© 2020

Commercial Aviation in the Jet Era and the Systems that Make it Possible


Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xvi
  2. Thomas Filburn
    Pages 1-14
  3. Sub-systems

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 15-15
    2. Thomas Filburn
      Pages 29-44
    3. Thomas Filburn
      Pages 45-57
    4. Thomas Filburn
      Pages 59-69
    5. Thomas Filburn
      Pages 71-82
    6. Thomas Filburn
      Pages 83-97
  4. Sub-system Accidents

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 111-111
    2. Thomas Filburn
      Pages 113-124
    3. Thomas Filburn
      Pages 125-133
    4. Thomas Filburn
      Pages 135-143
    5. Thomas Filburn
      Pages 145-155
    6. Thomas Filburn
      Pages 157-167
    7. Thomas Filburn
      Pages 169-179
    8. Thomas Filburn
      Pages 181-190
    9. Thomas Filburn
      Pages 191-198
  5. Back Matter
    Pages 199-203

About this book


This book discusses the multiple systems that make commercial jet travel safe and convenient. The author starts by tracing the evolution of commercial jets from the Boeing 707 to the double decker Airbus A380. The next 7 chapters discuss flight controls, along with the high lift surfaces (flaps and slats) that are essential to allow high speed, low drag aircraft to take-off and land. The other systems include Engines/Nacelles, Cabin Pressurization and Air Conditioning systems, Landing Gear and brakes, Fuel Systems, Instruments/Sensors, and finally Deicing systems for the wings, nacelles and external air speed sensors. Case studies describe a significant accident that arose from a failure in the various systems described. The final chapter summarizes the past 60 years of jet travel and describe how these systems have created a cheaper, safer mode of travel than any other.

  • Discusses the “behind the scenes” systems that keep commercial aircraft operating to designed specification, including materials of construction, nominal as well as severe requirements, normal, off-normal and emergency operation;
  • Describes the high loads and large movements necessary to reconfigure an airplane from low-drag, Mach 0.87 flight to high lift low speed take-off and landing speeds;
  • Explains the importance and operation of the various, aviation sub-systems by describing what happens when failures occur in this equipment.


Commercial Aviation Safety Aircraft Systems Avionics Systems Aviation sub-system failure Flight Control

Authors and affiliations

  1. 1.College of Engineering, Technology and ArchitectureUniversity of HartfordWest HartfordUSA

About the authors

Thomas Filburn is Project Liaison in the Materials and Processes Engineering group at Pratt &Whitney Aircraft.  Previously he was  Director of Research, UTAS Program Office, United Technologies Research Center, in East Hartford, Connecticut.  He obtained his Ph.D. from the University of Connecticut in Chemical Engineering; he also holds a B.Sc. and M.S. in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Connecticut, Storrs CT. He has worked for Northeast Utilities, United Nuclear Corporation and United Technologies Corporation (UTC). Prior to joining the faculty at the University of Hartford he performed research for a liquid metal combustion system used for torpedo propulsion at the Applied Research Lab at Penn State University. His last assignment before joining the University was with the Space, Land and Sea group at Hamilton Sundstrand (UTC division), where he performed research on regenerative life support technologies for NASA. His research interests lie in the area of energy, sustainable design, greenhouse gas control and environmental design. He has published in Industrial and Engineering Chemical Research, the Fuels Journal of the American Chemical Society and has presented at many conferences. He holds 8 US patents for a variety of aerospace applications.

Bibliographic information

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