Eye on Refuelers

ORLANDO — Two of the latest model refuelers were on display at this year’s Aviation Industry Expo, and while the designs differ, one message is clear: Refueler OEMs continue to take advantage of technology and are creating a more user-friendly product.

Garsite now offers Insite, a programmable in-vehicle logic and safety control system for aircraft refuelers. The new system offers step-by step operating instructions and troubleshooting procedures on an LED digital display in an ‘information center.’ Garsite worked with Florida-based Class 1 — known for its work with fire truck technology — to develop the display.

“It shows the operator where the problem is if there is one,” says Garsite VP of sales and marketing David Mittleman. “There is the instruction in plain English.” The alerts on the display can be customized.

Troubleshooting procedures may be particularly time-saving — instead of an operator responding to an error message with a checklist, he can look at the information center and find the problem’s precise location.

The truck has a fully integrated communications system, relaying information to/from a central super node located under the truck’s cab, to nodes under the hood and under the back of the tank. The system sends a safety alert whenever a task isn’t fully completed, or is attempted out of sequence.

A new refueler from Dukes Titan Aviation, being promoted by Chevron, focuses on a quicker manufacturing turn time. It uses a modular concept in which all components of the fueling module are incorporated into the design, and according to Chris Dukes, VP of operations, the new fueling modules can be used on any tank and take approximately 30 days to build. Modules can be “dropped in” to any chassis and tank configuration. Installation is a three-part assembly. DTA is able to manufacture the flow-rate-based fueling module and have it ready and waiting for the chassis and tank to be delivered.

To help eliminate wiring mishaps, Dukes has also developed a ‘plug-n-play’ electronics system, located on the side of the fueling module.