AS9120B, ISO 9001:2015, AND FAA AC 0056B ACCREDITED

Do Airplanes Have Brakes?

When it comes to constructing any vehicle, the implementation of brakes may be one of the first elements that comes to mind. However, in the case of airplanes, not every person understands how such braking systems work. Airplanes have disc brakes similar to those used in cars, but in aircraft, such components must be designed to accommodate tremendous loads to make takeoff and landing operations possible. Additionally, these brakes allow aircraft to stop within the length of a runway, and to achieve this, disc brakes are often used. Moreover, when landing, some planes also utilize thrust reversers, spoilers, and flaps to slow down their speed, only activating wheel brakes once the aircraft hits the ground. To better understand how different aircraft safely come to a halt, we will discuss the function of landing gear and air brakes.   

A part of air brake configurations on a majority of jet-powered aircraft, thrust reversers are a flight system that works against the forward movement of an aircraft, and they are typically placed near the jet engine. Alongside these parts, flight control surfaces like spoilers and flaps move to adjust airflow around an aircraft while creating aerodynamic drag. At the time of parking, brakes control movement, limit speed while taxiing, and efficiently apply forces to stop the aircraft during ground operations.   

To achieve efficient braking, disc brakes are affixed to the wheels, but only function when the aircraft touches the ground. In the case of a rejected take-off, the pilot will cease acceleration, halting the aircraft while rolling on the runway. To effectively stop, the complex design of disc brakes relies on the overall size, weight, and average speed of an aircraft during landing. As such, there are three disc brakes commonly used, including: single disc, double-disc, and multiple disc brakes.   

Smaller and lighter aircraft primarily use the single disc brake which is fixed on aircraft wheels, and the disc will move with the movement of the wheel. When friction is generated on both discs, the non-rotating caliper fixed in the landing gear axle flange will stop the flight after applying the brakes. Dual disc brakes are used for heavy aircraft where two discs are fixed on each wheel with the center carrier located between the discs. When a pilot pushes down on brakes equipped with a double-disc, the lining presented on each side will resist the rotation of the disc, which will also stop the aircraft's movement. Multiple disc brakes are most commonly used for heavy-duty assemblies with the extended bearing carrier fixed in the axle flange. The function of the extended bearing carrier and torque is the same as it supports the annular cylinder, a piston, a backplate, and a backplate retainer with other various parts.     

To accommodate planes of various sizes, hydraulic booster brakes are the best solution for both small and large aircraft flying today. Although smaller vehicles can be powered with the help of a master cylinder, their larger counterparts require a hydraulic pump for additional hydraulic fluid volume and pressure applications. However, some modern aircraft now employ electrical brakes to bolster their braking capabilities.     

As previously discussed, pilots will generally rely on a combination of spoiler and air brake controls which may automatically activate upon landing as per the commands established by the pilot. Instead of brakes only being provided near the nose and tail of the aircraft, all wheels are provided with a braking assembly that is managed by the pilot through hydraulics and rudder pedals. Within the cockpit, pilots are provided with two rudder pedals near their feet, and the right and left wheel brakes are controlled by the right and left rudder pedal respectively. For example, depressing the left rudder pedal will actuate the left wheel brakes. For brakes to slow the aircraft, they rely on the conversion of kinetic energy into heat, which occurs through friction as the discs clamp onto the wheels. To ensure brakes remain reliable, they must undergo regular inspection, proper maintenance, and regular fittings. 

Undoubtedly, brakes are one of the most significant components of any vehicle, and inspecting the quality of such parts for their reliability before making a purchase is necessary to avoid accidents. If you are looking to buy reliable brakes and other associated components for your aircraft, Aerospace 3sixty can satisfy all your requirements. Owned and operated by ASAP Semiconductor, Aerospace 3sixty is a trusted platform for purchasing all of your aerospace, defense, electronic, and industrial needs. With an inventory of over 2 billion top-quality new, used, obsolete, and hard-to-find products from reputable manufacturers included in our approved vendor list (AVL), you can easily find what you need to satisfy your item requirements. For additional service inquiries, call or email us at your earliest convenience; we are happy to assist you 24/7x365. 


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