One of the many circuit protection devices

 "If I told you half the things I've heard about this Jabba the Hutt, you'd probably short circuit." Since you’re here, these words said to R2D2 in the film Return of the Jedi are probably not the first time you’ve heard of a short circuit. A short circuit is one of the many issues electronic and electrical protection devices are designed to prevent. 

Let’s talk basics. A protection device simply has two main functions: consistency in regulation, and protection of electrical and electronic circuits. At their most basic, protection devices redirect a power supply into a separate circuit, using overcurrent protection. This allows the device to prevent damage to an existing circuit from excessive voltages and currents. Protection devices also may serve as a safeguard to remove the risk of fire hazard and electrocution. Now that we’re caught up on what exactly a protection device is, let’s cover the most common designs that you might come across and when you might encounter them.

1. Circuit Breaker

  • What is it?
    • Electrical switch
    • Stops a current when there is excess voltage, or when a system failure occurs
  • When is it used?
  • Utilized to protect against an electrical short circuit
    • Useful on both high current and low current circuits 


  • What is it?
    • Electronic device
    • Metal strip that has the capability to liquify when current flow is too high
    • Categorized by intended application, response time, and breaking
    • When is it used?
    • In systems where protection is needed without a large disruption

3.  Poly Switch (Multifuse/Polyfuse)

  • What is it?
    • Passive electrical device
    • Protects from over current errors
    • Operates as a resettable fuse
  • When is it used?
    • Commonly used on mechanical transforms, computer power supplies, and nuclear or aerospace applications

4.   Residual Current Circuit Breaker (RCCB/RCD)

  • What is it?
    • Electronic device
    • Testable & resettable
    • Shut-off capability - will identify an issue in power supply, and shut off within a short period
    • Does not protect against overload of a circuit
  • When is it used?
    • Home power supply

5.   Surge Protection Device

  • What is it?
    • Electrical device
    • Most common protection unit for over-voltage protection
    • Well organized mechanism
    • Can be used in most stages of a system
  • When is it used?
    • Electrical fitting security systems

6. Metal Oxide Variable Resistor/Voltage Dependent Resistor (VDR)

  • What is it?
    • Electronic device
    • Resistance varies based on incoming voltage
  • When is it used?
    • Applicable with electrical circuits that are vulnerable to electrostatic discharge and/or lighting

7. Gas Discharge Tube/Expulsion Lamps

  • What is it?
    • Electrical device
    • Gas filled tube - electrodes are contained within the gas, and held in an insulated, temperature resistant capsule
    • Able to ionize gas using incoming voltage

  • When is it used?
    • Switching device for electrical protection
    • Lightning protection

8. Inrush Current Limiter

  • What is it?
    • Electrical device
    • Stops inrush current before it reaches circuit breakers and fuses to reduce potential damage
    • High resistance capability
    • Heat protection allows flow of current on a regular basis
    • When is it used?
    • Fixed resistors
    • NTC Thermistors

At Aerospace Orbit, owned and operated by ASAP Semiconductor, we can help you find all the circuits and fuse parts and assemblies you need, new or obsolete. As a premier supplier of parts for the aerospace, civil aviation, and defense industries, we’re always available and ready to help you find all the parts and equipment you need, 24/7x365. For a quick and competitive quote, email us at or call us at +1-509-449-7700.

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heat exchanger

Heat exchangers are used to transfer heat from one source to another. Thermal energy is transferred from one source to another without water and gas coming into contact with each other. These heat exchangers are commonly used in a variety of aircraft components. In aviation, flat tube and plate-fin heat exchangers are the most commonly used in aviation. These components must be properly cleaned in order to function smoothly.

Because they will be used at high altitudes, temperature, air density, and pressure resistance all need to be taken into consideration. The fan used in the heat exchanger must also be carefully selected since more airflow is required to remove heat in higher altitudes where air density is much lower.

Liquid cooling tends to perform better than air cooling alone. Liquid cooling is also quieter and less vulnerable to the problems associated with high altitudes. It requires less power and weighs less because there is no need for a large fan or wide spacing.

