Aircraft braking systems are crucial to safe landings, and they regularly undergo intense inspection and servicing to guarantee their reliability. Typically, aircraft brakes can last between 1000-2000 landings before requiring replacement, and their longevity depends on the particular material they are made from, which is often steel or carbon. In particular, steel brakes remain durable for about 1000 landings, while more expensive carbon brakes can endure about 2000 landings. However, to reinforce safety and durability, most modern airplanes feature carbon brakes as they are lighter, more durable, and require lower maintenance costs. Moreover, carbon brakes can resist higher temperatures, which makes them a more economical choice than steel brakes.
When aircraft are in flight, the various control surfaces are carefully oriented in the right direction to effectively direct the airstream. But when they are on the ground, what is there to keep the flaps from moving in the wind? Though the control surfaces are designed to handle harsh conditions, the random movements caused by a gust of wind, jet blast, or propeller blast on the ground can damage them. As a result, most aircraft have some kind of mechanism for preventing, or at least limiting, flight control surface movement when parked. One such system is flight control locks or “gust locks,” which may be fitted externally or otherwise form a part of the internal mechanical system.
Airplanes propelling through the atmosphere create friction against the solid particles of precipitation, liquids, and more that are present in the air, which create electrical charges on the exterior of the aircraft. This is also called static electricity, which can be seen when a person rubs a balloon on their hair, for example. These charges have the potential to create radio interference, which is dangerous because pilots cannot communicate properly with those on the ground and the navigation equipment cannot work properly. More specifically, the radio frequency spectrum is disturbed during a moment of radio interference, which impacts electrical circuits by something called electromagnetic induction. This can interfere with the circuit’s performance, perhaps even causing it to stop working. The static and excess electrons that would accumulate on the thin edges of the plane could cause a spark, which is incredibly dangerous.
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