PCTI recently supplied a very innovative ground power solution to the Air Force called the Hybrid Electric Flight Line Cart (HEF). This unique aircraft power supply can accommodate multiple different aircraft on the flight line or in a hanger such as the C-17 aircraft shown here. The unit is a battery charger combined with multiple power supplies to make the unit compatible with various types of aircraft. The integral lithium ion batteries can be charged by hangar power or by a diesel generator, which would permit operation in more remote areas. The new technology is an overall greener option for aircraft maintenance.
Safety Benefits of Custom Ground Support Equipment
Use of the unit eliminates noise while tests are being performed, allowing team members to communicate without using onboard communication systems. This translates into a safer system due to increased situational awareness. The power supply also increases the safety of the team with a lack of distracting generator noise.
Performance Benefits of the HEF vs. Diesel Generators
Often times, diesel generators cannot handle the load of system checks, which forces a system shut down and reset. These frustrations are eased with the powerful technologies of the hybrid electric flight line converter.
Staff Sgt. Alex Rini, a logistics test evaluator with the 412th MXLS, said “It’s always impressive when a maintainer says the new product is better than the one he’s been using.”
Tech. Sgt. Kevin Mathis, 412th MXLS logistics test evaluator, commented on the robustness of the unit compared to legacy diesel systems. “When you’re working with a C-17, and you perform a rapid succession of checks, a diesel generator can’t handle the load,” he said.
The Future of Aircraft Maintenance & Ground Support
Development of the HEF was a collaborative effort between PCTI and Concurrent Technology Corporation. The teams met frequently during the development and production of the HEF. The future of aircraft maintenance and ground support may be hybrid technologies, which have proved to be a success during these recent tests. PCTI is proud to be part of this leading-edge effort.
Power Conversion Technologies, Inc. is a certified DBE woman-owned business. PCTI designs and manufactures leading edge power electronic equipment in the highest power ranges. PCTI’s engineering staff has in-depth knowledge in the key areas of power conversion such as power semiconductor analysis and application, thermal exchange, magnetic design, packaging, DSP (digital signal processor) control for inverters, frequency converters, DC power supplies, battery chargers and dischargers. Contact us for more information on our products, applications assistance, or pricing. If you already know what you are looking for, use our easy, online form to request a quote.