Parts of a Jet Planeby Pauline Gill
Modern jets allow hundreds of people at a time to travel to virtually any destination around the world in mere hours. It takes tens of thousands of costly precision parts and meticulous assembly methods to build a single aircraft. The discrete parts comprise major sections that work together to enable these behemoths to smoothly take off, climb, cruise and land while providing a comfortable environment to passengers and crew.
Jets consist of five major sections. These are the fuselage, wings and stabilizers, engines, landing gear, and the cockpit.
The fuselage forms the body of the airplane and connects almost all of the other sections into a balanced symmetrical unit. The fuselage contains passengers and cargo, the cockpit from which the plane is controlled, landing gear and a portion of the fuel.
Wings and Stabilizers
Wings and stabilizers, including their integral flight-control surfaces such as flaps, ailerons, rudder, slats and spoilers, all work together to form a number of fixed and variable airfoil surfaces that allow the plane to fly through the air and be controlled by the pilot.
Jet engines on passenger jets are mounted either to the wings or to the rear sides of the fuselage. They propel airplanes to gather speed down the runway to take off, gain altitude, and maintain altitude and velocity while cruising. Modern jets incorporate high bypass fan sections on the front of the engines to significantly augment acceleration while taking off and climbing. Because fuel comprises a substantial part of the weight of a departing jet, it is well distributed throughout the aircraft in tanks in the wings and fuselage.
The landing gear consists of a front gear strut with two side-by-side wheels. The landing gear has two to four bogeys, and each bogey has two to six wheels. Each wheel has hydraulic disk brakes. Complicating the landing gear's function is the fact that it must retract neatly inside the airplane while in flight.
Modern cockpits provide operational, navigational, safety and communications information to flight crews in real time. As well, the controls are specially designed to make these jumbos perform and feel like much smaller aircraft while in flight.
Pauline Gill is a retired teacher with more than 25 years of experience teaching English to high school students. She holds a bachelor's degree in language arts and a Master of Education degree. Gill is also an award-winning fiction author.