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  Site Map Definitions  
  A few definitions are provided for your review. This is not a complete list.  

There are four parts to an aircraft per the FAA.
(Federal Aviation Administration – United States of America)
1) Airframe
2) Engine
3) Propeller
4) Accessories. (Examples: Radio, airframe fuel pump, night vision equipment, hoists, brakes and etc.)

A: Airframe

P: Powerplant

A&P Mechanic:
A mechanic who works on both the Airframe (A) and Powerplant (P).

Airframe Mechanic:
A mechanic who works on the Airframe.

Powerplant Mechanic:
A mechanic who works the Powerplant.


The fuselage, booms, nacelles, cowlings, fairings, airfoil surfaces (including rotors but excluding propellers and rotating airfoils of engines), and landing gear of an aircraft and their accessories and controls. (From http://www.faa-aircraft-certification.com/faa-definitions.html)

Non-brand name or non-OEM parts and accessories.

A helicopter specialty shop. This shop specializes in refitting a helicopter for a special mission. For example, a completion might upgrade and modify a helicopter for a wealthy person.

Another example would be a completion shop might upgrade a helicopter for fire fighting service which would include special radios, water tanks, spot lights and other equipment to get the helicopter ready for a specific mission.


Line Maintenance:
A line mechanic would show up to help fix certain items while it is out on the line (meaning, not in the hanger).

Things that could be done on the ramp for example: Changing out a tachometer, one rotor blade or changing out some loose screws. (If all the rotor blades need to be replaced and service bulletins completed, then this would be done typically at a repair station.)

Maintenance Facility/Station:
Not all maintenance facilities are repair stations. A maintenance facility might do inspections.

Sometimes, it’s thought that repair stations are better than maintenance stations. This is not necessarily true.

A maintenance facility (or station), might have expertise that a repair station does not have. It depends upon the experience of the people who work there.

Modification Part or Modifications:
Is when a person or company invents a part for an aircraft which works just as well as the manufactures and it could work even better. (Example: The Hughes 500 pointed nose is a modified part.)


Original Equipment Manufacturer. A brand name manufacture of products or components. Typically, a company that sells a product under their name.

Some or many components maybe produced by other manufactures but when the end product is sold, the item is known as a (an OEM) product of the manufacturer.

For example: A Camaro might have Firestone tires, windows by PPG, radios by Sony, metal by US Steel but the final product is known as a General Motors Chevrolet Camaro. General Motors is the Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM).


Repair Station:
An aviation repair facility that is certified by a government agency.

For helicopters, the helicopter rotor is not considered a propeller but part of the airframe.

The helicopter gets its lift from the rotating blades. Hence, the rotor blades are technically revolving wings.

Which is why rotor blades are considered part of the airframe. To make matters more complicated, gyrocopters have propellers as well as a rotor blade.

Service Center:
This aviation repair facility is certified by an OEM helicopter manufacturer to work on their helicopters.

A service center is typically like car dealership. They usually have a parts center, they sell OEM helicopters and are certified to work on the helicopters of the manufacturer.

Supplemental Type Certificates (STC)
A Supplemental Type Certificate (STC) is an authorization to an airframe, engine or any other component that has been granted as a Type Certificate (TC).

(A Type Certificate (TC) is a government approved certification to an aerospace manufacturer that their aircraft or aircraft part fulfills the of current condition of airworthiness requirements.)

A Supplemental Type Certificate (STC) is issued when an applicant has received FAA approval to modify an aircraft or aircraft part from its original design.

The STC also shows how that modification affects the original design.



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