When we think of aircraft tugs, it is generally for big jets, and if not for big jets then at least big private jets. But what about helicopters? Those strange, ungainly things are light like a dragonfly, right? Some are, but then again, some aren’t. While compact training and light observation helicopters are designed to be light, there are plenty of medium and heavy helicopters which tip the scales many times that of their lightweight cousins.
Helicopters are a wonderfully versatile aerial platform, capable of supporting a broad array missions from aerial ambulance, to aerial agricultural application of pesticides, to heavy lift and tower construction. While nimble and deft in the air, helicopters pose unique challenges to ground support personnel charged with ground handling of the aircraft.
Maintenance, Repair, and Overhaul facilities, known in the vernacular simply as “MROs” are a major gear in the cog which keep airplanes in the air safely and reliably. But what exactly goes into an MRO? Or more broadly, what are the different types of MROs and MRO business models, and how do they differ? This comprehensive guide to MRO business models sets out to research and explain the nuance of MROs.
Executive jet aircraft owned by large corporations for executive travel are declining. Jets are extremely expensive alone, and their required aircrews and ground support teams add enormous financial strain. The only way in which they are an economical endeavor is if they are employed on a frequent basis so as to justify the cost of storage and associated payroll.
With so much focus on the advances in technology in the industry, sometimes we have to take a step back and look at the big picture. What is the mission of the airside operations organization? To conduct ground handling and services. But above all of that, it is to make sure that all employees, passengers, and bystanders get home safely. The same goes for aircraft hangar operations; it behooves the organization to take aggressive steps to ensure that the work environment is a safe one. So use an aircraft hangar safety checklist to secure this goal.
A lot of the focus of this blog is the equipment used to make airport ground operations possible, as well infrastructure items like hangars and hangar doors. But what of the infrastructure which makes the operation actually move? Airport Ground Handling Services are the prime movers who supply the manpower to actually conduct day-to-day business.
So you own an FBO and you need to update your inventory of ground support equipment. Great! Modern design processes and technology have made ground support equipment, particularly ground power units (GPUs) much smaller and more efficient than those of yesteryear. But before you press any buy buttons, there are some things you need to know about different types of units, how they function, and which GPU is going to be the best unit for your operation.
If your business involves aircraft, chances are likely that you move aircraft. Airlines conduct pushbacks around the clock, MROs rotate aircraft into and out of hangars like clockwork, and military units are abuzz with constant movement of aircraft, often under critically short timeframes. All of the operations must be equipped with pushback aircraft tugs which are utterly and completely reliable.
Unless you have physically dealt with poorly maintained, low quality, or just ‘bad’ hangar doors, it is hard to fully appreciate how little you notice them when they are good. Airplane hangar doors are made in a variety of different configurations, for different reasons. Some configurations are designed for strength, some for ease of use, and even others are made to handle specific environmental features in a given climate. Here’s an overview.