Understanding Start Power Units

Start Power UnitsStart Power Units (SPU) play a critical role in ensuring that aircraft are ready to take to the skies. In our latest article, we delve into the intricacies of SPUs, highlighting their importance, operational mechanisms, the variety of power options available, and the average cost of the equipment.


What is a Start Power Unit?

A Start Power Unit has been designed to provide the required power to start an aircraft’s engines. Typically, aircraft engines require an external power source for the initial start-up, as their onboard batteries often lack the capacity for this high-power demand task. It is here that the SPU comes into play.


Importance of Start Power Units

The significance of SPUs in aviation cannot be overstated. They are crucial for:

  1. Safety: Ensuring safe and reliable engine starts.
  2. Efficiency: Reducing the time and resources needed to start engines.
  3. Battery Life Preservation: Minimising the wear and tear on the aircraft’s onboard batteries.
  4. Operational Readiness: Keeping aircraft ready for prompt departures, thus maintaining tight flight schedules.


How Start Power Units Work

SPUs deliver a substantial electrical current to an aircraft’s engine starters. This process involves:

  1. Connection: The SPU is connected to an aircraft via cables.
  2. Power Delivery: Once attached, the SPU delivers a high-current electrical supply sufficient to crank the engines.
  3. Engine Ignition: The power from the start power unit enables the engine’s ignition system to start the combustion process.


Power Variants Available

SPUs come in various power output options, catering to different types and sizes of aircraft. These include:

  1. 24-Volt Units: Commonly used for smaller, general aviation aircraft.
  2. 28-Volt Units: Suitable for a range of light to medium aircraft.
  3. 115/200 Volt AC Units: Designed for larger commercial and military aircraft requiring more substantial power output.

At Red Box Aviation, we offer a start power units from 12V, 24V, 26V, and 28V power variants.


Average Cost in Pound Sterling

The cost of a Start Power Unit can vary widely based on its power capacity, brand, and additional features. On average:

  1. Small, Portable Units: These range from £1,500 to £5,000, suitable for light aircraft.
  2. Mid-Range Units: Typically used for mid-sized aircraft, these units can cost between £5,000 and £15,000.
  3. High-Capacity Units: For larger commercial and military aircraft, prices range from £20,000 to over £50,000.


In Summary

It is clear that Start Power Units play an indispensable role in the aviation industry. Their ability to provide a reliable and efficient means of starting aircraft engines enhances operational readiness and safety. With a range of power options available, SPUs cater to various aircraft, making them a versatile and essential component in aviation. The investment in an SPU, while varying based on the unit’s capacity and features, is vital to ensuring the smooth operation of any aircraft fleet.

Red Box Aviation is pleased to offer a wide range of SPUs  that are suitable for all aircraft.

Please contact us today with your individual requirements and we will be happy to assist you.