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Proper aircraft maintenance is a must for keeping aircraft and aviation tools in optimal condition, ensuring the safety of pilots, crew and passengers. Repair stations and maintenance technicians perform maintenance and inspections on aircraft.
One of aircraft tools a cradle transporter stand – FB70077-200 / FB70077-2ASH is provided with four special castor units, one at each corner of the unit. Each castor unit comprises a double wheel assembly, and is fitted with a foot-operated brake; and each unit is suitably spring loaded, once again to reduce shock transmissions to the engine. All three springs per wheel assembly are precompressed at fabrication and locked.
Each castor unit can be rotated through 360 degrees to increase the mobility of the transporter assembly, by using the special handles and locked in position by use of the indexing spigot. The handles are stored within the main frame when not in use.
The castor wheels can be raised or lowered by removing the bolt and locking pin and re-adjusting their position. When these are in the raised position, the transporter will sit on the deck of the transport, or on the workshop floor.
Onother example of aircraft tools can be Ackerman type steering, complete with fully steerable cellular rubber tyred wheels, can be provided at both ends of the transporter stand, incorporating a hand operated hydraulic pump/cylinder assembly for raising and lowering each set of wheels. The hydraulic pumps fitted to this system are set to ‘break’ at between 390-400 bar pressure, to give a working pressure of 350 bar. All hoses and fittings are rated for normal use at 330 bar with a 4:1 factor of safety. Flow restrictor valves are fitted at each cylinder to permanently control the rate of stand lowering to approx. 100mm/6 secs. including the event of sudden fluid loss caused by a hose, pump or joint failure.
This option enables greater ground clearance to be obtained (than with the standard arrangement). This is useful when travelling up an incline or over a ramp.
Normally the transporter and aircraft engine cradle will be delivered with the four castor wheels in the ‘raised state’, i.e. via road transport; in which case either, fork lift removal or crane lift will be required to transfer the machine to ground level or working surface.
At the time of transfer, it is convenient to lower each set of castors by removing their respective locking pins and changing them to the alternative ‘transport’ position, using the turning bars to increase leverage. A check should be made that both turning handles are in the stowed position on the transporter stand. It is essential to ensure that all securing bolts between engine cradle and transporter stand will fit in position, and that the ‘D’ pins will easily be attached before attempting to load an engine within the cradle. During aircraft maintenance a visual check should be made that both sets of side struts are well secured and tightened before loading takes place.