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Aviation and Military Terms

  1. Clarifying the Conditions
  2. Part Condition Types
  3. What is National Stock Number? (NSN)?
  4. What does Trace mean in the aviation part industry?
  5. FAA Parts
  6. What is Wide Area Workflow (WAWF)?
  7. What is Radio-frequency Identification (RFID)?
  8. What are military standard (MIL-STD) labels?
  9. What is procurement?
  10. What is sourcing?
  1. What is the phonetic alphabet
  2. Airworthiness
  3. What is a Certificate of Conformance (C of C)?
  4. What is an FAA 8130-3?
  5. What is a JAA Form 1?
  6. What is a rotable?
  7. What are consumables?
  8. What are expendable parts?
  9. What is a DD Form 250?
  10. What is the DA Form 31?

Clarifying the Conditions

Do you know the difference between "Factory New" and "New Surplus?" How about "Overhauled" and "Serviceable?"

The condition of the item you seek is just as important as the part number and description. This is especially true in the aerospace and maritime industry. That's why our procurement experts included this summary to clarify the confusion that often leads to delays, cancellations, reorders, refunds and, in some extreme situations, property damage or personal injury.

Some of the official definitions of the word, surplus, include "the amount beyond that's needed; excess; or when there is more supply than demand." These definitions remain consistent throughout the aerospace and maritime industries regardless if the client resides in the government or private sector.

When the U.S. government requires equipment and supplies, they publish solicitations requesting for companies or individuals to bid on the items they need. Anyone registered with the System for Award Management ( SAM) may bid on these requirements and possibly earn awards from the government to purchase certain items primarily from them.

When government agencies such as the Department of Defense ( DOD) and General Services Administration ( GSA) have equipment and supplies they no longer feel they will need, they will send these items to various organizations that host auctions in hopes of selling these items to the highest bidder. As a result, the condition of these auctioned items is reclassified from “Factory New” to “New Surplus” before returning to circulation.

Part Condition Types

Factory New (FN) - Parts classified as "Factory New" are obtained from the Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM), an authorized distributor, or another reputable source. These items always include their Manufacturers' Certifications (MFG CERTS). Many commercial airlines and contract manufacturers only accept parts with MFG CERTS.
In addition to MFG Certs, Factory New parts often have at least one of the following forms of official documentation: FAA Form 8130-3, EASA Form 1, JAA Form 1, SEG VOO 003, TC Form 1, Certificate of Conformance, Packing Slip, Transfer Ticket or Invoice.

New Material (NE) - New Material parts often come from the Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM), an authorized distributor, or another reputable source. These items often include their Manufacturers' Certificates of Conformance (MFG COC), but rarely have the Manufacturers' Certifications (MFG CERTS).
Many New Material parts lack complete trace from the current supplier to the original source such as an OEM. Consequently, purchasers of these parts may only receive a supplier's Certificate of Conformance (COC) along with the manufacturers' names and lot numbers.

New Surplus (NS) - New Surplus parts are new or used material purchased as excess inventory. They may or may not possess traceability (trace) to where the part originated from such as a company (i.e. commercial surplus) or government agency (i.e. government surplus). If the New Surplus part arrived from the latter source, it may have a government label. Regardless its point of origin, New Surplus parts will come with New Century Component's Certificate of Conformance.

Overhauled (OH) - An Overhauled part has been rebuilt and tested in accordance with the manufacturer's specifications by a repair facility approved by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) or the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA). Depending on the part's classification and airworthiness, it may possess a FAA 8130-3 Tag or an EASA Form 1.

Serviceable (SV) - Parts labeled as "Serviceable" have been tested and/or repaired in accordance with the manufacturer's specifications by an FAA or EASA approved repair facility. Depending on the part's classification and airworthiness, it may possess a FAA 8130-3 Tag or an EASA Form 1.

Repairable (RP) - Parts in this condition are not necessarily broken or severely damaged. Rather, they no longer meet performance standards as dictated by a governing body such as the FAA or EASA due to normal wear and tear. Sometimes a simple procedure such as patching or welding will restore the part to a serviceable status. Repairable parts often lack official documentation such as certifications, trace and tags

As Removed (AR) - Many parts extracted from ship, aircraft or vehicle fall in this category. They may function flawlessly, but the supplier cannot guarantee their quality; nor can it claim that another party can repair or test them to approved standards. In short, the supplier sells As Removed parts "as is."

