Chock

Video details for the benefit of Benjamin J

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This video will probably be pretty boring to most people, but it is for the benefit of a fellow Avsim user, so I figured I'd sling it in here.

Fellow Avsimmer Benjamin J was asking me about GPUs and Air Start units the other day for the benefit of modeling them in some scenery, and as luck would have it, I was checking an aircraft on one of the remote stands tonight at EGCC which had a GPU and an air start unit on it for some engine tests which were being carried out, so I took these rough video clips of them. They are very rough (done on my phone) but they should be useful for what we were chatting about (basically how big they are and roughly what they look like). For comparison between a GPU and fixed electrical power, I took some clips of another nearby aeroplane too. Since I am five feet six tall and was holding the phone camera at head height, and there are a number of familiar things in the shots including some standard sized road cones, it should be fairly easy to determine the size of these things although it's worth nting here that this air start unit is fairly small compared to some ones. The GPU on the other hand is absolutely typical of the size those things are.

The first aeroplane (a Thomas Cook Airbus A321) has a GPU connected to it (because this stand does not have fixed electrical power). There is also an Air Starter cart alongside it (not connected), the second aeroplane (a Condor Boeing 757-200) is connected to the remote stand's Fixed Electrical Power (FEP), which is on a wheeled cradle attached to an extendable pantograph that the power cable runs along.

The webbing material strap you can see draped over FEP's control panel is a lanyard which clips to the aircraft to help support the weight of the FEP's plug and cable so that it doesn't drop out of the socket. In both cases (for the Airbus and the Boeing) the panel which is opened to allow the power plug to be inserted is also the panel where the jack socket is for the headset which is attached so you can speak to the flight deck when doing a pushback, tow, engine test or whatever.

To explain the logos you see, the Air Starter Cart is made by a company called TLD, the GPU is made by Houchin, the Aviator livery is the company I work for and TCR is the company which the equipment is leased from. On the towing end of the GPU, you can briefly see me, in my high vis vest (compulsory when on the ramp), reflected in a flip up perspex panel, that panel is to keep the rain off the controls for the GPU power settings. The red and green cards in little holders you can see next to this are the system which is used to indicate the equipment is serviceable.

Note that it was not me who put the power cable on this aeroplane; I would not do it like that, as leaving it coiled up can make the cable overheat. After I shot this footage, I extended the cable properly, like it should be. That was actually one of the reasons I was out there on this stand - I was driving around checking all our aeroplanes had been set up properly with various bits of equipment before I went home.

 

Edited by Chock

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WOW! This is amazing! Thanks a million Alan. This is going to help immensely. Even if the GSE I'm modeling may not be of these type (though I think the air unit probably is), it's very instructive to see what these things generally look like on closeup.

So just to make sure I got this down correctly, the first unit you film is the air starter, the second is the GPU, and the final yellow thing is the FEP, correct? I've never seen soemthing that look quite like that. Is this the form factor because it's a remote stand? I assume that at jetways such equipment is probably on the jetway, and I believe I've seen funny-looking things pulled out of the ground (literally) as well on some of the major airports.

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