NAS Bolts are Important in Aircraft Building

by | Jul 18, 2014 | Business & Society

Building any kind of craft that must stay airborne and keep its passengers safe means that the people entrusted to build the machine pay very close attention to detail. However, those that must create the aircraft must also be detail-oriented. Using the wrong type of screw or bolt could cost people their lives and could damage a very expensive airplane. Therefore, it is important to understand that NAS bolts.

What is NAS?

NAS stands for National Aerospace Standards and the standards are important because it helps judge how the hardware was manufactured and measured. The standardization was developed before World War Two, though it didn’t become definitive until after the war. Before, each area of the military had its own standard for hardware used on aircraft and other things.Then those standards were consolidated into AN which stood for Army-Navy and then became Air Force-Navy, along with MS, which stands for Military Standard.and NAS became general terms. All three of these terms represent a universally accepted method for identifying and standardizing aircraft hardware, including bolts.

There is a cross-reference between certain hardware parts. For example, many of the same parts have both an AN and an MS number. Any aircraft requiring either of those numbers can use the same part in the same place. This way, you can obtain the piece you want and install it properly. Without a particular system of number and dashes, this process would be a lot more difficult and chances for error would increase.


Bolts are required in aircraft construction for many reasons. Whenever high strength is required, bolts are used to help reinforce the piece. When strength isn’t needed, screws can be used instead.

Fastener Dimensions Standard NAS Aircraft Bolts can be made from different materials and still be considered NAS. Materials can include alloy steel, aluminum alloys, corrosion-resistant steel, stainless steel and titanium although the most common include stainless and alloy steels.

Any bolt that is approved for MS, AN or NAS use will have markings on the head. Those bolts with no markings are considered for commercial use and are not appropriate for aircraft building, though bolt markings will vary based on the manufacturer. The markings will also vary based on the type of material used to make a bolt and what it is used for. NAS bolts usually have a higher strength and are identified by a cupped-out head, as well.

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