Airports and the world of aviation as a whole have their own unique language. It’s easy to get lost in the slew of acronyms, abbreviations and other denotations. Here is a helpful list of few airport abbreviations you’ve heard, and a few you haven’t:

A/C - Aircraft: An airplane, helicopter, or other machine capable of flight.

ACID - Aircraft Identification: The number in the FAA registry used to differentiate aircraft.

ADG - Airplane Design Group: Aircraft groupings defined by the FAA

AFP - Area Flight Plan: Documents filed with the FAA denoting the intended path of an aircraft.

APP - Approach: The final descent and alignment of an airplane onto the runway.

ATC - Air Traffic Control: A service provided by ground-based controllers who direct aircraft both on the ground and in controlled airspace.

CAA - Civil Aviation Authority: Corporation that oversees and regulates all facets of civil aviation in the United Kingdom. It is the U.K. equivalent to the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration.

DH - Decision Height: Decision height refers to the lowest height at which, if the required visual reference to continue the approach is not visible, the pilot must begin procedure for a missed approach.

DoD - Department of Defense: Executive branch of the U.S. government in charge of agencies and functions of the government related to national security and armed forces.

FAA - Federal Aviation Administration: U.S. Governing body with power to regulate civil aviation.

FBO - Fixed Base Operator: Organization at an airport that provides services like fueling, hangaring, small maintenance, and other generic needs.

HDQ - FAA Headquarters: The acronym given to the headquarters of the FAA located in Washington, D.C.

IFSS - International Flight Service Station: An IFSS is an air traffic facility that provides pilots with information during flights. Unlike Air Traffic Control, an IFSS is not responsible for giving instructions or clearances.

Hopefully this gives you a better idea of some words and phrases you may have heard at an airport or read on our website.

At Just NSN Parts, owned and operated by ASAP Semiconductor, we can help you find all the unique parts for the aerospace, civil aviation, and defense industries. We’re always available and ready to help you find all the parts and equipment you need, 24/7-365. For a quick and competitive quote, email us at or call us at 1-714-705-4780.

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The aerospace and defense industries are complex and hectic industries that require a sense of order. The various aircraft, UAVs, maintenance equipment, and testing components all amass to an enormous group of components and subcomponents that are constantly being manufactured, sourced, and shipped around the globe.

During WWII, the need for aerospace and defense components was at its peak. The problem however, was that one single part could have several different names depending on who was supplying it. To make things even more complicated, the part could be in short supply in one region, but overstocked in another. With no formal system, it was impossible to efficiently source components.

To overcome this sourcing issue, the Department of Defense created the NSN system. National Stock Numbers, or NSNs, are 13-digit serial numbers assigned to all standardized items within the federal supply chain. All components that are used by the U.S Department of Defense are required to have an NSN, the purpose of which is to provide a standardized naming of components. Also known as NATO stock numbers, NSNs are recognized by all NATO countries. The NSN can be further broken down into smaller subcategories, each providing individual information about the component. To begin, the first four digits of the NSN are known as the Federal Supply Classification Group. The FSCG determines which of the 645 subclasses an item belongs to.

The FSCG is further split into the Federal Supply Group (FSG) and the Federal Supply Classification (FSC). The FSG is made up of the first two digits of the NSN which determines which of the 78 groups an item belongs to. The second 2 digits make up the FSC, which determines the subclass an item belongs to. In the aerospace industry a key federal supply group is FSG 15: Aircraft and Airframe Structural Components. The remaining 9 digits are made up of the 2-digit country identifier followed by the 7 National Item Identification Number (NIIN). The US for example,  has the country identifier, 00. 

An item must first be formally recognized by one of the following bodies; Military service, NATO country, federal or civil agency, or various contractor support weapon systems, before it is assigned an NSN. Once they have a specific need for the specific part, the details are then sent over to the DLA for assignment. There are tens of millions of items with NSNs. They aren’t just assigned to one component either. In fact, entire systems are assigned their own NSN. Aircraft avionic systems have one NSN, while the smaller components of the system have their own.

The purpose of this system is to help expedite maintenance and repair programs. To help manage the vast amount of NSNs, each NSN is assigned an item manager, who monitors the Stock and Supply of the National Stock Number, ensuring that it is readily available military purposes. 

All in all, NSNs are essential for maintaining order and uniformity within the aerospace and defense industries. The DLA relies on suppliers big and small, to routinely stock and supply NSN parts. The federal supply chain is a lucrative market for those who are well informed about the NSN system. At Just NSN Parts, we are just that. Our extensive inventory includes premium NSNs that are conveniently listed according to manufacturer, NSN, CAGE code or NIIN. Visit our website,, or call us at  +1-714-705-4780 to learn more about our NSN sourcing services. 

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Any vehicle traveling on the ground moves in the direction it is steered or headed to, and is relatively unaffected by wind thanks to friction between the vehicle and the ground. After all, the wind might be moving, but the ground, the medium by which the vehicle is traveling, is not. Aircraft in flight however, seldom travel in exactly the direction they are headed in because of the wind effect.

Any free object in the air moves downwind with the speed of the wind itself. This holds true for aircraft of all shapes and sizes, from commercial airliners to hot-air balloons. If an aircraft is flying in a 20-knot wind, the body of the air in which it is flying moves 20 nautical miles in one hour. Therefore, the aircraft also moves twenty nautical miles downwind in one hour. This movement is in addition to the forward movement of the aircraft through the body of air. The path of an aircraft is ultimately determined by two factors: the motion of the aircraft through the airmass, and the motion of the airmass across the earth’s surface.

