Ground Support Equipment: Specialized And Efficient

Credit: AERO Specialties

From simple tow bars to lavatory service and ground power units, ground support equipment for the business aircraft and helicopter markets is designed for greater efficiency, longer ease of maintenance and longer service life. 

Stopping Lavatory Overfills
Lavatory overfill is no longer an issue with AERO Specialties’ patented “Safe-Lav” system. Safe-Lav employs a dedicated batching tank to determine and restrict the maximum quantity of fluid that can be delivered to the aircraft lavatory system. Installed within or on top of a lavatory cart, and working in conjunction with the fluid pump, the batch tank functions as an interim tank into which the lavatory fluid is pumped for measurement prior to uploading on the aircraft.
Safe-Lav’s direct-reading tank and delivery system is unaffected by inaccurate or broken flow meters, the leading cause of lavatory system overfills. It is available for all new AERO Specialties lavatory service units and as a retrofit kit for most lavatory carts.

Preventing Overstressed Landing Gear 

Linear force monitoring system
Credit: Rod Gray

AERO Specialties’ SiPsHitch, patented linear force monitoring system has been designed to prevent costly damage caused by tractors exceeding nose gear limitations during towing or pushback. Introduced two years ago, the system can be added to tugs and tow tractors to alert operators to potential overstress situations.
The two-piece installation incorporates a load cell linear force monitoring device, placed between the tractor and the tow-bar hitch, and connected to a display installed close to the tractor’s operator. The operator inputs data concerning the type of aircraft to determine maximum force required for that aircraft’s nose gear.  Once the maximum force is approached, an audible alarm will be sounded and the display will flash red.  
SiPsHitch will prevent the tractor from exceeding safe speed or force limits if the operator fails to take corrective action.

Helicopter Maintenance Stands

Helicopter maintenance stand
Credit: SafeSmart

Designed in-house, and tailored to customer specifications, SafeSmart’s aluminum helicopter maintenance stands are among its specialties, due to their light weight, ease of handling, and superior corrosion resistance. This makes them less maintenance intensive than conventional steel stands, and a safer alternative to ladders. 
SafeSmart serves a mix of civil and military helicopter operators, producing 50 to 60 maintenance stands annually for light to heavy rotary-wing aircraft. Currently serving a client base in five countries, SafeSmart will supervise the installation of its products to assure a perfect fit—one of the ways it guarantees 100% satisfaction.

Business And Regional Aircraft Tow-Bar

HYDRO Systems tow bar
Credit: HYDRO Systems

HYDRO Systems KG provides multiple tow-bar products for the largest wide-bodies as well as for business aircraft and regional airliners. 
For the corporate and regional airline operator, the company offers the TOWMULTI-3. Designed as a modular system, all components, including the welded aluminum tube, undercarriage and tow eye are bolted rather than welded, for greater maintenance simplification. Interchangeable tow heads, using a ball lock pin for secure fixation, allow its application to any business aircraft or regional airliner. 
Users also have a choice of a rigid tow head or an optional revolving tow-head design. A retaining pin, which prevents separation of the tow bar from the tractor following a shear pin fracture, maximizes operational and aircraft handling safety. The tow bar rides on heavy-duty air inflated tires, with solid rubber tires as an available option. TOWMULTI-3 incorporates optimum corrosion and SKYDROL resistance, as well as galvanized non-painted parts.

Ground Power Unit 

ElectroAir ground power unit
Credit: ElectroAir

With continuing trends toward greener technology for ground service equipment, ElectroAir’s APA series ground power units are among the company’s Ultra Green Power Solution diesel driven products, designed to reduce CO2 emissions.  For business jets and helicopters, the APA-10 is equipped with a diesel engine for continuous power, and batteries for start-up.  Low RPM enables less fuel consumption, and its hybrid design permits it to be powered from the external power grid, making it safe and clean for indoor use.  Lighter and more compact than many GPUs on the market, the APA-10 is manufactured with composite material, and a fully modular design for easy maintenance and a long life cycle.