Aviation Tools & Equipment

Aviation tools and equipment play a role in the building, maintaining and servicing of aircrafts. You can find these tools, which are normally small in relation to the equipment, in the hangar where aircrafts are undergoing repair or manufacturing sites. Servicing an aircraft between flights requires aviation equipment.

Ground Support Equipment: Non-Powered

Ground support equipment is found near an airport's ramp or terminal. The non-powered category comprises the ground support equipment that does not use any fuel to function. Aircraft wheel chocks, for example, are wedges that mechanics place at an angle between the aircraft's tires and the ground to prevent the aircraft from rolling. They serve as a safety device to keep the aircraft steady when parked or undergoing service. They may incorporate different material such as wood or hard plastic.

Ground Support Equipment: Powered

Powered ground support equipment uses some form of fuel---such as gasoline, diesel or electricity---to operate. Mobile refuelers, for example, consist of trucks with a storage tank that has a capacity of 10 to 15,000 gallons. Truck-towed hydrant dispensers refuel the aircraft using fuel stored underground. Ground power units, which provide power to parked aircrafts, come in two types: direct current and alternating current. According to the Tower Electric Motor Company, the ground power units came into use because of the need to eliminate noise from a running aircraft's engine. It also saves on fuel costs since a running engine uses up aviation fuel, which is expensive. Group power units use either diesel or a connection to an electricity grid for power supply. Ground power units provide power for starting up an aircraft's engine or servicing the aircraft.

Belt loaders help in the loading of cargo and baggage into an aircraft's cargo compartment. They have a hydraulic belt that transfers cargo to and from a barrow. They are flexible in terms of the height to which they can rise to get to an aircraft's hold door sill and the speed by which the belt loads.


Aircraft engineers use tools to ensure the aircraft's structural soundness and check the aircraft's fixtures. Aircraft tools fall into many categories; the size and types of tools used may differ from one aircraft to another because of differences in aircraft size.

One such tool, the aircraft control cable rigging tool, allows mechanics to tighten aircraft cables to the correct tension. (According to Integrated Publishing, "rigging" refers to the adjustments performed on the different components of an aircraft to ensure that the surfaces angles and the systems have a neutral alignment.) The mechanic then uses a tensiometer to measure whether the cables have the correct tension.

A propeller protractor allows for the measurement of the angle between two or more planes. It proves useful when working with detachable blade propeller. It also aids in the proper alignment and leveling of helicopter rotor heads.