Posted in | News | Aerospace Materials

S.S. White Technologies Highlights Custom Flexible Shafts for Aerospace

S.S. White Technologies, the worldwide leader in the design and manufacture of flexible shafts and related assemblies, highlights bespoke flexible shaft solutions for aerospace applications. Flexible shafts transmit rotary motion much like a solid shaft, but can be routed over, under and around obstacles where a solid shaft cannot be used.

Flexible shafts are used in a variety of applications, including many capacities in aerospace, such as in thrust reverser actuation systems (TRAS), flap and slat systems, variable bleed valves, jet afterburner nozzle control systems, cargo door actuation systems, valve override and many more. S.S. White provides customers with custom flexible shaft solutions designed for specific applications, all backed by S.S. White’s wealth of experience and expertise.

While used in many systems on various aircrafts one significant aerospace application is to manually actuate valves if the automatic system in place were to fail. Any number of valves may be manually actuated using a flexible shaft assembly, including Air Turbine Starter (ATS) and anti-ice valves, as well as those applications mentioned in the paragraph above. The ability to control the valves manually in the event of the automated system’s failure means the aircraft can still be safely “dispatched” on time, avoiding the time and costs associated with having to find a substitute aircraft.      

In addition to the ability of flexible shafts to enable manual overrides of aircraft systems that are usually automated, they are also the preferred rotary motion technology in aerospace applications for a number of other reasons.

Flexible shafts:

  • Eliminate alignment problems
  • Dampen vibration
  • Absorb shock
  • Accommodate relative movements
  • Possess a 3:1 weight advantage over other design solutions while transmitting greater power loads
  • Lower overall cost due to fewer parts needed and faster installation time
  • Provide greater design freedom than other shaft technologies

S.S. White Technologies produced its first flexible shaft in 1874 for a high-speed dental engine used for drilling teeth. Today, their flexible shafts for aerospace applications are used in thrust reverser, flap, slat actuation systems and manual overdrive systems of air and space craft, in the ammunition magazine drive of the AC-130, in many Airbus & Boeing thrust reverser systems, in the Hubble Space Telescope, on the international space station (ISS) and as part of the V-22 Osprey’s rescue hoist system.

S.S. White provides flexible shaft assemblies as part of a custom solution. Every application in which a flexible shaft is used is different, and S.S. White not only manufactures the flexible shafts, but also provides the technical expertise to create solutions to engineering challenges.



Please use one of the following formats to cite this article in your essay, paper or report:

  • APA

    S.S. White Technologies Inc.. (2019, December 18). S.S. White Technologies Highlights Custom Flexible Shafts for Aerospace. AZoM. Retrieved on February 28, 2024 from

  • MLA

    S.S. White Technologies Inc.. "S.S. White Technologies Highlights Custom Flexible Shafts for Aerospace". AZoM. 28 February 2024. <>.

  • Chicago

    S.S. White Technologies Inc.. "S.S. White Technologies Highlights Custom Flexible Shafts for Aerospace". AZoM. (accessed February 28, 2024).

  • Harvard

    S.S. White Technologies Inc.. 2019. S.S. White Technologies Highlights Custom Flexible Shafts for Aerospace. AZoM, viewed 28 February 2024,

Tell Us What You Think

Do you have a review, update or anything you would like to add to this news story?

Leave your feedback
Your comment type
Azthena logo powered by Azthena AI

Your AI Assistant finding answers from trusted AZoM content

Azthena logo with the word Azthena

Your AI Powered Scientific Assistant

Hi, I'm Azthena, you can trust me to find commercial scientific answers from

A few things you need to know before we start. Please read and accept to continue.

  • Use of “Azthena” is subject to the terms and conditions of use as set out by OpenAI.
  • Content provided on any AZoNetwork sites are subject to the site Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.
  • Large Language Models can make mistakes. Consider checking important information.

Great. Ask your question.

While we only use edited and approved content for Azthena answers, it may on occasions provide incorrect responses. Please confirm any data provided with the related suppliers or authors. We do not provide medical advice, if you search for medical information you must always consult a medical professional before acting on any information provided.

Your questions, but not your email details will be shared with OpenAI and retained for 30 days in accordance with their privacy principles.

Please do not ask questions that use sensitive or confidential information.

Read the full Terms & Conditions.