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AviAtion SupplieS & AcAdemicS, inc.AviAtion mAintenAnce techniciAn SerieS GenerAlii

Aviation Maintenance Technician Series: General
Third Edition
by Dale Crane

Aviation Supplies & Academics, Inc.
7005 132nd Place SE
Newcastle, Washington 98059-3153
Email: [email protected]

© 1993–2011 Aviation Supplies & Academics, Inc.
All rights reserved. None of the material in this textbook supersedes any operational documents,
regulations or procedures issued by the Federal Aviation Administration, or aircraft and avionics
manufacturers’ guidelines and instructions.

First Edition published 1993. Third Edition published 2005 (hardcover printing 2007).
PDF Edition published 2011.

Cover photo © Gary Gladstone /The Image Bank
Photos pp. 3, 5 and 7 courtesy Museum of Flight Foundation
Photos pp. 4 and 6 courtesy The Boeing Company
Photo p. 480 courtesy Dowty-Rotal, Inc.

PDF ISBN 978-1-56027-844-3
LC# 92-1292

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Preface v

1 An Introduction to Aviation 1

2 Mathematics 11

3 Basic Physics 61

4 Basic Electricity 137

5 Aircraft Drawings 365

6 Weight and Balance 403

7 Materials and Processes 449

8 Cleaning and Corrosion Control 525

9 Fluid Lines and Fittings 579

10 Ground Operation and Servicing 605

11 Regulations and Maintenance Publications 649

12 Mechanic Privileges and Limitations 677

13 Maintenance Forms and Records 707

14 Tools for Aircraft Maintenance 725

15 Entering the Field of Aviation Maintenance 777

Glossary 791

Index 809


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Aviation History
In only 100 years, aviation has progressed from just the dream of flight to the
reality of thousands of people traveling by air each day. All first-class mail
now travels by air, and air express is becoming one of the most popular ways
of shipping. Aviation has evolved through a number of key eras, each with
their own advancements in the way airplanes connect people and places of the
world. Let’s look at some of the most outstanding happenings in each of
these eras.

1903 –1918
The airplane evolved from a machine that could barely support itself in the air,
into the pursuit planes, bombers, and observation airplanes of World War I.
These aircraft were, for the most part, dangerous, undependable, and ineffi-
cient, but they did fly.


1919 – 1926
The government sold surplus WWI airplanes to ex-military aviators who
became barnstormers and who carried thousands of passengers on their first
airplane ride. This was the age of the flying circus when aviators flew without
government regulation.

With their Flyer, the Wright brothers solved the basic problem of control which finally
allowed man to fly.

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During this period the federal government began to control aviation by
licensing airplanes and airmen, and by helping to develop airports and
airways. This period includes the “Golden Age of Aviation” in which surplus
WW I airplanes were disappearing and the aviation manufacturing industry
began to come into its own. The Wright Whirlwind engine proved reliable
enough for trans-Atlantic flights, and the world became aware of the airplane
as a means of serious transportation.

Hundreds of aircraft manufacturers operated during this era, and the
National Air Races attracted thousands of onlookers each year. Heroes and
heroines in the persons of Charles Lindbergh, Wiley Post, Jimmy Doolittle,
and Amelia Earhart, and names such as Lockheed, Travelair, Waco, and
Stinson were as familiar to the average person as Chevrolet, Ford, Chrysler,
and Honda are to us today.

The fast all-metal, low-wing, cantilever monoplane replaced the
slower and more clumsy trimotor airplane for regular
airline service.

All-metal construction replaced wood & fabric, as the state-of-the-
art technology in the early 1930s.

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1940 –1949
World War II dominated this era. High-performance fighters and high-
altitude, long-range bombers were designed and built by the thousands.
During this period, the jet engine and the helicopter were developed, but the
war ended before either was perfected. Flight by instruments was common in
the military, but was not generally used by civilian pilots.

After the war, the GI Bill provided flight training for thousands who had
wanted to fly during the war but who served on the land or the sea. These new
pilots, along with the thousands of returning military pilots, caused the
industry to anticipate “an airplane for everyone.” Airplane manufacturers,
flight schools, fixed-base operators, and nonscheduled airlines flourished,
but many soon fell by the wayside.

1950 –1959
This era ushered in the first commercial jet transport aircraft, and the war in
Korea brought about the acceptance of the helicopter as a practical aircraft.
Aerospace activity began with the launching of the first satellite.

The long-range jet transport airplane made it possible for people and things to cross oceans in hours
rather than weeks.

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