Plate-fin heat exchangers use plates and finned chambers in order to transfer heat. They can be used for air-to-air, air-to-liquid, or liquid-to-liquid cooling. Considering their weight, this type of heat exchanger performs very well.

Flat tube heat exchangers consist of several flat tubes that are vacuum-brazed in between. These tend to be less expensive than plate-fin designs.

There are high standards when it comes to cleaning heat exchangers. This is due to all the strict and stringent safety requirements that govern aviation. The amount of buildup can be estimated based on past experiences as well as the number of hours flown.

Aerospace Orbit, owned and operated by ASAP Semiconductor, should always be your first and only stop for all your hard to find or urgent aircraft components. Aerospace Orbit is a premier supplier of aircraft parts, NSN parts, electronic components, and heat exchangers, whether new or obsolete. Aerospace Orbit has a wide selection of parts to choose from and is fully equipped with a friendly staff, so you can always find what you’re looking for, 24/7x365. If you’re interested in a quote, email us at or call us at +1-509-449-7700.

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One of the most important components to making flying safe is the actuator, a “mover” that uses a control signal and power source in order to move and control a mechanism or system. They play a vital role in flight and control, ensuring safety of the aircraft and passengers. In the case of aircraft actuators, they are used in landing gear, flaps— and, in the military, weapons systems.

Landing gear actuators are used to provide the retraction and extension motion for the landing gear located at the bottom of the fuselage. Originally, airplanes were fitted with hydraulic actuators, however, many companies are beginning to transition to electric actuators for better technology and more reliability. Because these actuators are located very close to the ground while the airplane is moving at high speeds, they have to be able to withstand high-pressure up to at least 5,000 psi and be built very strong to resist damage caused by debris kicked up by the wheels. But, because weight matters, landing gear actuators are usually made from lightweight materials.

Aircraft flap actuators, also known as “flap actuators”, are located on each wing and used to maintain efficient flight at low airspeeds. They’re mounted with a rotating screw that allows the flap to move up and down accordingly. On larger aircraft, there are retractable flap actuators placed on the outside edge of the wing in order to change the effective surface area of the airfoil and counteract the lack of lift generated at lower airspeeds.

Weapons systems also use linear actuators to ensure reliability. In combat, fighter jets need to be able to consistently open the bay doors to access the weapons. If the doors don’t open, or they jam, they could lose their lives. So, fighter jets use electric and hydraulic actuators equipped with sensors and stop modules to ensure reliability and safe use.

 At Aerospace Orbit, owned and operated by ASAP Semiconductor, we are a premier online distributor of aircraft and electronic parts and components. We carry everything from aircraft engines and fuselage components, to landing gear and actuators parts, new and obsolete. If you’re interested in a quote or more information about aircraft actuators, visit us at or call us at +1-509-119-7700.

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The most expensive and important part of an aircraft is easily the engine. Sometimes you don’t have any other option than to overhaul your current engine. It can be a frustrating process, but it gets easier when you know who to turn to and what needs to be done.

It’s important, for safety reasons, to regularly inspect and maintain your aircraft engine. Every 1,800 hours for a hot section inspection, and 3,600 for an overhaul. The hot section inspection is when all the hot section engine components are inspected to ensure that they can generate enough power to fly efficiently and safely. An overhaul is when the entire engine is disassembled, cleaned, inspected, reassembled, tested, and shipped back to the installation agency.

Overhauls are a thorough process. The engine’s four major sections, accessory gearbox, gas generator section, power section, and reduction gearbox, have to be disassembled and properly inspected. All the fuel control units, fuel pumps, nozzles, flow dividers, fuel oil heaters, speed governors, heated tubes, and ignition units need to be overhauled. Engine mounts are changed, and engine hoses are reviewed at this time. Mandatory and optional service bulletins are usually addressed at this time as well.

