The power behind aircraft hydraulic systems

Aircraft hydraulic systems play a pivotal role in the operation of aircraft components. Landing gear, flaps, flight control surfaces, and brakes operate through hydraulics. Hydraulic systems have lots of advantages over other power sources; they are lightweight, easy to install, simple to maintain and inspect, and have very few maintenance requirements. This blog will explain hydraulic systems and tell a little more about their function.

Hydraulics are used in virtually all aircraft. In smaller planes, it may only be used to provide pressure to activate the brakes, but in more complex airplanes, hydraulics power a wide array of components including brakes, landing gear, flaps & slats, thrust reversers, flight control surfaces, windshield wipers, and propellor pitch control. The three main parts of a hydraulic system are the pump, the motor, and the plumbing. 

Hydraulic systems work by pumping liquid to create energy. In theory, any fluid can power a hydraulic system as long as it is viscous enough and has lubricant properties. The most commonly found pump on large aircraft is the variable displacement piston pump. The design allows the pump to react to changes in system demand by increasing or decreasing the output of fluid. This helps maintain a constant pressure.

The hydraulic motor is the piece that converts hydraulic pressure into torque. Hydraulic motors are used on aircraft to move jackscrews powering flaps, stabilizers and some types of landing gear applications.

The system’s plumbing component is responsible for drawing the fluid in, pressurizing it, and releasing it to be used for by a variety of components. It consists of many parts such as:

  • Reservoir: the source of fluid to be pumped
  • Filter: ensures cleanliness of the fluid
  • Shut Off Valve: stops the flow of liquid in the event of a fire
  • Control Valve: dictate the flow of hydraulic fluids
  • Accumulators: pressure storage reservoir, enables the system to cope with extreme pressure and adjust to temporary demands

The simplicity and effectiveness of hydraulic systems have kept them in use for a long time. For your aircraft hydraulic system and fitting needs, we urge you to contact us at Aviation Purchasing Platform, owned and operated by ASAP Semiconductor. We can help you find all the unique 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, 24/7-365. For a quick and competitive quote, email us at or call us at 1-763-401-8616.


March 20, 2023

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