Microfilm and Microfiche

The practice of recording drawings, parts catalogs, and maintenance and overhaul manuals on microfilms was utilized extensively in the past. Microfilm is available as regular 16 mm or 35 mm film. Since 35 mm film is larger, it provides a better reproduction of drawings. Microfiche is a card with pages laid out in a grid format. Microfilm and microfiche require use of special devices for both reading and printing the information.

Most modern aircraft manufacturers have replaced microfilm and microfiche with digital storage methods utilizing CDs, DVDs and other data storage devices. A great deal of service and repair information for older aircraft has been transferred to digital storage devices. However, there may still be a need to access information using the old methods. A well-equipped shop should have available, both the old microfilm and microfiche equipment, as well as new computer equipment.

Digital Images

Though not a drawing, a digital image created by a digital camera can be extremely helpful to aviation maintenance technicians in evaluating and sharing information concerning the airworthiness or other information about aircraft. Digital images can be rapidly transmitted over the World Wide Web as attachments to e-mail messages. Images of structural fatigue cracks, failed parts, or other flaws, as well as desired design and paint schemes, are just a few examples of the types of digital images that might be shared by any number of users over the Internet. Figure 2-32 is a digital image of impact damage to a composite structure

taken with a simple digital camera. To provide information about the extent of the damage, a measurement scale, or other object, such as a coin, can be placed near the area of concern before the picture is taken. Also, within the text of the e-mail, the technician should state the exact location of the damage, referenced to fuselage station, wing station, and so forth.

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