Because of how much more work an overhaul is, the price can be extremely high. Understanding your engine and what needs you have regarding your engine can help provide you with a better cost-benefit analysis. Sometimes it’s more cost-efficient to just upgrade than to overhaul. However, this also depends on who you’re working with. Are you comfortable with paying a bit more for an authorized and approved service center? Or are you okay with using a cheaper service center that your engine’s OEM does not support?

Choosing the right service center to oversee and do your overhaul is important. Experienced and reliable service centers will walk you through the entire process and help you weigh different costs and benefits, provide you with competitive quotes with options, be willing to answer all your questions, and be able to do any extra work you may need or want done. At Aerospace Orbit, owned and operated by ASAP Semiconductor, a premier supplier of NSNs and aviation parts, we want help alleviate the stress of your next overhaul or upgrade. So, we make sure that we stock and supply our customers with quality aviation parts at competitive prices. Check us out at to get started.

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Often now the aircraft safety videos are disregarded. This may be because aircrafts today have become so much safer than ever before and customers do not see the importance of them. The statistics of aircraft fatalities have decreased every year. As a matter of fact, the U.S. had zero aircraft fatalities in 2017. Since airline safety has become very stringent we may think less and less about what to do in case of an emergency some may believe the burden lies on the airline and not the customers. However, it is useful to know how the evacuation process works in the next time you are on your flight.

To start, it is good to know every commercial aircraft has an emergency evacuation slide now. Aircrafts have become much safer as they have become a very prominent mode of transportation as thousands of domestic and international flights, fly every single day. But it is good to know what happens in the case of an emergency.

First off, when the door is closing for take off the pilot speaks over the speaker to the cabin crew saying, “Doors to automatic and cross check”. This means to put the doors in automatic mode. Meaning when you are in an aircraft emergency, the evacuation slide will deploy automatically. Then the opposite is announced when landing “Doors to manual”. In the case of an emergency, slides will deploy automatically as the doors open, however if they are on the manual setting the slides will not deploy without further actions. The inflation process takes about 6 seconds. The goal is for all passengers must be able to leave the cabin in less than 90 seconds. Most slides can serve as a raft now except on certain aircrafts. The raft is very useful in the case that there is a emergency landing overseas.

Aerospace Orbit, owned and operated by ASAP Semiconductor, should always be your first and only stop for all your hard to find or aircraft evacuation slides. Aerospace Orbit is your premier online distributor of aircraft parts, NSN parts, and Electronic component. Whether new, old or hard to find, they can help you locate it. Aerospace Orbit has a wide selection of parts to choose from and is fully equipped with a friendly staff, so you can always find what you’re looking for, at all hours of the day. If you’re interested in obtaining a quote, contact the sales department at or call +1-412-212-0606.

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Boeing recently passed their one-year anniversary of the 737 Max. Their anniversary has been supported by a large, in-service fleet that has satisfied the promises for improved fuel efficiency while also fighting problems normally faced with new aircrafts. The Boeing Company delivered one-hundred thirty aircrafts that represent two versions of the 737 Max in its first 12 months of delivery to Lion Air’s subsidiary that is based in Malaysia. It is speculated that delivery could have been higher, but CFM International, the engine supplier for the 737 Max fell a few weeks behind on a scheduled ramp-up of Leap-1B engine production.

The one-hundred thirty deliveries of the 737 Max within just one year is double the delivery of the A32neo family that Airbus Group delivered to customers over its first year of operation. Airbus also faced issues with supplier production shortfalls, which involved cabin interiors and backload for the Pratt and Whitney PW1100G engine. As of now, the twenty-eight Max operators have logged almost 120,00 hours on almost 42,000 flights. The operators carried 6.5 million passengers.

The 737 Max family faces a high expectation for reliability, as the experienced 737NG series operates with a 99.7% mission dispatch rate. Boeing vice-president Randy Tinseth notes however that minor issues are bound to be faced in the beginning. Boeing’s fleet now hold a 99.4% mission dispatch rate, which is projected to improve to 99.7% by the end of this year.