What is a National Stock Number (NSN)?

Manufacturers use many different commercial part-numbering conventions. They may refer to their items of supply using various descriptors like a Universal Product Code (UPC), a National Drug Code, and/or a Universal Standard Products and Services Classification Code (UNSPSC) as part of the item description. The National Stock Number (NSN) system alleviates manufacturers from using various languages to describe items of supply by standardizing naming conventions and logistics management data.

A National Stock Number is an official label applied to an item of supply that is repeatedly procured, stocked, stored, issued and used throughout the federal supply system. The label identifies every item with a unique series of numbers. There are currently more than 7 million NSN's in the federal supply system.

When a NSN is assigned to an item of supply, data is assembled to describe the item. Some data elements an item name, manufacturer's part number, unit price, and physical and performance characteristics. NSNs are an essential part of the military's logistics supply chain used in managing, moving, storing and disposing of material.

NSNs help identify and manage nearly every item imaginable from complex aircraft engines to simple, screw-in light bulbs. They facilitate the standardization of item names and aids in reducing duplicate items in the federal inventory. They also standardize military requirements for testing and evaluation of potential items of supply, as well as identifying potential duplicate items.

Many government agencies and armed forces around the world officially recognize the NSN system. Federal agencies and the Department of Defense (DOD) use the NSN to buy and manage billions of dollars' worth of supplies every year

Learning the NSN Lingo: Structure of the National Stock Number (NSN)

The configuration of the NSN is a 13-digit number, as the examples above show. It is composed of these overlapping sub-groups: The first two digit positions identify the Federal Supply Group (FSG), the broad category in which the item belongs.

The FSG is followed by two additional positions, which together with the FSG form the four positions Federal Supply Class (FSC). The FSC narrows the category down to something more specific.

The last 9 positions (e.g. 00-000-0000) are the National Item Identification Number (NIIN) and identify the specific item. The first two positions of the NIIN identify the NATO Country Code for the country making the number assignment. The codes 00 and 01 are used by the United States. The last seven digits of the NIIN are the item serial number. The serial number does not follow an assignment pattern as the FSG, FSC and country code do; it is merely a number chosen for the item.

When the FSN was converted to the NSN in 1975, existing FSN's were typically changed over by simply adding "00" between the FSC and the serial number. For example, "First Aid Kit, General Purpose, Rigid Case", FSN 6545-922-1200, was changed to NSN 6545-00-922-1200.

If an item is issued in different sizes, each size will have its own NIIN. Sometimes all the sizes follow a logical pattern, sometimes not. When items from different manufacturers perform the same function, have the same characteristics, and are the same size, a single NSN is assigned. For example, all flashlight standard D batteries have the same NSN regardless of supplier.

Because the FSC is assigned based on end use, it is possible for the same item to be in more than one FSC. For example, a cleaning compound could be assigned FSC 6850 when used for general purpose cleaning, but the same chemical composition would be assigned FSC 6750 when used as a photographic cleaner. In each case, the NIIN would be different.

What does Trace mean in the aviation part industry?

The aerospace, maritime and defense industries possess millions of components originating from thousands of sources. A majority of these components change hands several times throughout their serviceable lifespan. For example:

1. A major aviation company designs and manufactures a pump for a type of military transport aircraft in 1985.
2. The U.S. Air Force purchases the pump in 1986, but designates it as surplus during defense budget cuts in 1991.
3. A supplier in New Jersey purchases the pump from the government in 1991 and sells it to the Taiwanese Air Force several months later. It remains in use until Taiwan's military retires the line of aircraft that uses the pump in 2000.
4. Taiwan's government surplus authorities sell the pump to a supplier in Italy that in turn sells it to Egypt's air force in 2003.
5. The pump takes damage two years later during an emergency landing, so the ground crew removes it from the
aircraft. A supplier buys and repairs the part in 2006 and sells it to a small commercial airline in Panama that same year. 6. Five years later, the airline deems the plane too costly to operate and sells it for scrap metal, but not before removing
the serviceable pump. 7. In 2012, a supplier in Florida buys the pump where it is refurbished and sold to a private aircraft collector in California.

