What Are the Applications of Hydraulic Systems in Aircraft?

Hydraulic systems are an indispensable element of modern aviation design, powering many essential functions of an aircraft. From controlling landing gear to enabling precise braking, hydraulic systems play a pivotal role in ensuring the safety and performance of an aircraft. In this blog, we will delve into the various applications of hydraulic systems in aircraft, shedding light on their importance in the aviation industry.

Landing Gear

During the preparation for takeoff or landing, the landing gear of an aircraft plays a vital role in ensuring a seamless transition between airborne and ground phases. Hydraulic systems are the driving force behind these mechanics, allowing the landing gear to retract after takeoff and extend before landing. This process involves a complex arrangement of hydraulic cylinders, pumps, and valves that work together to provide a safe and controlled landing.

As the aircraft approaches the runway, hydraulic pressure activates the landing gear system, extending the landing gear struts and locking them into position. This ensures that the aircraft's weight is distributed evenly across the landing gear, preventing excessive stress on the structure. Once the aircraft is safely on the ground, the hydraulic system allows the landing gear to retract again, reducing drag and optimizing fuel efficiency during flight.

Flight Control Surfaces

The movement of flight control surfaces, such as ailerons, elevators, and rudders, is critical for steering, maintaining stability, and controlling the aircraft's attitude. These control surfaces are powered by hydraulic systems to ensure precise and rapid responses to pilot commands.

Hydraulic actuators, which are cylinders filled with hydraulic fluid, are connected to the control surfaces. When the pilot operates the controls, the hydraulic system transmits the necessary pressure to these actuators, causing the control surfaces to move accordingly. The advantages of hydraulic systems in this context include their ability to provide high force, precise control, and quick response times.

Aircraft Brakes

Aircraft brakes are a vital component for ensuring the safety of passengers and cargo during landings. The enormous kinetic energy generated during landing must be dissipated, and hydraulic systems are essential for this task. Additionally, aircraft brakes rely on hydraulic pressure to engage the brake pads and slow down the aircraft as it touches down on the runway.

Hydraulic brake systems are known for their ability to deliver a high amount of force consistently, even under extreme conditions. The hydraulic fluid in the system allows for effective heat dissipation, preventing the brakes from overheating and ensuring the aircraft can safely decelerate. This capability is crucial for achieving safe landings, especially on wet or icy runways.

Flaps and Slats

Flaps and slats are movable wing components that enhance an aircraft's performance during takeoff and landing. They are designed to increase lift and reduce stall speed, allowing aircraft to safely operate at slower speeds when necessary. Hydraulic systems are employed to control the extension and retraction of these aerodynamic surfaces.

When the pilot extends the flaps and slats, the hydraulic system applies the required force to move them into the desired position. This action alters the aircraft's wing shape, increasing lift and providing better control at lower speeds. Conversely, hydraulic retraction brings the flaps and slats back into their original positions for efficient cruising.

Cargo and Cabin Doors

Hydraulic systems are not only essential for flight itself, but they also play a role in ground operations. Cargo and cabin doors on commercial and military aircraft often use hydraulic actuators to facilitate their opening and closing, making it easier to load and unload cargo and allowing passengers to embark and disembark safely.

Furthermore, hydraulic systems in these applications ensure that all doors can be operated with precision and control. They also provide the necessary power to overcome the pressure difference between the cabin and the external environment, maintaining the safety and comfort of passengers and crew.


In conclusion, hydraulic systems in aircraft are indispensable for a wide range of functions, from ensuring safe landings to optimizing flight performance. They offer the necessary power, control, and reliability to handle the unique challenges of aviation. When you are in search of reliable hydraulic system components and other similar product solutions, we have you covered on Integrated Jet Parts. Through our rigorous vetting processes, meticulous part inspections, document verification practices, and more, we have established ourselves as a reputable distributor operating with AS9120B, ISO 9001:2015, and FAA AC 00-56B accreditation. With all of this in mind, get in touch with a team member today, and see how we can serve you!


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