Aerospace Orbit, which is owned and operated by ASAP Semiconductor, is an easy to use platform to source national stock members from more than thirty federal codes, thirty million electronic parts, and seven million aviation assemblies. Listed as #16 on Orange County Business Journal’s list of fastest growing private companies within just 3 years of its founding, AFR Enterprises has risen to become a unique and complete procurement service for purchasing requirements. For customers sourcing for parts ranging from cabin interior parts to bearings, fasteners and more, ASAP Semiconductor is focused on providing excellent service to all customers.

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After the recent disaster that happened on Southwest Airlines Boeing 737, where an engine disintegrated mid-flight causing shrapnel to break a window and have a woman almost be sucked out of the plane, more pressure is being placed on companies to check individual fan blades more frequently.

The FAA has decided that fan blades need to be monitored more. This means that blades must now be checked before 20,000 miles and after 20,000 miles the blades will be re-checked every 3,000 rotations. Fan blades, CFM56-7B should also be checked as soon as possible, even if they had been checked just before the new motion was put in order. This is even more important if the fan blades have completed 30,000 rotations. Company’s and MRO’s should expect to get their blades checked every two years or so. Two years is about the equivalent of 3,000 blade rotations.

These new rules should impact over 3,000 different engines across the world and if set in place before could have saved lives. Southwest Airlines plane that was involved in the tragedy was found to have hair pin fractures across its fan blades in the left engine. These miniature cracks are likely the cause of the engine tearing apart mid-flight and causing one fatality.

This kind of incident is something that can be avoided with proper attention and active care of planes and their engine blades. It’s horrible that it caused the death of a passenger for this order to be put in place. Maybe now, things like this will be taken more seriously.

Aerospace Orbit

Aerospace Orbit, owned and operated by ASAP Semiconductor, should always be your first and only stop for all your hard to find and urgent aircraft needs. Aerospace Orbit is the premier supplier of aircraft parts, whether new, old or hard to find, they can help you locate it. Aerospace Orbit has a wide selection of parts to choose from and is fully equipped with a friendly staff, so you can always find what you’re looking for, at all hours of the day. If you’re interested in obtaining a quote, contact the sales department at or call +1-509-449-7700

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Airlines are continuously evaluating their connectivity options while closely looking out for cost. One component is both weight and drag that is inflicted by standard, mechanical broadband antennas used for satellite communication. QEST, a German based company focusing on only aircraft antennas, anticipates its advanced flat phased array antenna that can be steered electronically will be ready to be introduced to the market by the beginning of next year.

During the 2018 Satellite show held this past March in Washington, Joerg Oppenlaender, Chief Technical Officer at QEST, emphasized that the company produced and designed the ESA solely for aviation. The company held a focus on constructing performance and efficiency when designing the device. This focus means working inside tight size, weight and power limits, and also reaching high performance standards amongst difficult aviation conditions.

According to Oppenlaender, the new device by QEST will have the ability to handle Ku (12-18 GHz), K (18-27 GHz) and Ka bands (27-40 GHz). He explains that QEST was able to minimize size and cut down weight dramatically by producing an efficient antenna with solely aviation in mind. QEST’s ESA emits eighty percent of input power versus the thirty percent for a competitive ESA.

QEST already has two-thousand mechanical antennas up in the air. The average time between failures thus far has been approximately one million flight hours. QEST’s chief technical officer shares the company’s goal of targeting 100,000 MTBF for their ESA. Because QEST’s ESA is small and flat, it will not be compatible with near trans-polar routes unless low-earth orbiting constellations are established. This may be a possibility in 5 years.

Aerospace Orbit, which is owned and operated by ASAP Semiconductor, is a user-friendly platform that allows for customers to source for NSNs from more than thirty federal supply codes, thirty million electronic parts, and seven million sub and complete assemblies. With the ability to supply antenna parts, aircraft antenna parts and beyond, Aerospace Orbit can be utilized as a unique and comprehensive resource for customers’ sourcing needs. ASAP Semiconductor is focused on supporting customers with great customer service and dedicated account managers.

