In the aviation industry, maintenance and service are extremely important as there is no room for error when it comes to operating airplanes. General aviation and commercial airports often have fixed base operators that provide a variety of maintenance and repair services. For example, refueling is a common service that’s done at any type of airport or air field. Similarly, jump starting is another important service that’s available. The jet engine of an airplane must be initiated and allowed to “warm up.”
Starter units are used to turn on jet engines for safe and smooth operation before a flight. An aviation jump starter is essentially a battery pack that provides the right amount of voltage and current to engine blocks in airplanes. However, such starter units are usually reserved for small and medium jet engines. Commercial size jumbo jets need much more powerful machines for starting up multiple engines.
Lithium Ion starter units are compact, affordable and portable. Therefore, charter jets and other small aircraft often get their engines warmed up with such simple but effective starting units. On average, a typical Lithium Ion starter unit produces about 30 Volt of peak power. It’s also worth noting that direct current is provided through the starter units. Additionally, the current of a jump starter kit can be manually adjusted to protect the sensitive electronics and other components in turbine engines.
Traditional starter units for airplanes use lead acid battery packs. These units have a relatively short life span as they can discharged very quickly. However, lead acid battery products are still used in aviation because they are affordable and portable.
Some starter kits for jet engines are available in Ground Power Unit designs. A GPU is connected to an external power source such as an outlet with a 110-120 V rating. Extension cords are used to transfer standard electrical power to the appropriate power for a turbine engine. Of course, a GPU has a converter that transforms Alternating Current into Direct Current. GPU machines may have wheels for easy mobility on the taxiway or runway of an airport or airfield.
Fixed base operators may allow pilots and airplane owners to rent out any GPU and other jump starting supplies. The fees are usually charged based on an hourly rate. Sometimes, general aviation facilities may provide the service as a complimentary offering for charter flights and other special occasions during holiday seasons.