All About the Airbus A320 Ram Air Turbine (RAT)

A ram air turbine, commonly known as a RAT, is a compact device utilized on various aircraft for auxiliary power generation and hydraulic pressure supply. Its primary purpose is to assist operations during an emergency when other systems fail, ensuring that the aircraft maintains controllability and operational capacity during critical situations. In this blog, we will discuss ram air turbines in more detail, using the Airbus A320 as an example for ease of understanding.

The Airbus A320 Ram Air Turbine

The ram air turbine on the Airbus A320 holds a pivotal role as a vital component of this widely used narrow-body commercial aircraft. Positioned strategically on the fuselage, it stands ready for deployment in emergency scenarios. Next, we will discuss the general steps of how a ram air turbine functions, allowing you to see how aircraft like the Airbus A320 utilize them.

Deployment: When necessary, the RAT is manually or automatically deployed from its stored position on the aircraft's fuselage. This action is typically taken in response to a loss of hydraulic pressure or electrical power, which can render the primary systems inoperative.

Ram Air Power: As the RAT extends into the airstream, it rotates, driven by the force of the incoming air, hence the term "ram air." This rotational motion powers a generator capable of producing both AC (alternating current) and DC (direct current) electrical power. This versatility is crucial because different systems on the aircraft require distinct power types.

Hydraulic Pressure: In addition to generating electrical power, the RAT also drives a hydraulic pump. This pump pressurizes the hydraulic fluid, enabling the operation of critical flight control surfaces like the rudder, elevators, and ailerons. Hydraulic pressure is essential for precise aircraft control, especially in emergency situations.

De-Icing Capability: Notably, certain RATs, including the one equipped on the Airbus A320, feature de-icing systems. These systems prevent ice accumulation on the RAT blades during flight, ensuring continued functionality in cold and icy conditions.


In summary, the ram air turbine (RAT) is a vital component of the Airbus A320 and many other aircraft. It serves as a backup power source, ensuring that in emergencies such as engine failures or power losses, the aircraft remains controllable and operational. With everything readily available for purchase on our website at any time, you are encouraged to peruse our selection on ASAP Aviation Unlimited at your leisure while taking advantage of our online RFQ service to request quotes quickly and easily on items of interest that you come across. Once we receive and review a completed form, a member of our staff will contact you in 15 minutes or less to present a tailored solution for your comparisons. Get started on the purchasing process today and see why so many customers steadily choose ASAP Aviation Unlimited for part fulfillment.


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