Aircraft pumps help to deliver jet or aviation fuel to Auxiliary Power Unit (APU) and propulsion system of the aircraft. Aircraft pumps provide continuous flow of fuel irrespective of the aircraft altitude. Types of pumps used in aircraft include fuel pump, cooling pumps, hydraulic pumps, and water pumps. These pumps can transfer various fluids such as oil, water, fuel, and others to aircraft components.
Intelligent and Dual-Stage Pressure Pumps Gain Center Stage in Aircraft Industry
Fixed displacement pumps are gradually being replaced by piston pumps in aircrafts, owing to their constant pressure variable displacement. Most of the aircrafts have adopted hydraulic pipe and hydraulic/fuel oil heat exchanger, which has entailed significant heat-generation challenges, especially in military aircrafts. Various investigations conducted recently have shown that pressure requirement is excessive in combat state, while other stages of flight require lower pressure to control extreme heat-generation. This has further led to the development of new pumping systems for military aircrafts.
Responding to the heat generation concerns, researchers across countries such as China, America, and Britain are working on the development of intelligent pump and dual-stage pressure pump. The dual-stage pressure pump are currently being deployed in various aircrafts, as they facilitate catering to pressure-related requirements, thereby improving performance.
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Intelligent pressure pumps have witnessed wide adoption in aircraft hydraulic system in recent years, which has driven the demand for displacement sensors, temperature sensors, and pressure sensors. Variable pressure and flow produced by these sensor-equipped pumps, depending on the flight state change, continue to complement the penetration of intelligent pressure pumps. However, most of the sensor-based pumping systems are still in the testing stage, with promising future scope for adoption in aircrafts.
Electrification of Aircraft Propulsion to Confine Adoption
The aviation sector is showing increased interest in using electricity as a power source for airplanes, owing to their cost- and energy-related benefits over gasoline. The trend of electrification is gaining momentum in the aviation industry, as leading players show a marked preference for electric motors, thereby constraining adoption of conventional aircraft pumps.
Fuel cell-based and battery-operated systems are undergoing continued advancements, in line with the focus of industry players on the developments that ebb the power consumption below 100kw. The shift of aircraft manufacturers toward battery-operated systems, in line with advancements in the lithium-ion technology will emerge as a key concern for conventional aircraft pumps manufacturers.
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