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737_flyer

Are the air start cart and A/C unit modeled backwards?

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It's been quite some time since I've worked on a ramp, but I seem to remember that the ground vehicle with the long yellow hose is the one we used to supply air to planes that had no APU. When I 'connect' the Air Conditioning Unit, I see what I remember being the air start cart. That being said, I worked in a climate where we never had to use an A/C unit, so maybe I'm just remembering wrong. Thanks for any additional info! -Tim Latona

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We normally used ground power off of the jetbridge along with preconditioned air, so it would come from the left side. Where the carts go is completely up to the Ground Operations Manual (or whatever the carrier calls their own). It still baffles me that people think aviation, as a whole, does everything one way.

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There's two different connections Tim - The Air Start is a "high" pressure pneumatic hose about 4-5inches in diameter that connects directly to the pneumatic system. The material for these is typically a brownish-orangish colour. It's a kevlar reinforced silicon-rubber hose with a seperate protection hose around it that consists of some fibers with a bunch of rigid rings. The aircraft coupler is a pretty heafty looking thing that locks onto the aircraft nipple with a firm push on. The Conditioned Air Hose connects directly into the cabin air mix manifold - it basically ducts straight into the cabin - and is a 9-12 inch hose with a rather large connector that twists and locks onto the aircraft.

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Where the carts go is completely up to the Ground Operations Manual (or whatever the carrier calls their own). It still baffles me that people think aviation, as a whole, does everything one way.
That's because it usually is done roughly the same way. The preconditioned air cart will always go on the left side of any Boeing aircraft due to the fact that the loading is done on the right side. Think of how fun it would be to try and download or upload a 737 with the air cart in the way. On the 737, the air start unit is placed on the right side of the aircraft just in front of the engine. The reason for this is because the connection is located on the lower right hand side of the fuselage...also on an air start, the left engine is always started First. If the air start cart was placed on the left side, you would have possible ingestion issues,,,whether it be the hose itself or a person trying to disconnect the hose after the start. I hope that answers your question!

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Awesome additional info, thanks. I guess I just remember it wrong. I can still hear the rumble of the cart with the yellow hose! -Tim Latona

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