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On March 20, 2018, in Lake Elmo, Momentum Aeronautics was able to finish a Supplemental Type Certificate project for a Pilatus PC-7.

Momentum Aeronautics, LLC is an engineering company complete with production and airworthiness services. Based at a Minnesota airport in Lake Elmo, Momentum Aeronautics is a friend to everyone. They service aircraft modifiers, manufacturers, and operators of all kinds. Momentum prides themselves on providing their worldwide partners with applied solutions for aircraft production, engineering, operations, and certifications of all kinds for the FAA’s desires and approvals.

This project was through the FAA Chicago Aircraft Certification Office for Parker Hannifin Corp aircraft brake and wheel division. Parker’s wheel and brake installations were approved on the Pilatus PC-7 aircraft. Pilatus Aircraft Parts are very pricey; finding alternative parts for these exquisite planes, that are signed off by the FAA is a phenomenal achievement.

A Supplemental Type Certificate is from a national organization that has aviation authority-approval when extensive changes happen on an existing aircraft. If something like a radio is put in, it would not be considered a major modification. A major modification would be a new engine, brake, propeller. Etc.

To be able to earn a Supplemental Type Certificate for the set-up of the approved Parker brake and wheel assembly, you need to get the important airworthiness, testing, engineering, and FAA coordination services needed to get the supplemental type certificate. Momentum had airworthiness support with a complete experimental flight test program. Lastly, they worked with the FAA to get the approved Parker brake and wheel assembly installed.

Momentum has exclaimed their excitement that they were able to present Parker Hannifin with a finished product. They also relayed their gratitude to be able to work closely with Chicago ACO during the supplemental type certificate program.

Parker Hannifin created a phenomenal brake and wheel product for the Pilatus aircraft. Not only are aircraft brake parts and aircraft wheel products some of their specialties but they are also dependable and affordable products. Their supplemental type certificate program was able to put their abilities on display by taking a landing gear adjustment project from the concept all the way to the finished product and sale.

Aerospace Orbit, owned and operated by ASAP Semiconductor is a premier logistics and supply-chain partner for all aerospace manufacturing and technology-driven companies. We offer complete supply chain management services to all our customers, resulting in the simplified and speedy procurement of all aerospace components with time and cost savings. For a complete parts list check out or reach out to the main office by phone +1-509-449-7700 or email 

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AVX Showcases Their New Accu-L® Series Thin Film Chip Inductors

AVX Corporation is a worldwide electronics components business with warehouses and manufactures in 40 countries around the globe. AVX is known for creating well researched, impeccably tested and top of the line electronic parts. Their newest product line is an Accu-L inductor that is specifically built to supplement automobiles, by synching up the power applications to make the car run in the most effective manner.

The draw of this new product is the power that hides within their tiny size. Their small size (which comes in two options, 0402 and 0805) packs a punch and makes them one of the most accurate thin film chip inductors on the market. They can handle temperatures ranging from -67 degrees Fahrenheit all the way up to 257 degrees Fahrenheit.

Each inductor is compatible with either flexible circuit boards or full alumina circuit boards. You do have to keep in mind how you handle these bad boys though. They must be picked up and moved around with plastic tipped tweezers (no metal!) or by using a vacuum seal apparatus that carefully picks up a piece with suction and places it down in its new location. You can assure that each unit has been tested over and over again, to ensure that it meets all of the company and industry standards. These tests include frequency tests, humidity, testing how long the product will last in a vehicle and even visual tests to make sure the product looks the way it should.

Aerospace Orbit has complete line of AVX Corporation parts— with an ever-growing stock, you can count on Aerospace Orbit to have everything you need. Aerospace Orbit is known for having hard to find and/or out of stock parts and can always help you find what you’re looking for, all while offering cost-effective component solutions. For a complete parts list check out or for a quote reach out to the main office by phone 1-509-449-7700 or email: .

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