Scenarios such as the one described above illustrate the importance of retracing a part's lineage from end users to suppliers to the original manufacturer. Many clients with strict quality control systems will reject parts that lack

complete traceability, even if it has official documentation such as an airworthiness certificate. Fortunately, these same clients do not necessarily need traceability back to the original manufacturer. In many cases the supplier needs only to trace the part to the last certificated source such as a repair station.

FAA Parts

Just when you thought the aerospace industry couldn't possibly create more aircraft types and components, the FAA has divided this versatile form of transportation, business, defense, rescue and recreation into specialized "parts." Each part possesses a unique set of Federal Aviation Regulations (FARs) to distinguish various types of aircraft and flight

operations. Part 91 - FAA Part 91 is a conglomeration of rules and regulations that cover the full spectrum of flight operations. Topics include flight rules, equipment, maintenance, ownership and safety. All aircraft owners and operators based in the U.S. must adhere to FAA Part 91's rules and regulations unless another FAA Part (e.g. FAA Part 121 and 125) supersedes them. Most flights that do not generate revenue need only to follow Part 91 rules and regulations.

Part 121 - Like FAA Part 91, FAA Part 121 encompasses all flight operations within U.S. territory. However, Part 121's stricter standards set it apart from its fellow FARs. Examples include more stringent requirements for flight training programs, pilot certifications, and pilot-in-command experience. Major commercial air carriers—passenger and freight— operate under FAA Part 121.

Part 125 - This set of FAA rules and regulations governs aircraft with at least a 6,000-pound payload capacity or a minimum 20-seat passenger limit. Many corporate and executive aircraft fall under FAA Part 125 standards, though larger commercial air carriers operate under FAA Part 121.

Part 129 - Foreign air carriers and foreign operators of U.S.-registered aircraft engaged in common carriage comply with this set of FARs. Part 129 covers a variety of topics from airworthiness and minimum equipment lists to crew member certificates and flight deck security.

Part 135 - Pilots and owners operating for profit flights with aircraft that have less than a 6,000-pound payload capacity or carry fewer than 20 passengers often fall under FAA Part 135. Though similar to Part 91, Part 135 encompasses operations tailored specifically to owners of flight training schools, sight-seeing tours, and on-demand air taxi services. Such differences include stricter standards on federal excise taxes, runway length requirements, flight crew duty time, and drug and alcohol testing.

Part 137 - Any person conducting agricultural flight operations such as crop dusting must comply with FAA Part 137. A majority of FAA Part 137's rules and regulations cover maneuvers and actions that pilots are permitted to do while in the air, while some sections explain specific certifications and records for these agricultural operations.

Part 145 - All repair stations that inspect and maintain aircraft in the United States must observe the FARs in FAA Part 145. Like the FAA Parts that cover operations from the perspective of flight crews and aircraft owners, FAA Part 145 covers scores of topics from ratings and records to personnel and privileges. However, FAA Part 145 approaches these subjects from the viewpoint of individuals and organizations that fix rather than fly any machine with wings or rotors.

What is Wide Area Workflow (WAWF)?

Wide Area Workflow provides a free yet secure web based system for electronic invoicing, receipt and acceptance. Government vendors submit and track invoices as well as receipt and acceptance documents through WAWF's real-time, paperless environment.

In 2008 the Department of Defense amended the Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement (DFARS) to make WAWF the only acceptable electronic system for submitting requests for payment under DOD contracts. This amendment has reduced lost documents and operating costs while enhancing global accessibility and audit capability.

Wide Area Workflow
Defense Logistics Agency (WAWF)
Defense Finance and Account Service (DFAS)

What is a Radio-frequency Identification (RFID)?

A Radio-frequency Identification (RFID) is a wireless non-contact system that transfers data from a tag attached to an object, animal or person for identification and tracking purposes. Electromagnetic fields power many tags, thereby eliminating the need for a battery. Unlike a bar code, an RFID tag does not have to stay within the reader's line of site. Consequently, one may embed an RFID in the object rather than stick, paste or print it on the object's surface.

An RFID tag can cost as little as 20 cents and as much as 20 dollars. The source of this wide range resides in a tag's scanning range. A typical “passive” RFID tag contains electronically stored information that a reader can scan up to 10 away, while other “active” RFID tags transmit a signal up to 750 feet from its location.

According to the Wharton Aerospace & Defense Report, the Department of Defense aims to reduce incidents involving lost and stolen equipment by making RFIDs the standard in identifying resources and tracking supply chains, particularly for operations overseas.

