Every airport, from the largest international to the smallest regional, needs ground service equipment to support and operate fleets of aircraft flying in and out of it. Ground service equipment needs to be regulated, however, so that crews always know what they are dealing with, no matter where in the world they are. Over four decades, standards for GSE have evolved, culminating in the international standards that are applied worldwide.

The ISO TC20/SC9, air cargo and ground equipment subcommittee was started in the late 1960s to define the standards for the new and developing types of GSE needed to service new wide-body commercial aircraft like the Boeing 747. This task is never truly completed, as there are always new generations of aircraft with new generations of ground service equipment accompanying them. Over the years, the ISO TC20/SC9 has had to respond to containers and aircraft towing, the introduction of regional commercial aircraft, and even the enormous A380 produced by Airbus, the first aircraft with full length double-deck.

Significant market changes have occurred over the years as well. Sub-contracting has led to more and more service providers, while airlines have dropped their own specifications for purchasing equipment and begun to buy off-the-shelf equipment instead. This has forced ISO standards to be applied at the design stage by equipment manufacturers instead. Airborne equipment like unit load devices have needed to be regulated to ensure they comply with civil aviation regulations, while ground service equipment TC20/SC9 standards have had to be expressed in terms of function and performance requirements to leave the wide variety of technical designs open.

Recent TC20/SC9 projects have involved the advances in aircraft de-icing technologies, replacing forty year old criteria used to certify air cargo ULDs with a more streamlined and modernized document, and updating the regulations and standards for baggage handling to improve the health and safety of workers involved. This last example is part of a major trend recently of trying to improve human resources and reducing the overall cost to operators, which are heavily burdened by the cost of work accidents and professional disabilities. Work interruptions, early retirements due to disability, and health insurance costs can be ruinously expensive for both workers and employers, a cost that can be lowered with proper regulations and standards.

Future challenges that the TC20/SC9 program might face include performance standards for passive and active aircraft interface protection systems that shield aircraft from damage from GSE due to collisions, better ground electrical supply requirements, improved function and safety requirements for aircraft bulk loading systems (ABLS), higher standards for safety in dispatch towing, and more.

At Aerospace Unlimited, owned and operated by ASAP Semiconductor, we can help you find all the ground service equipment for the aerospace, civil aviation, and defense industries. We’re always available and ready to help you find all the parts and equipment you need, 24/7-365. For a quick and competitive quote, email us at sales@aerospaceunlimited.com or call us at 1-412-212-0606.


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Have you ever wondered why some aircraft have a structure at the end of the wing that stick up? They may seem counterintuitive when comparing it to the lift to the force produced by a vertical wing. However, they make a lot more sense than you think. These wing structures reduce weight and drag, and increase lift and efficiency. They were created after fuel costs started skyrocketing in the 1970s and have been one of the most effective technologies to increase fuel-efficiency since.

 
Aircraft Wings lets are structural components added to the tip of the wing— they reduce wingtip vortices. Wingtip vortices are produced at the tip of the wing when the high-pressure air from the bottom of the wing meets the lower pressure air at the top. This air flows behind the flight path and can be detrimental to other aircraft that are following— they are strong enough to flip some aircraft.
 
Winglets reduce drag; they increase the aspect ratio of the wing without adding as much weight as an expansion. One benefit to having a winglet over a longer wingspan is that increasing the span lowers lift-induced drag, but increases parasitic drag. Winglets also increase lift. The magnitude and orientation of the lift force generated by the winglet are determined by the angle at which the winglets’ airfoils diverge from the relative wind direction. Generating more lift without increasing weight or drag means that winglets result in greater fuel efficiency, lower CO2 emissions, and a lower cost for airlines.
 
With the benefits that winglets provide, it’s difficult to understand why there are some aircraft that don’t have them. While it’s easier and safer to add a wing extension, adding a winglet can be tricky. Although aircraft can be fitted with winglets, many manufacturers are integrating winglets into the original design. This increases safety and efficiency.
 
At Aerospace Unlimited, owned and operated by ASAP Semiconductor, we can help you find all the aircraft parts you need, new or obsolete. As a premier supplier of parts for the aerospace, civil aviation, and defense industries, we’re always available and ready to help you find all the parts and equipment you need, 24/7x365. For a quick and competitive quote, email us at sales@aerospaceunlimited.com or call us at 1-412-212-0606.


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The US Navy has shown a revived interest in upgrading the Super Hornet engine that is used to power Boeing F/A-18E/F, EA-18G along with two other foreign fighters. Earlier last month the Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR) reached out to GE Aviation asking for a proposal contract for the company’s engineers in order to perform studies on an “F414-GE-400 core enhancement evaluation”.

GE revealed in a statement to FlightGlobal that NAVAIR expressed interest in GE evaluating the latest engine technologies that could be applied to the F414 Enhanced Engine. This is a revival of the efforts put forth by GE and NAVAIR years ago as part of a proposal by Boeing’s Super Hornet bid for India’s fighter competition in which NAVAIR Ltd. paid GE to test the durability and thrust upgrades in laboratory rigs.

GE also evaluated the F414 Enhanced Engine under the expectation that funding for a development program would manifest in the next two years however the follow-on contract never did materialized. With “core enhancement” a central theme in the newest NAVAIR study, evidence suggests that the three modules in the core of the engine are the main focus of the Navy which includes the combustor, high-pressure turbine and high-pressure compressor. NAVAIR’s renewed interest in upgrading the Super Hornet comes on the heels of a remarkable turn-around for the Boeing production line and the program appears to be winding down after completing delivers to the USN.

Here at Aerospace Unlimited, we have a dedicated and expansive array of Boeing products. If you are interested in a quote, please don’t hesitate to contact our friendly sales staff at https://www.aerospaceunlimited.com/ call us at toll free at 412-212-0606.


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