How Do Engine Hoists Work?
Since engines wear out as a result of high temperatures, vibration, friction, corrosion, and damage from the ingestion of foreign objects, this combination of stressors, coupled with the high speed of the rotating engine, causes mental fatigue over time. To ensure your engine remains reliable and durable, routine engine maintenance is paramount. In fact, maintenance, repair, and overhaul operations can increase the service life of an engine, eliminating the need for extensive and expensive repairs in the long run.
To carry out such tasks, aircraft technicians necessitate a few key pieces of equipment and tools. As engines of any type are large and heavy, with some weighing around 18,000 pounds, engine hoists, or cranes with slings, are critical in performing maintenance, allowing the engines to be lifted and placed onto an engine dolly. In this blog, we will outline engine hoists, so that you can better understand their importance and function.
What To Check For
Keep in mind that lifting the engine is not an easy task. Before attaching the sling to the hoist, one must ensure that the hoist is capable of lifting the engine safely. The lifting should be balanced and the engine’s center of gravity should always be taken into account. Prior to being used, the hoist and the frame should be checked for their condition. Most importantly, all slings and hoists are required to meet the general design and installation requirements detailed by ASME B30.2-1.
Slings and hoists should be installed as per the manufacturer’s specifications and inspected by a qualified technician before initial use. Inspections are usually conducted the day the hoists and slings are going to be used. Additionally, observations should also be carried out during daily sling and hoist operations, and the wire ropes, chains, and all other components should also be examined. It is also paramount that all maintenance work is meticulously recorded and placed in record-keeping files.
For repairs and replacements, any condition that is identified as hazardous for operation must be corrected promptly. Replacement of wire ropes and alloy chains is common and should be carried out according to the specified procedure in the manufacturer’s manual. It is important to note that the maintenance manager is responsible for the elimination of such hazards.
Before the hoist is hooked onto the engine sling, verify that the aircraft wheels are secured in place and there is ample tail support. At this point, safety lines should be fixed near the sides or rear of the engine, so that engine movement can be controlled as it is being hoisted. Next, hook the hoist onto the sling and hoist the engine enough to release the engine weight from the mounting pylons. Then, remove the nuts from the pylon mount attachments for that specific aircraft. Once the engine is removed, the engine can be eased forward, away from the aircraft and fastened onto an engine dolly.
Different Types of Hoists
Aircraft hoists are specifically made to remove engines and other large assemblies, some of which are electrically powered. As hoists are available in varying styles, depending on one’s requirements, we will cover some of the most common engine hoist variations below.
Electric Hoists - Electric chain and wire hoists are fully automatic hoists that can be operated remotely. They are often preferred over their counterparts for heavier loads since no manual labor is necessary.
Hydraulic Hoists - Hydraulic hoists are manual in operation and work with hydraulic cylinders that are positioned in the middle of the hoist. Furthermore, the cylinders must be manually pumped to increase liquid pressure for lifting.
Chain Hoists - Coming equipped with a hand chain, a lifting chain, and a lifting mechanism, manual chain engine hoists serve as the most basic type. Together these aspects work by simply pulling on the hand chain to move the mechanism’s cog and sprocket.
Hoist Accessories - Hoists are not always used on their own, and they are regularly used alongside hoist levelers, chains, hooks, or bars that can be attached to hoist stands or hoist ceiling mounts.
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