The Evolution of the APU

Auxiliary Power Units have been around for quite a long time, but it has taken hundreds of years to get to the APU for sale that you see today! You can’t beat the luxuries that APU’s are able to offer drivers and cost-savings they offer fleet management. But where did it all begin? During WWI, the British Coastal class blimps carried a 1.75 horsepower auxiliary engine. This engine powered a generator for a radio transmitter. The auxiliary engine could power the air blower in an emergency as well. One of the first military fixed-wing aircrafts to use an APU was the British aircraft named Supermarine Nighthawk. 

During WWII many American military aircrafts were now carrying APUs. These units became known as “putt-putts.” The putt-putt provided power for starting the main engines and was used until the aircraft reached 10,000 feet in the air. The putt-putt was also restarted when the plane prepared to descend for a safe landing. The first German jet engines in WWII used an APU starting system. This system was designed by Norber Riedel and had a 10 horsepower, 2-stroke flat engine hidden in the intake diverter. This was an excellent example of future auxiliary power units for starting a jet engine. 

The Boeing 727 in 1963 was the first jetliner to feature a gas turbine APU which allowed the aircraft to operate out of a smaller airport. It is important not to take for granted the increased technology we have readily available at our fingertips today. We have many options when it comes to an APU for sale that will save thousands in dollars as well as improve the comfort of every driver on the road. If you have any questions about our APUs for sale we would be happy to help.

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