Oil Rig

Hale Hamilton Portable Charging Units (PCUs) used for both military and civilian aircraft ground support

Portable nitrogen charging units are commonly used these days by commercial airliners, business jets and helicopters. However, this is only a recent development. Previously PCUs were the exclusive preserve of the military. First used by the UK Royal Air Force in the early 2000s for aircraft ground support, nitrogen charging PCUs are now used across the globe by military forces in Australia, Singapore, Malaysia and India. The product was originally developed in the mid-2000s, as a direct response to a competitive tender from the UK Ministry of Defence Air Support IPT. Hale Hamilton developed a range of all-new portable nitrogen and oxygen charging units, or PCUs, to replace the Hale Hamilton ‘walk around’ kits that were in service at the time. The MoD determined that Hale Hamilton’s new PCUs best met the pre-determined criteria of low weight, ease of portability and the provision of both high and low pressure nitrogen outputs. The company supplied 1000 PCUs which remain in service today with the UK military across the globe. The worldwide success of this portable gaseous ground support equipment led to a clamour from the aviation industry for a civilian or non-military equivalent product to meet the operational and maintenance needs of the industry. In response to this demand, Hale Hamilton has produced the portable Nitrogen 2 Go (N2GO) unit. The product is now available for the civilian aircraft and is proving to be every bit as successful and reliable as its military forebear.

Portable Charging Units (PCUs)

Hale Hamilton’s portable gaseous ground support equipment is lightweight and compact. This is its major advantage. Its size and weight might only be the equivalent of a small suitcase, but it is still strong and robust. This is principally due to the clever use of lightweight yet resilient materials, like fibre/epoxy resin composite gas cylinders and aluminium outer cases. Portable nitrogen charging units can be operated and manoeuvred by just one person, but are fully functional in spite of the lack of size.  Portable nitrogen and oxygen charging units are used across the aviation industry for operations such as tyre- inflation, suspension strut charging, hydraulic accumulator charging and filling onboard oxygen systems.

Portable nitrogen charging PCUs are fully and independently functioning, and incorporate all the valves, regulators and gauges that are needed to supply gas under pressure safely, precisely and accurately. The aluminium case has sufficient storage capacity for several metres of hose and other accessories. As there is likelihood that the equipment will be used on airfields, all small removable parts are secured with chains to prevent foreign object damage or FDU. Similarly, the construction of the PCUs dictates that all materials used are flame retardant and suitable for breathing oxygen where necessary.  All PCUs are required to be certified to TPED standards (Transportable Pressure Equipment Directive).


Nitrogen charging unit – dual range (NSN 3655-99-2125901)

•    Outlet pressure ranges: 0 to 34.5bar and 0 to 2bar
•    Valve body material: brass except regulator bodies which are aluminium to reduce weight
•    A 3m outlet hose, tyre inflator and special tyre adaptor are stowed in the case lid. These items have quick fit connectors for easy assembly.
•    The tyre inflator is fitted with an automatic shut off device to prevent over inflation.
•    Weight: 19kg (uncharged), 21.5kg (charged)

Nitrogen charging unit – dual range (heavy duty)

•    Outlet pressure ranges: 0 to 207bar and 0 to 35bar
•    Valve body material: brass except regulator bodies which are aluminium to reduce weight
•    This unit uses a heavier gauge material for the case and includes protective steel feet
•    A 3m outlet hose and high-pressure hand-held inflator are stowed in the case lid. These items have quick fit connectors for easy assembly.
•    The inflator is fitted with two pressure gauges to give accurate readings over a wide range of pressures.
•    Weight: 24kg (uncharged), 26.5kg (charged)
•    Additional handles are fitted to allow for two-man lifting.

Additional Options

Various outlet pressure ranges can be supplied:
•    We can design or source charging fittings or tools and arrange stowage in the case
•    Ports: alternative port configurations including quick connectors can be supplied
•    Materials: suitable combinations of materials can be supplied for various applications
•    The case can be lightweight for easy handling or heavy duty for better survival under field conditions

Wheeled PCU option

For ease of transport we can now supply the PCU fitted with wheels and an extendable handle. These can be fitted to any configuration of PCU and a retrofit kit is available. Both the wheels and the handle are selected from proven applications and are both rugged and practical.

The handle has two extension positions and when retracted it does not increase the length of the case. The handle extends to about 950mm from the floor with an intermediate stop at 850mm. The handle is positively locked in all positions and the lock is released by a convenient press button in the handle.

Extended feet are added to protect the case and the handle mechanism. Additional feet are also fitted on the top of the case, so that the lid lies flat when open. These feet add to the height by about 30mm on each face. The wheels are recessed into the case.

Portable Charging Units (PCUs)