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Important Applications of Mini Electric Motors in Aviation Engineering

People don't usually associate the term "miniature motors" with aircraft, but experts in aviation engineering are well aware of how important these small components are in the greater whole of aviation. Miniature electric motors allow aircraft to function efficiently without sacrificing a lot in terms of tonnage and available space.

Going Mini - When Less Is More

While regular-sized motors have their place in aviation engineering, miniature motors offer a few advantages over their larger counterparts:
  1. Compact - Small motors take less space than regular-sized components, making it possible to install more components without having to expand compartment size while still providing the same (if not better) results.
  2. Lightweight - Weight is always a deciding factor in the field of aviation engineering. Smaller motors are lighter, allowing engineers to make lighter aircraft.
  3. Efficient - Pound for pound, smaller motors require less energy to operate. This improves the overall energy efficiency of the entire aircraft. Moreover, reducing the aircraft's overall weight also cuts down the amount of fuel required to remain operational.
It's important to note that miniature electric motors used in aviation engineering are designed to have high power density, about the same power as bigger motors. They are also able to withstand frequent usage and harsh conditions for longer lifespan.

Common Applications of Mini Electric Motors

Seat Actuators

There are plenty of reasons why seat actuation is essential for the comfort of passengers and pilots alike. Automated seats allow quick and easy adjustments, but seat actuation requires high-torque motors to move the backrest and footrest. Using regular-sized motors can take up a lot of tonnage, especially in cargo or passenger aircraft, but a small high-power motor is perfect for situations like these.

Automated Window Shades

Automated window shades provide passengers the option of getting a good view of the outside thru the window or blocking out the sun when it gets too bright. However, limited available space around the window prevent the installation of full-sized motors. Miniature motors are compact enough to fit and provide enough power for window shade automation with minimal noise.

Valve Actuators

Aircraft have multiple valves designed to control various factors such as the amount of fuel flowing to the engine and airflow into environmental control systems. Precision is important in valve actuation, since the slightest inaccuracies can lead to catastrophic failures. Miniature motors provide high power density and low inertia to allow precise starts and stoppages, providing better flow control and reducing risks.

Unmanned Aircraft Components

Unmanned aircraft are extremely versatile, making them a primary option for a variety of tasks (most notably surveillance), but their small frames limit the amount of area for components and amount of onboard fuel or batteries. Miniature motors do not add a lot of weight to aircraft and do not draw as much power, which helps improve fuel efficiency.

Miniature Motors and the Future

The use of mini electric motors in aircraft provides many options previously unavailable with regular-sized motors. Over time, this can lead to the development of more efficient designs and component layouts for future aircraft. Indeed, big things do come in small packages, especially in aviation engineering.