Consistent engine starting performance extremely important for helicopters, especially those used for emergency response and rescue. Not being able to start and take off in response to an event could be catastrophic. The health of this entire system must be maintained in order to prevent any starting issues. This system is a set of related components that starts with the battery and ends at the helicopter starter unit. Here are those components in a little bit more detail:
The battery – Piston helicopters can have batteries of varying sizes and mounting location. These two variable will have a bearing on the starting system performance. In the event of an issue with the battery, a portable power supply can be used to start.
Electrical connectors – These connectors server as the termination points for all the conductors in the starting system. As a result there are more electrical connectors than any other component related to starting.
Electrical conductors – The length and gauge of these cables can also determine starting performance. They are generally flexible insulated aluminum or insulated copper cables.
Switches – The switches are used to control the flow of the electrical power within the starting system.
Starter – This is the final part of the chain and is responsible for converting that electrical energy into mechanical in torque form. This starts rotating the physical engine that is the actual starting process. If any of the above components are sub-optimal, there can be engine starting issues or even damage to the components or even the starter itself.