Exceptional Ground Support Equipment Design: The AERO Specialties Story

By SGW Team

When AERO Specialties first reached out to us in 2013, we were eager to prove our ability to provide exceptional ground support equipment design. The company, which consists of self-admitted “aviation pros,” has a track record in the ground support equipment (GSE) market that speaks for itself.

At that time, AERO Specialties had nearly thirty years of experience manufacturing and distributing aircraft ground support equipment. And, despite being based in landlocked Boise, Idaho, the company provided solutions to corporate, FBO, airlines, military, and general aviation customers worldwide. (Today, these active customers number over 21,000.)

In reflecting on our ongoing relationship with AERO Specialties, we are pleased to have helped develop two groundbreaking pieces of equipment for the aviation industry. While this equipment may not seem extraordinary at first glance, they represent ground support equipment design that is shaping the market as we know it. 

Increasing Aviation Safety with the SiPsHitch™ Linear Monitoring System

Our first project with AERO Specialties meant creating a revolutionary monitoring system that would help prevent costly damage to aircraft and equipment. In line with the company’s objective to “protect aircraft and customers’ equipment investments,” the SiPsHitch™ alerts operators of pushback tugs and tow tractors when situations of over-stress threaten to damage aircraft nose and landing gear.

The SiPsHitch™ also records invisible stresses that can lead to problems later. If excessive force is applied, this equipment will sound an alarm before damage occurs, requiring a supervisor override before the tow can continue.

In order to have prototypes ready for an upcoming trade show — and to complete the project in time for the product’s target commercial launch date just six months away — SGW put the project on an accelerated schedule. After six fast-paced months of user interface development and programming, component research, design, and prototyping, production of a successful, patented SiPsHitch™ began. As planned, orders are being fulfilled and customer feedback is positive.

View the SiPsHitch™ case study here.

JetGo: Continuous, Peak Ground Power for the GSE Market

In 2018, we began the design of the JetGo 900, part of a successful product line that provides auxiliary power for corporate jets when they are on the ground. The existing JetGo™ products were sleek, unconventional, and effective, but new regulations required the product to integrate a more efficient “Tier 4” diesel engine.

Additionally, AERO Specialties wanted to reduce its overall production cost. To completely redesign an already successful product to accommodate a larger engine — while continuing to meet all performance requirements, maintaining the integrity of its look, and reducing cost — was not an easy task. But we were up to the challenge.

In redesigning the JetGo™, multiple SGW teams came together to address several technical challenges. We were even able to utilize virtual reality during the design review process, a technology that has served us well with several projects. 

After successfully addressing the unique demands of the JetGo 900 project, production of the new product began earlier this year. Feedback has been positive and we are pleased to have played a role in this ground support equipment design — and in the GSE market as a whole.

For more examples illustrating how SGW Designworks addresses specific project challenges, view our case studies.

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