Ground support equipment is crucial for conducting various operations on a runway or around an airport, and there are various systems and apparatuses that perform different roles. Aircraft jacks are a staple of ground operations, allowing for operators to conduct inspections and repairs with ease. As aircraft jacks come in four different styles, each of which vary in their capabilities and compatibility with aircraft, it can be useful to have a basic understanding of the most common options and how they work.
When an aircraft is being worked on between flights, it is important that inspections and routine maintenance can be conducted without risk. Even if powered off and parked, working on a non-secured aircraft could lead to accidents, injuries, damage to the aircraft, and other such hazards. As a result, safety standards should always be adhered to while also utilizing the correct type of equipment for the job at hand. With aircraft jacks, the aircraft can be lifted and secured for a maintenance job to be conducted. While bipod, tripod, quadrupod, and axle types are all common options, the tripod and axle variations are the primary choices for aircraft operations in particular.
The tripod jack is useful when the aircraft needs to be lifted straight up, and such equipment consists of three main legs, a hydraulic cylinder, and a central pump assembly. When using tripod jacks, it is very important that the aircraft is not lifted at an incline, as such forces can cause damage to the cylinder. If this type of lifting is necessary, the bipod or quadrupod jack is a better choice. Depending on one’s needs, a tripod jack may either feature fixed or variable height. A fixed height airplane jack is unadjustable, meaning that the legs always remain a set height. Variable tripod aircraft jacks, on the other hand, feature the ability for adding and removing leg extensions to achieve different heights as required.
Axle aircraft jacks often differ from other variations as, rather than lift the entire aircraft, they are only designed to lift the wheels. As a result, axle aircraft jacks are often used when maintenance and repair jobs are being conducted for the wheels, tires, brakes, or struts. When working on these assemblies, there is no need to lift the entire aircraft, so the axle aircraft jack provides an easier solution. Similar to other types, axle jacks come in various forms, those of which are the hand-carried, horseshoe, and outrigger variations. Hand-carried options are lightweight and easily transportable, and their hydraulic pumps are manually operated. Meanwhile, horseshoe axle jacks utilize two hydraulic cylinders to power an arm, and they are heavier. The heaviest and most robust option is the outrigger axle jack, that of which has a two-speed pump powered hydraulic cylinder.
If you own more than one airplane jack, it is highly recommended that you implement a labeling system to properly identify all equipment for use. Labeling generally follows a standard set of rules, those of which make it easier to identify the type of jack, whether its height is variable or fixed, how much weight it can handle, etc. Additionally, aircraft jacks undergo tremendous stress everytime that they are used, necessitating regular inspections and maintenance to avoid hazards and setbacks. If you are in need of jack parts, labels, replacement components, or other such products, take advantage of Aerospace Aces’ unrivaled inventory and offered savings.
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