Printed circuit boards, or PCBs, are physical boards designed to interconnect various electronic components through the use of conductive copper strips attached to a non-conductive substrate. PCBs are a basic building block of any electronic component. By themselves, they may not hold much function, but when components are attached and they are connected with other PCBs, they have the possibility of becoming single board computers, system host boards, or any other electronic system you can conceive.

Backplane connectors are the key to PCBs becoming a more complex system. Backplane connectors, or sometimes just referred to as “backplanes”, are a type of connector that enables coupling of PCBs with each other. Backplanes physically secure PCBs together while also providing for the integration of daughterboards. Daughterboards are simply other PCBs that are attached to the main one, and these can range from sound cards to GPUs depending on what component is attached.

Through backplanes, expansion and interchangeability of the system becomes possible. This is also how new and custom systems are fabricated during the design and assembly phases. Backplanes do have their limits, however, and data transmission is always a factor that manufacturers strive to improve upon. When signals travel through PCBs, they have to pass through the backplane to be transferred to neighboring PCBs. With high speeds and small data pipelines, signals can become bottlenecked and throttled. To remedy this, backplanes are often specifically engineered for differing applications to have higher speed transmissions and reliable data rates.

Altogether, PCBs and backplanes serve as the basic foundation for all electronic components. As one of the fundamental elements for creating complex electronics, they remain steadfast in their popularity and market growth projection. Along with steady improvement of technology and capabilities, PCBs and backplanes can benefit any computer system, data server, or other electronic infrastructure you wish to build.

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Although passenger planes operate anywhere from 31,000 to 38,000 feet during flight, the relative elevation within the cabin in regards to pressure is nowhere near that level. As anyone who has travelled up a mountainside too quickly can attest to, altitude sickness is never pleasant. Altitude sickness is often caused by rapid ascension, and it can result in discomfort and sickness, especially at elevations higher than 8,000 feet. This is why most passenger planes operate with a cabin pressure that is at or below pressure experienced at 8,000 feet, as well as ensure that this level is slowly and gradually reached for the comfort and safety of passengers.

When travelling at high altitudes, it is important that ample oxygen and air pressure is supplied for passengers and crew to be healthy and as comfortable as possible. For lungs to properly obtain oxygen from the air, the pressure outside must be higher than that inside the lungs for proper oxygen permeation. The higher you go, the lower the air pressure, thus aircraft pressure systems ensure that proper levels are constantly maintained. As any higher would cause detrimental effects on humans, aircraft balance these levels as to provide comfort and ensure that the pressure difference inside and outside the fuselage is not too great which may cause strain on components.

Although pressure problems are extremely uncommon, there are procedures that are set in place to ensure that the pilots and crew can be kept safe in case of an emergency. If a hole or puncture is caused and a loss of pressurization results, an oxygen mask is deployed that can provide a pressurized oxygen supply. This gives pilots the time to bring the aircraft down to a safe elevation around 10,000 feet or lower for better breathing and operation. Modern aircraft often also have pressurized oxygen tanks in the cockpit to allow for pilots to have ample time to descend.

Different planes have also been experimenting with the ability to push the cabin pressure lower. The Boeing Dreamliner and Airbus A380 have both achieved levels around 6,000 feet of pressure. Some business aircraft have even reached levels that are 4,000 feet of pressure, and others at sea level. As technology improves, passenger plane cabin pressure may be gradually lowered to levels that are very comfortable for humans, along with other safety features.

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With many electronics, cables are a necessary component for powering, data transfer, and more. When it comes to network ports, there can be a large amount of cords laying about, and cabling infrastructure can easily become a hassle if management is not put in place. Luckily, patch panels serve as a great solution for cable management.

Patch panels are an assembly that can be mounted to aid with cable management, as well as ports for connectivity. Patch panels can also be called a patch bay, patch field, or jack field as well. With an array of ports on the patch panel, all needed cables can be connected to consolidate all incoming and outgoing lines to one piece of hardware. With systems that may see future expansion, panels allow for flexibility of adding, removing, and swapping out parts.

Patch panels can also come in a variety of designs, configurations, amounts of ports, and more to fit many needs and requirements. While most patch panels have a configuration of 24 to 48 ports, some versions can even reach up to 336. There are also fiber and copper patch panels, fiber often being the faster alternative. As panels have the primary objective to route connections, rather than move them at a specified speed, there are disagreements on whether or not the material makes a significant difference.

Patch panels open up many opportunities to have a more simple and efficient system in either your business or home. From organization, troubleshooting, flexibility, and ability to change out components, panels create the opportunity to create successful cable management with ease. Patch panels also remain a fairly simple and easy management system to set up and do not require any special knowledge or tools.

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There are a variety of services that are available for aircraft before takeoff and after landing is made. These services, called ground handling, can include things like cabin service, catering, passenger service, field operation service, etc and what they all have in common is that they all must enlist the support of ground support equipment. Ground support equipment is industry jargon for equipment designed with the purpose of supporting the safe operations of the aircraft. This equipment, usually kept on a ramp near the terminal when not in use for quick accessibility, includes a variety of different items, some of which you can read about in the outline below.

De-icing Vehicles

True to its name, these vehicles are used to apply de-icing and anti-icing solutions on an aircraft so as to prevent cold temperatures and frozen water from damaging the aircraft. These vehicles have access to the entire aircraft so that they can spray an ice melting solution that also serves to prevent ice from building up while the aircraft awaits departure.


