October, 1938 A I R C R A F T E N G I N E E R I N G Workshop and Production Section WITH aeroplanes becoming daily more and more complex designers are finding it increasingly convenient to leave the detail plannin g of certain units to specialists in their design and production. It is, after all, an extremely logica l development and nowhere has it found so much outlet as with the complicated details of hydraulically operated parts. Generally speaking th e modern high-performance aeroplane as three main uses for hydraulics, undercarriage traction, flap operation and airscrew control—the atter i n single-engined machines is usually a direct engine operation , but in a multi-engined aircraft it advisable to have a separate unit controlling and synchronising all th e airscrews. At the present time the hydraulic units are no t dected from a few standar d sizes as are tyre s and heels, but are adapted, or specially designed, to it individual needs and tastes. Although the shops whose duties lie rather outside the scope of The Workshops increasing tendency to use th e expert's experience this article. These are the experimental shop, or these parts has been noticeable during the last Th e works cover a large area. The shops are where new units are built and tried out ; th e test w years it requires a visit to a factory, such as th e well lighted and ventilated, so tha t they ought to shop, where drop and endurance tests are carried wly built plant of th e Aircraft Division of Auto- provide comfortable conditions. Although the ou t on undercarriage components; and th e service motive Products , Ltd., a t Leamington Spa, t o really part s produced arc ver y varied and require different department , where parts damaged in crashes or by onvey the extent of this new branch of the treatmen t (wheel, strut, pump and selector valve, misuse are dismantled, repaired and tested. In industry. each requiring its own methods of production) a man y ways this last shop contributes as much to design as d o th e tw o former for th e wear-and-tea r of actualit y is always different to that of simulated conditions in a test house. Advantages of Specialisation I t is impressive , an d eloquen t of th e rapid develop ment s attributable to the Expansion Programme, tha t so large a factory as this can be kept working to capacity on the production of part s which form, after all, a comparatively small, though very essential, portion of the finished aeroplane. It is to be hoped that there will be no falling back, after the eventual curtailing of the expansion, to th e old ways; for this standardising of parts is certainly an aid to the rapid and economical pro duction of aeroplanes. That there will be much falling away from the new idea seems unlikely, because it is not on military aeroplanes alone that close approximation to line production has been A New Factory th e modern designer has taken advantage of the maintained . This factory, which has only been in operation expert' s advice, bu t on many of the new civil aero Castings and other partially prepared parts are ring the present year, is a wing of the main planes, including the light machines, the design and kep t in a separate stores from raw materials 'such lding, but in lay-out, size and capacity it is a construction of undercarriage units, flap gear or a s tubes, sheet an d bar . Castings and forgings form mplete unit in itself. Here arc designed and a very large proportion of th e store s as the y are th e airscrew control has been sub-contracted. lt the various Lockheed aeroplane components. bases for pumps , valves, strut ends an d whee l forks. he parts rang e from th e controllin g selector valves, The parts arc first " fettled " and th e rough edges rough a variety of jacks and rams for operating of casting or forging- removed either by hand or tractable bomb racks, trailing-edge flaps and machin e work. They are then pu t aside ready for dercarriages clown to undercarriage units and th e machining . heels themselves. The building itself is a large, Th e machine shop is ver y extensive and ha s th e ngle-story structure, except for the two-floored machines arranged in groups for drilling, boring, ice bloc k which forms the main front. grinding and machining. Fork ends, strut sockets The offices include design and drawing offices in an d the like are fairly normal jobs, bu t th e machin addition t o th e busines s premises. A feature which ing of the selector valve plungers and the boring of of interest and is very sound in principle is th e the valve cases requires extremely accurate work. ture hall. Here a series of courses for operators Th e final mating and assembly of selector valve the firm's products is held. The groun d engineer plungers and th e eccentric rotor heads of th e engine- taught what he will meet and how t o deal with driven pumps to their respective cases is done by mergencies, as well as the details of ordinary han d lapping. This lapping is carried out in a routine maintenance . special dust-proof room separated from the rest of th e works. Inspection All the finished parts pass to th e detai l inspection shop where they are rigidly examined and tested for size and flaws, They arc the n stamped or electric ally marked and pu t into bins to awai t assembly. Th e assembly shop is itself split up into groups where the different types of component are pu t together . Avery wheels and brakes occupy one corner, jacks have a section to themselves, under carriage legs another and so on. From the assembly shop, the finished components pass to th e final testing shop. Here all th e various units are subjected to pressure tests according to what is required of them. The engine-driven pumps are run in on a series of special electric motors where th e power they absorb and their output pressures ar e recorded. After final testing, the part s are passed into the finished parts stores to await despatch. Research and Experiment Included in the building there are three other
Aircraft Engineering and Aerospace Technology – Emerald Publishing
Published: Oct 1, 1938
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