Ground Support Equipment for Aircraft and Helicopters
Both fixed and rotary-wing aircraft require frequent servicing and maintenance in between flights to ensure their optimal functionality. To carry out these tasks, a large set of ground support equipment (GSE) is necessary. More specifically, GSE is primarily utilized to help in aircraft repairs, ramp activities, turnaround operations, and line maintenance.
Generally, GSE is used on the ramp for minor repairs and to service aircraft, ranging from towing aircraft and supplying electrical power to the engine to loading and unloading luggage and freight, servicing galley areas, and more. Choosing between GSE options consists of keeping many factors in mind, such as the type and level of maintenance to be performed, the number of line stations to be supported, the amount of ramp operations, and the extent to which component maintenance will be carried out. As such, this type of equipment works alongside others that are provided by the airport including fueling components, potable water supply, and more.
GSE for Commercial Jet Aircraft
Large commercial jet aircraft require specialized GSE. For example, they necessitate power vans to supply them with electrical power when it is not available from power mains or APUs. More than that, they need air conditioning and ventilation units to ensure that a steady stream of fresh and temperature-controlled air is in the cabin at all times. Commercial jet aircraft also require fuel, potable water, wastewater, various gas trucks, catering vans, and more.
The type and number of GSEs needed for general ramp operations are large and costly. Tow tractors, or tow trucks, are one type of GSE used for more than one aircraft model.
There are a variety of dolly and lifting equipment types, all of which can be used interchangeably. However, for aircraft with larger engines, robust and heavy-duty equipment is better.
Jacks and Lifting Equipment
There are a wide range of tripod jacks with varying weight capacities. For instance, there are specialized lifting jacks intended to hold and transport engines.
Various servicing equipment exists such as hydraulic and engine oil servicing equipment carts. Moreover, there is also equipment for servicing the landing gear, engine, and fuselage.
GSE for Helicopters
Helicopters take advantage of a lot of common GSE, but due to their design, they often need some special equipment.
Blade Folding Kit
A blade folding kit is a specialized piece of equipment that keeps the extended main rotor blades stored in the hangar. This kit provides a means for the rotor blades to be put in line with helicopter fuselage to reduce space requirements.
Main Rotor Blade Tie Down Set
Rotor blade tie-downs are a critical part of the equipment needed for helicopters. The tie-down is particularly important to protect the blades from moving and rotating during gusts of wind or severe weather; thus, it prevents any excessive undue force on the rotor shaft.
Aircraft Disabling Kit
An aircraft disabling kit is utilized to physically secure and disable aircraft through the use of a dual-lock whenever an aircraft is stored away or left unattended. It consists of a tail rotor lock and a battery lock, and it does not require any aircraft modification.
Helicopter Support Dolly
Often used to position, remove, and install the tail boom assembly without the need for a hoist or sling assembly, a helicopter support dolly is typically designed to match the shape of the helicopter it is going to be used with.
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