Aircraft are one of the most complex inventions of the past several hundred years. Their design has gradually evolved and changed, thanks to millions of man-hours of work of some of the best engineers and scientists the world has seen. For something as complicated as an airplane with so many different parts and machines, it requires the best engineers and ground staff to take care of it and make sure it is always ready to fly. However, to aid this support staff, special machines for ground support have since been adopted by airlines all over the world and are considered standard in the industry.
Towbars are widely used across the world to position aircraft appropriately. Towbars connect planes to tugs or tractors on the ground that pull the plane wherever the operators want it to go. The main uses for this controlled movement are when the plane has been parked in a hangar, where the space is too constricted for a pilot just to taxi it out, and when the plane has to be placed near some equipment for it to be maintained. The more precise movement towbars allow is integral in maintenance and repair.
Ground Power Units
Ground power units are used in almost every flight, and you have probably never noticed it. GPUs are the main energy source for the plane when the engine is not on. The engine only turns on before takeoff, so the pilot and the support staff use the time that the GPUs are providing energy to complete boarding and perform system checks along with checking the communications equipment. Without these units, the support staff could not board passengers effectively, and there would be no electricity in the plane before takeoff.
Ground jacks are vital in maintaining and supporting aircraft. They are used to lift planes off the ground, and without them, no other machines could comfortably support the weight of the plane. While the plane is lifted off the ground, tire inspection is possible, and the integrity of the plane’s underbelly is also checked. The landing gear can be replaced during this time. Without jacks, it would be impossible to replace landing gear, making landing more difficult and rougher for the pilot.
Service carts are an indispensable piece of ground support equipment. These carts are the primary sources of oxygen and nitrogen in planes since the oxygen tanks are filled by them, and the landing tires are filled with nitrogen by these carts. There are also lavatory and water servicing carts, which are used to remove all of the waste built up in the reserves from people going to the bathroom and fill up the water reserves for the passengers so there is enough access for the flight duration. In short, these carts are vital in ensuring a safe and comfortable flight for the passengers onboard.
With time and enough flights, ice can accumulate on the wings of any plane. This is because planes spend most of their flights high up in the atmosphere, where the temperature is low, so any moisture on the wings will turn to ice. This is an even bigger problem during winter when ice and snow buildup can interfere with takeoff and the stability of the flight once the plane is in motion. To counter this, deicing equipment is used, which includes special trucks and containers filled with fluids. These fluids melt the ice and snow for easier collection and cleaning, and a layer of the fluid on top prevents buildup during the flight.
The flight industry has been one of the biggest influences in our society for decades. Commercial air travel has allowed our society to change and progress rapidly, as transport is easier than ever. Airline companies have since developed more and more ways to maintain efficiency and safety while saving as much as possible. One clear method of this has emerged: investing in ground support machinery. This equipment will allow you to charge and maintain your aircraft and help you fix whatever needs fixing while saving countless hours. Use the information in this article and invest in the best equipment today to completely change how you manage your aircraft.