The effect of wind on the aircraft causes it to follow a different path over the ground than it does through the airmass. The path over the ground is split into two parts: the track, and the true course. The true course represents the aircraft’s intended path over the earth’s surface, while the track is the actual path the aircraft has flown. In other words, the true course is where the aircraft is intended to go, and the track is where the aircraft has actually gone. The lateral displacement of the aircraft by wind is called drift, the angle of difference between the aircraft’s true heading, and the aircraft’s track.

With a given wind, the drift changes on each heading. A change of heading also affects the distance flown over the earth’s surface for a given time, known as ground-speed. A tailwind, for example, boosts ground speed, while a headwind lowers it.

When flying, the pilot or navigator must correct for wind affecting the aircraft’s course. If the pilot is trying to fly in a straight line from point A to B, but wind coming in from the left pushes the aircraft off-course, the pilot must constantly angle their aircraft into the wind to compensate for the drift. 

At Just NSN Parts, owned and operated by ASAP Semiconductor, we can help you find all the wind measuring and navigation instruments for the aerospace, civil aviation, and defense industries. We’re always available and ready to help you find all the parts and equipment you need, 24/7-365. For a quick and competitive quote, email us at or call us at +1-714-705-4780.

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Even the most basic aircraft trainer includes gyroscopic instruments, due to their overwhelming importance for flight and navigation. The three most critical of these instruments are the artificial horizon, heading indicator, and turn indicator. If used properly, these indicators allow a pilot to fly using instruments alone, even if the view outside the cockpit is completely obscured by weather.

Gyroscopic instruments work on the principle of gyroscopic inertia. Inside a gyroscopic device is a spinning wheel or disc, whose inertia, once the wheel has been accelerated, keeps the disc stable about its axis of rotation. Once the instrument is stabilized, any deviation in the aircraft’s flight path will try to deflect the gyroscopic wheel in its gimbal mount. This movement, which is actually the instrument’s case changing position in relation to the gyro wheel, is translated to the movement of a needle or card on the instrument’s face.

While the three main gyroscopic instruments use the same basic principles, there are significant differences between them. The artificial horizon, or attitude indicator, has the gyroscopic wheel spinning on the vertical axis, and stays parallel to the natural horizon of the Earth. This means that as the aircraft banks, turns, climbs, and dives, the artificial horizon will reflect these changes as well, showing pitch and roll information in one instrument.

The heading indicator places its gyro spinning on the horizontal axis, with the pivot aligned with the aircraft’s centerline. Its gimbal allows only one axis of freedom, vertical, and connects the mount to the card on the instrument’s face through bevel gears. When the aircraft begins to turn, the compass card will turn only when the gyro reacts to the yawing of the airplane during the turn.

Lastly, the turn coordinator mounts its gyro wheel on the horizontal axis, but the pivot is oriented transversely, parallel to the wingspan.  Meanwhile, the turn coordinator’s gimbal mount runs along the aircraft’s longitudinal axis. In turns and banks, this gimbal axis is perpendicular to the instrument face, meaning that the needle will only show movement in the yaw axis.

At Just NSN Parts, owned and operated by ASAP Semiconductor, we can help you find all the gyroscopic instruments, for the aerospace, civil aviation, and defense industries. We’re always available and ready to help you find all the parts and equipment you need, 24/7-365. For a quick and competitive quote, email us at or call us at +1-714-705-4780.

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Wings provide the critical force of lift that an aircraft needs to achieve flight. They do so because the shape of the wing, or airfoil, is such that as air passes over and under it, the air traveling under it is moving faster and creating more pressure, thus generating lift. This phenomenon is called Bernoulli’s principle, after the Swiss mathematician who first described the effect. The shape of the wing depends on a variety of design factors, such as the amount of lift generated, balanced, and stability, and can be straight or swept back, rounded or squared at the tips, or tapered or not.

Wings can be mounted on the fuselage at the top, mid-fuselage, or bottom, and can extend perpendicularly from the fuselage, or angled up or down. This angle is known as the wing dihedral.

Most wings are designed as full cantilever, meaning that they are built so that they do not need external bracing to be structurally sound. Other aircraft, such as biplanes of the early 1900s, require external struts or wires to assist in supporting the wing and carrying aerodynamic and landing loads.

Modern aircraft wings are built from aluminum, but wood covered in fabric and magnesium alloys have also been used. Recently, materials like carbon fiber have been used as well, as they are even stronger and lighter than aluminum.

Internally, wings consist of spars and stringers that run spanwise (from the wing’s root in the fuselage out to the tip) and ribs and formers that run chordwise, from leading edge to trailing edge. These internal structures are designed to distribute and support the weight of the wing, as well as components such as engines and landing gear.

Nacelles are often mounted on aircraft wings. A nacelle is a streamlined enclosure typically used to house an engine and its components. Single-engine aircraft mount the nacelle on the aircraft’s nose, while multi-engine aircraft mount nacelles on the wings. These nacelles contain the engine, engine mounts, structural support, firewall, and the skin and cowling to make the nacelle aerodynamic. Some nacelles also house the landing gear when it retracts after take-off.

At Just NSN Parts, owned and operated by ASAP Semiconductor, we can help you find all the wing systems and parts for the aerospace, civil aviation, and defense industries. We’re always available and ready to help you find all the parts and equipment you need, 24/7-365. For a quick and competitive quote, email us at or call us at 1-714-705-4780.

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