What You Should Know About Angle-Of-Attack Indicators

The angle of attack indicator, or AOA, is a tool that provides a pilot with visual indications on generated wing lift during flight at a given airspeed or angle of bank. This is made possible through components that visualize and display safety margins above an aerodynamic stall, also known as the critical angle-of-attack. Affected only by airspeed and an aircraft's angle of bank to stall, the AOA does not change based on the vehicle's center of gravity, density, altitude, temperature, bank angle, or weight. Within this blog, we will discuss the many importances of angle-of-attack indicators for fixed-wing aircraft and why the parts that comprise them are important to maintaining flight safety.

Constructed for two systems, AOAs can be found as either a lift reserve indicator or a normalized AOA. While lift reserve indicators are best used for single configuration systems operating near an aircraft's maximum angle-of-attack, normalized AOA measurements are almost always accurate in various aircraft configurations. As each comes assembled with a heated wing probe resembling a standard pitot tube, both indicators also require the addition of an air-data computer and visual cockpit indicator.

Defining the angle of attack for aircraft, as wings are capable of having twist, alternate references are often needed to define an aircraft's parameters for stall awareness. When increasing in altitude and the bank angle rises, the AOA needs to compensate for this change and adjust to maintain level flight. Without AOA systems, a pilot is essentially blind to a vehicle's angle of attack, and potentially unaware of a looming stall. Varying on the system being used to calculate AOA, most corporate, military, and airline aircraft utilize vane-style indicators. To ensure that these devices produce accurate measurements, the components that comprise vane-style indicators are mounted in a position on an aircraft that receives uninterrupted airflow.

For general aviation, in lieu of the aforementioned indicator, pressure-derived AOA indicators such as AOA probes are widely used. These apparatuses employ a pitot tube bored with small holes for varying purposes. Typically affixed to tubing that transfers air pressure input from the probe to the aircraft’s pressure sensors, translation between received data is then calculated and transmitted to an indicator within the cockpit.

Although angle of attack indicators are a necessary component for all aircraft, there are instances of malfunctioning parts that can critically disorient aircraft controls. Such instances include the failure of AOA sensors which can lead to false readings being sent to an aircraft’s anti-stall software. During such a situation, an aircraft may attempt to automatically compensate for the changes in false readings if not switched off. A dangerous and potentially fatal occurrence for all on board an aircraft, it is essential for pilots to have proper training in the event of such a failure and to know what precautionary measures to take.

As all aircraft parts and equipment require frequent maintenance to remain functionally operable, it is imperative that each device is routinely inspected to locate and replace failing parts. To ensure your plane remains airworthy, if you are looking for top quality items listed with part names such as angle aircraft and fastener angle, look no further than Cogent Purchasing. We are your trusted source for angle-of-attack-indicators, angle positioner sensors, their related parts and components. Due to our quality control and export compliance, we operate with AS9120B, ISO 9001:2015, and FAA AC 00-56B certification and accreditation. If you would like to request a quote for your comparisons, you can submit an RFQ form as provided on our website. Upon receipt, a dedicated account manager will quickly review and respond with a personalized solution to your needs in just 15 minutes or less, 24/7x365.


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