How to Install Fasteners A Guide to Securing Aircraft Hardware

Fasteners play a crucial role in the aviation and aerospace industries, serving as unsung heroes that hold aircraft together to ensure flight safety and reliability. Whether you are an aviation professional or someone embarking on a DIY repair project, understanding the basics of installing aircraft fasteners is essential. In this guide, we will explore the importance of fasteners, the most common types available, and the steps to ensure a proper installation.

Aircraft fasteners, also known as aviation fasteners, are specialized hardware designed to withstand extreme flight conditions while holding parts together. They come in various shapes and sizes, each serving a specific purpose such as securing wings, engines, and control surfaces. Given their pivotal role in aviation operations, the installation process must be carried out with precision and care.

Types of Aircraft Fasteners

Before delving into installation processes, we will first discuss the common types of aircraft fasteners:

  • Rivets: These are permanent fasteners that are ideal for joining structural items, coming in the form of unthreaded components with a head on one side and a smooth, cylindrical shaft on the other. They require special tools to install and create a secure, flush fit.

  • Bolts and Nuts: These are versatile fasteners used to secure a wide range of components. Bolts are threaded rods, while nuts are threaded receptacles. The combination of the two ensures a tight fit as parts are compressed together between the bolt head and nut surface.

  • Screws: Similar to bolts, screws have threaded bodies, but do not require a separate nut for installation. Instead, they are able to bore their own threading into a material during installation and are designed to remain secure when implemented. In general, screws are used in non-structural applications.

  • Clips and Pins: Clips and pins are quick-release fasteners commonly used for access panels and covers. They allow easy removal and replacement, generally requiring no tools to be used.

Installing Fasteners: Step-by-Step Guide

Now that we know the types of fasteners commonly used in aviation, we will explore the process of installing them correctly.

  1. Prepare Your Tools: Gather the necessary tools, including a torque wrench, pliers, a drill, and pilot hole drill bits. Ensure that all tools are in proper condition and calibrated if required.

  1. Select the Right Fastener: Carefully choose the appropriate fastener for your specific application. The type and size of the fastener should match the component you are securing.

  1. Inspect the Components: Before installation, inspect the components to be fastened together. Ensure they are clean, free of debris, and in good condition.

  1. Create Pilot Holes: When working with screws or bolts, it is essential to create pilot holes to guide the fastener and prevent damage to the installation components. Use the correct drill bit size for the fastener to create a proper hole.

  1. Apply Lubrication: For certain fasteners, such as bolts and nuts, applying a suitable lubricant can help ensure a smooth and secure installation. However, be sure to use a lubricant approved for aviation use.

  1. Insert the Fastener: Place the fastener in the pilot hole or through the components to be joined. Ensure that it is properly aligned and engages smoothly.

  1. Tighten with Torque: Use a torque wrench to tighten the fastener to manufacturer specifications. Over-tightening or under-tightening can lead to structural issues or fastener damage.

  1. Check for Flush Fit: For rivets, ensure they are flush with the surface, creating a smooth finish. If needed, use a rivet gun to set the rivet correctly.

  1. Inspect the Installation: After securing the fastener, carefully inspect the installation to ensure it meets the required standards, making sure to look for any signs of damage, misalignment, or loosening. If anything has an issue, it must be remedied before operations are carried out.

  1. Documentation: It is crucial to maintain detailed records of any fastener installation, including its type, size, torque values, and inspection results. This documentation is essential for maintenance and repair records.


Installing aircraft fasteners is a critical aspect of aviation maintenance and repair. Proper fastener installation is vital for aircraft component longevity and performance, and by following the steps outlined in this blog and paying attention to detail, you can ensure your fasteners are installed correctly.

Broadline Purchasing offers a convenient and efficient shopping experience with a wide range of products available for purchase at any time. You can explore our selection of aviation fasteners at your leisure and use our online RFQ service to request quick and easy quotes on items you are interested in. After submitting a form, our team will reach out to you within 15 minutes to provide a customized solution for your needs. Start your purchasing journey with us today and discover why so many customers trust Broadline Purchasing for their part fulfillment needs.

Posted on October 23, 2023 brian young



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