There’s a host of specialty tools platforms and equipment required to perform maintenance on aircraft. Depending upon the type of aircraft, helicopter or airplane, the tools and equipment used may differ slightly or by a great deal. One tool that’s universal to both aircraft and helicopter maintenance are aircraft maintenance platforms.
Aircraft maintenance platforms vary in size and configuration depending upon the type and size of the aircraft being worked on. The aircraft’s wing or rotor configuration, location of the engines, and access to maintenance panels also govern the configuration of the maintenance platform. What is constant however is the need for aircraft maintenance platforms.
Obviously a helicopter maintenance platform would be virtually useless when working on an airline passenger jet. Likewise, an aircraft maintenance platform suitable for maintaining a jet airliner would an absurd choice for doing maintenance on a twin engine Cessna. However, there are maintenance platforms that share many compatible components and can therefore be assembled to be applicable for a great many jobs.
There are two basic types of aircraft maintenance platforms. The first is custom designed and welded to be used on specific types of aircraft, often while performing a specific maintenance function. Although such custom designed work platforms are constructed to provide access to maintenance areas of a particular aircraft, they can be used on different aircraft with similar characteristics and dimensions. For example, in the case of jet airliners of similar sizes and engine configuration one aircraft maintenance platform would suit multiple aircraft. Most helicopter maintenance platforms are a fixed height and dimensions as well.
The second type of aircraft maintenance platforms are deployable, which means they can be quickly assembled and disassembled as needed, and laid out differently to complement the size and configuration of the aircraft being worked on. Both aluminum and steel platforms are available as either welded or deployable. Deployable maintenance platforms tend to cost more, however they are less costly to ship or store, and much more convenient for maintenance facilities that work on a number of different types of aircraft.
Some aircraft maintenance platforms have more one platform, allowing access to different maintenance areas of the aircraft. Adjustable height maintenance platforms are also available, as are extendable platforms that allow the stand to adjust to the length and outline of the aircraft.
All aircraft maintenance platforms have built in handrails for safety, but the handrails are easily removed or reconfigured when necessary. Smaller platforms generally have casters so they can be moved to wherever needed, while those for larger aircraft tend to be fixed in place and the aircraft is moved into position. Other popular options included on aircraft maintenance platforms are tool trays, air pressure jacks, lighting, and electrical outlets.
The aircraft being serviced and the tools required to perform maintenance may differ. However, a constant is that any aircraft maintenance job higher a mechanic’s head requires the use of an aircraft maintenance platform. This makes aircraft maintenance platforms one of the most important pieces of maintenance equipment there is.