Aircraft hardware is the term used to describe the various types of fasteners and miscellaneous small items used in the manufacture and repair of aircraft. The importance of aircraft hardware is often overlooked because of its small size; however, the safe and efficient operation of any aircraft is greatly dependent upon the correct selection and use of aircraft hardware.
Most items of aircraft hardware are identified by their specification number or trade name. Threaded fasteners and rivets are usually identified by AN (Air Force-Navy), NAS (National Aircraft Standard), or MS (Military Standard) numbers. Quick release fasteners are usually identified by factory trade names and size designations.