Rotary Airforce SA Pty Ltd is an Aircraft Maintenance Organisation, SACAA Approved AMO1309 in terms of Part 145 of the South African Civil Aviation Regulations, as amended, located at the General Aviation Hangers based at Upington International Airport, Northern Cape. We specialise in general aviation maintenance services of Non-Type Certified Aircraft and offer a well-equipped service centre.
Aeroplanes of wooden construction, with an MCM of 5,700 kg or less.
Aeroplanes constructed of composites, with an MCM of 5,700 kg or less.
Aeroplanes of fabric-covered tubular-metal construction, with an MCM of 5,700 kg or less.
Unpressurised aeroplanes of all-metal construction, with an MCM of 5,700 kg or less.
Rotorcraft powered by reciprocating engines.
All horizontally opposed normally-aspirated piston engines
All horizontally opposed turbo-normalised, turbo-charged and supercharged piston engines
Instruments & Avionics
Combination of such equipment
Installation of compasses
Installation of engine ignition equipment
Installation of variable-pitch propellers
Installation of instruments, including or excluding electrically operated instruments
Installation of electrical equipment
Aviation Hardware is part of the Mocké Group of Companies, and we stock a variety of various Aviation certified fasteners and hardware.
Aircraft Hardware…… What you need to know!
The quality of our workmanship in building the RAF2000 gyroplane is very important. We all take the needed time and spend the necessary money to ensure we have a high-quality gyroplane. We want it to not only look attractive, but also to be safe.
But what about the materials that hold the gyroplane together the aircraft hardware? Do we try to cut expenses by using questionable bolts or used nuts? Is it really necessary to spend money on high quality aircraft hardware? Absolutely!
The hardware used to assemble your gyroplane should be nothing but the best. Why take the time to build a perfect wing only to attach it to the fuselage with used hardware. It makes no sense. To quote the Airframe and Powerplant Mechanics General Handbook . . . “The importance of aircraft hardware is often overlooked because of its small size; however, the safe and efficient operation of any aircraft is greatly dependent upon the correct selection and use of aircraft hardware.” Very well stated. The same book also provides us with a very good definition of aircraft hardware. “Aircraft hardware is the term used to describe the various types of fasteners and miscellaneous small items used in the manufacture and repair of aircraft.”
The subject of aircraft hardware can certainly be confusing. Thousands upon thousands of small items are used on a typical airplane. What does the custom aircraft builder really need to know about hardware? Where do you find the information? What reference is really the end authority on proper installation? What do all of those AN numbers mean and do I have to know them? What types of hardware should I really learn more about in order to build my own gyroplane?
RAFSA hope to eliminate some confusion and answer some questions over what type of hardware to use and how to properly install it. To begin our discussion, it is imperative that you use nothing but aircraft grade hardware. Commercial grade hardware found in hardware or automotive stores is legal to use on an experimental airplane but should not be considered for even a moment. Why? Let’s look at bolts as an example. Common steel bolts purchased from a hardware store are made of low carbon steel that has a low tensile strength usually in the neighbourhood of 50,000 to 60,000 psi. They also bend easily and have little corrosion protection. In contrast, aircraft bolts are made from corrosion resistant steel and are heat treated to a strength in excess of 125,000 psi. The same comparison applies to most hardware items. So, use only aircraft quality hardware on your gyroplane. Save the other hardware for your tractor.
If aircraft hardware is special, then there must be a standard against which it should be measured and manufactured. That standard was actually developed prior to World War 11 but became more definitive during that war. Each branch of the military originally had its own standard for hardware. As time went on these standards were consolidated and thus the term AN which means Air Force-Navy (some prefer the older term Army-Navy). Later the standards were termed MS which means Military Standard and NAS which means National Aerospace Standards. Thus, the common terms AN, MS and NAS. Together they present a universally accepted method of identification and standards for aircraft hardware. All fasteners are identified with a specification number and a series of letters and dashes identifying their size, type of material, etc. This system presents a relatively simple method of identifying and cataloguing the thousands and thousands of pieces of hardware. Several pieces of hardware will have both an AN number and an MS number that are used interchangeably to identify the exact same piece. A cross reference exists that compares these two numbers. So in the end, you are able to read your plans or assembly manual and identify, by number and letter, each piece of hardware on your gyroplane. You can then obtain that piece and properly install it in the right place. Imagine trying to do that without a system of numbers. The specifications for each piece of hardware also define the strength, tolerance, dimensions, and finish that is applied.