The aviation industry is one of the biggest industries in the world. Since the invention of the plane, society has completely changed as cross-continental travel has become available for most people.
However, much more goes into the care and maintenance of planes than you may think, as a normal flight has hundreds of support systems that allow it to take off and land safely. One of these systems is the GPU, which gives emergency power to the airplane before the engine has started. It’s an integral part of the flight routine, and if you want to find out all the ways it’s vital, keep reading.
There are many steps in aircraft maintenance, some of which require electricity. After every few flights, planes are repaired and maintained routinely. Once this has happened, it’s integral to test the integrity of all the new and old components and whether or not they’re functional. To do this, operators test the components in many industry-standard ways.
However, the only way to conduct these tests is by giving the plane a source of energy. To make its energy, the engine needs to be on, so instead, airline companies use GPUs to carry out their tests. Once a plane passes all the necessary tests, it can be designated as flight ready, and that’s why the ground power unit is so important in maintaining a plane.
They help with starting the engine.
Modern planes weigh thousands of tons and can transport hundreds of people across continents in one flight. To do this, they need a lot of horsepower, provided by a massive engine. This engine is so massive that it cannot turn on itself. The only solution is to provide the engine with a current from an external power source, the GPU. The current provided by this unit allows the engine to safely and efficiently turn on without burning extra fuel.
They help with the boarding process.
Planes can only generate their electricity if the engine is on. Fuel is converted into energy by this engine, and during flights, this energy powers the plane, its controls, and the internal climate controls. However, before takeoff, while boarding is still occurring, the engines are off. GPUs provide the alternate power source during this phase of the flight, ensuring that all the plane’s systems are on and functional while passengers are boarding. This is integral for passenger comfort, and to save time, since operators can test the systems and engine before boarding is complete.
They can facilitate numerous planes at once.
Another reason GPUs are so important in airports is that they can facilitate multiple planes at a time. In the busiest airports in the world, planes are constantly taking off together, and, for all the reasons you’ve already seen, GPUs are absolutely necessary. In these airports, a single unit supplies power to multiple planes, so they can all test their systems and engines at once, and passengers can board while that’s happening. This efficiency also leads to airlines saving money since, in smaller airports, one or two GPUs are enough for the whole fleet.
They provide backup power in an emergency.
Planes, despite their complex engineering and all the research behind their design, are still prone to failure in rare cases. This failure usually comes in the form of a power outage, so the plane is not able to generate electricity for itself. The avionics equipment and all the other gear in the plane will stop functioning. If this happens before takeoff, the GPUs will kick back in to provide emergency power, allowing passengers to leave the plane. If this happens during a flight, the plane will perform an emergency landing in the nearest airstrip, and the GPUs in that airport will power the plane for the same reasons.
Electricity is important in any machine, but a constant source of energy is especially important in planes. There are hundreds of moving parts inside and countless systems that have to be prepared and warmed up before takeoff. The only way this is possible is through GPUs.
These units allow regular people to experience smooth air travel. They allow airlines to maintain and facilitate planes properly and ensure any testing can be done.