GSE – Ground Support Equipment

Hydraulic drives supporting aircraft on the ground

This area covers all aspects of safety, functionality, and service provision with regard to aircraft on the ground.

This includes the special tow bars used to move aircraft on the airfield, the catering vehicle safely driving up to the aircraft to load food, and everything in between.

Here, hydraulics are used all over the place in components, vehicles, and devices. To level the heavy tow bar, to enable the comparatively small tractor to move even the heaviest aircraft by using a very powerful hydraulic drive, and in the lifting systems used to lift aircraft for maintenance purposes.

Advantage of hydraulics in this area

Such applications require particularly sensitive control devices. Hydraulics are almost incompressible and thus enables jerk-free motions – a great advantage when compared to e.g. pneumatic drives. At the same time, the tools used on the ground must be very compact as the available space is often optimized for flight operations so that ground operations must be adapted accordingly.

For example, a hydraulic cylinder for an axle jack, a lifting jack for planes, must have a very compact design and must be able to lift heavy weights at the same time. And all of that right on the airfield in all kinds of weather conditions.

A hydraulic drive is often the only option to meet all of these requirements as the safety of the aircraft and the reliability of operations is paramount.

What are AHP Merkle products used for?

  • Tow bars
  • Tripod jacks
  • Axle jacks
  • Service vehicles

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