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The aircraft piston engine, or reciprocating engine, is a type that has served powered flight since its inception, acting as the most common power plants for general aviation aircraft even to this day. While there are numerous piston engine types that slightly differ in their construction, all operate according to the four-stroke cycle of intake, compression, power, and exhaust. To conduct such operations, piston engines rely on pistons and cylinders that are assembled in various ways to achieve different flight characteristics. In this blog, we will provide a brief overview of the most common piston engine types so that you may be more familiar with their differences and capabilities.

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A commonly overlooked part within an aircraft is the engine mount. It may be a simple structure, but it has many essential roles beyond holding the engine on the airframe. For example, the exact placement of the engine mount is important. Designers must consider the thrust line of the engine, how high or low it is in relation to the airframe, as well as gyroscopic precession. In this blog, we will discuss engine mounts in detail.

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For NASA or any other company within the aerospace industry, the ability to monitor the degradation of an aircraft engine is pivotal. In this blog, we will investigate how to increase a Machine Learning model’s ability to help predict when engine breakdowns will occur and how to estimate the remaining useful life on an aircraft engine. The dataset in this model is simulated for commercial aircraft and, therefore, if an unexpected breakdown occurs, it will likely do so while in the air with customers aboard, causing a significant problem. As such, being able to monitor the condition of an aircraft engine is invaluable. Furthermore, aircraft engines are far from inexpensive, meaning there is an added economic benefit to understanding its useful service life.

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