied to the piece. This can make a difference in whether it’s the right one for your aircraft or not.
Cover the basics
Out of all the many hardware pieces out there, there are a number of major parts you should keep in mind that you’ll regularly need for your aircraft. These include bolts, washers, screws, nuts, cotter pins along with the safety wire, turnlock fasteners, control cable hardware, electrical wiring and connections and even fluid lines and fittings. Rivets and other miscellaneous items like crush washers, O-rings and more are also included.
Always read the assembly manual
Check with the manual before you shop. That way, you’ll avoid buying the wrong parts. Double check the numbers, especially with the dimensions. It might seem simple enough but it’s easy to confuse numbers when you’ve got a lot on your plate. Never hurts to make sure so always double-check for your peace of mind.