With a background of more than 16 years in the manufacture and supply of ground power systems for the aviation industry worldwide, Powervamp Ltd has steadily developed its airshow and ground support rental business to become one of the most widely recognised suppliers of this specialised support service. The company is ISO 9001:2002 accredited.
In the early 1990s, Powervamp pioneered the concept of using remote generator power at airshows to operate its unique 28 VDC electrical transformer rectifier units, (TRU’s) within the static display area. This removed the problems of ground power units, (GPU’s), noise and exhaust pollution, and proved a breakthrough for aircraft exhibitors. The concept swiftly developed into the present practice of using all-electric power for 115v AC 400Hz and DC powered aircraft at static displays.
Powervamp’s comprehensive airshow support services range from the supply of 28v DC and 115v 400Hz ground power and air coolers to full project management of the static area, including aircraft positioning, cleaning and many other specialist services.
Powervamp owns most of its equipment, which it renews on a frequent basis. This includes a dedicated stock of its own modern, silent, solid-state 28 VDC power supplies, offering from 25 to 400 amps continuous power, and a large number of 115 volt AC 40 120 kVA frequency converters.
At major airshows, such as Farnborough and Paris, where ramp space is limited, and where military and civil aircraft are part of the daily air display, diesel GPUs are still required so the aircraft personnel can perform preflight checks and ground starts from the airside despatch area.
Other occasions demanding the use of diesel GPUs include visiting VIP aircraft which may need to be parked discreetly away from public view.
Exhibitors also benefit from Powervamp’s own extensive supply of cabling and switch gear (approximately 10 tonnes). All equipment is compatible with one type of 3-phase input voltage for simplicity and ease of operation. Because cabling and switch gear is usually pre-matched at the factory before despatch, hook-up time is saved and clients receive power to their aircraft sooner.
Powervamp can ship this directly from stock to ensure equipment arrives at the exhibition without the need to source ancillary items locally.
Typical of these services is the delicate build up and disassembly of the airframe, including all internal electrical connections. Usually Powervamp will appoint a dedicated team leader to liaise with the manufacturer at an early stage and thereby ensure continuity and peace of mind as the mock-up is shipped to various international events.
Powervamp is highly unusual in owning its own large fleet of air-conditioning units. This allows the company the option to ship by sea freight without the client having to absorb part of the extended rental period of a sea journey or the added premium of airfreight as charged by some organisations, thereby reducing costs to the client.
At major air shows (and other large events) where all or part of Powervamp’s spot cooler fleet is already under contract, the company has a reciprocal loan agreement with a major spot cooler supplier thereby ensuring that it always has at its disposal sufficient 1, 3 and 5 tonne units to satisfy its requirements.
Knowing the correct Kva static area requirement is critical. Powervamp will calculate your total power needs and can complete any organiser power requirement forms on your behalf. Accurate calculations will minimise your expenditure while ensuring that the risk of a major problem on show opening day caused by under-specifying the power and the tripping of circuit breakers – is eliminated.
Back-up equipment is always shipped to the venue and is held on site for immediate ‘swap-out’ in case a failure occurs. However, because Powervamp designs, manufactures, owns and operates most of its equipment, its on-site team is usually able to quickly diagnose and fix the problem in less time than it takes to deliver and connect a replacement unit.
Through its global network of distributors within the aviation industry, Powervamp has a broad range of contacts worldwide. While many manufacturers have their own approved fixed base operator, (FBO), in major airports, occasionally a short sales tour or special aircraft delivery will require additional support services not readily available from an FBO.
The FBO may not have the resources to become involved in non-engineering matters. At times such as these, Powervamp can usually assist. Some of the ways in which we have helped our clients include:
Some years ago Powervamp was asked by airframe exhibitors seeking savings on rising aircraft cleaning costs to quote for this service. With Powervamp’s team already on site and staff and shipping costs already covered, the cost savings to the client were obvious.
Since then, the company has invested in staff training, purchased specialised equipment and, using approved cleaning materials, has been frequently praised for its attention to detail and performance.
All Powervamp staff on site are briefed to assist the client where possible even if it is not their assigned job. The result is that Powervamp clients have the peace of mind of knowing that a dedicated Powervamp employee is always on site discreetly in the background throughout the show.