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The Humble Aircraft Ladder Is So Important

By Mia Kent

A modern airport is a constant hive of activity as anyone who has spent any time at one will tell you. There is a continual stream of craft landing and taking off. Yet there are not that many people who spare a thought about what is required to keep an airport functioning. Some might say good access from the surrounding area, others might opt for radar, but possibly the last thing on anyone's mind would be an aircraft ladder.

It might sound rather strange but an airport cannot function without this humble piece of equipment. They can be utilized in a variety of ways, and as such they have to be adaptable. As there is not an unlimited number of people who work at these airports one of the prime concerns for ground equipment is portability. These items have to be easy to move, often by just one person.

As an example consider a refueling operation. An airport handles craft of a wide range of makes and models. The refueling points on these aeroplanes are often in different locations, and could be at a variety of heights. To conduct safe refueling tasks the flight line crew need to gain access to all of these fueling points.

Something else that the equipment manufacturers have thought about is also safety. For example the material that this equipment is made from is aluminium. This means that it will be lightweight so the ground crew are not likely to injure themselves as they position this equipment where it needs to go. Despite it being lightweight it also needs to be of a robust construction.

So considering this same refueling operation, a fuel hose is a heavy bulky item, and it would not be ideal were the equipment that the maintainer used to gain access to the fueling point were to fall to pieces. Manufacturers estimate that the load is rated at approximately 300 lbs. There are also reinforcing straps and gussets associated with each step, these help to provide even greater stability and strength.

Even the width of the step tread has been thought about, they are designed to provide a safe, yet comfortable, foot hold. If you look closer you will notice they are perforated. The perforations fulfill two purposes, they help to limit the total weight, and due wet conditions still ensure safe footing.

To make movement even easier there are a couple of robust wheels also fitted. So all an individual has to do is tilt the item and move it. There are a variety of heights available, and each will afford a stable working platform. Even if a baggage truck were to reverse into one and knock it over, there will be no possibility of a spark because it is made from aluminium.

Imagine that all of this thought has gone into the humble aircraft ladder. Just consider how much thought has also gone into the rest of the equipment which gets used at an airport each and everyday. The other equipment used will also serve multiple purposes, and incorporates servicing platforms and wing access steps.

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Ditulis oleh: Faisal Reza Siregar - Tuesday, September 24, 2013

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