What are military standard (MIL-STD) labels?

A military standard (MIL-STD) label is a product of the Department of Defense's efforts to standardize its logistical procedures. MIL-STD labels help ensure products meet certain requirements in reliability, commonality and compatibility. Each label contains a plethora of information such as a National Stock Number, item description, unit of issue, date of preservation and quantity.

DLA Land and Maritime Packaging Defense for Acquisition, Technology, and Logistics

What is procurement?

From a modern business perspective, the act of procurement denotes the process of obtaining goods and services from requisition to approval to payment. The procurement process often contains these steps:
  1. Purchase planning
  2. Standards determination
  3. Specifications development
  4. Supplier research and selection
  5. Value analysis
  6. Financing
  1. Price negotiation
  2. Purchase
  3. Supply contract administration
  4. Inventory control and stores
  5. Disposal

If instituted effectively, procurement can lower an organization's cost structure, improve inventory control, and enhance product quality and durability.

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What is sourcing?

Sourcing refers to those procurement practices aimed at finding, evaluating and engaging suppliers of goods and services. From a corporate perspective, sourcing refers to a system where divisions of companies coordinate the procurement and distribution of materials, parts, equipment and supplies for the organization.


What is the phonetic alphabet?

The phonetic alphabet is a list of words to identify letters in a message transmitted by radio or telephone. Many defense organizations and first responder agencies use the phonetic alphabet to minimize misunderstandings when relaying essential information such as proper names, street addresses and grid coordinates.

Phonetic alphabets vary by region. However, many organizations have adopted the one used by the U.S. military:


Airworthiness refers to the condition of an aircraft part or system that meets its design specifications and operates in a manner to accomplish its intended purpose safely and effectively. A certificate of airworthiness from a national aviation authority such as the FAA or JAA accompanies these components to verify their airworthiness, while certified maintenance crew perform the appropriate upgrades, repairs and replacements to maintain the part's airworthiness status.


What is a Certificate of Conformance (C of C)?

A certificate of conformance provides documentation that a part upholds its manufacturer's process, design, specification and materials. This documentation often includes test reports and inspection data.

What is an FAA 8130-3?

The "Authorized Release Certificate, Airworthiness Approval Tag," or FAA 8130-3, is a form provided by the Federal Aviation Administration's Production & Airworthiness Certification Division to help Designated Manufacturing Inspection Representatives or Production Approval Handlers identify a part or group of parts for export approval or conformity determinations. Users may also use FAA 8130-3 as an approval for return to service by a FAA approved repair station.

What is a JAA Form 1?

Distributed by the Joint Aviation Authorities, JAA Form 1 helps identify an aircraft part or parts arriving in the United States from a foreign country that holds a bilateral agreement with the U.S. for exchange of such parts. U.S. certified foreign repair stations might also use JAA Form 1 as a maintenance release, though this document alone does not necessarily grant authority to install or assemble the part or component.

What is a rotable?

As an object, a rotable is a component that one can restore repeatedly and economically to a serviceable condition. As a service, a rotable is a method of exchanging failed equipment with repaired equipment. The person or enterprise that obtains the failed equipment often repairs it for a future exchange with another individual or organization.


What are consumables?

People working in the aerospace industry define consumables as bulk type, non-reusable material. Fuel, paints, lubricants, cements, compounds, chemicals and similar supplies manufactured to maintain and repair equipment fall under the consumable category.

What are expendable parts?

Items that prove too costly to repair or lack an effective repair procedure are classified as expendables. Examples include screws, washers, nuts and bolts. Most expendable items are not recorded as returnable inventory.

What is a DD Form 250?

Nearly every contract for supplies and services with the Department of Defense requires a Material Inspection and Receiving Report, more commonly known as, "DD Form 250," or simply, "DD250." This form documents inspections, acceptances, shipments and delivery dates. It also serves as receipt.

Contractors submit electronic or paper DD250s to the Contract Management Office for processing. Incomplete or inaccurate forms often cause delays in recording deliveries and paying invoices.

You may view a blank DD Form 250 here.

What is the DA Form 31?

Soldiers and civilians working with the Department of the Army must complete a Request and Authority for Leave Form (DA Form 31) prior to taking a leave of absence, emergency leave or simply time off from regular duty hours. Those requesting leave often complete a DA Form 31 electronically and submit them to their respective commanders or supervisors for review and possible approval.

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