Dollies at airports come in different forms and sizes, each designed to serve a different function. What they do have in common is that each consists of a platform on wheels used to hold and carry heavy items. Dollies used as ground support equipment include dollies for unit load devices (ULD) which operate more like a mobile pallet in that it’s lightweight and travels fast, yet supportive enough to carry heavy loads. There are also dollies for loose baggage, which are completely enclosed to protect the items from the elements and feature a brake system to prevent the wheels from moving when not desired.


Aircraft refuelers consist of either mobile carts or self-contained vehicles. Since aircraft fuel is so in demand, refueler trucks can sometimes load as much as 10,000 gallons of fuel. Smaller carts are used with a hydrant system which connects to a refueler truck and can simplify refueling logistics for airports by providing more refueling options from one truck.

Ground Power Units

Mobile power units designed to supply power to parked aircraft are called ground power units or GPUs. GPUs can be built directly into the jetway for even easier power supply access. Aircraft power requirements range from 28 volts of direct-current to 115 volts 400 Hz alternating-current.

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Aircraft derive power for their electrical and hydraulic systems from their engines while in flight. But when on the ground, with its engines cold and inactive, an aircraft can still require electrical power for things like maintenance and pre-flight preparations. This is where ground power units come into play. A ground power unit is a type of GSE, or ground support equipment, which refers to all pieces of equipment and machinery used to support aircraft while they are not in flight. Ground power units are used to power up unpowered aircraft while they are still on the runway, an airfield, or anywhere on the ground, similar to how maritime electricity or coastline power sources are used for boats and ships at dock. GPUs are critical ground handling and aircraft assistance machines, because they allow airport handlers and personnel to service aircraft without needing to turn on the aircraft’s engines. This saves on both maintenance and fuel costs that come with running an aircraft’s engines.

Ground power unit is a general term given to all equipment that powers or starts an aircraft while it is on the ground. This can include a dedicated electrical power supply, battery power supply, or some combination of both. Like all types of electrical power supply, GPUs can come in AC or DC configurations, but most are either 28V DC or 115V 400Hz AC, and are used depending on the requirements of the aircraft. Certain models, however, will require a more specialized power source.

A ground power unit can take the form of an embedded box at a fixed location, but most come as a small cart that can be pulled by hand or towed by a vehicle to the aircraft that needs it. As a key component of an aircraft’s preparatory stages, they are often followed up by the aircraft’s auxiliary power unit, or APU. The APU will take over for the ground power unit, and start up the aircraft’s engines, after which they can operate under their own power.

GPUs are frequently used in both the civilian and military aircraft industries, where they allow for tasks to be accomplished that need a stable supply of energy. Civilian aircraft uses include parking and hangar transfers, fuel resupply, cargo or material management, and passenger compartment maintenance work. They will often include the necessary equipment for power generation and transfers like cables, converters, inverters, switch gears, mobile generators, high-powered batteries, and electrical management and protection mechanisms.

At AOG Unlimited, owned and operated by ASAP Semiconductor, we can help you find all the ground power units for the aircraft, 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 1-763-401-8616.

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The stabilator and elevator are two very effective pieces of aerodynamic machinery. They are both found at the rear of an aircraft and both serve a similar purpose. Despite this, there are distinct differences between these two components of the empennage.  An aircraft elevator is an example of a flight control surface, or an aerodynamic device which allows an operator to control the aircraft's altitude. It, along with the horizontal stabilizer, maintains the pitch, lift, and angle of attack of an aircraft. The aircraft stabilator, colloquially referred to as an all-moving or all-flying tail, is a one-hundred percent adjustable aircraft stabilizer. Essentially, the stabilator is a 2-in-1 device that performs the duties of both the horizontal stabilizer and elevator. Hence the name, stabilator.

Engineers from The New Piper Aircraft Co. have stated that, because the stabilator has a tidier design and provides a larger surface for pitch control, it is more effective in allowing for smoother ascension and descension than the classic stabilizer/elevator combination. Another feature of a stabilator, called the antiservo, is an additional flap at the rear of the stabilator. The antiservo’s job is to make the aircraft stabilator less sensitive and help it stay in the optimal position. The trim tab, another feature of an aircraft’s tail section, moves parallel to the stabilator at a greater pace. The result is that the effort required to move the yoke, or steering wheel, heightens relative to airspeed and control deflection. This is a safety measure that increases control along the longitudinal axis and stops the pilot from over controlling.

Stabilators were partially developed as military parts and are now found on virtually all combat aircraft. This is due to the weight balance stabilators ability to continue controlling pitch through a variety of flight speeds, including supersonic flight. Non-delta winged supersonic aircraft use stabilators because conventional elevators can allow shock waves to form. Shock waves strongly diminish the effectiveness of elevators, thereby causing a dangerous aerodynamic phenomenon called mach tuck. Mach tuck will cause the nose of an aircraft to pitch downward when air flows past the wings at supersonic speeds.

Although there is a significant difference in the design and construction of a stabilator versus an elevator, they both essentially perform the same task of maintaining control of the planes nose. Regardless of whether a pilot is operating an aircraft with a stabilator or an elevator, they likely won’t feel a great difference in control.

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